"Life is a beautiful scratchbuilding project.
The key is to joyfully participate."
The Corvette GTP IMSA Racecar
Aside from the implications of what role the Corvette GTP played in the development of the Hendrick NASCAR teams, the Corvette GTP is one of the most distinctive and beautiful racing cars ever built. It was one of those cars that I looked at and thought to myself, "If they ever make a kit of that thing...".
...and so it was. When the Quickskin kit came available, I just could not resist getting it. It was obvious that this might be my only chance to build one in 1/24th or 1/25th scale, so I took the shot and begged my family to buy Dad a special Christmas present. A year later, I was deep into completing one of the nicest resin kits I've ever seen.
January 2016 I actually started the kit in November of 2015. The parts were relatively few, but well detailed and the fit was terrific. The kit came with two sets of glass and two decal sheets as well, which turned out to be a good thing in both cases - not because of the kit, but because of me, the builder. The tub was painted first with Duplicolor primer, then with with Alclad's white microfine primer, followed by Alclad's black undercoat. This was followed by two coats of Polished Aluminum.
The body was a bit of a surprise in that the actual color scheme is not just black and silver, but black and white and silver. To replicate this, I sprayed the body with Duplicolor's gray primer and then shot with their classic white automotive lacquer. Once this dried and was fully cured, I masked the body and sprayed the black areas. The kit supplied the silver panels on the decal sheets and I later discovered that the best solvent for these decals was Walther's Solveset - a model railroad decal solvent - but Duplicolor's Bright Silver is an almost perfect match and I elected to mask the model again and spray the silver areas as well. The photos below show the model in the initial stages of building.
The Corvette GTP raced in the IMSA GT Series in the 1980s and was and is probably one of the best keep R&D secrets in the history of racing. To frame this in context, Rick Hendrick was making waves in NASCAR with his new multi-car teams and seemed to many to be the young, hotshot owner who just couldn't get enough of racing. To some, he seemed to confirm this opinion when he acquired the Corvette GTP program and started racing in IMSA as well - a nearly sacrilegious act in NASCAR country. Most dismissed him as nuts while others chuckled thinking he was flushing dollars down a black and silver hole, but in reality he was doing some substantial R&D work with the purpose of making his NASCAR racing engines bullet-proof without any other NASCAR teams looking over his shoulders. And the ploy worked. All you need to do is look at the record books and timelines of the GTP program and how the Hendrick's NASCAR teams engine and handling programs blossomed to get a gist of what was really happening.