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MCS-XI

Built by Jim Keeler in two articles in the September and October 1964 issues of Model Car Science magazine, this model marked the appearance of Jim as major figure in "how-to" modeling. This model will require a full repaint, lots of cleaning, the substitution of a fresh, vintage Revell Parts Pak Chrome Frame kit, and other work.

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Jim Keeler's MCS-XI MCS for Model Car Science magazine in which the model was constructed over two consecutive issues in mid-1963) was actually in pretty good shape when Mark S. Gustavson purchased it from Jim Keeler nearly a decade ago.  The original candy red paint had been removed from the front fenders by simple sanding.  Like the work of Dave Shuklis and Smitty (Robert Smith), of AutoWorld, Jim's how-to articles were exhaustive and very informative.

For those of you who look at the articles in Model Car Journal, note that the author is listed as Jim Warren. That was Jim's "nom de plume"; that was used when writing for Model Car Science because of Jim's close relationship with Oscar Koveleski and Bob MacLeod of Car Model magazine.

The underside of the rear rolled pan had also been sanded by Jim.  He told Mark S. Gustavson, in 1991, that he had intended to repaint the model at one time, but lost interest.  Given the quality of Jim's customizing work and paint job, this model would probably not have needed restoration.  As it is however, a full restoration is necessary.  The model needs a paint job and new frame and wheel set up.   The removable driver's door still sports the original candy AMT lacquer paint in splendid condition. Byron Bowman, owner of Utah's premiere Dupont paint jobber, has matched the original lacquer in Dupont toners.

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As a testament to Jim's careful work, the door release mechanism still works!  Most of the original interior and upholstery materials have survived and will be re-used.

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Jim used parts from the original Revell custom grille parts pak (remember that Jim worked for Revell in product development and design) for the front and rear aspects of his sleek custom Corvette.  These grille parts were molded on the model originally and were painted a bright silver.  These parts will be airbrushed a bright silver lacquer from Byron Bowman and then masked off with Metalflake-brand Spray Mask when the candy red lacquer (with clear coat) is applied.

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The work to restore Jim's model has been significant. First, restorer Gustavson has had to strip off 4 separate paint jobs (all the same color scheme though) which included gold base, yellow color coat and candy red top coat. The old paint jobs were removed through abrasion where detail had to be preserved (cowl vents, for instance), abrasion (old fashioned sanding), and the judicious application of lacquer thinner. Other paint removal systems either didn't work or were deemed too risky to the model (e.g., immersion in brake fluid, etc.). The original color was matched by paint wizard Byron Bowman (Superior Automotive) from the driver's door that was carefully polished to restore the candy red color for matching purposes (Thanks, Byron, for your great work!). 

Also, the driver's rocker panel had to be entirely rebuilt (now backed with a shaped brass strip). Modern catalyzed spot putty has been used to fill in depressions caused by the action of the original paint on the plastic (e.g., underneath the rear pan). 

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