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Full story in here.

Pro Street Vette.

This car started out as the MPC Streaker Vette I originally built to match the box art with minimal engine detailing. That was also my first candy paint job. I remember my first attempt did not go well. I had not read the instructions on the can so there was no gold or silver undercoating. The second time I did better and the model was one of my favorite builds on the shelf.

Some years later the Pro Street thing was big and I thought that a blown Vette needed big tubs instead of tires hanging outside the rear fenders. My original intent was to save the Candy Apple red paint, just add the tubs and put it back on the shelf. It didn’t work out that way.

I started with MPC slicks and added treads by running them over a screen on a hot iron. Centerline style rims came from the parts box. Sheet plastic tubs were added to the interior tub as was a roll cage, which was painted candy purple. The rest of the interior was left pretty much kit stock. The rear of kit chassis was cut and narrowed and a triangulated three-link coil over rear suspension was fabricated to replace the old IRS unit. The front of the chassis was bent up to bury the front tires deep into the fenders. The chassis was also painted candy grape. Brake lines made from painted thread (old habit) were also added.

The lower half of the engine is pretty much close to kit stock. A new alternator was added. I later found out that I hung a Chrysler alternator on a Chevy Vette. Oh well. The blower belt was replaced with a wider unit and the injectors were changed to big carburetors from a Grumpy’s toy Vega. This was all topped off by a Revell injector hat. The ignition was changed over to an HEI unit from an MPC 82 Camaro. The headers were modified to a small block configuration. The rest of the engine was detailed out with ignition and fuel lines, carb linkage, and an engine dipstick. The battery was also detailed with scratch built clamps, hold-downs and wiring. Under chassis tube mufflers with brackets were added to exit just before the rear tires.

When it came time to approach the bodywork the Vette once again became a learning mule. I tried using brake fluid to strip the old candy paint and soon learned that if not carefully controlled, brake fluid will soon remove layers of plastic. I ended up rescribing door lines and even recreating the crest on the roof. With the repairs completed, I turned to some minor modifications. A rear roll pan was added as well as a custom fuel tank. The ribbed side valances were tossed and replaced with sheet plastic for a smoother look.

For the paint, I knew I wanted some of the hot looking graphics that were popular then – 1985. I turned to an issue of Hot Rod magazine and found a black and white drawing of the lasar style graphics. Other popular trends incorporated in the overall look are the monochromatic look - hence the white rims and scoop, and the brief infatuation with pink – the color of the graphics and minor highlights. All the white elements are Testors white. The pink elements are from a custom mix of RC paints which were applied with an airbrush. The whole thing was covered in Testors (instant yellowing) clear and rubbed out.

The finished product made it into the “Tubs!” issue of SAE, and pulled down a couple of contest awards. I look at it now and I see some pretty rough areas. The paint is rubbed through in spots and the door scribing is pretty wavy. Parts of the chassis and headers look kinda goopy. But, it still has the over all look that captures a pretty cool period in Hot Rod styling.

Oh, I’ve got another Streaker Vette that is going to get a box stock built with the requisite candy apple red paint.

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Uploaded: March 26, 2005