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1911 Marmon Wasp - scratchbuild in 1/32 scale

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After seeing Curt's great 1/32 scale Matchbox Mercedes SSKL model, I felt inspired to show some of my 1/32 scale models. One of the areas of historic automobiles I find interesting is the early racers. Very few model kits are available of these fabulous machines so the only way to go is ...... scratchbuild it!

The first Indy 500 was held in 1911 and won by a car known as the "Marmon Wasp".

Here's a couple of pictures of (I believe) Corky Coker's (of Coker Tire) reconstruction of the car, which may or may not be 100% accurate. There is some discussion about the color of the actual car..... some say it was orange, others say it was yellow and hence the nickname "Wasp". Opponents of this theory argue that the "wasp" designation came from the "stinger" shape of the tail. So my build is not necessarily 100% accurate but..... who's going to say it's wrong??

11-Marmon_Wasp_DV-08-CC_010.jpg

11-Marmon_Wasp_Yellow_DV-08_CC_01.jpg

I used a set of drawings originally published in Rod and Custom magazine in June, 1965, scaled down to 1/32 scale on my computer, plus photos of Corky's car.

Layout+drawing+1.jpg

Anyway.... cutting to the chase...... here's the finished model.

1wasp.jpg

2wasp.jpg

3wasp.jpg

As you probably know, the addition of the rear view mirror (a first) enabled the car to be raced without a riding mechanic, thus saving about 150 - 200 lbs of weight. The actual car is now restored... possibly with an incorrect color (?) and resides in the Indy Hall of Fame. The copy built by Corky Coker of Coker tire has been featured on Hot Rod TV.

Hope you like it. Now to try to duplicate those racing numbers!

Tony

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Posted · Report post

Fabulous work.

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Tony, as I stated in a thread some months ago on this very car, I have on DVD the Firestone-produced film coverage of the 1946 Indianapolis 500. The first 15 or so minutes of the film (all of which is in technicolor, BTW) are a conversation between Ray Harroun (1911 winner), Ralph DePalma (1915 winner), and Wilbur Shaw (winner in 1937, 1939, and 1940, and President of IMS from 1946 until his death in 1954). Through the entire interview, Harroun was seated in the Wasp, which was still owned by Howard Marmon (founder and President of Marmon Automobile Company, and in 1946, President of Marmon-Herrington). The car was then, clearly in it's original paintjob, albeit worn, chipped and somewhat weather-checked, and it WAS YELLOW, with black and red trim, just as the restoration.

Joe Henning, who wrote that article, apparently put in print the canard about the car being orange. That he justified by the very dark shade of grey the car shows up as in the black and white pics and film shot on May 30, 1911. However, that early black and white film didn't do well with yellow, and other colors of similar intensity. In addition, people from that era often called a darker shade of yellow "Orange" or "Orange Yellow", certainly here in Indiana (I grew up about relatives, parents, and neighbors who grew up in the very early years of the 20th Century--perhaps it was a Hoosier colloquialism, but that's what they called even School Bus Yellow.

Art

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After seeing Curt's great 1/32 scale Matchbox Mercedes SSKL model, I felt inspired to show some of my 1/32 scale models. One of the areas of historic automobiles I find interesting is the early racers. Very few model kits are available of these fabulous machines so the only way to go is ...... scratchbuild it!

The first Indy 500 was held in 1911 and won by a car known as the "Marmon Wasp".

Here's a couple of pictures of (I believe) Corky Coker's (of Coker Tire) reconstruction of the car, which may or may not be 100% accurate. There is some discussion about the color of the actual car..... some say it was orange, others say it was yellow and hence the nickname "Wasp". Opponents of this theory argue that the "wasp" designation came from the "stinger" shape of the tail. So my build is not necessarily 100% accurate but..... who's going to say it's wrong??

11-Marmon_Wasp_DV-08-CC_010.jpg

11-Marmon_Wasp_Yellow_DV-08_CC_01.jpg

I used a set of drawings originally published in Rod and Custom magazine in June, 1965, scaled down to 1/32 scale on my computer, plus photos of Corky's car.

Layout+drawing+1.jpg

Anyway.... cutting to the chase...... here's the finished model.

1wasp.jpg

2wasp.jpg

3wasp.jpg

As you probably know, the addition of the rear view mirror (a first) enabled the car to be raced without a riding mechanic, thus saving about 150 - 200 lbs of weight. The actual car is now restored... possibly with an incorrect color (?) and resides in the Indy Hall of Fame. The copy built by Corky Coker of Coker tire has been featured on Hot Rod TV.

Hope you like it. Now to try to duplicate those racing numbers!

Tony

Those pics of the Marmon Wasp are of the actual, original car--I can even see the Story Board about the car, that accompanies it wherever it is sent by Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall Of Fame Museum.

Art

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Thanks for all the additional information. Sometimes it's difficult to seperate fact from fiction..... even when it appears in web sites prepared by supposed "authorities".

I'm glad to see other members that share my interests and can shed light on some "gray" areas of automotive history.

Tony

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:) Nice job Tony! This is quite an effort in any scale with all the scratch building. I'm always looking for a replica of this famous car. I love your work! :wub:

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Great replica of a truly historic car. In 1/32 yet! Thank you for sharing.

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That was literally a hundred years ago. Think how far racing has come. Awesome job.

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Thank you all for the kind words.

Tony

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That is awesome! Kind of looks like a bi-plane with the wings pulled off. B)

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impressive

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Excellent fabricating of a historic race car !

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superb model and even better that it's scratchbuilt.

That is awesome! Kind of looks like a bi-plane with the wings pulled off. B)

yeah, we normally think of the 50s as trying to look like aircraft or rockets, but that is very aircraft inspired.

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You did good Tony !! Very nice and creative.

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Thanks Chuck, Jake, Bob, Walter and Terry.

It's those kind words that keep the adrenalin pumping!

Tony

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Superb work,it looks beautiful and your scrachtbuilding is GREAT!!! I love these types race cars...I plan to do someday the Golden Submarine race car in 1/25 another beautiful design of a vintage race car.

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What a fantastic build, i really love these early cars.

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Very nice!

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