Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Fonzi Dragbike!

Another installment of "Models by Rob Riley".

Here's a really fun one that I built a few years ago.

This started out as a model of Fonzi from happy days with his Triumph 500 motorcycle. (There is a picture of the model kit box attached). the second picture of the bike does not show the triumph tank decals because I hadn't put them on it yet.
This kit was made for only one year in 1976 by MPC, and they are pretty difficult kits to find these days.
I picked this kit up off of e-bay for like $7.00 and it was in VERY bad shape. It had been built and then taken apart at some time, but it had glue all over it, and had a few broken parts, and some parts were missing.
I have no idea what scale this bike is, and it's an oddball size. It came out to be about 8 inches long after I raked the front end.
I chopped the front of the frame to rake it out, and I lowered the whole bike. The frame was in pretty good shape but it had a lot of glue on it when I got it. I had to sand and smooth out the entire frame and fill some areas with bondo.
The gas tank had the "Triumph" emblems molded into the plastic, but there was so much glue on the gas tank, I had to sand off the emblems to get all of the glue sanded down.
I painted the gas tank with silver and then clear coated it because on Happy Days, Fonzi's bike had a silver tank. I made a set of "Triumph" logo decals to go back on the tank.I made a set of drag bars out of some steel coat hanger rod, and I also made the drag pipes out of steel coat hanger.
I chopped the rear fender and made a brace for it out of flat plastic. I left the front fender and all of the lights off since it's now a drag bike. The bottom part of the seat is made from the license plate that came with the bike, and it says "FONZ" on it. The pad on the rear fender is the passenger seat pad that came with the kit.
The front tire is a rubber o-ring for a Caterpillar diesel water pump, and the rear slick is made from rubber gas hose. I painted the frame and engine black to keep it simple. I painted the fins and the heads on the engine silver to make the engine stand out a little bit. I added fuel lines, throttle cable, brake lines and a clutch cable. I moved the foot pegs back to the rear axle along with the shifter and the rear brake pedal. I added a set of wheelie bars that I found in my stash of parts. 
The engine only has one carb on it, which was molded to the cylinders. I put a chrome velocity stack on the carb. If i had 2 motrorcycle carbs that were this scale I would have chopped off the single carb and put dual carbs on it.
The Fonzi figure was wearing a striped T-shirt for some reason, and the stripes on his t-shirt were molded into the plastic. Everyone knows that the Fonz always wore a white t-shirt under his leather jacket. So I sanded down his shirt to remove the lines for the stripes. I painted his t-shirt flat white, and his leather jacket flat black. I mixed up some blue and black paint and painted his pants with it. I mixed up some tan, brown and pink for his face and hands, and then did all the detail painting. (eyes, eyebrows, lips, hair, and the zipper on his jacket.) His boots got painted flat black.
I made the brick wall on the computer and used  Microsoft paint with the airbrush tool to add the graffiti to the wall. I wish I had some more and better pictures of this one. I ended up selling this on e-bay, and it went  for over $100.00.
Excellent! Once again Rob you have created a truly "Suede and Chrome worthy" model. Thanks again for sending me these pictures and story!
Well, readers, we are not finished there! Rob has sent me a few more descriptions and pictures of some of the cool models he has built over the years. Make sure you come back in the coming days for more of  Models by Rob Riley".