Allan Moffat’s Rebel Yell
When Carrera produced their rst IMSA series Chevrolet Monza slot car, I was hopeful that we would be getting something close to Allan Moffat’s 1976 Championship winning sports sedan. The car was extremely important to Moffat’s career, and was his rst GM racer after a career that up until that point had been almost exclusively in Fords. It was a provocative move and, less than 12 months after getting the Chev, Ford did another one of their motorsport U-turns and openly supported him again. Sounds a little familiar, right?
The car Moffat imported to Australia was one of DeKon’s rst-generation Monzas which had made its debut in the American IMSA series in late 1975. Unfortunately, Carrera seem fairly committed to its version of the second-generation
car with the wilder body kit raced in later IMSA seasons. Eight years after their rst Monza release, Carrera is yet to change its Monza body.
With Carrera’s fourth issue of the car, it at least used the original DeKon paint scheme, which seemed to me to have some promise of modifying it into the Moffat car with a bit of work. The majority of panels are much the same and the paint scheme is right apart from some decals. However, to get it right would take some work more involved than a new paint job and some decals. Crucial changes to the body were the front and rear spoilers which would take some patience and thought.
A list of other modi cations would include the door air scoops, ‘MONZA’ door graphics, BBS wheels, and some of Moffat’s sponsors.
There is quite a bit of information around to help the project. Moffat’s Monza was accompanied by a whirlwind of publicity, so there are plenty of contemporary reports. Additionally, the car also featured back in AMC #86, which detailed his tumultuous 1976 season. Various contemporary articles even show interior shots, which is handy for modellers.
The rst step was to disassemble the car, removing the rear wing and other pieces in preparation for cutting off the front spoiler. Like most slot cars, many parts were attached with melted plastic pins rather than glued. This helped in removal as the tops of the melted pin joints were ground away with a Dremel. In doing so it also revealed that Carrera manufactured the Monza with items such as the doors and bonnet as separate parts. This leads me to think that the car was originally designed to have alternate parts for different DeKon bodies.
I had thoughts of deepening the shallow cockpit, but Carrera’s inline motor takes up a lot of room and didn’t allow much extra depth. I did however remove the driver’s window safety mesh made of thick plastic and replaced it with some more realistic metal mesh. While I was there, I removed some intrusion bars from behind the windscreen to better replicate the roll cage in the Moffat car.
Next was the front air dam, and thankfully on the early Monzas it was pretty basic. That part of the car is the one most likely to cop hits,
so I started rebuilding it in layers, starting with some thin brass sheet secured with metalbond two-part epoxy for strength, and then topped with at plastic sheet. Sanding, lling, priming and repeating, eventually got it ready for paint. As the front of the Carrera chassis extended to the front of the original air dam, this also had to be trimmed.
Then came the air scoops in the doors. For these I stuck templates on the door to guide me while I ground out the excess material. Then came the complex task of using plastic strip to construct the scoops around the door locating tabs so that they could be reattached to the original body slots. The door pillar was then painted black to give the impression of an opening in the B-pillar behind the scoop.
Next, I turned to the rear spoiler, the most challenging part of the project. I could have constructed it from scratch but I was concerned about linking the rear lip with the tapered side pieces and keeping the whole thing symmetrical. I hunted around for a preexisting donor part and found a similar spoiler on a Scalextric Ford RS200 that was on special at Armchair Racer in Artarmon. Naturally it wasn’t a perfect match, but it was close to the basic shape and had the side wings attached, which simpli ed things. Offering it up to the Monza tail showed it was around 4mm too narrow, so I had to cut the side pieces off and add 2mm either side. Again, lots of grinding,
lling and sanding was required to shape it around the rear of the box guards.
Once the bodywork was nished, I looked at the nice glossy factory nish on the red and blue stripes and decided to keep them by masking over and repaint the white parts. It worked fairly well, so I then added the remaining decals from a Pattos Place decal sheet. Although sponsors such as Motorcraft and 2SM are missing, there is a ‘Moffat’ for the windscreen strip, where his other cars would have had ‘Ford.’ Having stared endlessly at contemporary photos, I also noticed that the rear window of Moffat’s car had black stripes overlooked by Carrera on its DeKon car. These were also added, as well as blacking out the headlight covers. Although our Monza does not have exactly the same sponsor layout as it actually raced with, it’s very close.
Last but not least, I was annoyed by the wheels that Carrera has used on its Monzas to date. They don’t appear to match any of the historical images I have come across, so I found some nice BBS wheels by Sideways. After reassembling the body it looked too high in the tail, and so I shaved the rear body posts a little to drop it down to nish the Monza off.
There are a few areas like the front vents that aren’t entirely correct, but it looks much prettier than the Carrera version.
In doing my research I could only nd one piece of video footage of the real Monza in action. Hopefully the full ABC TV recording of the Sandown Sports Sedan championship round from 1976 that featured the Monza, the Geoghegan and Jane Monaros, and Colin Bond’s HDT Torana will resurface one day. If you want a taste of it, check out the footage available on YouTube.