Slot Ad­dic­tion

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents - With Brett Jur­mann

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.

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