Art Anderson

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About Art Anderson

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  1. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Hearses, 1950's Indy Roadsters and Midgets, 1960's Super Stockers, the Singlefiinger Spped Shop, and tons of Classics   

    NIce pics, but not a single Indy Roadster in the bunch--lots of gorgeous AAA/USAC Kurtis Offy Midgets, and several 1950's early 1960's USAC Sprint cars though/
  2. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Tucker kit? YES!   

    For what it's worth, laminated safety glass predated the Tucker by 20 years, Ford having introduced that on the very first 1928 Model A's, with universal industry adoption within just  a year or so after.  Seat belts were around before the Tucker, having been introduced, but not required, in race cars as early as 1932 or so.  Disc brakes, in 1948 were an iffy thing--they never really worked all that well until the introduction of power brake boosters, even though Crosley had them by 1949.  

  3. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Even ''Predicta''kit has accuracy issues   

    Obviously Harry, you've never been a model kit pattern maker, or you would not make that statement.  As one who has considerable experience in model product development, I am here to tell you that any model car is the result of a human interpretation of what the person(s) involved see, in the same way as any artist or sculptor.   Depending on the level of skill and artistry, the result can vary, of course.   But remember, in 1965 or so, when the Predicta kit was being tooled, model kit pattern makers were still learning and honing their craft.  Period.
  4. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Tucker kit? YES!   

    Having read a couple of books on the story of Tucker, both Preston Tucker, and the car, a few things stand out:  For starters (and importantly, I think) Preston Tucker, by 1946, had a considerable reputation as being more than a bit of a huckster.  He first seemed to appear on the automotive scene in the early 1930's, and for the 1935 Indianapolis 500 Mile race, recruited the famed, but vastly reduced-in-circumstances, the legendary Harry Armenius Miller, who headed up the company responsible for so many fabulous 122 and 91 cid race cars of the 1920's, to design a new car, front drive, using modified (read that hopped up) Ford V8 engines.  He then managed, through Edsel Ford, to convince Henry Ford to bankroll the project--which resulted in a team of 11 Miller-Ford front drive race cars for the 1935 "500".  They were a dismal failure, the only cars to make the race all went out with steering gear seizure, due to Miller's insistence that the small, very precisely (read that very tight internal clearances) built steering gears be mounted within an inch or so of the left hand exhaust header--they got so out as to boil the grease out of them, then seized up).  That experience soured Ford Motor Company and the Ford family on racing involvement for another 20 years, 29 years in the case of Indianapolis racing.  Henry Ford was so incensed that he had his company take possession of the Miller Fords, which got locked away, none of them reappearing until 1941, when the Winfield brothers Bud (carburetion expert) and Ed (camshaft design) managed to pry one loose for mounting their new Winfield Supercharged V8 in--that engine being renamed the Novi in 1946.
    During WW-II, Tucker ran a contract machine shop in Ypsilanti MI, built up an armored car with an electric turret carrying a pair of machine guns, for which he made outlandish claims of ground speed, as well as the turret being the best ever designed.  The movie hints that the US Military used Tucker's turret in bombers, both USAAF and US Navy, but if one looks up the specifications for any US Military aircraft equipped with any sort of swiveling turret, nowhere does the Tucker turret come to be mentioned.
    Following VJ Day, Preston Tucker became one of many who could readily see the huge market that existed for new cars--by then the average age of cars on American roads was an astonishing 15+ years, brought on mostly by the Great Depression (which while formally ending in 1933, had its effects on public confidence economically all the way out to about 1940 (when the US morphed into the "Arsenal of Democracy", then followed by 3 1/2 years of no new automobiles being produced, due to the total war effort.
    Trouble was, by 1945, Preston Tucker didn't have the money to start up a new automobile company on his own, and was pretty much "persona non grata" in the financial industry--hence his feverish drive to promote his "ideas" to the general public at large.  And frankly, many of his sales pitches were the stuff of fraudsters, shysters, whether or not he was that himself--that's what raised a lot of eyebrows.  Instead of starting out relatively small (arguably a questionable venture at any rate), Tucker went way beyond what any other startup in the auto industry had ever done, from a cold beginning (by contrast, Henry Kaiser was a known entity, had an enviable record of successful ventures--from Hoover Dam to the building of hundreds of Liberty Ships and the shipyard they were built in, from scratch) to be a major automaker overnight.  It got to the point that he was selling dealerships in Tuckers before the first samples were even assembled--anyone wanting to become a Tucker dealer had to buy a boatload of Tucker accessories ahead of car production, and pay for them in cash (a local acquaintance of mine here inherited a 2 1/2 car garage full of that stuff (anyone want a radio with antenna for a Tucker perhaps?) when his father took a bath on those parts.
    With all of this, it took only a second-rate muckraking columnist in New York City, Westbrook Pegler, and a Michigan senator who may or may not have had direct ties with any of the Big Three automakers, to derail the man's ambitions, and while he was absolved of any criminal wrong doing, it is pretty evident that Tucker Motors would not have survived the end of the postwar seller's market anyway--non of the surviving "independent" automakers did, save for American Motors the rest (Studebaker, Packard, Hudson, Kaiser-Frazer, Crosley and a half dozen or so mini car manufacturers were all gone from the US scene by the end of 1963.  How could Tucker have survived in the long run, as thinly capitalized as it was when for example, GM spent almost 10 times Tucker's capitalization just to restyle their 1949 car lines?
  5. Art Anderson added a post in a topic What do you do when they ask?   

    I've done this on a few occasions over the years, and decided that "Never again".  I have simply told anyone since who has asked, that when I decide to start on a model project, it's my hobby, my relaxation (?), my own passion.  For those reasons, I simply decline, end of that conversation.   Now, that said, I have given several pieces away over the years, to a relative or two, as well as a couple of friends, AFTER I've had the fun of building them, and had no further wish to display them, or take them to shows--but that is the extent of it.
  6. Art Anderson added a post in a topic 1957 Ford Engine Color   

    I believe that the metallic bronze came about in 1949, but later in the year.  Here's a 1950 Ford flathead V8 in bronze, in a Country Squire wagon:  
    No, that Ford engine color is a dark metallic copper, AKA bronze.
  7. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Even ''Predicta''kit has accuracy issues   

    Bear in mind, in the 1960's, ANY model car kit (indeed ANY plastic model kit) resulted from tooling patterns that were hand-carved by hand--thus subject to the interpretations of the pattern-maker, even the draftsman who did the drawings.  In addition, given the frantic pace at which Monogram (and all the other model companies) was releasing new model kits (of all subjects), time frames were very short.  There simply just was not much time to study, carve, re-study, make corrections here and there.  There were a lot of inaccuracies in model kits of all subjects back then and given that pretty much all subject areas of plastic model building were primarily kids--no IPMS-style rivet counters to argue.
  8. Art Anderson added a post in a topic 1957 Ford Engine Color   

  9. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Roll Cage   

    One more thing:  When I've soldered up brass for model work, I've settled on Stay-Bright Silver Solder, which is a low temperature silver solder, and comes with flux.  The advantages of silver solder are (1) it's far stronger than ordinary lead-tin solder, and (2) it takes more heat to melt a silver solder joint than it does to make it in the first place, making assembly a whole lot easier.    Also, be looking for a set of miniature needle files (3-4 inches long), as the round or "rat tail" files in those sets are perfect for "fishmouthing" the ends of pieces of rod or tubing that one is going to join in a "tee joint".  Also, those needle files are great for smoothing solder joints as well.
  10. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Kits gone at WalMart again   

    From my experiences at Playing Mantis (Johnny Lightning), Walmart (and the other Big Box outfits as well) began downsizing their toy departments after the 1993 Christmas selling season, to make way (those stores are limited in size, BTW) to make way for other merchandise lines that would turn over faster, be more profitable.  Most are perhaps unaware anymore that 9/11, in many ways burst a lot of bubbles in retailing for the holiday season.  The toy industry (and like it or not, to those retailers, model kits are toys!) took a major hit in 2001, and '02 & '03 were in many ways just as dismal.    Think of it this way:  Model car kits take up a lot more cubic feet of selling space than say, hooks of blister carded stuff---a dozen or more bubble-packed toys can fit on a pegboard hook, and turn faster than the 4-6 model kits that take up the same amount of space.  As Tom has so wisely reminded--Walmart have little sympathy where issues of inventory turnover are concerned.
    However, there is an upside:  Losing the big box store market forced model companies to get going, develop new products that while pricier, are more the model cars we get excited about today.  Most of the more esoteric models seen from US model companies likely would never have seen the light of day, were their industry so dominated by mass merchandisers as it was for a few decades in the not-to-distant past.
  11. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Kits gone at WalMart again   

    I've said it once before, and I repeat:  Walmart stopped stocking model kits as a general, staple category in their toy departments in 2005.
  12. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Roll Cage   

    You can use one of two measurement systems, Michael:  In metric, 1mm is so very close to an inch in 1/25 that any discrepancy won't be noticeable with small diameter rod or tubing.  Or, in English measure, .040" is exactly one scale inch in 1/25.  K&S has started marketing brass rod & tubing in metric diameters, but I suspect their English measure rod stock is still out there.  For starters, think of 1/8" as being quite close to 3" in 1/25 scale, being barely a sheet of copier paper thicker; 3/32" stock being close enough to 2" and so on.
  13. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Roll Cage   

    Of course, one can always use K&S brass rod stock--that bends without collapsing as tubing is prone to do.  Low temperature silver solder does a great job with brass as well.
  14. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Johan 31 Caddy   

    Cadillac 355cid V12 engine:
    Cadillac 452cid V16 engine:
    Note also, the two sides of these engines are virtually identical, left to right, each bank of cylinders being pretty much a "mirror image" of the other.  It shouldn't be all that difficult to rework the JoHan V16 into the V12.  Bellhousing and transmissions are the same for both engines.
  15. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Johan 31 Caddy   

    Cadillac's V12 is virtually identical to the V16, just 2 cylinders shorter (of course, on each cylinder bank).  As for the wheelbase and hood length, yes, both are shorter on the V12 than the V16 cars.  For reference, the 1931 Cadillac V16 cars were 222.5" overall length, with a wheelbase of 148". I believe this difference is primarily in the engine bay.  The Model 355 V12 cars had an overall length of 209", with a wheelbase of 140".    The difference in overall length was accentuated with the Model 452 V16 chassis, given that this series Cadillac had significantly larger bodies than were cataloged for the V12 Model 355.