Models from the Shop of David Palmeter

The California Kid is one of my favorite car movies. It is a 1974 ABC television movie of the week starring Martin Sheen, Vic Morrow and a 1934 Ford hot rod built by Pete Chapouris.

Above – A few years after the movie was produced, I was pleased to find a Design Studio built white metal 1:43 scale model of the ‘California Kid’ 1934 Ford flamed coupe. It is shown above ‘as purchased’. It is a nice model but I was disappointed to find that the model did not have the modifications that the car had for the movie.

Above – The real car as modified by the director of the ‘California Kid’ movie. At left is actor Martin Sheen, next to him is Pete Chapouris, and behind them is Chapouris’ trend-setting ’34 Ford three-window coupe. The trio was captured during the filming of The California Kid, an ABC television movie of the week starring Sheen and Vic Morrow.

Above – The California Kid – 1:43 scale – I modified the Design Studio built white metal model of the restored car back to the movie version. I added wheels from a Durham ’32 Ford, scratch built side pipes (not attached to the engine, just like the movie car), painted extra flames behind the “California Kid” name on the doors, put a Southern California Timing Association sticker on the windshield and added almost correct license plates front and rear. I further improved the appearance with a black wash on the grille.

Above – I changed the rear bumper to a push bar, like the movie car.

July 5, 2012 – I traded the above 1:43 scale diecast ‘California Kid’ to a friend who had been hankering after it for about 10 years. In return I got a 1:24 scale Danbury diecast ‘California Kid’. For that story, click HERE.

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MyModelsC — 1 Comment

  1. Very good job on that model car. I like the effort you put in to get it like the movie car including the correct style wheel and tires. I will pull out the VHS of the California Kid I’ve got stashed away and watch it now. One of my favorites too along with Duel starring Dennis Weaver.

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