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30+ Year Old 37 Chevy Gasser--The Restoration


mustang1989
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A few months back I posted a 30+ year old 1937 Chevy Gasser in the "Builds Left From Childhood" thread here. It looked terrible and I contemplated just throwing it away. Instead I saw some potential in the ol' girl and decided to undergo about a month and a half long project to bring 'er back from the dead.

I gave it a lot of TLC during the resto. Lot's of touch up and some parts replacements from a newer release of the kit along the way helped out some. The paint is all original with only clean up and a polishing with Novus to bring out the shine. On the original build I never installed any glass or headlamps so right off the bat there was an improvement there. Wheels and tires are all replacements with some tricks that I've learned here and there to enhance those items. All exterior chrome was replaced and the hood was added as well. I'm not just real happy with the hood but I'll work around that for now. Interior is all original with no upgrades other than cleaning up. The engine is terrible and if it weren't for the fact that the headers were visible all the way up to it I would have left it out.
All in all this was some good fun with little frustration and I've even got to try out a few tricks and ideas in what was unchartered waters before this build. As stated earlier: Is this my best model or will this win in any shows?? No. It does, however, have it's place inside a good display case to pay tribute to some of my earlier teenage years. With any luck it will last another 30+ years............

 

To recap. Beginning shots. The dust collection on this thing was crazy!!

 

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and yes....that's a clear hood.

 

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Finishing shots: The original paint took the polishing up quite well. The paint shines better than it did when I first applied it 3 decades ago.

 

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I left a lot of "boo-boo's" the way they were on the original build. The point was to have a freshened up version of the original build. All replaced parts were cleaned up and given enhancements with todays skills but the original parts/ joints were left the same so the beginners skills from back then would be visible.

 

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Edited by mustang1989
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Thanks Dannie and Mark! Yeah I was really surprised about the shine on the paint myself. First off that is the original paint job and secondly there was no clear coat ever put on it.

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I love the look of the missing center caps on the rear Crager mags. I had that same look on a 69 chevy I had back in my youth. But it was because I didn't have a lot of money and I bought the mags from a pawn shop and they didn't have the caps. Very nice save of an old but still good model.

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Thanks Dannie and Mark! Yeah I was really surprised about the shine on the paint myself. First off that is the original paint job and secondly there was no clear coat ever put on it.

 

How do you shine the paint? I've got an old Rabbit I built that was similar to my very first new car. I'd like it to shine like that. It was build around 1984 or so.

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I purchased the Novus Polishing System. It's got three different polishes in it #3 is for heavy scratches (which I almost never use) # 2 is for light scratches and #1 is a fine scratch/ sealer coat. I usually go over them with #2 to get the fade and light scratches off and then hit it with a light usage of #1. Works every time. :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

NICE job Joseph. I wish I still had some models from my childhood. Mom sold some at a yard sale when I went off to school, the others? - who knows..

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Thanks Bob! I managed to save a few of 'em. I've got four that I have in display right now.

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Sure.

 

Here's the Camaro with nothing done to it except for some repairs and clean up (which it didn't need much as it had been under the protection of a display case for 30+ years).

 

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Then there's the 'Cuda that I built. This one is unrestored....

 

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One of my less stellar attempts that made it into adulthood. One day I'll re-do this one....

 

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Then there's this one.

A 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A that I built for my brother way back when. This was taken sometime in mid 2014

 

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and then I got a wild hair to restore her. Here she is with the original body and complete original interior. No paint was used. This is the molded color with clear coat over it.

 

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and I tweeked the engine compartment.................a lot! I totally re-did this car saving the original body and interior to stay true to the main parts. She wins at every show I take her to.

 

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Edited by mustang1989
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Super Cool.. I bet if we took a vote, there would be VERY few who still have models from their kidhood. Thanks for sharing those pictures Joseph!

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Super Cool.. I bet if we took a vote, there would be VERY few who still have models from their kidhood. Thanks for sharing those pictures Joseph!

 

I am one who still has most of his models from his childhood. I've kept every one that I could. Several (about 12) were lost in moves but at least half or two-thirds have been replaced.

 

Mustang, those are some awesome childhood models. That Dodge Challenger T/A is particularly magnificent! I am not surprised at all that it places at ever show you take her to. Way to go!

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I, too, seem to have most of my childhood models.

 

I occasionally update some of them as you did with the 37 gasser. I totally understand that matching 30-year-old blue on the original car is impossible when trying to add and restore missing parts. Your hood and headlamp housings show the new blue because the shade is slightly darker than the original. Pactra Royal Blue no longer exists in the Testors line, so it looks like you used Arctic Blue as a closest match. I have the same problem when completing the original AMT Peterbilt Wrecker that has these same two shades of blue on them.

 

Ed

 

Wrecker16.jpg

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Say....that wrecker looks really good Ed! How old is that one and how old were you when you built it?

 

Bob: Thanks man! I gave it a little dinge to simulate some mileage on it but still a clean appearance.

 

Mark: Thanks pal. Always good to see you around.

Edited by mustang1989
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Hi, Joseph,

 

This was an original AMT kit from the early 1970s, based on the original AMT Peterbilt 359 kit with individual glass pieces for the cab. An upgraded kit followed in a few years with a glass tub for all windows. I started this kit in 1976 by building the chassis, suspension, and motor. Then I put it away for four moves. I pulled out the kit and finished it in 2008 (32 years later).

 

Thanks for asking.

 

Ed

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Funny how we get back around to things later on. lol. Thanks for sharing all that, it gives the build a little more character.

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