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Ace-Garageguy

Alternate-Reality 1935 Allison-powered LSR car

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A what-if kinda project. It's widely known that the German government underwrote the many achievements of the German automobile industry shortly before WWII. This build is a what-if the US Army Air Corps had had a similar interest in backing an American LSR vehicle, powered by a then-state-of-the-art fighter engine.

Malcolm Campbell ran 272 mph on the sands of Daytona Beach in 1933 in the 5-ton, Rolls-Royce R-powered Blue Bird, so we're talking pretty fast machinery, even by today's standards.

The Allison 1710 cu.in. V-12 engine project was launched in 1929, and by 1937 the engine was fully developed and flying. Though it was overshadowed by the Rolls-Royce Merlins (first run in 1933), in the 1930s (at 1000+hp) it still would have been quite a powerplant for just about anything. The USAAC got its first one in 1932, still experimental, and this fantasy build could have been something lashed together as a 'test vehicle'.

The inspiration came in the course of doing the Challenger build, and I started thinking of things to combine to do a '30s what-if.

An old toy race-car in about 1/24, and a gluebomb Batman something provided the outer bits.

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After some whacking and hacking, it was starting to look like something.

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The rough component layout, with an AMT Allison providing the power, and a Johan Mercedes 500k supplying chassis and suspension.

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The hood will have to get large blisters to accommodate the cylinders and heads, much like this Supermarine S6B. (a Bernhard Schrock model)

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The Allison is liquid-cooled, and the radiator for this will be in the rear, exhausting hot air out the large opening in the tail of the bodywork. Well known in aviation circles is the fact that the P-51 Mustang used a very low-drag arrangement to duct air through it's belly-mounted radiator (the P-51 was originally Allison-powered, but later upgraded with Merlins). The heat added to the airstream through the radiator increased its energy, and some sources quote as much as a 30mph increase in speed added as thrust from the cooling duct. That's an idea that will also be incorporated into this purely fantasy build.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Wow! That is super kitbashing and scratchbuilding all in one. It looks awesome. Please keep us posted with further developments. Thanks for the inspiration. You do excellent work!

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Brilliant! Mind you, that Merc diff. is going to be struggling with all that power...

Rather off-topic, my Dad broke his back in a P-51 (powered by a Packard-built Merlin)during the war - he was coming in for a hot landing and banged the flaps down at around 150 mph - but only one of them came down and the Mustang flipped on it's back into the ground. We have picture of the wreck, lots of little pieces in the desert! He did fly fighters again after a few months in a body cast.

Back to the build - I for one can't wait to see more progress.

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I love the concept and the blue toy car looks pretty awesome even before adding the fenders !

You gotta keep working on this one ! :D

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I like this idea. Those fenders look just right .... it would HAVE to have fenders!

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Oh, man. That is a cool concept. The "layout" looks fast standing still. I like the front fender arrangement. Are you keeping the fenders separate from the body?

Those bulges are cool too - like mighty, bulging biceps.

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Oh yeah! With those fenders, it looks so period correct. Fantastic vision you have there. I can't wait to see it reach fruition.

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You could also get some ideas from the Falcon, the streamliner built for the 1936 Jimmy Stewart movie Speed:

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IMCDb listing here. Great little movie with scenes filmed at Muroc - look it up.

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Even in mock-up stage the lines of the car look great, it reminds the Mercedes Benz W-196 streamlined race car...but a step beyond, REALLY like your concept and idea, will be following this build for sure.

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Thanks for all the interest and comments on this one, everybody. I was hoping to do something kinda quick that I wouldn't get bogged down with details on, but as usual...

... that Merc diff. is going to be struggling with all that power...

Rather off-topic, my Dad broke his back in a P-51 (powered by a Packard-built Merlin)during the war - he was coming in for a hot landing and banged the flaps down at around 150 mph - but only one of them came down and the Mustang flipped on it's back into the ground. We have picture of the wreck, lots of little pieces in the desert! He did fly fighters again after a few months in a body cast.

I think in those "would it really work" terms too. My rationale is that German metallurgy, and steel in particular (big ol' Merc gears and axles) was really good back then, the big ol 'Mercs had gobs of torque AND weighed as much as 6000lbs...so with a gentle throttle foot and steady acceleration instead of dumping the clutch, the rear-end ought to take it. A LOT of early Ford-based cars ran really fast on the lakes that way, with notoriously weak rear-ends. B)

Glad your dad recovered and was able to fly again after that. To stretch the old saying a bit, any landing you live through is a good one. <_<

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...the blue toy car looks pretty awesome even before adding the fenders !

I agree, and to avoid hacking it up, I'll be pulling molds of it to make dupes for the actual build.

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...but the driver figure... Ouch. :huh:

Yeah, a slightly split personality.

In reality, I've been kinda interested that in a lot of early race cars, driver comfort was the absolute last consideration. I wonder who figured out first that a comfortable driver could push a car a lot harder.

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You could also get some ideas from the Falcon, the streamliner built for the 1936 Jimmy Stewart movie Speed:

IMCDb listing here. Great little movie with scenes filmed at Muroc - look it up.

Man, that thing is wild...never saw it before, and I'll definitely be looking for a copy. Thanks.

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