Saturday, October 8, 2016

Lancia Stratos: completed!

I came across a Tamiya lime green rattle can in the stash, which provided the perfect shade, see here: For some reason the can doesn't have a number, it just says TS Lime Green on it. A one off?

Separately it would have been nice to put Webers on the motor but I didn't seem to have anything in the parts bin that has the barrels as close together as the manifold requires. I do have a set of Webers for various Ford motors, 260 through 350 cubic inches, from Historic Racing Miniatures, but it seems to me that it would be a shame to put such a nice set of carbs on this slightly ratty kit; I was saved from this dilemma by the fact that they won't fit. So the standard air cleaner, which hides the carbs, was the way to go. All in flat red, of course; isn't there a rule that Italian twin-cam cylinder heads, especially when there are two of them, need to be topped by red valve covers?

Moving on to the body, the pop up headlights are mounted on a clever little lever-operated hinge that allows you to move them up and down once assembled. I glued them shut as they look dinky when up. Sort of like a TR 7, but I digress.

Similarly I skipped the aero bits and rally headlamps, a well as the Alitalia decals which are probably unusable after 40 years in the box.

All went well until final assembly. The chassis needs to mate with the body under the front valance just so, and a good bit of filing was needed to make that happen. Then the fit around the rear just under the doors was also tight and needed lots of attention.

The result looks good with the engine lid open but the fit when closed is very poor. I thought maybe I had put the hinge on backwards, but apparently not. I am guessing a large part of this is the hinge, which is quite sloppy; the engine lid can be pushed forward to meet up with the roof but the fenders are too wide, a result of the body shifting in 40 years on the shelf.

Other minor issues are the front track, which looks too narrow, and the knobby rally tires that don't really suit a road car. Nonetheless it is a fine looking model of the original wedge design, penned by Bertone in his prime and still a wicked little bomb today. The wedge is gone, killed off by bad knockoffs like the TR 7 (no, I don't like TR 7s), but this one shows what can be done with the concept especially when the machinery is all in back.

So anyway, another one done, in record time (under two days), and a good fit with the other mid or rear engined exotica on the shelf. As this was a new start, there are still a baker's dozen in various states of completion on the bench, including the little Abarth in the centre of the photo which just needs a few items such as the front hood hinges sorted out. Another day.

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