Australian rally cars of the 1950s

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Ozmac
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Australian rally cars of the 1950s

Postby Ozmac » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:35 pm

Having now done two dioramas based on the Around Australia rallies of the 50s, I thought it might be appropriate to put those six different cars into the one posting. Two of the cars are "handbuilts" — ie plastic kits assembled by me. The other four cars are "modified" — ie, diecast models with a fair few mods made to them by me. So I figured this part of the forum was the right home for them all.

For starters, the kits I built
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On the left, the Peugeot 403 which won the 1956 Ampol Rally, and on the right the Peugeot 203 which won the 1953 Redex Rally. Both are made from 1/43 scale kits made by Heller. The advantage of the plastic kits is that they allowed me to easily convert both cars over to right-hand drive. They're not very nice kits, the fit is poor, but they are old products now. I'm amazed Heller still makes them.

And just for fun, some action shots of the 53 and 56 Peugeots at the river crossing

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Compared to the diorama of the 1956 Ampol Rally, in which the cars were extremely muddy, I have gone back to the all the models from that dio and removed some mud. You can hardly notice it in the photos, but in natural light it looks a lot better.

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Another view of the winning 403 in action. The bullbar at the front is made from several pieces of plastic model sprue.

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The 1953 Redex winner was remarkable for its ultra-basic signage (although the 56 car isn't much fancier).

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The highway bypass that skirts around Maitland, NSW, is called "Ken Tubman Drive" in honour of their most famous motoring son, who was also the local chemist.

Next are the four cars which are based on real 1/43 diecast models, with mods by me, based on historic photos and newsreel footage.

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On the left, the Holden FX and on the right the Cinesound Film Unit's Peugeot 203 wagon, both from the 1953 Redex Trial.

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Easily my favourite car out of the six, the Cinesound Peugeot 203 Wagon did the whole 6500 miles of the Redex, and in subsequent years the Cinesound team stuck with 203 wagons to do the same job again and again.

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When I was little (around 10) my Dad used to take me to the Cinesound film studios, where he freelanced as a scriptwriter. I used to sit in their special little 10-seater cinema while the projectionist played whatever footage dad was writing the script for, and Dad just thought up stuff to say (or that's how I imagined it worked when I was 10). So my Cinesound connection is pretty strong. The modded car here is based on a 1/43 Solido model.

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I love the Possum Kipling story. He was the first across the line at the end of the Redex, so all the news teams interviewed him, thinking he was the winner. Laconic old Possum knew he wasn't the winner (he came in a very good 10th overall) but his interviews are a slice from a time gone by. There's a plaque celebrating his fame in his home town of Port Wakefield, South Australia. Possum's 10th in the Redex was his best result, but he was a glutton for punishment and entered almost all the around Australia rallies in the 50s. His modded car here is based on a 1/43 Trax model. The sun-visor proved a challenge for my limited scratch-building skills. I think this one is Version 3.

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On the left, Jack Witter's Volkswagen, and on the right the Davidsons' Morris Minor

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The Morris Minor is a Corgi diecast model of a 1960s Morris 1000, so I added a split screen plus homemade decals, and it looks quite like the Davidsons' car, which was a late Series 2 Minor.

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The Davidsons were a father and daughter team. Being the youngest female in the rally, she attracted heaps of press publicity, while Dad was sponsored by his car rental company. They didn't finish the 56 Ampol. I think it was mechanical trouble in Cairns, Qld.

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The model for the VW is also "wrong" in that it has the split rear windscreen of the early 50s VWs, but it is as close I could get to the right one. The entrant was Jack Witter, who also DNF'd in 1956, but he was in second place at the halfway stage, and proved that promise by winning the 1957 Ampol Trial. The diecast model modded here is made by Lledo.
Last edited by Ozmac on Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Batman
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Re: Australian rally cars of the 1950s

Postby Batman » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:30 pm

Amazing dioramas!!! Excellent skills shown!!! :D

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DeadCanDanceR
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Re: Australian rally cars of the 1950s

Postby DeadCanDanceR » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:02 am

Great job, mate! ;)
-Julio-

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Jager
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Re: Australian rally cars of the 1950s

Postby Jager » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:14 am

Great to see these again Jamie. Of course it leads to the inevitable question, "What's next ?"
“Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.” - Steve McQueen

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Tom
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Re: Australian rally cars of the 1950s

Postby Tom » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:46 pm

Fantastic jobs!

Johnny_Bravo
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Re: Australian rally cars of the 1950s

Postby Johnny_Bravo » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:48 pm

without words....excellent job!


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