Here we are, the final day of Car Week. I’ve completed my first 1:18 custom project just for the occasion; I hope you like it!
This is a Ford Torino Talladega; one of my favorite muscle cars ever. I had the Maisto model in the back of my mind forever to pick up, but I just never cared for the presentation of the car. The small, hub-capped wheels looked old fashioned and just ruined the look for me.
Then inspiration by way of R32Rennsport hit me. He customized a beautiful 1:18 model, you know the one, and I thought, that’s what I need to do. I used to build Hot Wheels customs when I had the time, but I’m more into 1:18's now. I came up with a vision of what I wanted for my Torino, and I set out to make it.
I promise I’ll write up a build post later, but basically the first step after acquiring my Maisto Torino was to cannabalize a 2015 Ford Mustang GT. My goals were three things: a wheelswap, engine swap, and interior swap. It would be a restomod with a Coyote 5.0, Recaro seats, and shiny black shoes.
The first step was the engine swap, as this would be where the most detail counted. It wasn’t as straightforward as I had hoped, but basically I cut up the Mustang’s 5.0 engine bay piece by piece and jigsawed it back into the bay of the Torino.
Next item on the list was the interior. This was not so simple either, as the Torino was an older model than the Mustang, so parts were put together differently than the Mustang. I thought it would be a quick, pop-in and pop-out with the seats, but it ended up being a few hours of grinding, cutting, and filing!
Ultimately I got the look I was after. The Recaro seats up front paired with the ones from the Mustang in the back. I’ve also added the Mustang’s steering wheel and center console while retaining the Torino’s classic dash and gauges. Trust me though, I’m not shipping this to Rod Emory any time soon. There’s a lot of photo magic going on here!
Lastly, I wanted to make this as I would a real car, and that meant a manual transmission. The Torino got the Mustang’s three pedals, plus a stick shift between the two front seats. Adding carpet to the cabin and rear deck was the cherry on top.
The final item on the list was to swap the Mustang’s modern wheels in for those awful chrome dishes the car originally had. Again, this was not a simple pop-on and off situation! My number one goal with this swap was the retain that famous Maisto suspension and steerable front wheels. However, the wheels of the Mustang were about twice as wide as the originals, and some trimming was needed. Of course by some I mean a lot. After consulting Sir Rennsport, it all worked out in the end. This thing rolls, steers, and bounces on all four corners.
Just like customizing Hot Wheels, this is an addictive bug. I’ve got two other 1/18 projects started on my work station. I am very excited about the visions I have for both. This was supposed to be my Stage 1 project, while the others are a Stage 2 and 3 which require paint jobs and custom fabricated body parts. I can’t wait to get on to the next one!