1997 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix

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 regular decals!

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 mounted!

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!

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Additional Pictures

Left Side View
Left Front View
Right Rear View