Every once in a while something special comes along in the hobby that just makes people take notice. The VENOM Project is one of those ‘special” moments where something significant was created from the mind of a master and placed in front of the community of builders who can’t take their eyes off of it. What makes this two-year custom model special is the content of machined metal parts that form the working parts – and the judges have responded too!
This review covers VENOM Project by veteran builder Charles (Chas) Cochran. This project started out as an idea by Charles that he could make a model that looked and “WORKED” like Troy Trepanier’s GPT Special. The base body and chassis used as a donor kit was the Polar Lights Ford Talledega kit. That kit is modeled after the Richard Petty Ford that he drove on the NASCAR circuit back in 1969. It is a 1:25 scale kit and the VENOM Project was a concept that took the base body and turned into something like the real GTP conversion that Troy exhibited at the Detroit Motorama show in 2013. After a few feasibility studies and some discussion with Troy – Charles was off and running against the clock to move the project from concept to show car in less than two years. Charles is also the owner of IRC 3D Imaging, Inc., a company that specializes in 3D printing services which helped in the construction of some key components.
An Interview with Charles Cochran:
RoR – What gave you the idea to pursue such a detailed project? And who is Troy Trepanier and what influence or direction did he lend to your project?
Chas – Troy is the owner of Owner of Rad Rides by Troy and the builder of the GPT Special that Venom was inspired by. I wanted to do something that would show the new age of Pro-Touring and that the parts could be made in scale.
RoR – I get the impression that many of the parts or component module are machined from metal s and materials other than plastic. Can you tell me about those pieces? What were they made from and how do they work?
Chas – The wheel hubs and axles were made from brass. The rear end was made using my 3d printer and brass and aluminum parts. The pedals were made from brass, brake pads are rubber. The interior is full brass and the motor was 3D printed.
RoR – Were there any contributors that helped you produce it or major parts of it? If so, what information or components were provided by the collaborators?
Chas – The model kit’s main frame and the body were the only parts used from that. The following contributors provided the modules or advice.
Thomas Nungester Indy Model Supplies – Did the rims and spindles
- R&B Motion – Rivets,bolts and heim joints
- IRC 3D Imaging – Provided the motor, valve covers, bucks to forum the brass over for the interior, rear end.
- Ridetech- info on how to make the shocks work.
- Detroit Speed – Sway bars and rear shock angles for the land speed look. And technical expertise on how get the watts rear end to work.
- Quick Latch Produc – Hood latches that I made with their help of info on how they work and look.
RoR – You mentioned “working” parts. What parts or components in the build are actual working parts?
Chas – The steering and wheels rotate on sleeve bearings. The wheel knock-offs are threaded. It has working front and rear shocks. There is a functional watts sway bar in the rear and a working big sway bar in the front.
RoR – What parts of the building did you have the most trouble with and how did you overcome those obstacles?
Chas – The under the hood tin was difficult to fit, as it was brass. I took my time but had to redo it four or five times over.
RoR – To get the under hood tin to fit, did you have to adjust mostly for size or shape?
Chas – Shape, so that the rivets could be put into place.
RoR – What part of the building did you find most satisfying?
Chas – Doing the interior and chassis working parts.
RoR – I could see when I first started seeing the Venom project photos that it was a long term project. About how long did it take you to build the VENOM Project?
Chas – It took 2 years to the day when I talked to Troy Trepanier at Detroit Autorama about the idea.
RoR – If you had to guess how many hours did you put into the project?
Chas – It was an on and off, but would say about 3000 hours.
RoR – Was Venom always going to be a contest model?
Chas – Yes, as it was plan for 4 main shows, the Detroit Autorama, GSL 25, Heartland National, and the Goodguys National Contest.
RoR – How have you done at the contests you’ve entered VENOM into? Has it won any awards so far?
Chas – Detroit Autorama
- 1st in street machine
- Best motor
- Best interior
- Best detail
- Best in show 2015 Champion
2014 Circle city 1st in work in progress and Best Interior
2014 Heartland National 1st in Work in Progress
RoR – Would you have some advice for someone that wanted to build duplicate Venom?
Chas – Have fun and take your time, you will learn a lot.
RoR – Overall, how did you feel about the Venom project?
Chas – I’m happy that it’s over, but even more happy that Troy Trepanier was pleased and liked it.
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