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Old Dec 14, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Chris-Craft Challenger -- Complete Restoration

When the oppertunity arrises to work on an OLD model, I just can't pass it up. This one came from a gift shop. It's basically sound, and reasonably well built, but needs a whole lot of TLC. The plan is to restore it back to the original configuration and coloer scheme of the 1940 Challenger.
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Old Dec 14, 2005, 09:28 AM
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A Pleasant Surprise

When the top came off for the first time, it became obvious that someone had spent a bit of time in there dolling things up too. The flooring is doll house material, and the heads and gally looked like they were decked out with doll furniture. Again, a little rough, but will clean up nicely to round out the finished model. With the addition of windows and curtains it should finish out nicely.
PAT
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Old Dec 14, 2005, 10:20 AM
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Pat -- I am really looking forward to this one. I got the plans and patterns for the Dumas kit of the Challenger on e-bay some time back. Also a lot of contemporary ads for the real boat. If you want me to scan and e-mail any of the ad photos, let me know.

Pete G.
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Old Dec 14, 2005, 10:53 AM
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COOL!!! I'll be watching!!!
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Old Dec 14, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Pete, I'd really apreciate any info on the full scale boat you might have. The more you know about a subject, the better it'll turn out for sure. I have a couple books on the Chris-Craft history, but it's pretty breif and pretty general in nature. You can e-mail at patscustommodels@aol.com. Jpegs would be best.
Many thanks, PAT
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Old Dec 14, 2005, 06:59 PM
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Pat, I'll be eagerly looking over your shoulder as you tackle this one; you can really do it justice. Those of us who are trying to bring back old eBay-purchased Sterling models will get to see how a pro goes about it.
You can get a chuckle as you correct the navigation light colors atop the cabin; the makers of the recent television movie about the Bermuda Triangle also had the nav light colors reversed on a model in an ocean storm scene.
By the way, in my 1971 America's Hobby Center catalog, the Dumas Models Chris-Craft 40' Challenger, kit A-100, is listed as 33 1/2 inches long, and cost $ 16.95. The 40-piece metal fittings set cost an additional $ 5.50. At that size, it was one of the larger Dumas scale model boat offerings back then.
Again, Pat, it's really good to see you taking this one on. As 'someone' says, we'll be tuning in.
Bill
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Old Dec 14, 2005, 07:48 PM
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Pat -- I will get into my files as soon as I can. I will post those non-copyrighted scans that I can on the board but will send Pat high-res scans so he can print or view them as clearly as possible. I recall that the Challenger was very similar to a post-war Express cruiser -- both with the passenger well in the bow, and without looking at my file do not recall which model I have which pictures of. These pictures are mostly original ads from large format magazines such as Life that I bought over the internet.

Aside from my interest in this particular Chris Craft model, I am also interested in the restoration process as I have at least one partially finished kit in the attic of my mother's house, and would like to see if it can be salvaged, or whether I should just "jack up the mast and install a new boat under it."

Pete G.
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Old Dec 14, 2005, 10:45 PM
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Central Missouri,USA Along the banks of the Missouri River
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Oh baby this is going to be goooood!!!

As another owner of a ebay Sterling Chris Craft Catalina,I will be very interested in this restoration.This will be a chance to see how a real pro does it and I hope to get some ideas on how in the !@#$ Im going to bring my Catalina back from the dead.Anxiously awaiting your next post.

Tim
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Old Dec 15, 2005, 01:36 AM
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Just because of the drama of the hot pink toilet with a black seat, I have to stay glued to this thread.

Will it stay or go?
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Old Dec 15, 2005, 08:00 AM
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TT, The pink toilet stays, but it just might get a coat of "porcelaun white" before it's all over. Might even "wood grain" the seat.

Funny thing, the resto was a little ways down the schedual, but with all the interest that's been generated I think I'll move it up and get started.

PAT
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Old Dec 16, 2005, 03:10 AM
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Good, even Barbie should be embarrassed.

A guy I worked with told me his little girl asked for a new bike for Christmas, and she said she didn't care what color it was as long as it wasn't PINK.
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Old Dec 16, 2005, 02:24 PM
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LoL Tree!!! The pink head almost looks typical of what might have happened to a 1:1 version of the Challeger had it been updated in the late 1960's... very scale! Really nice to see the 'perservation movement' today generally pushing more toward 'period correct' versus 'updating'- Looking forward to seeing this one done right!
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Old Dec 16, 2005, 02:58 PM
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Challenger information

I found my Chris Craft guide and ads. Pat mentioned the model being a 1940 Challenger. As I mentioned earlier, there was a pre-war version and a post war version of the Challenger. It appears, based on the window shape and bow porthole on Pat's model that it is the later (1948) version. I am posting pictures of both.

My colored ad is for the earlier Challenger, based on the window shapes, but I believe the colors are accurate for the 1948 version as well. I have other ads showing the blue of the 1941 picture was not changed until the mid 1950's to the aqua of Chriscrafter's Corvette or white.

The the reference guide page for the 1948 Challenger also lists the cabin top as "blue." It lists the interior upholstry as "red" and makes no mention of a pink toilet . The hull bottom was "copper-bronze" separated by a blue waterline from the white hull sides. It looks like the biggest change to Pat's model will be to restore the cabin sides to mahagony, as the all white cabins did not appear until much later.

Pete G.

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Old Dec 16, 2005, 03:07 PM
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"Heed the call of Chris*Craft" indeed! I love those old ads!

I see you have the 'essential guide'... one of my favorite books to browse and dream...

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Old Dec 16, 2005, 03:34 PM
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Yes, Aero. It is the only place I ever found a picture of the 42' Express Cruiser kitted by Marx and Sterling as a plastic model. I built the Marx version. Can't afford to even get one to restore on e-bay, as they are going for a small fortune, so I got a Dumas Commander instead -- very similar and a nicer size--but obviously much more challenging to build. I'm watching the thread here, and plan to do something similar to my windows. One thing I didn't know until I got the guide is that the "Corvette" was a one-off version of the 42' Express Cruiser. I always thought there were more.

Pete G.
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