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About Biscuitbuilder

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  1. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic Looking for resin tractor grill   

    Only problem might be: Farm toys (diecast miniatures of tractors and the like) use a set of standard, for that type of thing, scales, none of which are 24th or 25th scale. Farm toys traditionally come in 1/64, 1/32, and 1/16 scales.

  2. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic New Model company Announced!   

    Frankly, Phil---

    I doubt seriously that anyone in the industry, years ago, could have predicted that someday, sometime, at least some of those old tools could have a new life. That seems to be the way of it, sometimes. For example, in the 1:1 world, when Ford Motor Company was casting around for ideas/themes for a sporty car in the early 60's, none other than the Budd Company stepped forward, acknowledging that they still had the tooling from which they stamped out the body shells for the last of the 2-seat Thunderbirds, just in case Ford might be interested (this was 5-6 yrs after production of that car and its concept had ceased). Of course, no-go, as the marketplace (as correctly figured by Ford) was into 4-place cars, not two seaters anymore--Baby Boomers were just starting to hit the new car market, and a fair percentage of them already had at least one child, and another one "in the oven".

    Also, particularly with that Revell '62 Chrysler Newport Convertible--I wonder just how well received that kit would be today? I've got a restorable built of the kit, and it's, to be complimentary, is pretty plain and basic--and the real car doesn't turn many heads going down the street, or for that matter, at car shows, certainly not at the major collector car auctions. The same is true, I think, with most of the subjects JoHan produced. Pretty body shells, with very shallow interior tubs (although gorgeous dashboards and steering wheels), most with rudimentary engines (the ones that came with open hoods), and up through say, 1963 or so, rather crudely done chassis. Does anyone remember the Whoo-Ha! over JoHan's '59 Rambler Cross Country Stawag? Us old guys fell head over heels for it, but among the younger, more tech-savvy members of our community, the cries of derision were a chorus not to be shut out, even with good earplugs.

    All this means that the expectations of the marketplace have been raised almost exponentially by Revell, Tamiya, Hasegawa, and the later, magnificent AMT/Ertl offerings. Frankly, the marketplace won't be very forgiving toward 1960 model kit design parameters in the 21st Century--any more than Ford could sell a newly reproduced Model T or Model A--the real world just doesn't seem to work quite that way.

    Would that it were otherwise, but unfortunately I don't see it any other way with a lot of those old tools.

    Now, if only somebody, somewhere, could see their way to do a really nice '34 Ford Woodie Station Wagon??????

  3. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic New Model company Announced!   


    Not to fault your thinking, nor your experience, but knowing what little I do about the model kit biz, it's not for amateurs, never was frankly. For starters, trying to raise the capital in the manner in which you suggest without the proper clearances from State and Federal agencies could be a major problem, not one I'd think you would want to get into. Second, to start up something like this easily soaks up money in the seven-figure category, just to open the doors.

    Injection molding model car kits and making fiberglas accessories for real vehicles are so much different as to be almost diametrically opposed--there is no comparison whatsoever.

    Now, as for Lesney-AMT Corporation employees arbitrarily discarding tooling at that location in Baltimore, not entirely true--I was pretty close to the scene during the Lesney years (worked with them, freelance, doing most of their box art models, was in and out of their Warren, MI product development facility almost monthly for those approximately 2.5 years. Some tooling likely was considered obsolete to the point of never being viable anymore, but that was in 1979-81, perhaps the darkest period of all in the model car kit industry. The 1980's "revival" of our hobby had yet to happen, doubt that anyone had any more than a very cloudy crystal ball with which to peer into the future then.

    Also, I'd be pretty sure that you wouldn't be able to pry any old tooling out of anyone's hands right now--such tooling as exists (that would make any sense to try and reissue) is either owned outright by someone moving forward with it, or is tied up under leasing arrangements (think Auto World here), so you would most likely have to be thinking of cutting new steel--and that ain't cheap, nor is it any guarrantee of success.

  4. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic What's next for the automobile?   

    I had three Toyota's, '77 Corolla SR5 Liftback (obliterated in a crash with a Mustang II AND a utility pole), replaced that with the same thing, only in a '79 (drove that one 200,000 miles, with two sets of brakes and 3 sets of new tires), and an '81 SR-5 long bed pickup (that one went 140,000 miles on one set of tires, and one timing belt--gave it to my nephew in 1992 and he drove it another 10 yrs--oh, did I mention that the pickup also toted an 8' bunk-over-cab slide in camper for nearly 50,000 miles on vactions and weekend getaways?).

    Both Corolla's were great cars--fun to drive, comfortable, with more than enough Oomph in their little hemi-head 4-bangers. That pickup with the camper up? Many was the time I out powered V6 S-10's and Rangers carrying essentially the same camper uphill down in Southern IN. All I did to prep the truck for the camper was to add AirLifts and a sway bar to the rear suspension (forgot to bleed down the air bags once, after dropping off the camper at home--talk about a kidney-buster!

    It's funny almost, with all the stick shift cars I've had over the years, that I have never, EVER had to replace a clutch--and I never drove any one of them easy. Must have been something to do with my learning, at an early age, the art of proper downshifting when coming to a turn, even approaching a stopsign or stoplight I guess. Also saved a lot on brakes that way as well.

    They were tough little vehicles as well. The '77 got rear-ended in the fall of '78 by some teenaged kid driving his Dad's brand new Buick Regal--stripped the rubber stripe off the rear bumper, buckled the right rear quarter in about an inch or so--the Buick? TOTAL loss, as it shoved the A posts back far enough to jam the doors so the only way they could get him and his girlfriend out was with Jaws of Life (they both survived to recover) Got it back from the body shop a week before Christmas, and on the Sunday after, it got T-boned by a Mustang II that came charging out of an apartment complex, which tore both front subframes off, and then slid into a utility pole--totaled. Replaced that with the new '79--great little car, just enough noise in it to be fun, engine loved screaming out in the 3 lower gears too. The truck? That one did everything we ever asked of it, the camper, hauling jobs for relatives, merchandise pick up trips to hobby wholesalers in Chicago monthly. Under warranty, Toyota replaced two seats when the upholstery failed twice within the first 6 months, the cab never rusted, but that "Made in East LA" pickup box finally rotted badly by 1990. Great vehicle.

  5. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic what year did amt first produce the 40 ford coupe?   

    Correct about the sedan, Gramps!

    What the kit box top says and what is in the box don't add up, not at all: While one can make a credible '40 Ford Deluxe Tudor Sedan, there is no way out of the box to build a '39.

    The kit gives correct fenders for both years (no problem there), a somewhat incorrect '39 Ford Deluxe grille (it's workable though), with a '40 Ford Standard Hood, '39 headlights and taillights, '40 Deluxe wheels/hubcaps/beauty rings. '40 Deluxe dash and steering wheel, '40 Deluxe interior, and a '40 Body Shell.

    '39 Ford Deluxe hood is much more rounded at the nose than is either '40 hood (this kit has a '40 Standard hood) having a pair of parallel side chrome strips. '39 was the last year of "wide five" wheels, with the large diameter hubcaps in two pieces, a painted outer cap, with an inner stainless steel cap (closest thing to correct would be the wheels and hubcaps from the Revell '37 Ford pickup/panel). 1939 was also the last year for the three-spoke "banjo" steering wheel, in addition to being the last year for a top loader 3-spd gearbox (column shift came in 1940. 1939 was also the last year for a flush-mounted swing-out windshield, with it's windshield wipers mounted at the top of the windshield. and given the swing out windshield, no cowl vent either.

  6. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic Name That Car!   


    1934 Bendix prototype. Only one was built, this is it, took this pic in the old Studebaker National Museum in South Bend.

  7. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic Name That Car!   

    '49 Kaiser Vagabond.
  8. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic Name That Car!   

    So, does anyone ID the "Airflowish" looking car that I put up? Hmmmm?

  9. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic MPC release I'd like to see   

    The MPC model kit was the '32 Chevy Cabriolet, with folding B-post, fixed A posts and windshield (just exactly the same as the coupe. No roadster was ever done in 25th scale by MPC--only the smaller Pyro kit, and the larger Hubley/Gabriel/JLE Scale Models kit (metal).

  10. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic MPC release I'd like to see   

    Except that MPC didn't make a '32 Chevy Roadster (only kits of that car have been the Hubley metal 1:20 scale, and a Pyro/Lifelike/Lindberg plastic kit in 32nd scale), but rather the much less desireable cabriolet (with rollup windows). Trouble prolly was that when MPC started on that project in 1964-65, '32 Chevy roadsters were almost non-existent--most Chevy clubs acknowledge that today only 7 originals are known to exist, due to their wooden body structures.

    As for the panel delivery, even that one is not a Fisher body--rather it was modeled off one done by a custom aftermarket commercial body manufacturer, and yes, it was retooled into the body for Barnabas' van.

  11. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic Name That Car!   

    Zeb, that could be any one of a number of "teens brass era cars", given that a number of smaller automakers used similar honeycomb V-radiators in those years. I have no idea, given the look of that car, and its similarity to many others of the age (bear in mind, there were several hundred carmakers in the US alone in that decade, most were small, tended to be very regional in market)

    I suspect you wouldn't know either, had you not found the picture online, captioned?

  12. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic NAME THAT ENGINE......   

    Funny thing though, on that other "big message board", the one that gets millions of hits, several people figured it out, all but one by email. This engine is a prototype, perhaps the only one still in existence, designed and built by Studebaker in 1959, for a still-born subcompact car intended to compete with the european imports then on a roll in the US. It was rated, if I remember the placard correctly, at 75hp, which if it had come to market, might well have powered the first "pocket rocket" econobox car.

    It was fun, both here and over on the other board, reading peoples' thoughts on it!

  13. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic we may be saying goodbye to Mercury   

    Uh, not really! Lincoln started in 1920, founded by Henry M. Leland, who was instrumental in the first Ford Model A of 1903, before going out on his own, founding Cadillac who also produced their first car in '03. After selling Cadillac to GM, and ultimately leaving the General in 1917, the Lelands, father and son, got into the business of mass producing the Liberty V12 aircraft engine for WW-I, then founding Lincoln in 1919. Henry Ford bought Lincoln, just ahead of the bankruptcy lawyers in 1921, turning that company over to his son, Edsel, to run.

    Lincolns, from 1920 until 1939 were uniquely their own car, in all aspects, building V8's and later V12's exclusively that were huge in comparison to any Ford engine. Beginning in 1935, Lincoln introduced the Zephyr, which while using Ford style solid axles, torque tubes and transverse springs in the manner of Ford, used a flathead V12 based on the Ford flathead V8 design, but there the similarities ended.

    It wasn't until 1949 that Lincoln used anything like a Ford engine, that being the 331cid Ford flathead V8 truck engine, then introduced Ford Motor Company to OHV engines for 1952, but regressed somewhat to using body shells based largely on Ford and Mercury shells from '52-'55, going to a unique body shell for '57 and beyond. It wasn't until 1967 that Lincoln shared a body shell with a Ford again, that being the Thunderbird, Lincoln's MkIII Continental using the same basic body shell as the short-lived Thunderbird 4dr Landau. This body sharing continued through the years of the massive Lincoln Continentals MkIV and MkV, and then in the Fox platform era of Thunderbird and Continental.

    So, "badge engineering" only gradually filtered up into Lincoln over those years.

  14. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic NAME THAT ENGINE......   

    The car it was intended to power was to have been front engine, rear drive--and no, it is NOT a Subaru

  15. Biscuitbuilder added a post in a topic Now, zebm1, can YOU name this engine by its builder   


    You should guess more often! Here's the right hand side of the engine, with M-O-N-R-O-E cast into the crankcase cover plate:

    This engine is one of several built for the 1920 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race by Louis and Arthur Chevrolet, to promote their fledgling new marque, the Frontenac automobile. Needing sponsorship funds, they provided a couple of engines, and cars to go with them, to a company called 'Monroe" (But I don't think it was Monroe of shock absorber fame). Frontenac failed as an automaker, in the deep recession of 1920-21, but the brothers carried on (although without Gaston), but the brothers managed to win two Indianapolis 500's, in 1920 with one of these 4-cylinder engines (car was the Monroe Special, driven by Gaston Chevrolet) and in 1921, with a straight-8 powered car, engine similar in concept to the one I show here) driven by Tommy Milton, who would go on to become the first multiple winner at Indianapolis (1921 and 1923). Gaston Chevrolet was killed later in 1920 while leading a race on the former Beverly Hills Board Track superspeedway in California.

    Arthur Chevrolet adapted at least one of these engines to air-cooled, and tried marketing it as the Chevrolair Engine, for aircraft use, but it's unknown how many of those were sold (the 20's were dominated by thousands of leftover WW-I airplanes, being sold for only a few hundred dollars).

    Of course, in 1923, the two remaining Chevrolet brothers, still under the mantra of Frontenac Motors, turned to speed equipment for the Model T Ford, seeing their handiwork run Indy that year, under the sponsorship of Barber-Warnock, the Indianapolis Ford Dealership at the time. One of those cars finished 5th, bested only by three Duesenbergs and one Miller.

    An interesting sidelight of the 1920 Indianapolis race was that of the 4 or 5 Frontenac/Monroe cars that started, all but one crashed due to breaking their steering arms, which had been outsourced by Gaston to a local foundry in Indianapolis, over the objections of Louis. The steering arms, once cast, were to have been treated to forging for strength, but apparently this didn't happen. After the race, in their Gasoline Alley garage, a heated brotherly argument broke out, when Gaston discovered that Champion Spark Plugs had been installed in his car, rather than the brand that he'd been offered money to run. "Those things might have failed, Gaston is said to have shouted at brother Louis, to which Louis shouted back "You mean like your damned steering arms?". As Louis roared out this, he gave the steering arm on Gaston's winning car a savage kick--at which the steering arm broke and clattered to the floor. History does not record if that ended the argument though.