Thursday, January 27, 2011

Barney's Bullet!

If you've been enjoying the last few days posts of custom model builds by Rob Riley, I think you will truly like today's post. I believe it's one of my favorites!
This started out as an original dealer promo model of a 1962 Ford country squire station wagon.  Nice, complete original dealer promo models from the 60's can be expensive and kind of hard to find. I picked this one up off e-bay for about $10.00. It was mostly complete except for the windows, and the rear bumper, but it had seen better days.
I am a big fan of "The Andy Griffith Show" and I had this crazy idea.... what if Barney Fife had a drag car, and this is what I came up with.
The first thing I did was cut a hole in the hood for a blower to stick out. These promo models don't have engines, and the hoods are molded closed. So I cut the hole and built a box under the hood to sit the blower on. I angled the box slightly backwards so it looks like the engine is set back just a little. By making a box on the underside of the hood, it makes it look like there really is an engine in it because the blower is sitting down inside the hood rather than just on top of the hood. I added fuel lines to the injector and a Hilborn style scoop.
I sprayed the body gloss white, and then I masked off the hood, front fenders rocker panels, 1/4 panels and tailgate, and sprayed them gloss black.  I sprayed a couple of coats of clear lacquer over the whole thing. I detail painted the window trim, side trim, door handles and bumpers with silver paint. I had my friend whip up some custom door decals from pictures taken right off of the actual Mayberry police car used in The Andy Griffith show. 
I made the red "gumball" roof light out of some parts that I found in my parts box. The interior is painted flat black and is pretty basic. I made the windows out of a clear plastic folder cover.
I used the chassis that came with the promo model, but I had to modify it slightly because it was a little warped from age. (This model was made in 1962, and it's probably been through a lot over the years.)
I sprayed the chassis flat black and I added a set of chrome leaf springs to the front, with a straight axle. I also added an oil pan to further make it look like there is an engine in the car. The rear axle was molded into the chassis so I just left it as it was, and I put on a set of skinny, 60's style slicks.  The rims are some old style Radir 5 spokes, and I widened the rear ones.The fender well headers came from my parts box and I sprayed them flat white.
I had my decal making buddy come up with some pretty funny sponsor decals based on things found in Downtown Mayberry (Walkers drug store, Emmet's fix it shop, Wally's filling station, and Floyd's barber shop.) Barney would need a pit crew so, he came up with Andy Taylor as the crew chief, Aunt Bea and Thelma-Lou as crew members. Opie Taylor started building race engines, so of course, he is Barney's engine builder. I named the car "Barney's Bullet" for obvious reasons. Above the driver's door and passenger door the decals say "Driver: Lead-foot Fife".
If you look close at the moon tank mounted on the front bumper, you will see that it has a decal "XXX" on it. Don't think for a minute that I left old Otis the drunk out of this one, because the "XXX' on the moon tank is where Otis has been hiding his hooch. Just like on the real show, the booze is right under Barney's nose, but yet, he still can't find it.
And of course, Barneys favorite saying is right there on the tailgate for all of his competitors to read as he's blowing their doors off.
This was a really fun one to build. I did get an earful from a couple of the model car purists out there because I cut up an original 60's Ford dealer promo model. HA! It's just plastic, and what fun is a car that's stock anyway?