Thursday, June 8, 2017

Chrysler 300: on to the chassis

These old kits sure are fast builds if you don't spend hours sanding and polishing the body. Here I lowered the chassis by the simple expedient of cutting the spacers (beige blocks in the photo) through which the axle shafts fit, so that they sit as high as possible in the frame. I seem to recall that some older AMT kits offered a couple of axle locating blocks corresponding to different ride heights-- a very simple way to proceed, if not entirely replicating what you might do at 1:1.

The result is a decent stance, taking advantage of the ample room inside the fenders.

On the other hand, the narrow track is no good. The stock tires, barely 7.5 inches wide at scale, give the car something of the look of a pregnant skateboard. Significantly wider tires will be needed. I've got some 11 inch NASCAR rims that just need the right tires; Plan B is a nice set of 15" Cragar mags, with 10 to 12 inch wide, 60 or 70 series tires. The parts bin and the aftermarket will come in handy here.

Finally the body got a mix of bare metal foil and dry-brushed chrome paint on the various emblems, followed by a coat of clear. (The basic Tamiya paint is meant for military use and is relatively flat.) It's all looking pretty good at this point. Ready for launch, Captain!

Speaking of launches, I assembled the 440 cubic inch motor with the optional dual-carb setup. The 375 horsepower mill was more than adequate to motivate the 4200+ lb curb weight by dint of huge amounts of torque -- 480 foot pounds to be exact. I can only imagine what a decent set of headers and a free-flow exhaust would accomplish.

Unfortunately the kit does not offer an air cleaner for this dual-carb set up, leaving the poorly detailed carbs out in the open for all to see. I'll have a look into the parts bin where I expect to find an oval air cleaner from a Thunderbird 390 TriPower setup. A Ford component on a Mopar? You are right to proclaim this as heretic, but I haven't built a lot of Mopar kits, and the parts bin is thus lacking. Anyone have a spare air cleaner from a Cuda?

Overall a pretty simple kit under the skin, but the body is very well done. Highly recommended if you can find one for a decent price.

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