This is the 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Bobby Labonte and
sponsored by Interstate Batteries. This has to be one of the most
noticeable cars in Winston Cup racing today wearing the colors florescent
green and black with florescent red number 18's it is definitely one of the
most striking paint schemes on the track!
This is a 1997 Monogram Pontiac kit with the same new chassis as the new
Monte Carlo kits for 1997 (the pontiacs were issued first) and also the
same type of body modifications as the new Monte kits as well that include
slab sides with skirts, jack posts, and an even lower front airdam than the
new Monte Carlo all of which make for much easier finishing of the model!
As for the painting of this kit, I once again went with basic light gray
for the chassis and body interior. The body exterior was first sprayed
with #18 florescent green from True Match paints and turned out very well.
Since the florescent colors are very flat and have an almost powdery
surface and if not clear coated will rub off significantly with much
handling, I clear coated over the green almost immediately! I then waited
the usual 1-2 days but I did not paint on the black. I instead made a
template (as described in my write up for the #28 10th ann. Model) using
the decals for the red and white zig-zag stripe as a pattern! I then
traced these templates (one for each side) on the back side of a black
microscale decal sheet and cut them out leaving ample over hang for the
fender wells and bottom edges or the body. I then traced the templates
onto the body and applied the black decals to each side and trimmed the
excess around the wheel wells and bottom of the body then I took a razor
blade and cut the black above and around the rear bumper which you can
clearly see in the right side rear quarter photo of the model! I let
these decals set for a day so they wouldn't loosen up when I applied the
The decals are from slixx of course, and look very good
but one warning about decals with florescent colors in them. They can be
cracked because the florescent part is stiffer than the rest. So be
careful and use softening solution (I use microscale microsol for heavy
duty bends and surface irregularities and microset for most others) so they
will bend and lay down easier! I also use a brush to position the decals
because invariably a decal will stick to a finger easier than to a model I
know this from experience! The body was then gloss coated again to seal the
decals and give it that slick finish (florescents are very flat so this car
really needed the coat) the windows painted and glued in with clear craft
glue! Then misc. Tire, wheel, and other decals were added and the body
Well just a couple of other notes about this model to finish up here.
It has the new Earnhardt bar from the dash to the top front bar of the roll
cage and I didn't have to make exhausts for it since the molded ones will
reach out to the sides of the body, unlike the T-Birds which still have the
wrap under bodies from the pre-1996 era (which BGN cars still have today)
which leave the molded exhausts about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch short on each
side when I make the slab side conversions.
Complete instructions for painting and assembly of chassis, clear
parts, and construction of slab sides can be found at the bottom of the main page!