Lil'r Coffin (kitbash)

Built by: Tim Nolan in Edgewater, Florida

The Li'l Coffin is probably one of the most well-known showrods ever built, and it's design has lasted as an enduring part of our kulture for over 40 years. I'd been wanting to build a cartoon-styled car for a while, and really wanted to attack one of the classics in creating it, so the Coffin immediately came to mind. 

The first thing I did was to shorten the entire body, chassis, and interior components, which was no easy task to make it all fit and work.  I spent about 3 weeks worth of evenings filing, filling, and sanding it over and over until it worked.

Once I had it all smooth, (don't look at the bottom…) I basecoated it in HOK silver micro flake, then airbrushed all of the edges in HOK Kandy Lime Gold, followed by a topcoat of Kandy Hot Pink.  The result is a very iridescent paint scheme that just glows.  The interior and roof insert was done in AutoAir Chamelion purple, which flip-flops from purple to green in the sun.

It was after I painted the interior and roof that disaster hit. Wanting to move things along, I broke out my heat gun to apply some warm air to the wet parts. Usually this isn't a problem, except I had it on too hot and for too long, and my parts suddenly just curled and distorted into unusable scrap!! I had to hit my parts bin, and start all over again recutting and shaping all of the custom-made components.  I was not happy, but got it all done and painted it all again. 

The interior came out fine, but the roof ended up getting dust particles in it.  Frustrated, I let the whole project sit for quite a while. I finally sanded the roof down, and repainted it.  Again, it had specks and a few dark spots in it!  I tossed it into the purple lake for several hours, then sanded it smooth, and repainted it one more time, this time with success!

I had some original Richard Carroll tires in mind for this project to make it really wild. To make the rims, I used some of MRC's Cragar 5-spokes, which mount from the back, coupled with some polished steel tubing, and polished trim rings from MAS.  The resulting 3-piece rims are probably the most deep-dished Cragar’s you've ever seen!  The stance is ridiculously wide!

I wanted a crazy big-horsepower motor to go with the rest of the cartoony look, so I used the Hemi from the Boothill Express. (Thanks Steve H!) It took a little modification to make it fit in the motor mounts and driveline. Amazingly, I was able to use the gigantic header/exhaust system from the Boothill as well!  It just all slid right in there! I did some basic plug lines and a milled distributor, and drilled out the way-tall velocity stacks, but the rest of the motor is stock.

You'd have to have your knees up under your chin to drive this thing!  The cramped interior is pretty lean.  I made a dash from sheet styrene, covered with BMF, and added a high-tech aluminum/photoetched dash insert.  Hot pinking flocking from Ken's covers the floor. The shift is a straight pin topped with a resin skull courtesy of Paul Canney.  Foot shaped protected pedals from MCG and a parts bin steering wheel finish it off.  Li'l Coffin kit parts were used to finish all the details.

The trailer is from the Barnabas Van, with matching rims/tires and paint.


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