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Zegas Digital Raceway


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#1 ZeGas

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 04:02 PM

ZeGas Digital Raceway is finally underway.

NOTE:
THIS IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL BUILD AND AS SUCH WILL NOT BE PERFECT.
IT WILL HOWEVER BE DONE ON A BUDGET THAT SHOULD SUIT MOST HOME BUILDERS.

After almost two years and numerous iterations both analog and digital, plastic and routed options
have a look at http://www.auslot.co...-zegas-raceway/ if you want to read the waffle pre-empting this build.

I have built a couple of tracks before and made many mistakes as well as experimenting with different things such as a 1:43 coffee table track, needless to say I've learnt a lot.

The intention of this topic is to document, hopefully as a step by step for new builders my process and the associated costs.

THE BIG INTRO (sorry)

There are a few different types of track builds;
  • The all out racing track

    Which is built for the top class racers (not me) and is generally one tighter corner with various sweepers and chicane types corners, these are analog with multiple lanes usually 3, 4 or 6 and sized for cars from 1:32 to 1:24. They are great but take up a lot of room.
  • The rally track

    These are usually single lane with tight corners, switchbacks, chicanes and hill climbs. These are great for those that are remote, just want a private play or love landscaping.

    I love these tracks and built one (now destroyed), a replica of the Dusselldorf Race of Champions track which was an exact 1:32 scale of the real track. I added the twist of making it digital with a Scalextric 4 car power base which meant that two cars could race in a catch and chase scenario exactly like the real racing.
  • The home routed track

    Usually freehand drawn on board and sized to suit the space available with routing also by hand. Usually 2 or 3 lane as space permits. Copper taped and braided if you can afford to with simple power supply.
    Then work up from there to add in Race Control System (RCS) and light bridge or sensors within lanes. Most of these tracks start off simple but then ambition WILL get the better of you, I promise.
  • The plastic track

    Great for experimenting with different layouts and come in both analog and digital. Over the years there have been various manufacturers, the current big boys are Scalextric, Ninco & Carrera. The later two are larger and suitable for up to 1:24 racing with the Scaley better for smaller areas and only suitable for 1:32.
    For those really tight on space there is an option to go with the Scalextric Micro or the Carrera Go sets which are 1:43 scale, these are more toys for the kids but Kyosho (the radio control guys) do/did make some quite decent 1:43 cars although they are starting to be come a little hard to get hold of which is a bit of a shame.
    The last option I will mention is AFX the 1:64 racing. This is very big in the US but not so much in Australia.
The are many variations on these tracks.

This brief intro is really for those new to slot cars, I apologise to the old hands on the waffle.

END OF INTRO

I'll leave that there and add a new post below with the track at hand.

Chapter 1

To start with the design has come from many many months of configuration, comment and alteration and 1:10 of 1:32 scale mockups to see how it might play out.

Some of the tighter corners have a reducing/increasing radius for entry/exit. i.e. 300 --> 225 --> 300 radius, this is to pre-load the cars entering the corner, allow for earlier acceleration out of the corner and give a more realistic racing line effect to the circuit.

Everything has been designed in Cad with this being the final result.

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Now that that's settled I thought about tools and processes.

I have two routers, one a plunge router of some 1600 watts the other a trim router only 400 watts.
The trim router gets the nod,
I noticed it is still available at Bunnings. http://www.bunnings....router_p6210607
The reason is the trim router is 45mm from CL to edge of base. All will become clear soon why this is special.

The second decision I made (at Bunnings again, it is like my toilet Bunnings is, I do my best thinking there) is to get some Pope 8mm patio hose. http://www.bunnings....-hose_p3110563. I choose this because it is reinforce so very stiff and is a smaller diameter than the more common hose.
This hose has an outside diameter of 12.4mm and is going to be used to rest the router against to get a nice smooth line when routing the track.

Now the reason for these sizes is that I only have to worry about laying the hose once, along the CL of the two lanes and then route either side of it. Cunning huh, or lazy depending on your point of view.

So with the router being 45mm and the hose 12.4mm I will get a 102mm lane width, allowing for a bit of compression in the hose.

The third thing I bought from, yep you guessed it and no I don't have shares, was a 1/8" (3.2mm) duel flute router bit. http://www.bunnings....r-bit-_p6370474
Go with a duel flute, you'll thank me later when the wood doesn't burn and the bit blunten quickly. Been there done that, learn from my mistakes.

Oh, yeah, got some MDF as well 2400x1200x12mm (5 Sheets).

This is the cutting layout I will use.

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I have dimensioned along the xy axis to centre points of the curves and then I will mark out the radii for each. I'll show y'all later when I mark it out how I did it.

OK so far this is the tally
$99 Router (already had but if you need to buy)
$29.70 1/8" dual flute router bit
$16.90 Pope 8mm hose (12.4mm OD)
$140.00 2400x1200x12 MDF x5 sheets (was on special when I bought it though)

$285.60 Total to date. ($186.60 without router)

Another thing to consider is a BIG straight edge, I have had a 1.2m long tee square for many years, can't see anything that big at Bunnings though (useless).

So there you have it the basic bits.

Next I need a location to build.

Chapter 2

LOCATION

Find a spot.........................................................................................................................................Clear it.
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Level it..........................................................................................................................................Prep it.
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Bitumen tomorrow.
Walls & roof to follow.

Chapter 3

Made a start on the actual build this morning, nothing exciting but will explain the process a little.

Firstly this is the section I started on..........................................................................And this is the setout plan.

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Step 1.

Get the correct tools for the setout.
Tee-Square - Measuring Tape - 40mm nails - Hammer - Fishing line - Pencil

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and mark out using the setout plan.
Make sure you use one corner only of the MDF to set out so there can be no inconsistency in the measurements.
Measure along the edge of the MDF then use the Tee square to measure in.
Mark out the centre of the shortest radius curves first and hammer in the 40mm nails as so.

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Once you have put the nails in for the smallest radius curve make a noose knot using the fishing line and hook over the nail.
Make sure the fishing line is longer than your largest radius curve.
Now measure out your smallest radius curve using the measuring tape and make another noose knot for the pencil to go into.
It is best to be a bit short rather than a bit long.
A basic noose knot is created by making a loop in your rope, string, line etc. and then wrap around a leg once and pass through the hoop, place over object and pull tight.

Have a look here http://www.animatedknots.com/noose/ for the details on creating if required.

The reason for the simple knot is so that it has enough friction to hold but if you apply more tension it will slip a bit, this way you can adjust to get the right length.
This is also the reason for the fishing line. String or cotton will have too much friction and will probably snap before it will slip.

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Hold the pencil vertical as all times and apply a mild tension to the twine. Scribe arc in excess to what you need.
Repeat for all curves working out to the next shortest radius and so on, this way you can roll out your pencil to the next radius, you will not be able to shorten using this knot.

Step 2

Gather tools for next stage which is installing the hose as a guide.
You will need panel pins - hammer - hose - drill and small bit.

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Drill holes in the hose at approximately 50mm intervals, the closer the better but you don't want to be doing it all day. The holes should be tight enough so that you have to push the nails through with some force but not so tight that it deforms the hose.
The reason for drilling is so the hose will not deform like it would if you nail through the hose.

Nail to MDF following the marked out centrelines, make sure you put a nail in at the tangent points of curves and at reverse curve locations to help with the transition, doesn't have to be millimetre perfect though.
Do not nail down into the hose as this will distort the hose and your curve will not be smooth, nail down so hose is firm but nail head is just above it.

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Also don't end your hose at the end of the track length go beyond it by at least the length of your router base.
I would suggest you rout further than required anyway as this will ensure a nice clean cut when you trim the section of track down to the right length.

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All in place and ready for routing.

Step 3

Routing tools needed.
Router - Earmuffs - power supply - Air compressor

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You are going to make mistakes don't worry to much about them though everything is fixable and some kinks/wobbles don't affect car performance too much.

A few tips.
  • Use twin flute bit.
  • When setting up to rout the slots make sure your router has ample cord length and that it will be loose at all times when routing the slot. If it tightens you will get a little notch in the slot.
  • Rout at a constant speed and try to avoid stopping in any one place.
  • Do not apply too much force to the router as the bit will start to burn and blunten. Be patient and rout slowly.
  • If routing the inside of a curve on the guide hose, do not nose in the router (the front/leading corner poking into the hose) as this will make the router jerk along.
  • Try to keep the pressure against the hose even on front and rear corners and a little more pressure on the trailing (rear) corner.
  • If routing on the outside of a curve on the guide hose try and keep the centre of the router base edge flush with the hose. If using a stiffer hose you can apply a bit of pressure to the hose.
  • Rout in one direction only, don't go back on yourself, if you go off track, lift the router out, turn it off, then put it back in prior to your error turn on and run over it again.
  • I rout against the intended direction of travel for the cars so that if you do go off track with you routing you won't have a notch that the cars can jamb on.
    This isn't critical because it can be fixed up later.
You will hopefully end up with something like this;

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The slot depth is 8mm, I am going to use copper tape so will not rebate the slot.

Remember patience is the key.

When finished use the compressor to blow the dust out the slots and admire your handiwork.

There will more than likely be a few kinks or wobbles but so long as there a no notches they should be OK as the guide on the car has a bit of play in it.

Next step is to fix up a few small errors I made, I will show how to fix them up when I get to it and then to cut out the track, I will show a jig I made when I do that.

I will also show how to do straights when I get to them.

Stay tuned.

Chapter 4

To cut out the track extents I created a little jig to save having to mark out.
Got a steel ruler for $2 from the local shop and attached a Plafit guide to the end after grinding off the braid slots.

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Makes light work of marking out just remember to ensure the you stay perpendicular to the slot, so on the external curves the pencil will move faster than the guide, while on the inside of a curve the guild will move faster than the pencil.

I had tried attaching the jig to the jigsaw which worked well on the outside of the curves but didn't work on the inside, in fact it bent a couple of blades because the saw was totally restricted.
So don't try that one.

I haven't squared off each end yet I will wait till I have constructed each section, that way I can line up and make sure all is good before committing.

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Chapter 5

Painting.

There is a lot of different opinions out there on paint.
Old school use Dulux Ferrodor, recently others have been favouring Dulux Suede and Cabots Cabothane or Exterior Clear.
All of these have great qualities depending on the tyres run.
Although paint plays a part also remember that the track will "rubber up" with use and so become more grippy.
Others add tackiness to the track artificially by adding a small spray of "goo" such as lithium grease to help with traction.
Everyone has differing views.

Personally I believe what's good for the boat is good for the track, years of research has gone into boat deck paints to ensure traction.
On my previous track I used Norglass paving paint, which has plastic grit in it, it provided great traction but you went through tyres quite quickly.
Norglass have now put out a paving paint without the grit so is smooth so I'll be trying that out.

Tools needed;
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Cost was

Filler............................$5
Rollers.........................$15 for 10
10ml syringe................$1
Artist Brush..................$1
Aquaprep....................$60 (on special)
Norglass......................$92 for 4ltrs, I wont need that much, 1ltr would do but I have other uses for it.

SubTotal.....................$172

Running Total.............$359 (excl. Router)

So to start with fill all holes, dents, scratches etc.
I tend to fill holes then sand then fill again as the first time you will still get a little divot or some pitting.
In filling use the supplied flexible blade and scrape towards you at an acute angle.

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Next for the primer, for this I used Wattyl Aquaprep which is suitable for both acrylic and enamel paints and is a three in one primer, sealer & undercoat.
Check the tin for usage and make sure it is suitable for whatever you decide is going to be your final coat paint type.
To apply the primer I used a small foam roller also check suitability for the paint type you are using.
I chose foam because MDF is very smooth and nap rollers tend to slide rather than roll.

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I didn't bother to prime the slots at the following technique works without priming.

To paint the slots I used a technique suggested by GAS41T in a post earlier this year in another forum with a few mods.

http://www.auslot.co...__1#entry234362

Here was my process
  • I used a syringe (readily available at your local chemist) as suggested and applied the paint into the slot but not a metre at a time I applied in one spot until it filled to just below the slot.
  • Then I removed the syringe and used an artists brush (cheap one, quality doesn't matter) and inserted into slot before peak of paint.
    Make sure the brush is stiff bristled and the bristles are long enough to ensure the metal rim does not scrape the top of the slot.
  • Hold the brush slightly above the bottom of the slot to allow for back flow of paint, then SLOWLY drag the brush towards the crest of the paint.
  • The idea is to move the paint creating a bow wake in front of the brush, but not so much as to allow it to escape the slot.
  • Go back and repeat until you have the artist brush scraping the base of the slot and all paint is spread as far as possible.
  • Then add more paint to end of last section and repeat.
I then added 3 coats of Norglass paving paint slate colour (smooth) with a foam roller leaving it 24 hours between coats.

Tip:
To save paint, instead of pouring into tray for roller, use the syringe, you don't spill any over the top or side of the can and you get to regulate the amount used.
Each coat of this section used only 40ml of paint

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Edited by ZeGas, 16 October 2015 - 10:36 AM.

Cheers Grant
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Home Track..........Corvette C1 Build..........McLaren M1A Build..........Maserati 300S Build..........Allard J2 Build..........50's Diner..........Iso Griffo A3C

3D Printed Adjustable Chassis ($15+pp)

If life gives you lemons, take them, free s#!t is cool.

Instagram:.....__ZeGas__

#2 ZeGas

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 05:08 PM

Chapter 1 above

Edited by ZeGas, 09 October 2015 - 09:51 AM.

Cheers Grant
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Home Track..........Corvette C1 Build..........McLaren M1A Build..........Maserati 300S Build..........Allard J2 Build..........50's Diner..........Iso Griffo A3C

3D Printed Adjustable Chassis ($15+pp)

If life gives you lemons, take them, free s#!t is cool.

Instagram:.....__ZeGas__

#3 ZeGas

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 05:12 PM

Chapter 2 above

Edited by ZeGas, 09 October 2015 - 09:53 AM.

Cheers Grant
Posted Image.......................................................Posted Image
Home Track..........Corvette C1 Build..........McLaren M1A Build..........Maserati 300S Build..........Allard J2 Build..........50's Diner..........Iso Griffo A3C

3D Printed Adjustable Chassis ($15+pp)

If life gives you lemons, take them, free s#!t is cool.

Instagram:.....__ZeGas__

#4 miveson

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 05:36 PM

You don't muck around with the clearing of the site.....

#5 Ember

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 06:27 PM

That track just has so much potential. Good to see it's getting a home of its own.
Computers. They'll never catch on.

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Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

#6 Capri-corn7

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 08:35 PM

Great write up. Will follow with interest.

& completely relate to the Bunnings reference. B)
They are only toys .... until you pull the trigger.

#7 Wobble

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 08:55 PM

For a long straight edge maybe you could use a 75-100mm or so cut off the side of 1 of your sheets and use the factory cut edge for the guide side
.
If you clamp at each end and use 2-3 screws throughout the length it should stay straight

Edited by Wobble, 14 September 2015 - 08:59 PM.

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#8 32coupe

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 08:06 AM

For a straight edge I use an offcut of architrave, it's cheep and if you want a gentle curve, it will bend.
I have drilled tiny holes every 600mm, and use small nails to hold it down while I route.
I have several in different lengths, from 400mm all the way up to 6.5m.

Cheers
Andrew
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

#9 Capri-corn7

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 09:23 AM

Munter kindly loaned me his straight edge. Approx. 2m long length of flat aluminium, at a guess 6mm x 100mm wide.
A few holes drilled down the center for tacking down.

Not only perfect for routing against but very useful as a large ruler for marking things out & lining things up.
They are only toys .... until you pull the trigger.

#10 Johnsxr8

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 06:34 PM

Cant wait to see this finished Grant the plans look great
Check out North Brisbane Slotcar Racing: http://northbrisslots.forumotion.com

#11 ZeGas

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 08:25 PM

Hey John, hope to get up soon, as you can see I wasn't bs'ing I have been busy, should be getting my group 5 in the post tomorrow. Problem is getting it ready in time for the start of the series. May need help there.
Cheers Grant
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Home Track..........Corvette C1 Build..........McLaren M1A Build..........Maserati 300S Build..........Allard J2 Build..........50's Diner..........Iso Griffo A3C

3D Printed Adjustable Chassis ($15+pp)

If life gives you lemons, take them, free s#!t is cool.

Instagram:.....__ZeGas__

#12 Johnsxr8

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 09:33 PM

All good Grant i know you are busy atm. The Group 5 Series has been postponed till early next year to give the guys more time to sort them so you are going to still need a Group 5

Edited by Johnsxr8, 16 September 2015 - 09:34 PM.

Check out North Brisbane Slotcar Racing: http://northbrisslots.forumotion.com

#13 ZeGas

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 01:43 PM

Chapter 3 above

Edited by ZeGas, 09 October 2015 - 09:57 AM.

Cheers Grant
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Home Track..........Corvette C1 Build..........McLaren M1A Build..........Maserati 300S Build..........Allard J2 Build..........50's Diner..........Iso Griffo A3C

3D Printed Adjustable Chassis ($15+pp)

If life gives you lemons, take them, free s#!t is cool.

Instagram:.....__ZeGas__

#14 Capri-corn7

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 07:42 AM

Nice "How to" write up. I like the both sides routing tip.
They are only toys .... until you pull the trigger.

#15 ZeGas

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 12:43 PM

I have amalgamated all entries into the first one so there is some semblance of structure and given them chapters.

Chapter 4 just added.

Thanks for the comments, I'm going to try 32Coupe's idea of architrave or similar on a straight, it will probably be 12mm beading so I can route both sides.
Cheers Grant
Posted Image.......................................................Posted Image
Home Track..........Corvette C1 Build..........McLaren M1A Build..........Maserati 300S Build..........Allard J2 Build..........50's Diner..........Iso Griffo A3C

3D Printed Adjustable Chassis ($15+pp)

If life gives you lemons, take them, free s#!t is cool.

Instagram:.....__ZeGas__

#16 ZeGas

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:31 AM

Chapter 5 - Painting added.

Thanks to GAS41T for info re painting slots, worked a treat.
See post
http://www.auslot.co...__1#entry234362
Cheers Grant
Posted Image.......................................................Posted Image
Home Track..........Corvette C1 Build..........McLaren M1A Build..........Maserati 300S Build..........Allard J2 Build..........50's Diner..........Iso Griffo A3C

3D Printed Adjustable Chassis ($15+pp)

If life gives you lemons, take them, free s#!t is cool.

Instagram:.....__ZeGas__

#17 Ember

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 12:18 PM

Liking progress and great tutorial presentation.
Computers. They'll never catch on.

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Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

#18 aussieslotter

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 03:30 PM

Brilliant stuff. Looks like youre having fun. Great thread indeed :)


ick

#19 ZeGas

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 04:37 PM

Thanks Rick, I certainly am - slow fun though.
Cheers Grant
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Home Track..........Corvette C1 Build..........McLaren M1A Build..........Maserati 300S Build..........Allard J2 Build..........50's Diner..........Iso Griffo A3C

3D Printed Adjustable Chassis ($15+pp)

If life gives you lemons, take them, free s#!t is cool.

Instagram:.....__ZeGas__

#20 ZeGas

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 04:40 PM

Hey Embs,

Yeah, tutorial is sort of a "build a wood track for dummies" kinda thing.
Me being the biggest one.

Edited by ZeGas, 16 October 2015 - 04:43 PM.

Cheers Grant
Posted Image.......................................................Posted Image
Home Track..........Corvette C1 Build..........McLaren M1A Build..........Maserati 300S Build..........Allard J2 Build..........50's Diner..........Iso Griffo A3C

3D Printed Adjustable Chassis ($15+pp)

If life gives you lemons, take them, free s#!t is cool.

Instagram:.....__ZeGas__





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