Sunday, March 30, 2014

Alpine A110: slow but steady

The A110 project continues at a slow but steady pace.

The orange peel was sanded off and another coat of blue put on, which still shows some orange peel but is better than the first attempt ... I suspect it won't get any better than this unless I switch to an airbrush, a complication and expense I am reluctant to engage in.

The chassis is finished, requiring just minor paint touchups here and there. The kit came with a full-length skid pan which I have decided not to use, even though the pan is molded in clear plastic.

The lovely little twin-cam, with double-barrel Webers and a tubular header leading into a single muffler, is a tight fit under the rear deck, and I suspect #4 sparkplug, along with the alternator belt, had to be removed from inside the car. Next: interior details. Once the paint has hardened (in a week or two), I'll start on decals and trim prior to a coat of gloss to seal it all up properly.

If there ever was a car less well suited on paper to the Monte than the Alpine, with its peaky little motor hung way out back, surely it must be the 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint driven by Bo Ljungfeldt (details here). I know from experience, acquired many years ago in my 1972 Chevelle, that a big V8 with torque all over the map, combined with rear wheel drive, can be very exciting, but not particularly quick, in slippery conditions. Of course my Baldini winter tires and lack of a limited slip probably didn't help, but still, the weight is not where you want it for traction.

In this vein I picked up a kit of a Falcon which I intend to build up to mimic Ljungfeldt's 1964 Monte Carlo winner.

Now before the purists all object that the 1964 Monte was won by Paddy Hopkirk in a Mini, I'll point out that the Falcon won on number of stages won and overall time elapsed, but the Mini won overall due to the various formulas used to handicap bigger motors such as the Holman & Moody 300-HP version of the venerable 289 lurking under Ljungfeldt's right foot. Ljungfeldt was classified second, with an 850 cc, 2-stroke Saab driven by the legendary Eric Carlsson in 3rd, so the rules clearly favoured little engines.

So let's all agree the Mini won according to the rules but the Ford won on time. The kit, by a new company called Trumpeter, appears to be very detailed, and will go well next to my model of the 1967 winner (another Mini). The only challenge will be decals as the Ford kit does not include these. To the Internet.

Originally posted 30 March 2014

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