An easy first kitbash for beginners and a complete fix for all the problems of the Monogram chassis.
by Bob Ward
Ever since Monogram introduced its vintage NASCAR stock cars I’ve fielded questions from hobbyists about how to overcome the shortcomings of the cars’ less-than-stellar chassis design. Along with my responses I have often added, half in jest, the suggestion that the definitive fix for all the problems was simply to deep-six the entire Monogram running chassis and mount the body on a complete Pioneer chassis. When this rather secondhand-looking Monogram Plymouth GTX made its way into our workshop I decided to do the chassis swap I had been recommending for so long. I always thought in terms of using a stretched Mustang chassis, which requires some fabrication. However, I discovered that Pioneer offers a much simpler and more elegant solution. I also had a complete Pioneer Dodge Charger running chassis lying around. When I test fitted it to the Monogram Plymouth body I discovered that all I had to do to make the body and the chassis a perfect fit for each other was to trim 3/32″ off the front edge of the chassis, cut off the Monogram body posts right at the inner surface of the body, and relocate them to match the mounting points on the chassis. That was as simple as screwing the posts to the chassis, putting a drop of medium CA clue on the end of each, and setting the chassis into the body. I put a rubber band around the car to hold body and chassis tightly together until the glue set. Cutting and re-gluing the posts made them slightly shorter, and the body sat at just the right height on the chassis to give the car a perfect stance with no clearance problems anywhere. I then swapped the Monogram wheels onto the new chassis, which required a slight shortening of the front axle for tire / fender clearance. Here’s the final result…
Except for needing a bit of extra length at the rear you would think the chassis was made for the body. In a way, it was, because the Plymouth GTX and the Dodge Charger were essentially the same car under the skin, and both Monogram and Pioneer modeled their cars’ dimensions more or less accurately.
In addition to giving the car a more capable chassis this swap also makes it Scalextric digital plug-ready.
I’m well are aware that the Monogram press-on plastic wheels leave a bit to be desired in the trueness and concentricity department, but I find from actually running the car that for home racing with magnets they work well enough. Non-magnet racers may want to convert to the aftermarket wheels of their choice and turn down the Monogram wheels to serve as inserts. Eagle-eyed readers may notice that the rear tires are Maxxtrac M10 silicone slicks, which came on the used GTX and add extra grip on my Scalextric Sport test track.
This whole project took less than an hour and required only simple modeling tools to complete. It is well within the skills of even beginners in the slot car hobby.
Go to: Part 2 — It works With a Ford Galaxie, Too
Copyright © 2013 Robert M. Ward. All rights reserved.