How to Build a Brown Bomber Car

By Patrice Lesco

The Brown Bomber was originally built by Packard in 1933, although the look of the model changed over time. Made both as a two-door hardtop and a two-door convertible, the Brown Bomber had a distinctive long front, rounded headlights, two-seat passenger compartment and a short back end with a trunk. Its whitewall tires supported the body that sat low to the ground and it was a classy, yet sporty looking vehicle. A Brown Bomber replica can be built for stage productions.

Car Sides

Draw a picture on paper of the Brown Bomber model you want to recreate. Draw your picture from the side view, front view and rear view. Mark your drawing with the measurements that you want to use for the car, keeping in mind that the front is long and the back end short. Add 2-inches extra to the side view measurements to allow for overlap that the front and rear pieces will be connected to.

Draw the side panels on sheets of cardboard using your measurements, arching the back and allowing space for the doors. Then cut out your side panels with a utility knife.

Fold over the side panels all around the edges, overlapping 2 inches.

Front and Back

Draw the front end of your vehicle on a sheet of cardboard, marking where you want your headlights and grill. Also, draw the engine cover on cardboard. Then cut out the front of the car with your utility knife.

Draw the back end, or trunk section of the vehicle on a sheet of cardboard, marking your cardboard where you want the trunk to be.

Connect the front and back ends of the car sections to the body of the car. Attach each section to the 2-inch flaps that you have made with craft glue or duct tape.

Paint the entire car body with acrylic paint and a paintbrush, paying attention to the details on the car, such as the doors, the trunk, the headlights and the grill.

Roof Frame

Cut four pieces of ½-inch thick dowel rod with a hack saw. The dowel rods should be as tall as you want your roof tall, plus 2 inches.

Connect the bottom of each dowel rod to the inside corners of the passenger portion of the car, inserting the dowel rods 2-inches below the edge of the frame and attaching the dowel rods to the inside body of the car with duct tape.

Measure the width between the two dowel rods in the front and the two dowel rods in the back, then measure the distance between the front and back dowel rods. Cut four dowel rods that match your measurements: two for the width and two for the length.

Attach the width and length dowel rods between the tops of the standing dowel rods with wood glue and allow the glue to dry. You will now have a frame for your roof.

Roof

Measure the top of the square frame that you have made with your dowel rods, length and width, as well as the back rectangle of the dowel rod frame, where the rear window would be. Then cut out two pieces of cardboard for the roof and the back window out of cardboard with scissors using your measurements.

Cut a rear window out of the smaller piece of cardboard with your utility knife.

Paint both the roof and rear window sections with acrylic paints and a paintbrush and allow both pieces to dry.

Attach both the roof and the rear window sections of cardboard to the dowel rods with glue.

Tires

Cut four circles out of cardboard with a utility knife for your tires. Once the wheels are cut out of the cardboard, cut ½-inch holes in the center of each wheel with a utility knife.

Paint your tires with acrylic paints, adding a 1-inch white strip all the way around the wheel for whitewalls.

Cut two sections of ½-inch thick dowel rods as wide as your car, plus an additional 6 inches. Then paint the dowel rods. These are your axles.

Cut four holes in the front and back of the car on both sides where you want your wheel axles to be. Then insert the dowel rods through the holes so that they stick out of the body 3-inches on each side.

Attach your tires to the ends of the dowel rods and secure them to the dowel rods with glue.

Tip

Attach a real steering wheel to the inside of the car for the actors to use, or make your steering wheel out of cardboard. Be advised that a cardboard steering wheel may not last if it will be used by the actors.
Do not use a windshield on your car if the actors are to sit in the car and you want the audience to see them.

Sit short stools inside the body of the car for the actors to sit on.

About the Author

Patrice Lesco has been a writer since 2001. Also a certified teacher, she writes for newspapers, magazines, books, theater and film. Lesco holds a Master of Fine Arts in theater from Michigan State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in education and theater from Methodist College.