Let the Sun shine in!
Adding windows and an interior to a Ninco 1 Mustang
by L. Owen Fast
We got an e-mail recently from a customer asking if we could tell him whether it was possible to transplant the windows and interior from a Scalextric or Carrera late-model Mustang into a Ninco 1 Mustang. it seems he wanted to use the Ninco body to build a car for a race in which windows and an interior are required. This was something we had never really thought about, so we told the customer we would do some checking. And, as it turns out, the mod is not only possible, it’s downright easy.
Of course, it’s only possible because Ninco took a bit of a different approach to making a “high-impact” car than Scalextric did. Rather than making a solid one-piece body shell and painting on the windows as Scalextric does, Ninco made the window assembly a separate part, even though it’s black and almost completely opaque to hide the lack of an interior. This suggests that Ninco at least wanted to give itself the option of producing fully detailed cars from the same body mold, but as of this writing the company hasn’t done it yet. This is unfortunate, because of the three renditions of the current-generation retro Mustang Ninco’s is actually the best looking. For one thing, it’s the latest update of the car with a more aggressive looking front end treatment. For another, Ninco has made it a model of a more serious version of the turnkey Mustang race car by including a wing, hood louvers, a deeper front valence, and a prominent front splitter in the design. It’s more like what you would see in GrandAm GT while the Scalextric and Carrera cars are models of Mustangs built to more restrictive rules for lower-level series.
In any case, we found that the windows and interiors from both the Carrera and the Scalextric car, while not a perfect fit, are so close that when installed in the Ninco body you have to look very closely to see that they were not made for it. We think the reason for this is that the designers at all three companies were probably working from CAD data supplied by Ford. We have some experience working with manufacturers on the design of slot cars. and we’ve seen that computer technology has revolutionized the process. if three manufacturers start with the same data it stands to reason that their finished designs should be very close to one another.
So, on to the conversion process. We had both a Scalextric and a Carrera Mustang available to serve as the donor car. We chose the Carrera car to give up its windows and interior because it has am interior tray rather than a full-depth tub as on the Scalextric Mustang. To use the Scalextric interior we would have had to do considerable surgery on it to make it fit over the Ninco chassis with its inline motor while the Carrera interior clears it with room to spare, greatly simplifying the project. We also liked the Carrera driver better because he comes with a more colorful helmet and a HANS Device.
The first step was to remove the Ninco car’s stock “windows”. We ground down for small heat stakes that held it in place and it came right out of the body.
Test fitting revealed that we needed to grind off the remains of the two rear heat stakes and remove some material from the cowl area of the body. as shown below. The Scalextric designers close to make the inner cowl and windshield wipers part of the windshield while Ninco’s designers made them a part of the body so one or the other had to go. Since it is a lot easier to remove material from the body than from clear windows we chose to modify the body.
The two red arrows point out the rear heat stakes to be removed and the red outline at the base of the windshield opening shows the area of the body to be cut away. With the grinding and cutting complete it was simply a matter of installing the windows and interior try. We found that we needed to do a little grinding near the base of the windshield, in the area outlined in red in the photo below, to get a good fit to the body. We also decided to retain the blacked-out quarter windows of the original window assembly, so we cut them out and glued them in place with CA. We did this partly because we like the look and partly to hide a slight gap between the interior and the body in that area without having to add material to the interior. We then used CA to glue in the windshield and rear window.
We fastened the stock, completely unmodified Carrera interior tray in place with strapping tape instead of glue. We prefer to do this when practical because the tape holds the interior quite solidly but allows it to be removed easily if needed. It’s really a bummer if a piece of your interior breaks loose and you can’t get the assembly out of the body to fix it. The tape, generously applied, also reinforces the front part of the body.
With the chassis reinstalled the Mustang is ready to race, transformed from a somewhat toylike appearance to that of a much more detailed and realistic model.
We have not tried something similar with the Ninco 1 Corvette C6R, but it would not surprise us if installing the windows and interior from a Carrera or SCX version of the car turned out to be just as successful as our Mustang project has been.