Doodlebugs, Scrambolas, Jitterbugs, and Field Crawlers to Name A FEW

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Posted (edited) · Report post

This is part of automotive history and I am convinced all of this is great material for building ideas . . . you look through the website and if you don't start drooling, you might not be alive.

Enjoy and happy TGIF eye candy. Cheers. By the way, I think this would make a great CBP.

http://www.roadkillcustoms.com/Hot-Rods-Rat-Rods/blog/template_permalink.asp?id=127

FOR THOSE OF YOU INTERESTED IN GOING BEYOND THE DISCUSSION OF THESE TYPES OF VEHICLES

and actually building one, here's the CBP thread:

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=67168

Edited by Dr. Cranky

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Doctor you are right as always, this could be a fun CBP.

These look very similar to the Stewart farm truck I posted pictures of in the 1:1 truck reference shots I posted Oct. 27th.

Neat little trucks/tractors

Edited by doggie427

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Posted · Report post

Thanks, Wayne. I've always been fascinated by how people end up cobbling together these machines, and as a model builder I think they have lots of great potential for have a blast in this hobby.

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Posted · Report post

That really wound make for a fun build. Any ideas where we could get some tractor tires/wheels?

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Chuck Most would know. I am thinking of using the tires from the Willys Jeep that just got rereleased.



I think also it would be cool to just look for 1/24th scale diecast tractors and use the parts.

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Doc thanks for this! I'm wrapping up my Z06 build and I've been itching to do something different and creative (and FUN!). This would be perfect. If there is a CBP thread I'm in.

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Lots of those out here, they used them in the mines. This would be a great CBP.

G

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Posted · Report post

Okay, I will start one over there for the coming year. Great to hear there is interest.

I am hoping others (who might know) can continue to chime in about the history of such vehicles, etc . . . and keep posting eye candy pictures of some they've seen in their communities.

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Posted · Report post

Field Car ?

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The stuff from A.G. is all too new.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Just the reference to field cars. Remember the film took place in 1962. I was in high school in Tucson Arizona then, and many of my friends had cars (chopped down) "Field Cars" as mentioned. Some of the trucks in the pictures look to be from the fifty's.

Edited by Greg Myers

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Posted · Report post

Oh, I see what you mean, another great film is THE LAST PICTURE SHOW. Yes, farm beaters I think are all pretty cool.

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I love doodlebugs, and I've been looking for an excuse to build one. Pretty sure I've even got parts to build a couple without having to pick up anything new. I've even got a pair of rear tractor tires and wheels that I salvaged of one of my sons trashed toys from ages ago.

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Christopher it sounds like you are ready to get going. Have fun.

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Thanks good doctor. I realy enjoyed the link. A very long time ago when I was in high school, one of my friends had an old 40's Chevrolet truck that he and his father put together. Sorry no pictures. It started out as a 1ton + G.V.W. rated truck with duel rear wheels. When they were finished with it , you could almost touch the rear tires from the drivers seat. The cab was gone and everything from the dash forward was all there. We spent many hours out in the fields behind his house on down to the swamp. Great fun.

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doodlebug_side-vi.jpg

Oh I didn't need to see that web page! Here's one that's been in my queue for years. Still looks exactly like this!

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I googled "scrambola" and got "racin' thru the raindrops" Not tractors, but way mucho vintage racing stuff!

http://befastpast.blogspot.com/

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A few things to think about-

There are a handful of 1:25 ag tires I've seen on diecast Ertl promos, but I've seen just as many (if not more) 1:1 car/tractors with medium or heavy duty truck tires on the back. I'd also look into WW2 era 1:35 and 1:24 military kits- some of those might work, and many 1:35 tires will fit bi-scale wheels and still look 'right' on the model. As Dr. Cranky mentioned, the reissued Willys Jeep kit's tires would be suitable as well. You could even fabricate your own spoked steel wheels, like the kind seen on the Model T conversion kits sold by Shaw. Also, some retained all four stock wheels/tires, or had a set of builder-fabricated dual rear wheels. Sometimes the stock wheels were cut down to fit a different diamter wheel rim.

Ertl did make a few 1:25 farm and construction kits, but the drive tires would be WAY too big for what we're talking about here- the tires in those kits are meant for a 14 to 20,000 pound machine, not a flyweight like a doodlebug.

You could use pretty much any early '30's or older vehicle as a starting point, though the vast majority were Ford based.

Model T Doodlebugs normally had improved cooling, as the Model T engine wasn't as well-suited to field work as it was to simply moving the car. Often the frames were reinforced, and in many cases the rear axle was solid-mounted to the frame- no rear suspension at all.

Also keep in mind that no two will be exactly alike, even if they were based on an aftermarket kit like the Shaw setup. Builders equipped them and set them up for their own uses.

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Mrs z's Uncle lived up in the Adelaide Hills and had a homebuilt garden tractor to haul his gardening tools and supplies up and down the large & very steep backyard.

I've got no pics but it was 50's Morris saloon based with most of the bodywork removed and 2 gearboxes in order to drop the ratios down low enough so it could climb the paths from the bottom of the garden back up to the garage.

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Cool Subject! We used a Model A "doodlebug" as a parts chaser/torch wagon at the junk yard for many years.

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An older friend (now deceased) had two Modet T Ford Tractor conversations plus a Model A that had larger wood spoked rear wheels, a pair on either side, I think he told me they were off of a Pierce Arrow.

One of the Model T tractors ran steel wheels the other had about a 2" X 2" diamond pattern pneumatic rubber tire. One of the T's ran a much taller radiator almost the height of a Fordson Radiator, the other had a stock appearing painted Model T radiator she'll and probably a deeper re-cored radiator (Honycomb). Ignitions were the Model T "Buzz Box" Coils, no other electrics except for plug wires. Very simple Tractors to say the least. The T with stock Radiator she'll ran the top hood only, taller radiator had a simple bent sheet metal "Hood" held on with sheet metal screws and old rope. Both ran stock cowling and both had center mounted tractor type seats on a curved flatiron mount. Both had stock dashboards with non-working gauges. Both ran remnants of front bumpers one bent to a gentle vee the other a radius around the tall tractor type grill and bolted to the front of the frame horns. Bumpers being a place to hang lead or concrete weights onto the front but out of the way of the starter cranks. The tractor radiator also ran an auxiliary three speed no reverse transmission behind the stock Model T transmission.

The Model A was much more crudely converted from car to tractor, it ran a stock coupe/sedan cowl, stock seat springs and metal seat structure only. This one ran head lights and single Model A tail lamp, probably for going to and from fields in morning and evening hours. The front wheels were stock Model A with a three rib implement type tire, rear tires were stock street type tires which appeared to have had a heavy lug to them floorboard was crude wood 4 - 6 inch wide X 1/2" thick (unknown) wood boards held in place by flathead screws with square nuts on backside. Radiator she'll was extremely well worn chrome, hood top only from a different car either black or blur at one time, cowel looked like it may have originally gray then brush painted faded red then gray again. Dashboard held all of the stock Gage's which all worked still, even the speedo, though not at the correct speed, all glass including the wracked and delaminating windshield were pitted and discolored. Any painted surface was severely faded with a light sheen of rust, but not severe rust.

All three had shortened frames with shorter closed drive shafts, rear cross members were moved forward and bolted back to the frame rails. Most of painted surfaces were painted either black or gray. All appeared to have been maintained through the years. I was told that all three were found in the High Desert Areas of Eastern Washington State where they were working up until the late fifties to very early sixties. Most likely used in the orchards during the later part of their lives. When they were brought to Western Washington they were parked out of the weather inside of sheds and started every once and a while. I know that all three were originally bought with the idea of using their running gear in other Model T & A project cars, then he just couldn't bear tearing them apart. The two Model T's are back in Eastern Washington bought by a collector of farm stuff. Makes me wish I had pictures of them, we just didn't "waste" film on stuff like that back then.

These would make an incredible weathering and conversion project, there are tons of pictures of these little tractors in books and I'm sure here on thee 'net. Lots of greasy open mechanicals, tons of dust, shiny worn metal from tons of use. Right up the Good Doctor's Alley!!

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I've always loved Doodlebugs since they just ooze with the story of American ingenuity. Farmers needed a tool so they set out to make one from old cars and left over parts. A really cool depiction is in the movie "Cider House Rules". There is a shortie orchard truck that is featured prominently in the movie.

Skip, there have been models done over the years by various folks. I have one I started off the old AMT '32 Vicky / Phaeton kit. I really need to finish that one!

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