Woodburner (Sticks 'n Slicks)

Built by: Harley Richards in Croydon, Surrey, England

In the wild and wacky world of Showrod kits, this must rate as one of the wildest and wackiest. Not only for the subject matter (and the fact that it's based on a real car) but also because of what the kit is made out of. Yes folks, that wood is real wood and the cloth is real cloth.

Build-up was pretty much out of the box with the exceptions of some engine detailing, hooking up the steering to the front axle, swapping the wooden (!) prop-shaft for something a little more realistic, adding brakes for the rear wheels, swapping the kit-supplied four spoke wheels for some five spokers (thanks Alan) even though I think the real thing did have four spokers out the back and adding some wood to the dash/ firewall (as per the original). I decided against adding all the cooling and electrical stuff that the original had as you couldnąt see most of it anyway.

It was, I have to say, about as much fun as fibre-glass underwear to build because, in addition to the usual wobbly fit of kits from this era causing problems with the plastic parts, there was the added fun of coping with wood that wanted to split as soon as you put a saw or file anywhere near it. But what I found really odd was that there is no positive location for the plastic parts to the wood parts. Or, to put it another way, in 1971 when the kit was released, it would have been near-on impossible to get the thing to stay together as super glue and two-part epoxies weren't generally available. Add to that a lack of patience in its would-be builders and I imagine an awful lot of these ended up in the bin, parts box or bonfire without ever being finished. MPC, what did you think you were doing?

Finally, just in case anyone is thinking "More money than sense to build up something that rare", ask yourself this: if you had seen this come up on Ebay as a "Buy it Now" sale with a price equal to about three current kits, would you think twice about building it? Me neither!

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