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Jack Mugan
63 articles

Building Big Daddy Roth's Outlaw

January 18, 2015 · in Automotive · · 20 · 3K

Back around 1959 Ed Roth got an idea for a real cool car. He started with basic '29 Ford rails and a junk Caddy engine, added some plaster of Paris, fiberglass, lots of chrome and automotive history was made. According to Ed Roth, the car was first named "Excaliber" but nobody could pronounce it, so it became the "Outlaw". When decided to make a model of the Outlaw, Big Daddy was on his way.

The kit is a little tricky to build with lots of fiddly fragile pieces, but with some patience it makes into a nice model.

I chose to replace the front wire wheels with some aftermarket put-it-together-yourself wire wheels as I never like the chrome wire wheels available in model car kits. The decals became somewhat of a problem, my fault I think, requiring me to make an additional set. After the decals were applied I dipped the whole body in Future to get a nice gloss finish. I used some railroad lens for the headlights and I tinted the windshield yellow.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. That's a beauty, Jack...nicely done. I remember the kit (and the car), but don't recall ever actually building it. Was this a recent project? And did that fancy showroom base come with it or is that something YOU fashioned?

    • Thanks Craig. I built the model a couple of years ago. I made the base but the kit came with the trophy etc. Some kits also came with a figure of Roth.

  2. A real gem! Well done Jack!

  3. Great build and an even greater paint-and decal job.
    How much is decals and how much is painted?

    • Thanks Ulf. All the graphics are decals. The design is harder than it looks to apply. Trying to match the seat color to the rest of the car was a lot of fun.

  4. Wow, really this is excellent, Jack. When I was young I used to read hot rod mags and see Ed Roth's name. Was he known as Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, or am I confusing that name with something else?

    • There are two "Big Daddy" guys in the car world. The other is Don Garlits, known for his "Swamp Rat" dragsters and holder of many records on the drag strip. According to Roth's book, he received his "Big Daddy" name when Revell asked him to come up with a name that was better for their project. Ed Roth was known as Big Ed when he was in high school due to his 6'2" 250 lb build. This was the era of the Hippy movement in LA and a lot of the guys with beards and long hair were known as Big Daddy. Revell liked it and put it on the kit boxes and a star was born.

  5. You captured the "WOW Effect" in modelling very well, Jack.
    Stunning 🙂

  6. Another great model from you Jack. Very well done.

  7. Looks sweet Jack, you captured the essence of the design and finish well.
    Well done sir, fine work.

  8. Great build of a classic hot rod & kit Jack.

  9. Another work of art, Jack !

  10. you are really a fantastic modeler jack...i wish these judges would wake up and smell the coffee...your a credit to this site and the modeling community as a whole

  11. Jack
    I built this kit in the summer of 1963 and it didn't look anything like yours! Fantastic job, I love the base, it really setsoff the model. Dang, I'm inspired, now I want to go out and try my hand at building another one...

  12. Definitely another one for the 'cool wall', Jack, terrific modelling. I'm with you on the wire wheels, those front ones really look good.

  13. Now that is a Ace build Jack. Those front wheels really set it apart. As for the Roth family. I had a chance to get to know and work with Dennis Roth Eds son. Dennis joined us a the Justice Brothers Automotive additive booth at the SEMA show for several years. He would do custom airbrushing on canvas and some T-shirts. He is very talented. One year Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top purchased one of his paintings. It was a caricature of this green skull with its eyeballs hanging out. (his trademark) I have no idea how much he paid for it but it was up there.

    You have done a magnificent job on this car!

    California Steve

    • I had an opportunity to met Big Daddy some years ago in St. Paul MN where he was attending a car show. He was selling one of his books which I wanted to buy, but I did not have any cash with me and he couldn't take a credit card. He gave me a book, signed it with his address and drew his his Rat Fink with a message that if I didn't send him the money he would come and find me. Needless to say I did send the money. He was definitely an interesting guy. Glad you liked the model Steve.

  14. Very cool build Jack, great colour scheme! The base is fantastic as well!

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