Mini Mus­cle

Australian Muscle Car - - Mini Muscle - with Bruce Moxon

Wel­come to the first, ex­panded ver­sion of Mini Mus­cle. It’s great to be here! And just for starters, this time we get to ride along with the cover story and look at mod­els of the leg­endary A9X To­rana. I was a skinny, awk­ward teenager when this car broke cover and it’s stayed with me ever since as just about the ul­ti­mate dream to own one.

As you’d both hope and ex­pect, the A9X has been made in model form and con­tin­ues to be. In­deed, Clas­sic Car­lecta­bles has an­nounced a 1:18 model of the Brock/Richards Bathurst win­ner from 1978. And if they’re mak­ing one… well, it costs a bloody for­tune to tool up for a 1:18 model, so you have to get plenty of use out of it; we can ex­pect more A9Xs to come. Un­for­tu­nately, they don’t have pic­tures of a pro­to­type yet. Pa­tience, grasshop­pers…

Biante made plenty of A9X mod­els too, over the years. They made Brock, Mor­ris, Grice, Mof­fat and Jan­son cars in hatch­backs and Mor­ris and Brab­ham cars in four-door form. There are also sev­eral road-go­ing ver­sions out there. But, you’ll need to do some on-line shop­ping. All of the above were avail­able on eBay at the time of writ­ing, but Biante them­selves have no stock.

There are also some in 1:43 and 1:64. Again, there are none in stock at the mak­ers, but you’ll find them on eBay or at re­tail­ers. Here’s a tip, go to the Su­per­cars meet­ings, as lots of mod­els are on sale in the mer­chan­dise ar­eas.

Biante and Clas­sics are not the only sources of A9X fab­u­lous­ness. Trax made a few, in­clud­ing a twin-set box of the 1977 cars of Brock/Brock (this is­sue’s cover car) and Johnny Ruther­ford/ Janet Guthrie. The twin-set came out ages ago, in 1999; I bought mine at the time, as there were vir­tu­ally no A9X mod­els around then.

Speak­ing of Bathurst 1977, it’s also the 40th an­niver­sary of the Mof­fat Ford Deal­ers Team’s crush­ing 1-2 vic­tory. And again, there are mod­els out there com­mem­o­rat­ing this feat, but noth­ing cur­rently in stock by the mak­ers. Trax were first cab off the rank, mod­el­ing the twin-set of these cars in 1993. I’ve also got this twin­set and they’re a great ex­am­ple of the state-of-the-art at that time.

The mod­els have no roll-cages, they have skinny wheels and some of the tampo print­ing is a bit skew-whiff. But, at that time, that was all there was; if you weren’t pre­pared to com­pro­mise, you did with­out.

Mind you, later ver­sions cor­rected this, with Biante do­ing a 1-2 twin-set in 1:64 scale, the box in­clud­ing a Stonie car­toon. There’s also a Biante 1:18 scale XC Fal­con, the Mof­fat ATCC win­ner.

Clas­sic Car­lecta­bles did the 1-2 set in 1:18 scale in 2009, their set is also in a dis­play box with a photo from the race as a back­drop.

But what if you want your own twin-set and aren’t pre­pared to pay hun­dreds of dol­lars? Well, gen­tle reader, I can sug­gest at least one op­tion: do it your­self. Not be­ing stupidly rich, I opted to use a pair of Hot Wheels’ 2009 XB Fal­con coupes as a start­ing point. At the time they were re­leased, there was a feeding frenzy among col­lec­tors. I man­aged to grab a few for my­self and they’d sat in boxes since. Well, now it was time for two of them to re­alise their des­tiny.

First, I dis­man­tled them. I used an elec­tric drill to drill out the riv­ets (there are two) hold­ing the cars to­gether. Best to use a drill with vari­able speed, as the zinc al­loy the mod­els are cast from is pretty soft, and too high a drill speed will see you pos­si­bly wreck­ing them. I left a bit of a

lip of the rivet still there, as this will help later

with re­assem­bly.

Once you’d drilled the riv­ets out, pop the floor off. I use a small screw­driver to lift up the re­main­ing lip of rivet. If you have to force it apart, you need to do a bit more drilling. Once the bot­tom is off, put that, the in­te­rior as­sem­bly and the win­dows some­where safe.

The bod­ies now went into a jar of ace­tone. Not nail pol­ish re­mover, ace­tone. Get it at the hard­ware shop. An hour or so on there, then pull them out, on some old news­pa­per, and get scrub­bing with a tooth­brush. Get all the paint off the out­side.

Mean­while, find some stick­ers. I got mine from Patto’s Place, a bloke in Syd­ney that prints sheets of stick­ers for peo­ple like me. He’s re­ally, re­ally good. Find him here: http://mem­bers.op­tushome.­tosplace/home.html

There are hun­dreds of sticker sets to choose from, enough for many years of model projects.

Paint­ing the cars is pretty straight­for­ward. I have an air­brush set, but there’s no need to stump up for that for a one-off. Hobby shops (Hob­byco f’rin­stance) will sell you mod­el­ing aerosols. Don’t just use a hard­ware shop can, as the par­ti­cles of paint are too big and your model will look ter­ri­ble. Oh, and use an etch-primer too, also from the hobby shop. Use that first, let it dry, then ap­ply a few very light coats of the white paint. Then ap­ply the black for the bon­net, then the stick­ers. Just like be­ing a kid again.

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