1909 New York to Seattle Model T Ford Racer - Scratchbuilt in 1/32 scale

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Continuing on with my early racers in 1/32 scale...........

On June 22, 1909, at precisely 12:55:25pm, a 1909 Model T Ford won the 1909 New York to Seattle Ocean to Ocean Endurance Race. The contest, sponsored by the millionaire Robert Guggenheim, was part of a publicity campaign for, the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition held in Seattle that year.

The spidery tough Model T, which weighed less than a thousand pounds, started the Race with four heavy-weight cars; the Stearns, Acme, Shawmut and Itala; each weighing from 3500-4600 pounds. Henry Ford was convinced that a cheap, tough, lightweight, flexible car was what was needed for the impassable roads of 1909 and in that conviction he was right. The Race, to be 4106 miles and lasting 22 days, started from New York City Hall on June 1 when President Taft pressed a golden telegraph key in Washington which both opened the AYP Exposition in Seattle and signaled Mayor McClellan of New York City to fire a gold revolver. They were off for twenty-two days of indescribable driving conditions, requiring the drivers and the mechanics to be entirely self-reliant, highly creative and ingenious in overcoming the many obstacles before them. The summer rains were terrible; the mud ubiquitous and a plague; streams had to be forded; the Fords, (two were entered), were mired in quicksand; often they became lost in deserts and badlands. At Prosser, Washington, an observer, not used to cars, struck a match on the side of the Ford's gas tank and the car caught fire. At Snoqualmie Pass, just east of Seattle, the Ford sank four feet in the snow and a railway gang dug it out.

Arriving at the finish line in Seattle at the Drumheller Fountain, which was the center of the AYP Exhibition of 1909 and now the center of the University of Washington where the fountain still exists, the Ford was declared the winner with a jubilant Henry Ford (caught for posterity by the brilliance of Mr. Kodak) proudly standing by. Although the Shawmut, which crossed the finish line seventeen hours after the Ford, was ultimately declared the winner the following November by the Automobile Club of America, the Shawmut's declared ex-post-facto victory came too late. Pursuant to Rule 3 of the Race Rules, the Ford’s engine had been illegally substituted for part of the distance replacing the engine stamped by the ACA at the beginning of the Race. From June to November Henry Ford put on an advertising and media blitz which implanted in the mind of the world at large that the FORD HAD WON, thereby providing a huge impetus for Ford sales--- the 1909 Model T which won the race was the first year of production which ran until 1927 with 15,007,033 Model T's having been manufactured.

2attheendoftherace.jpg

and with the Shawmutt:

2andShawmutattheendoftherace.jpg

And the replica of the car in the museum:

2rightfront.jpg

And here's my (semi)scratchbuilt replica of the car. I used the Pyro Couplet chassis, hood and wheels and scratchbuilt the rest from sheet styene and paper.

fin5.jpg

fin3.jpg

fin6.jpg

fin4.jpg

Hope you like.........

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Posted · Report post

Seems like you know your subject, research makes a good model and is part of the enjoyment of modeling. Very unique replica, I do like it !

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Posted · Report post

Very nice!

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Posted · Report post

Seems like you know your subject, research makes a good model and is part of the enjoyment of modeling. Very unique replica, I do like it !

Thanks for the comment Jon. I think the info came straight out of Wikipedia.... or some other source. Wish I was that knowledgable!

Tony

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Posted · Report post

I like it.

I can only imagine the obstacles and conditions of driving back then

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Posted · Report post

Very cool, pity we don't see more old timers like this in scale.

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Posted · Report post

Wow. That's an outstanding piece of work.

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Posted · Report post

Very nice. It's too easy to ignore the birth of the automobile, great replicas like this keep it alive.

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Posted · Report post

Tony, great looking build of a historic car. How did you manage the canvas cover on the back. The lettering is fantastic!

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Posted · Report post

tony thats also very kool... B)

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Posted · Report post

Another well done job !!

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Tony, great looking build of a historic car. How did you manage the canvas cover on the back. The lettering is fantastic!

Thanks everyone.

Mark..... the tarp is made from many layers of bathroom tissue (to the ladies) or "toilet paper" to the rest of us, layed over a scrtatchbuilt stryrene box. I used a thinned out mixture of white glue and water with my fingers to created the folds, then when it was all dried and stiff I trimmed around the edges to create the tarp look and the folds at the corners. A very messy job... but lots of childish fun! I printed the letters (white on a black background) on regular lightweight print paper on my computer. I cut the prints up to sections that would fit each surface and glued them to the appropriate location, again using my fingers to create folds in the "tarp". When it was all dry, I painted the tarp flat black, right up as close as I could get to each letter so that the paint blended in with the black of the prints. It was mostly a case of experimentation... but I think it turned out quite well.

Tony

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Posted · Report post

I like these historical racers you're doing. Keep 'em coming.

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Very nice ! I like seeing stuff like this.

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