I ran across this plastic toy dump truck bed in a box of loose parts at a model show and knew it would make a great showrod. Once I mocked it up behind the Groovy Grader cab, I knew it had found its home. The Groovy Grader was high on my list of models to kitbash.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the challenge of trying to engineer something from a mock-up. It’s easy to put things together with tape and put wheels where they need to be to get the proportions right, but can I make it work, and have it make sense? This one wasn’t as hard as some others, but it took a lot of parts sifting.

shwplow_mock

My original mockup involved inverting the Groovy Grader frame and adding my Hangman tow boom. It was okay, but then I ran across the dump bed.

showplow_007

You can see the tape holding the engine and front suspension in place and the bed propped up on some axles. I was tempted to keep the Groovy Grader wheels, but the fronts just didn’t look real enough.

For the front suspension I used the frame bones of a Sand Shark. The body mount ended up being the perfect place for the rear wishbone  part of the “pusher” bars. I used some trailer safety chain and a hydraulic ram to lift the Groovy Grader plow. I’m a wheel and tire nerd so they had to be right, and I wanted a heavy equipment flair. The front wheels are from a S’Cool Bus, and after determining those tires were way too tall, I found a set of stock tires from a ’34 Ford kit went right on. The Groovy Grader rears were kept, and stuffed with some split-rim 18-wheeler parts box rims from I can’t remember what.

The Sand Shark frame lent itself well to a clean plow platform. S'cool Bus wheels on factory '34 Ford rims were the right hot rod pairing.

The Sand Shark frame lent itself well to a clean plow platform. S’Cool Bus wheels on factory ’34 Ford rims were the right hot rod pairing.

The tandem rear axle section of a Li’l Gasser was used, and I ran the frame rails right under the Groovy Grader cab. I needed a big engine to keep things in proportion and stacked a S’Cool Bus blower on the Groovy Grader engine, along with the biggest carbs I could find, and a few spacers and the scoop from a Bad Medicine. I love the shape of that scoop. The interior features the Groovy Grader seat, a Fast Buck money symbol shifter, a few bed levers, and a steering yoke from the Sand Shark.

I pinned the bed on hinges and it works. I sectioned and inverted a Corvette grille for the front and added a row of cab lights. I had this crazy brass lantern kicking around the Boneyard, from a firetruck, I think. It was one of those parts you look at and don’t want to chuck, but can’t possibly see a use for. On a flash of inspiration it found its home on the side of the cab, and I think its the perfect touch.

The brass lantern kicked around the Boneyard for years. It's perfect and helps convey the old-time hot rod vibe.

The brass lantern kicked around the Boneyard for years. It’s perfect and helps convey the old-time hot rod vibe.

 Show Plow! It’s the official dump truck of the Turnrow Speed Shop and clears out the competition.