By John Quilter
IXO make a very commonly available Hindustan Ambassador model in taxi and police livery as well as a standard sedan as shown above. Since this is an inexpensive model and readily available it makes a great donor car for conversions as it is essentially a late 1950s Morris Oxford. The six cylinder version of the Oxford was the Isis and from the scuttle back it was an Oxford, only the front clip was lengthened to accommodate the big 2600cc inline six cylinder engine, not that different from that fitted to the Austin Healey but with a single SU carburettor. This car was available with either an automatic gearbox or a four speed manual with overdrive which provided amazingly long legged highway cruising ability. There were two version of this generation of Isis, a wood bodied Traveller and a saloon. There never was an Isis version of the all steel four door Traveller that appeared in the Oxford range.
To create the Isis saloon, I had only to cut with a jeweler’s saw the front clip off and extend it with some thin metal bridge work inside and final shaping with my favorite material for this, J B Weld, an epoxy metal material that is great for shaping, filing, sanding and serves as a great glue as well. The grill had to be created as the Hindustan has a much simplified grill of horizontal bars only. To do this I used some photoetch mesh and some wire solder of the correct gauge to create the two arched bars. The solder is silver in color replicating chrome and to preserve this look I coated it with some clear lacquer. I preserved two of the Hindustan driving/fog lamps which are part of the bumper.
The Traveller project was a bit more complex, requiring the fabrication of a rear roof and the body sides and tail gate. Wood basswood from the hobby store served as the wood sections and final finishing was with some clear lacquer to give a bit of gloss. Wheels on both had to be painted body color and trim rings added as per my guide, Google images and an original factory brochure gave me some appropriate color choices.
So, two more created in the never ending quest to replicate or acquire in 43rd scale all the BMC, Triumph, BLMC cars of my youth.
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