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Bonneville and LSR Models

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I noticed a couple of questions about land speed record models (the Challenger and others), so thought I would add a little to the discussion.

One of the first LSR resin models I saw was Jimmy Flintstone's "Goldenrod." This was the Summers Brothers car that ran for the wheel-driven land speed record in 1965. By that time, Breedlove and Arfons were already running in the 500 mph range with jet cars, but those were pushed by thrust, not by the mechanical action of the rear wheels. Intriguingly, nobody broke the Summers Bros. record for almost 20 years. One story I heard was that the car was a four-speed. Supposedly, Bob Summers broke the record at 406 and change in THIRD GEAR. Theoretically, the car was capable of 500 mph, but they never went back. The Jimmy Flintstone model is a solid casting with separate tire moldings and in the later version, separate intake and exhaust ports. This early version had only tires and intake ports separate. So you spend all your time cleaning up the surface and trying for a good paint job ("trying" is always the case where I'm concerned).

goldenrod-vi.jpg

The next LSR model that showed up was Chris Etzel's 1928 Stutz Blackhawk. This is a curbside, but builds up nicely. Frank Lockhart was killed in this car at Daytona Beach (then known as Ormond Beach) in 1928 when a tire blew. The car went sideways and rolled. He was running near 200 mph when the tire let go. Chris's kit is simple and easy to build, and is a tiny little thing.

blackhawk-vi.jpg

At the time that Lockhart ran the Stutz, land speed cars were generally powered by aircraft engines and were enormous. This one is the Irving-Napier Special, built to run at Daytona in 1929. It featured a Napier Lion aircraft engine (the same one as used in Britain's Supermarine Schneider Trophy aircraft). This was just discussed in the latest edition of "Resin Talk" in MCM. The kit was a part of a super short production run and is no longer available. Ed Cervo at Island Collectibles says that this is the only built example he has ever seen.

arrow4-vi.jpg

This shot gives you an idea of relative size. Both models are 1/25.

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Here's another shot that gives you an idea of relative size between the 1928 Blackhawk and 1929 Golden Arrow.

arrownblackhawk-vi.jpg

Tory Mucaro did a casting of the Craig Breedloves' '63 "Spirit of America" about five years ago. Like the Goldenrod, this is a solid one piece casting with a piece of pipe of the tail for an exhaust nozzle. It weighs about three pounds. That tire is a SATCO Firestone to give you a relative idea of size. This is a big model.

soaraw1-vi.jpg

In '64 or '65, Wen Mac did a promotional model for Gulf stations in plastic, but the resin model is actually based on Art Russell's original display model done for Breedlove in about 1962. Russell was a pattern maker for Revell and a hot rodder who knew Breedlove. When Breedlove was shopping the SoA around to companies to get sponsorship money, he took one of Russell's models with him.

soaraw2-vi.jpg

Here's a finished example. This is not mine. It was built by Dave--- I can't remember Dave's last name, so if you're reading this, Dave, let us know who you are 'cause you deserve credit for this beautiful model. Tory's kit came with decals, so you can build up a pretty nice example. It is nothing more than a paint job--a daunting one, but a paint job.

soadave2-vi.jpg

Ten years ago a friend of mine named Ted Kellison built this little Bonneville salt coupe from a ZZ top kit. It's loosely based on the Pierson brothers coupe, and is the "Lo-Cal (low cal) Special."

ted34e-vi.jpg

Ted did a beautiful job. He used the nose from a Revell '29 Ford roadster pickup kit and never really liked it, but left it that way. The car has a nicely detailed flathead and a similarly detailed interior that you can't see 'cause of the tiny windows.

ted34a-vi.jpg

California Model Works does a beautiful resin and white metal kit of a Bonneville belly tanker. Here's a link to one built by Dale King that is displayed on the Grand Prix Modelers Association website. This is WAAAAAy better than the vacuformed kit I've seen.

http://gpma.org/dkbelly.html

Terry

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Posted · Report post

Very cool post, Terry! I have always loved speed record cars. The Goldenrod was Mastered by John Ostrenga. I saw it before he gave it to Jimmy for casting and it was a beautiful thinwall bodyshell. I dropped my jaw when I saw the castings. As a former law enforcement officer I am sure you can appreciate it's resemblance to a Billy Club!! I think that John did another car for Jimmy which has not been produced. It might have been Mickey Thompson's Autolite Special but I am not sure.

I have one of the ScaleKraft Golden Arrows. It's a brute. It looks like they used Bugatti Royale tires for it. They are still a little bit small! I saw the real car in England. It is impressive as is the Spirit of America which is in the basement of the Museum of Scince and Industry in Chicago.

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Posted · Report post

Really love those cars - true racers really. Built entirely for one purpose - to go faster!

I have the Challenger on the bench at the moment, well for the last two years actually, and would love to do more.

Many years ago I had a scratchbuilt 1/20 scale Brit Thrust 2 on the go, but then moved house and lost the wood buck I had made for the body. One day!

Bob

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Posted · Report post

Did you know that the first six holders of the "official" automobile land speed record were electric cars? And the seventh was steam powered! The first internal-combustion-powered land speed holder was the eighth one, and from then on the IC-powered vehicles were unbeaten... until the jet-powered cars came along.

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Posted · Report post

Terry, Thank you for the photos and info. on LSR models. That Bonneville salt coupe your friend built is really cool.

Personally I prefer the wheel driven LSR cars, but the jet thrust cars, and their speeds, are remarkable accomplishments.

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Posted · Report post

Nice work Terry !!! You certainly have very eclectic taste when it comes to building models.

-Steve

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Posted · Report post

Great information, Terry. One of the more interesting posts in recent times.

But, you're selling the Summers Brothers and the Goldenrod short. The record is actually 409.277 MPH, not 406. Even more impressive is the that it still stands as the fastest unblown, wheel driven, piston engine car on the planet. This record is 44 years old and was set with 4 HEMI's.

Last year at the Top One private meet at Bonneville, Tom Burkland set the FIA outright wheel driven, piston engine record at 415 MPH. He already holds the SCTA record at 417. His car is powered by 2 blown HEMI's.

Some friends of my Dad's, Terry Nish with his son Mike as driver, have spent the last dozen or more years in pursuit of the Summers Brothers unblown record. Their Royal Purple streamliner is powered by a single, unblown big block Chevy. They hold several streamliner records in some of the smaller displacement classes, but have yet to get the car with the big motor over 400 MPH. The lay claim to the fastest small block Chevy on the planet.

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Posted · Report post

Wonderful vehicles.

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Great stuff Terry1..I followed the resto. of Goldenrod a few yrs. ago that Hot Rod mag.did, and thought it was great that this car was fully restored..and from what I recall from the articles it was no easy project :D

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Posted (edited) · Report post

After that 462 MPH blast I got to wondering how many LSR models are there ?

133512013473161576903.jpegREV4918.JPG

Edited by Greg Myers

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Posted · Report post

I'm thinkin' kits here. I know there's a bunch of diecast, not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Posted · Report post

Sorry. The 4 Hawk versions, the resin Goldenrod and the old Monogram Firebolt 3999772980_d591f422f1.jpg

(not a real car) are the only ones I have besides the Challenger.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You're missing one in your spread, the most important one in my opinion.$(KGrHqN,!nkFB(IJ,vzPBQ9nehCmpw~~60_35.J

Edited by Greg Myers

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Posted (edited) · Report post

isn't there a thread featuring the Mormon Meteor?

maybe Ma's Resin in production?

thanks for that link (see next post)

Edited by southpier

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Posted · Report post

forgot about this one : $T2eC16ZHJGQE9noMb,LuBRO56)l7w!~~60_57.J

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Posted · Report post

has the Attempt 1 ever been re-released?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

has the Attempt 1 ever been re-released?

At least once, in the Hot Rod series. Awesome kit.

Terry, great thread! Any chance you could be talked into going back and updating any broken links? I think this one deserves the maintenance. :)

Edited by Gluhead

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Posted · Report post

Interesting post Terry!

I'm in the process of building a Bonneville type vehicle, research is the key to pulling this build off for me B)

I've ask the question in another post regarding the 'Speed Demon', can anyone tell me where can I get salt flat style tyres and wheels, I have a set of 'Moon discs' just need the rest.

Cheers

Ray

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Posted · Report post

bill...are the silver and light blue salt racers ( second row from the front in your pic) a production kit or are they scratch built?

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Posted · Report post

Interesting post Terry!

I'm in the process of building a Bonneville type vehicle, research is the key to pulling this build off for me B)

I've ask the question in another post regarding the 'Speed Demon', can anyone tell me where can I get salt flat style tyres and wheels, I have a set of 'Moon discs' just need the rest.

Cheers

Ray

\

the fronts on the Attempt ! are narrow tread

PaulT_Cheshire3-vi.jpg

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I've ask the question in another post regarding the 'Speed Demon', can anyone tell me where can I get salt flat style tyres and wheels, I have a set of 'Moon discs' just need the rest.

Cheers

Ray

The M/T Challenger 1 kit is the only kit with dedicated LSR tires I have found, but there were some good suggestions here. The Goodyear Frontrunners are easy to find and would be a good option for a modern/recent vehicle IMHO: http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=67004&hl=bonneville#entry825375

I used a pair of the Challenger 1 tires and a pair from the AMT Piranha reissue (which are styrene) on my Avanti project: http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=61472&page=5

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Posted · Report post

The M/T Challenger 1 kit is the only kit with dedicated LSR tires I have found, but there were some good suggestions here. The Goodyear Frontrunners are easy to find and would be a good option for a modern/recent vehicle IMHO: http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=67004&hl=bonneville#entry825375

I used a pair of the Challenger 1 tires and a pair from the AMT Piranha reissue (which are styrene) on my Avanti project: http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=61472&page=5

Casey, thanks heaps my friend, appreciate the feedback :)

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