A fellow employee back in the ’90s drove a sweet GTO to work. His department started earlier than mine, so he was usually able to get a good parking spot in about the same place each day, and so I’d often see that GTO as I drove in. I had this notion to take a good profile photo of the car, then edit the photo in my graphics software to stretch it out and customize it.
Time went by, and I eventually left that job; never got around to getting that photograph. But I never forgot about the idea. So, I drafted it for the portfolio:
I don’t recall which particular GTO model my friend had, but my favorite model is the “Judge”. The first step was to download a high-quality line drawing of that model, as well as a high-resolution profile photo of the car for additional visual reference.
I first printed the line drawing, then took about 15″ of onion skin to sketch over it. I started with the front tire, which I slid around until it “landed” in about the right place in front of the door line to represent a spare; I then sketched most of the passenger compartment. I then moved the onion skin again until the “spare” landed in about the right place along the engine compartment, and sketched the front end. I continued like this until I got a rough sketch of the customization I was looking for.
I scanned the sketch and imported it and the line drawing into AutoSketch. I then measured the lengths of the line drawing and sketch, and used that ratio to scale the scan to the line drawing. I then drafted the base model over the line drawing. (If you’re a serious GTO fan, and you find yourself saying, “Hey! You forgot the…”: Yes; yes I did. Intentionally. Knowing that in reducing the images for this portfolio and converting them to JPG, there’d be losses, I “skipped” certain details in drafting the base model.)
Here you can see that the hood-mounted tachometer, which needs to stay close to the windshield so the driver can read it, disappears behind the spare on the stretched fender. I’ve also lengthened and slightly deepened the profile of the scoop. Finally, I pulled in the bottom corner of the prow to give it a more aggressive profile.
As I didn’t want the modified car to look cartoonishly long, I decided to pull in the trunk section. This then prompted me to remove the swooping rear roof line. Rather than a simple straight rear edge, I decided to replace it with a “reverse rake” inspired by the famous Ford Anglia 105E design.
And here is, as they say in The Lego Movie, “The Piece of Resistance”: The fender-mounted spare. This is inspired by similar mountings seen on vintage vehicles such as Cadillacs and Packards. For the modified photo idea mentioned at the top of this article, I was simply going to do a copy-&-paste of a tire; I had no thoughts about trying to create a shroud. But I chose to shroud the spare here because I think it does make the vehicle a little classier.
I originally had a single curve dropping from the upper edge of the shroud to the lower edge. While the double curve may seem more artistic (I hope), its actual purpose is simply to reveal more of the hub.
An unexpected result of the modification is its apparent length. The GTOooh‘s low, sweeping curves create the optical illusion that the car is longer than it really is, even with the pulled-in trunk. Actually, it’s less than a foot longer. The GTO is 200.50″ inches long; the stretched mod is 209.46″, a mere 8.96″ difference.
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