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AMT 1967 Shelby Restomod


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Here’s my first entry into a ground vehicle group build. I’m a huge petrolhead; if it’s fast and has a powerful engine, I’m likely to appreciate it. This seemed like the ideal opportunity to build a Shelby, so here I am. The base model is an AMT ’67 Shelby that I picked up cheap on a well known auction site, which had had a few pieces stuck to the bodyshell:




As you can see from the box contents below, it’s well below the 25% mark (I really rather like that it comes with a mini box to assemble as well):




Assembly by the previous owner is limited to the fitting of the front and back panels, plus the four side scoops to the body. The side scoops are pretty well fitted, the front and rear panels really don’t fit very well at all:




I’d hoped that a trip in the freezer would allow me to prize them off, but no luck so far. I’m now looking into alternative options for that (suggestions gratefully received). I’d like to be able to remove the scoops as well, it would make opening up the vents in it much easier.


I’m not going to build this one out of the box, I’m planning a restomod-type build. Browsing aftermarket options for engines, I found a supercharged version of the Coyote found in the modern Mustangs, which is now on it’s way across the pond to me. I’m also looking into my options for big wheels and brakes. The interior will get some modern bucket seats as well. Colourwise, I’m taking inspiration from a BMW M5 Touring finished in dark purple with a two-tone grey interior https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car/bmw/m5/1995/707056


I’ve used the 3D Tuning configuration site http://www.3dtuning.com/en-US/ to knock up a couple of views of what I’m hoping to build, one with the classic Torq Thrust wheels, another with Volk TE37’s:





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I found a place that did both styles of wheel, so those are now winging their way over here from the USa as well. Now I just need to find the right shade of purple...



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1 hour ago, 81-er said:

I found a place that did both styles of wheel, so those are now winging their way over here from the USa as well. Now I just need to find the right shade of purple...



A Finnish car modeller, who builds mostly period kustoms, once told me he had found the best selection of candy/metallic/pearl shades in... finger nail colours! He also found they could be thinned and airbrushed nicely. The only negative side was, whenever he went to a department store cosmetics section to buy some new shades, the elderly ladies used to give him weird looks :giggle:

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53 minutes ago, vppelt68 said:

A Finnish car modeller, who builds mostly period kustoms, once told me he had found the best selection of candy/metallic/pearl shades in... finger nail colours! He also found they could be thinned and airbrushed nicely. The only negative side was, whenever he went to a department store cosmetics section to buy some new shades, the elderly ladies used to give him weird looks :giggle:


I can vouch for that method, the range of colours is incredible. So are the looks you get browsing.


I've also had luck using Tamiya metallic spray colours with same brand clear over them. Metallic blue with clear red over it turns a very deep purple for instance.



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Funnily enough, I had been wondering about the potential in nail varnish. 


Tony, thanks for the tip on the Tamiya sprays, so obvious now you've mentioned it.



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8 minutes ago, 81-er said:

In fact, I almost instantly stumbled on this set of colour tests with a Google search. I think these could prove very handy https://public.fotki.com/VWDave/how-tos/tamiya_spray_paint/




Ha! I use spoons as well. They really do give you a good idea of how a colour will look on a curved surface. A lifetimes supply of plastic spoons costs pennies.

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Life has conspired to keep me away from the workbench; however, I’ve now received my aftermarket parts orders. Everything is exquisitely detailed, and everything bar the motor came from the same seller (prostreethobbies on the most well-known auction site). This is the haul:




First off, scale 20” Torq Thrust wheels, complete with massive brakes that scale out to a whopping 380mm/15” discs:




Secondly, some Optima batteries complete with tiny logos. I don’t actually know if I’ll use these, bit it was about £3 for ten with no extra postage:




Next, my other wheel option, Volk TE37’s. Again, scale 20” size with the same brake discs as the Torq Thrusts. These are moulded in a slightly darker resin and the brake discs look as thought the surface is slightly more detailed, but that could also be down to the colour. Like the Torq Thrusts, the Toyo Proxes tyres are moulded separately and are extremely detailed:






Moving on, we have the bucket seats. Again, excellently moulded, although there are some support marks on the back. Some careful filling and sanding will sort those out while keeping the harness slot detail intact:






These also fit nicely in the interior tub:




Comparing them to the kit seats, I know which I’d rather sit in:




Last, but by no means least, we move on to the engine. This is a representation of an Edelbrock supercharged Ford Coyote V8, all 785bhp & 660ft.lbs of it! The detail on this is absolutely ridiculous, down to the underside of the supercharger & fuel rails, plus the mating faces of the engine and gearbox. Again, from that action site, from a user called nazrac.


Top of enginer/supercharger and the gearbox. Note the “Supercharged” lettering on the fuel rail covers. That should drybrush nicely:




Underside of the supercharger and fuel rails:






Engine block, sump, headers:




Rear, then front, of engine block. The detail here is really good, so there wouldn’t be much work required if you wanted to show the engine on a stand separated from the gearbox or with the front stripped down to access the timing chains:






Timing chain cover plate, the pulleys & serpentine belts, plus the smallest cone filter I have ever seen:




Finally, the heads. I managed to break the pull ring off the dipstick while arranging the parts for this photo, I’ll have a crack and see if I can fabricate a replacement out of some very fine wire and solder (which will be an exercise in micro soldering!):




Now I’m just missing paint (still to order) and the time to actually do some work. Just as well there’s a few months to go…



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I managed to squeeze a little bit of work in on this over the last week, the obvious starting point being the engine. I initially stuck the bits of engine together with very thin strips of Blu Tack and dropped it in the engine bay. Then had a massive panic as it REALLY didn’t fit:






A couple of days later, I’d calmed down a bit and realised that


a) the Blu Tack was increasing the size of the engine as it still had some depth.

b) the engine was wider than the shock towers, so I should try it in the chassis instead.


Out came the Tamiya tape (plus a bit of Blu Tack in the bellhousing to hold the gearbox on), the engine was taped together, the chassis came out and I brought the two together with the following results:








That’s looking a lot better. I’ll have to remove the stock mounts and make new ones, the righthand one fouls what I think is the aircon pump (you can just see the face of its pulley in the lower left on the head-on shot), which is stopping it moving back quite as much as it can. I’ll have to trim the faces off the shock towers as well, there’s only 29mm between them. As this image shows, the engine is just over 31mm wide across the widest point of the heads (and typically the engine that had been nicely balanced tipped over as I took the snap – but the measurement is correct):




I put the callipers into the shock mounts and found they’re 38.4mm apart, which I’m hoping gives me enough space to get the shocks in around the engine:




I think it’s probably going to be sensible to assemble (at least temporarily) a rolling chassis so I can work out how low I can mount the engine. I think I’m about 2mm off clearing the underside of the hood. I could enlarge the bonnet bulge, but I’d rather not if I can avoid it.


One issue I am having at the moment is getting the front and rear panels off the main shell. Not only are they badly fitted, I’ve realised having them in place is getting in the way of some of the other work I need to do, particularly at the front. It’s been in a freezer a few times now and the glue is refusing to come apart. Anyone able to suggest anything else before I take a scalpel to it?



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Good work going on here James. That engine looks a really nice bit of kit.👍


I'm not sure if it will work on old glue but strong turps style thinners have worked on newer glued parts, much to my consternation.🤬

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Looks like you have interference between the sump and the crossmember, which is preventing the engine from sitting level?  I would chop up/reposition the sump so it drops between the anti roll bar and the crossmember. In the real world, you'd use something like this:



Again, in the real world, the thing doesn't fit between the shock towers.   Here's a thread addressing that:



Regarding the bad fit of the front and rear parts of the body, I'm building the GT and they don't fit on that either, so it might not be entirely the fault of the original builder.  The rear especially is too wide, but both ends will need some blending in and I'll probably have to rescribe the panel lines on the rear fender caps.




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There's no crossmember in the car yet, the engine isn't sitting level in those pictures because both the sump and the chassis rails are sat on my desk. I'm fully anticipating there'll be some clash between the two and I can forsee the sump having some surgery. Thank you for the links on the real world conversions.



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It’s been a while. Between life and my failed attempts to finish my entry for the Hellcat group build, this one’s been relegated to the back burner. No more though, it’s firmly on the workbench and is going to be the only model I’m working on until the end of this group build. Will I manage to finish within the fortnight I have left? I guess we’ll find out!


No doubt something that a lot of owners of the real deal have had to do, I’ve been whacking on the body filler to deal with the previous owner’s bad bodywork. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than it was. These photos are after the 2nd round of filling & sanding, round 3 is currently hardening:








I’ve stuck the trunk floor and the firewall to the chassis:




Offering up the seats and the inner door panels to the chassis shows there’s not currently enough clearance to get the seats in. I’m now debating if I try and find some narrower bucket seats or remove and rebuild a section of the transmission tunnel. Given the scale thickness of the plastic, I could probably lose some from there without making the actual space for the prop & exhaust on the outside any smaller.


I’ve stuck the heads on the engine (as well as the transmission, but that’s not pictured yet). The eagled eyed may spot the lefthand head in the shot below is slightly off centre at the timing gear end, but it’s aligned at the output end:






I tried the freezer trick to remove it as it’s superglued together, which only resulted in knocking off the alternator. I’m going to live with it for now and order a replacement engine with the hopes it arrives before the group build is over (as it’s coming from the USA). If not, I’ll complete the build with this engine and swap them over afterwards.


The misalignment compounds on the supercharger, which is now quite obviously quite a bit above the centreline of its drive pulley:






I’ve also stuck a few miscellaneous parts together, such as the master cylinder and the rear axle. The diff really does look undersized on that, but I suspect I’ve left it too late to change it now.


Hopefully more progress updates soon.



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I hear you on the differential being grossly undersized. That's not the only trouble I'm having with the kit even if built in a stock form. Stance on mine was way too high in the front, as well as having to modify the steering knuckles (alot) to get the tires back under the fender where they belong and the stance was way to low in the back. Through the years it would've been nice if AMT would've either put some work into the existing kit or come up with a new one altogether. 


Your progress is looking really good on this build I'll tell ya that.

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Thank you. I've still got the fun of getting the wheels under the arches and the right height looking right, complicated by using larger diameter aftermarket wheels (which will be the Volk TE37's (the bottom of the two mockups I posted on the first post). This was an easy decision as the Torq Thrusts (whilst looking fantastic) and very definitely too large to fit under the arches. Which was a surprise as both sets of wheels are supposed to be a scale 20 inches and both came from the same supplier.


Bodywork has continued. I gave the shell a shot of primer to help show up the flaws (of which there were many). Yet more filling and sanding happened, with another coat of primer on the horizon to help me see the remaining flaws. It’s definitely getting closer however, as the shots below show. The panel gaps around the bonnet will still need some work:








I decided to take the brave pills and took the razor saw to the kit engine mounts. That got the engine a lot closer to fitting, but I had to trim the anti-roll bar mounts off as well:




While I had the brave pills out, I cut through the shock turrets in the engine bay just below the top mounts, then took the rest of the turrets out. I’ll work out what of the turrets I can put back whilst still clearing the engine, then fill in the remaining gaps in the inner fenders with plasticard sitting flush with the bay walls:




After dry fitting the shell and chassis together, I can get the engine in and sitting flat now (with the top of the sump roughly level with the bottom of the chassis rails). Time will tell if I need to alter the sump to still clear the ground at ride height, I need to get the wheels mounted before I can say for sure. It’s looking a lot more promising though, and I can get the hood shut when the supercharger is in place with the engine in this location:






I’ll have to rethink the braces that run from the top mount to the firewall, they clash with the supercharger when that’s in place.


For those of you also working on the AMT kit, how do you get the body onto the chassis with the interior in? I’m only just managing it with only the firewall in place, somewhat concerned about being able to manage it with the full interior and the engine on the chassis.


I’m also reassessing what way to go with the interior. The current seats are simply too wide to fit, even if I remove the entire transmission tunnel they’d only just fit side by side between the interior side panels. Now on the hunt for some smaller seats, with the caveat that they need to be able to get here quickly.


Until next time



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That engine is HUGE! 


Getting the interior to fit into the body and chassis is no walk in the park, as I'm currently finding. Things are very tight indeed, to the point I'm debating closing the hood up and forgetting about the engine altogether. My concern is that I'm using very thin, only just attached glazing and I'm worrying about the body flexing and the glazing popping out. Watching out for that and aligning everything else all at once is not going to be easy. The lower body sides have to be bent out quite a bit to get the body on. There are also four odd little pins on the outside of the front interior tub that need cutting off to even think about adding the body.


I've glued the firewall to the floor and interior sides and things do fit after a bit of scary bending about. After a trial fit I removed it all to work on the glass and it was very difficult to get things apart again.


Good luck.



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It is a little on the large size, isn't it? There's still the supercharger to go on top (left off for now to aide painting) and the sump situation. The sump is probably 2/3rds as deep as the engine block is tall, so I'm fully expecting surgery will be required there. There's a very real possibility it'll touch the floor at the moment.


I'd also noticed those pegs, I'm guessing the intention is to space the body out properly? Not going to make getting the shell over the tub easy. Getting my interior sorted out is complicated by the two main side panels/door cards having a distinct bow to them. I'm wondering if I can soften them slightly in some warm water and then clamp them against something flat while they cool.


As for your window issue, just leave them out and tell everyone you've developed a super secret technique for getting the clearest windows ever? ;) 



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On 1:1 scale cars spacers are commonly used between the K-member/ or frame and the body in the front in order to drop an engine down just a wee bit lower into the engine bay (which is how you put a 460 Big Block engine into a Fox Body Mustang and make it fit under the stock hood BTW). If you went that route you would also have to modify your spindles on the steering knuckles in order to move the wheel up some thus lowering the car in the front to the stance that you want it at. I've gotta say.....that's alot of engine size wise for this car. 


I like your idea for the engine in this car but there's gonna have to be some fancy footwork to get it in there the way you want it. I'm definitely looking forward to more on this car in any case.

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Work has been continuing (though not many photos at the moment). The fit of the engine is getting gradually better. I’ve cut the brace from the front clip, carefully retaining it as I hope to be able to refit it later. For now, it creates the clearance for the sump (still need to check the ride height to be sure the sump clears the ground). I’ve also modified the transmission crossmember. As stock, this had a pin coming up from it to mount the kit gearbox. I’ve removed that pin and found that by moving the location of the crossmember back 3-4mm it nicely supports the new gearbox. I won’t be able to glue it in place until the engine and gearbox are in for the final time.


I need to test fit the headers to the engine so I can see what the clearance for those is like. I’ve also bought some 3mm diameter solder, which should give me a decent approximation of a scale 3” system. Ok, 2.9528”, but I don’t think the missing 0.0472” would be anything anyone’s likely to spot. I have discovered the brake master cylinder is going to clash with the driver’s side head, but I think there’s enough room to move it over a touch to clear.


Another modification I’ve done is to the rear bumper. The kit bumpers have downward projecting mounts (I’m not actually sure if that’s the proper description of them), but I prefer the sleeker look of just the main bumper. I’ve removed those from the rear bumper but still need to do it on the front. That one’s a little harder to line up than the rear, so some careful positioning will be required before I glue.


The biggest news for the moment is the two options of replacement seat are here, and both will fit:




The not so great news is the quality of moulding. Let’s just say my view of their quality wouldn’t get past the bad language filter! The road seats (on the right in the photo above and left in the one below) are the slightly better set and the one’s I’m going to go with as they fit the best. However, as well as rough splodges on the seats and visible mould lines, the glaring difference is one of them has the harness holes open, the other has them solid. The fixed back seats are even worse, they look like there was only a mould of the front of the seat and the resin was just trowelled over the back. Neither has a smooth back and one even has a sizable dent. Fixable, but annoying regardless:




The next two photos show the “quality” of the sides and seat faces of the road seats:






The fixed back seats have a textured area to the shoulders, but while one side is perfectly fine the other has a big blob covering part of the texture:






Finally, the faces of the fixed back seats:




I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the black paint either. Not only why it’s there, but how come it’s so badly applied. Although looking at the rest of the seats, why would I expect it to be any less shoddy?


Finishing on a positive note, all of the paint has arrived now. I’ll be digging out a test mule to try the paint job out on. The theory is to use a black or gunmetal base (both will be tried), then over coat with mica blue and then finally clear red, hopefully ending up with a nice rich purple. All paints are the Tamiya TS cans. And yes, I probably could have bought an airbrush for the money I’ve spend on spray cans for all of my projects, but it’s not so easy to get that past SWMBO 😉


Until next time



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