VW and Jag Chops

By Tony Galvin                                                         June 2015

Volkswagen Articulated Camper Van

I came across the picture of the real version having ‘Googled’ Images of VW Campervans. My first thoughts were what engine is in it? The old flat four would never move it. Second thoughts ‘Is it in India and if not where’? Third thought was I’ve got to make one.

As is obvious 2 Camper vans were required so 2 Lledo vans were obtained. I then purchased a couple of OO gauge railway carriages on ebay, but after a lot of effort it did not look right. As a result the sides, roof and chassis are made from sheet aluminium, which took a lot of work cutting out the windows and then fitting windows from the railway carriages with the curtains. I feel it was well worth the effort and I am quite proud of it, as it is probably the only one on the planet

The name Murvin Enterprises is fictitious, being half my surname and half my wife’s maiden name. It appears on many of my models.

Jaguar XK140 ‘Breadvan’

When attending the Goodwood Festival about 5 years ago I saw the Ferrari ‘Breadvan’ as it is so called, I don’t believe that it ever delivered any bread! I thought that Jaguar should also have one so I set about the task.

I already had a 1:24 scale XK140 so I chopped it up along with a van, the model of which I cannot remember. This uses an aluminium chassis again and aluminium was also used to form the rear wheel spats. A set of wheels off another model of a US vehicle and it was complete.

It may be of interest to other ‘choppers’ that when painting, a box with a 100 watt bulb in can reach 70 degrees. I put the casting and the paint in there before spraying and then the model when done. This stops ‘blooming’ particularly in cold weather. The compressor that I use was part of an old fridge and it feeds my airbrush at around 35psi via a 3 gallon stainless steel tank.

1999 Historic Cover


An interesting print edition from 1999 with articles by several contributors who are still writing for us today.  100 years of Opel, a history of Studebaker models, and lots of news from the new ranges from countries behind the recently dismantled Iron Curtain.

Arnolt MG, the MGTD in Italian Dress

BY JOHN F. QUILTER                                                       Oct 2015

Back in 1952 to 1953 the importer of MGs for the USA Midwest who was based in Chicago, Stanley Arnolt, who ran S H Arnolt Inc. decided that the MGTD, which was one of his big sellers, needed a new updated body. Not seeing sucha product likely to come from the Nuffield organization in England he set about finding a coach building firm to create a new body for the car. He met with Giovani Bertone in Italy at the Turin auto show in 1952 and the foundation for a cooperative agreement was made.

This agreement resulted in the design of new body for the venerable MGTD designed by Nuccio Bertone and Giovanni Michelotti. The result was a full enveloped body for the chassis and mechanicals of the TD. The only exterior styling features of the new car borrowed from the TD were the grill design, instruments, and tail lamps and as such it is hard to believe the new product was an MGTD under the skin. The fascia, although using all MGTD instruments was completely reoriented with the speedometer and tachometer on the driver’s side (all Arnolt MGs were left hand drive) and the TD’s central gauge panel turned upside down between the two main dials.

Both coupe and convertibles were made and initial production goals were 200 cars but the final figures were reported to be 67 coupes and 36 convertibles making this a very rare MG indeed. Some of the very last were produced with the TF 1500cc engine. Arnolt would have liked to produce more but MG was selling every TD, and later TF, they could build and were not willing to spare chassis and components for the custom body endeavor even though the Arnolt version was close to a third more costly than the standard MGs. The weight of the coupe was reported as 2,094 pounds a bit more than the MGTDs figure of 2,005. Arnolt also dabbled with custom work for Aston, Bentley and Bristol over this period.

There is an amazing proliferation of models to 1:43 scale, everything from an Amphicar to a Daimler Majestic Major to an amazing selection of American cars from the 1930s to the 1980s now produced. So it is not surprising that NEO, a Chinese based resin model maker, has taken on the Arnolt MG in coupe form. This is sold in three colours: red, racing green, and cream. Always striving to replicate every conceivable MG in miniature for my collection, I added a red coupe to my miniature MG museum and then got to thinking that I could tackle modifying another one into a convertible.

That desire resulted in my obtaining an additional model, in green, and “chopping” off the top. It took some judicious cutting work with a jeweller’s saw and some additional modifications. At least these resin models saw easily in comparison to die cast models. The top had to be reshaped to represent top bows and the quarter windows of the coupe had to be filled in as the convertible has blind quarters eliminating the need on the real car of roll down quarter windows.

I wanted the car to be able to be display top up or top down so a top boot was created with a small piece of very flexible sheet lead and painted tan to match the top.

As always Google images provide a great selection of photos of nicely restored real cars to use as a guide in design features.

Detailed Duesenbergs

BY MAZ WOOLLEY                                                               Sep 2015

Duesenberg’s time as a car maker was short with the last vehicles being made in 1937. From the introduction of the model J, which was the fastest and most expensive car from a US carmaker, in the late 1920s they made the chassis for some of the most memorable American vehicles. The use of Duesenbergs as “mob” cars in the rush of postwar Gangster films help cement the image of the Duesenberg into American history. Some models were bodied by the in-house body builder LaGrande but many were bodied by a wide range of US and even European bodybuilders.

Duesenbergs were popular in various ranges which emerged in the 60s and 70s specialising in Vintage cars. Here in the UK Matchbox made a nice model of a 1930 model J in the later stages of their Yesteryear series. Rio have had a 1934 SJ Torpedo Phaeton in their range for many years and Solido have made two models a 1931 model J 6 light Saloon and a 1935 Model J Tourer. More detailed models were made in White Metal by Western and others. Tin Wizard currently offer a 1935 Duesenberg SJ Mormon Meteor Speedster.

Over the last year or so a new generation of detailed resin model Duesenbergs in a variety of scales of Duesenbergs has been launched or announced. Lovers of Duesenbergs who can afford them can build a fine collection. This article looks at some of the models available or expected in 1:43 scale.



1937 Duesenberg SJ Town Car Chassis 2405 by Rollson.

This model is available fully closed, half open, or open. It was made for Mr Rudolf Bauer who was an avant-garde painter. This car, known as the Bauer SJ, was the last Duesenberg ever made and the longest at 20 feet and 6 inches.


Great Lighting Models (GLM)

Duesenberg SJ Rollston Arlington Torpedo Sedan 1933

Designed by Gordon Buehrig for Rollston this car was shown at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. It gained the nickname “Twenty Grand” since it was priced at 20,000 US Dollars which was an enormous price at the time.




Ilario Duesenberg Model J Murphy Coupe Whittell 1931

This LWB Convertible Coupe was Captain Whittell’s final commission for the Walter M. Murphy Company. It was purchased as a chassis from Duesenberg in 1929 and completed in 1931. It is a one-off coupe that is fitted with features already seen on Whittell’s earlier purchases. The designer of this car was Franklin Q. Hershey and the car features a low, raked windscreen, elegant flowing wings, a fixed roof, wind-up windows and very large boot where the rumble seat would usually be fitted. It was finished in black and chrome with a brushed aluminum top, and a red chassis. There is polished moulding that runs the length of the car ending at the radiator where there is a harpoon shaped ending, this is the only Model J with this feature.



Duesenberg SJ LaGrande dual cowl Phaeton 1933

This supercharged version of the Duesenberg was produced in small numbers. The LaGrande body was produced in house. Said to be able to reach 140 miles per hour despite a weight of about three tons there were few other vehicles on the US roads capable of such speeds. One feature of this car is the distinctive exhaust pipes which were also adopted on Cord and Auburn vehicles.

Duesenberg Model J Riviera Pheaton by Brunn black and red 1934

Only three Model J’s were fitted with a Riviera Phaeton body by Brunn. It was the first four-door convertible to have a fold down top that could be completely concealed when folded. When the top was lowered, the rear body section could be tilted back to allow the top to fold and be stowed away.



Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Convertible Coupe 1929

This model represents one of the earliest Model Js. Minichamps have also modelled this in 1:18 scale. But it also expected in their premium 1:43 resin range.



Duesenberg Model J Tourster Derham 1930

The Tourster is said to be Gordon Buehrig’s favorite Duesenberg. This is a five-passenger touring car on the long wheelbase Model J chassis. The length of the chassis exaggerated the car’s lowered proportions. The lowering was achieved by moving the rear seat ahead of the rear axle and fitting the foot wells within the frame which increased room for passengers while also allowing the top and sides of the body to be lower than on a standard phaeton.

The Tourster’s had a rear windshield that slid up and down out of the back of the front seat with the turn of a crank handle, providing a windbreak for the rear passengers. Toursters were built exclusively by the Derham Body Company in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. Eight Toursters were built.

Tin Wizard

Duesenberg SJ Mormon Meteor Speedster 1935

The Speedster was a one-off car built to take speed records. Ab Jenkins used it to set a one hour record of 153.97 mph and a twenty-four hour record of 135.57 mph at a circuit on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The 24-hour record would be held until 1961.

In search of further records the Duesenberg chassis was fitted with a Curtiss aero-engine and it appears that it was called the Mormon Meteor after this engine was fitted. It then went on to set more records. The V12 aircraft engine in a stock chassis apparently suffered from understeer at high speeds.


True Scale Models (TSM)

Duesenberg SJ Gurney Nutting Speedster 1935

This vehicle was designed by A. F. McNeil for J. Gurney Nutting & Company Ltd who were based off the King’s Road in Chelsea when this vehicle was built. Duesenbergs were an unusual chassis for the firm who were more familiar with building bodies for Rolls Royces, Bentleys and even Hispano Suizas. In 1931 the company had been awarded a Royal Warrant to the Prince of Wales.



Automodello has recently announced a 1929 to 1932 Duesenberg J Murphy-Bodied Torpedo Convertible Coupe. Prototypes show that this promises to be a fine model.

Tale of Two Tuckers

By Harvey Goranson                           March 2015



Brooklin has produced a new and completely revised casting of its venerable 1948 Tucker Torpedo. Three versions have been produced, all numbered 222x, and all only available from the Antique Automobile Club of America’s museum gift shop in Hershey, Pennsylvannia. This is because this museum is now home to David Cammack’s collection of Tucker memorabilia, including three restored Tucker Torpedoes. These include Chassis 1001, in metallic maroon, Chassis 1022 (metallic gray), and Chassis 1026 (metallic bronze). Brooklin has replicated all three (600 of maroon, 500 of the other two).

I bought the original No. 2 Tucker from John Hall when it was first issued. After the casting was revised, and versions were issued to coincide with the Tucker movie, I acquired a metallic red 2x. It was a great improvement over the original. Now we have #222x which has raised the bar further. Many have said this is one of the best Brooklins yet, and it does show how far they have progressed. Take a look:


New 222x metallic maroon version on left. Clearly evident are a lot more separate chrome parts.


Gone is the front plate, allowing the bumper and grille area to be accurately portrayed. The grille has been blackwashed, and front indicator lights, hood ornament, windshield divider, and wipers are separate pieces.


Taillight castings have been improved and the emblem below the rear window is a separate piece. The rear grille has perforations now, and John Roberts informs us that 3D printing was used to create it.


That this is a completely new casting is evident here. Note how much narrower the casting is in the vicinity of the rear window. Overall the new version has a more accurate appearance.


More separate parts – door handles, antenna, vent window frames, and blackwashed rear fender grilles. The rear side window has been opened up a bit. Note also hubcaps reside on painted wheels rather that the one-piece chromed units on 2x.

All three cars have interior colours appropriate to the chassis modelled, and white steering wheels with horn rings. Minor body detail differences have not been missed either – remember the 51 cars built were essentially all prototypes – so there are different door handles and fuel filler locations. Each baseplate states this is an AACA special edition and the appropriate chassis number is cast in. I look forward to seeing what colour Brooklin uses on the “standard” No. 222 when it appears!

M2 Autohauler Shelby Ford

By Maz Woolley

M2 Shelby Ford Autohauler
M2 Shelby Ford Autohauler

M2 have produced a number of these Autohaulers with various cabs, the Dodge COE for example. The latest cab is the classic Ford tractor unit from the 1960s which is well captured on this model. The models is made in a mixture of diecast and plastic components in 1:64 scale in China for the US. The cab is shown here on a hauler in Shelby livery and it can also be found in white  in Shelby livery with a hot Mustang in red.

The Mustang on this blue outfit looks very like the classic models that Hertz rented out.

M2 products are relatively inexpensive so the rather plastic appearance of the grille and trailer unit can be accepted. They even supply a set of plastic ramps to help get your models on board.

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Replicarz Indy Cars

By Harvey Goranson                                        March 2015

US dealer Replicarz has gone into business with their own brand of 1:43 and 1:18 scale racing cars. The first to appear in the smaller scale are three versions of the Deidt/Offenhauser Blue Crown Spark Plug Special that won the Indy 500 in three consecutive years from 1947 to 1949.


The models are resin, mounted on plinths with engraved plates and display case, and packed in lift-cover boxes similar to those used for Brooklin’s Buick collection. Each is limited to only 333 examples, and a very small number of other dealers have been allowed to sell them. A word of caution, given to me as I bought these recently: unlike Spark, Matrix, Neo, etc. the display covers are NOT affixed with those little oval pieces of tape, so take appropriate care when removing them from the box.


1947: Lou Moore entered Diedt-Offenhauser cars for veteran driver Mauri Rose and rookie Bill Holland. Sponsored by Blue Crown, the cars smoked the competition and were 1-2 late in the race. Holland, thinking he was a lap ahead, waved Rose by at some point, only to finish second.


Here it is with the Milestone / 43rd Avenue 1947 Nash Indy Pace Car. Nash was chosen to pace for 1947 but simply had no open car in their lineup. So this Nash was the first closed car to ever pace at Indy, and was driven by George Mason.


1948: Another victory for Mauri Rose, in the identical (or similar?) car.


Motor City made the pace car, a 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Six.


1949: Bill Holland finally got his win, and the Blue Crown Spark Plug Special got a snazzy new blue paint job.


Once again I happen to have the pace car, a 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 by Motor City. The pace car was driven for the second year in a row by Wilbur Shaw, who, up until then, was the only threepeat Indy winner. Shaw was also responsible for getting Tony Hulman interested in saving the Speedway from becoming a housing development just after the Second World War.

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A Historic Cover from the Year 2000


With MAR Online, there is no such thing as a magazine cover. Instead we feature a historic cover in this post.

We are showing the cover of MAR 139 from February 2000. An issue where the Editor Rod Ward said of MAR “Our future looks very bright, with a vigorous collecting sector, with lots of material on hand from our enthusiastic band of contributors…” An accurate prediction since MAR reached its 283 edition as we transitioned to online only in 2015. It is interesting to note that that some of those who had articles in MAR 139 have contributions nearly 15 years later in MAR 283.

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Small Scale Review: Greenlight and John Day

First Published: May 2014


Anchorman Channel 4 News Team Van, 1:64 scale

Greenlight have re-released the Anchorman Channel 4 News Team van to coincide with the sequel just released. The new tooling includes a satellite dish, new wheels and stairs.

Airstream Travel Trailer, 1:43 and 1:64 scale

Greenlight has a new licensing agreement with Airstream, maker of the ‘silver bullet’ travel trailer, and will now produce a range of of vintage and modern American trailers in 1:64 and 1:43 scale.


John Day Vehicle Scenics

1:76 scale white metal kits made in UK

Casting Photographs by Daryle Toney.

Two new sets of castings have been produced recently for Daryle Toney who now owns the John Day Vehicle Scenics range.These kits are mainly aimed at railway modellers and are made in a simple set of parts: body; base plate with cast-in seats; separate wheels, a new feature under Daryle Toney; a steering wheel in most cases; and vacform.

Set One

This includes a re-issue of an old model and two adaptations of previous models to create entirely new models.

SRV 70 Riley RMA

The original casting was a popular one capturing the Riley very well. The new casting is rather cleaner and has the new-style wheels which are separate parts which have a small lug on the bag which fit into pre-cast holes in the baseplate.

SRV 110 Hillman Minx series I-III

This model has been adapted from the existing Sunbeam Rapier casting. A neat conversion, it even includes a dashboard with the characteristic central instrument cluster. Whilst called a series I to III no vehicle could cover all these generations since they had different grilles and the series III had rollover wings at the rear. Looking at the series Minx the model is closest to the series II Minx of 1957.   

SRV 111 Morris 1/2 ton Van

This is a new casting adapted from the Austin A55 Van that has been in the range for some time. The new casting is much cleaner than the old Austin casting, and the Morris grille has been very neatly done.

Set Two

These are all upgraded from previously released models and significant work has been undertaken to clean up the masters and to incorporate the new separate wheels featuring on all the new releases.

SRV 03 Riley 2.5 Litre DHC

This is a re-work of another Riley. These models have always been popular with buyers and the improved kit is the only way to get this vehicle in 1:76 scale.

SRV 65 Austin A70 Hereford

Another re-work. Again a popular seller and the only way to get a model of this vehicle in 1:76 scale.

SRV 79 Austin 16HP Saloon

A relative newcomer to the range re-worked. A nice model of a car which should be popular on railway layouts. Perhaps the Austin 8 in the range will be re-mastered in the future too.

Photographs of the new castings may be seen in the gallery below.

John Day Vehicle Scenics SRV70 Riley RMA 1:76

The gallery below shows the Editor’s photographs of two of the John Day Models shown as castings above. These models were made up by the Editor. The models shown are the Hillman Minx Convertible and the Morris Van. In both cases the castings were much cleaner than those supplied in the original range. Small criticisms can be made, the Hillman Minx steering wheel is generic and it would have been nicer if it had had the two spokes that the Minx featured rather than three, for example. Once again this range has made kits available of vehicles which we may not ever see modelled by anyone else.

As usual the models make up quite easily even for someone with little time and only average skills.


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John Day Daimler Conquest

by Maz Woolley                                               July 2014

Regular MAR readers will be familiar with the John Day Vehicle Scenics range of 1:76 scale white metal kits now produced by Daryle Toney. These kits are primarily aimed at railway modellers, and are of a simple construction, consisting of a bodyshell, a baseplate with seats cast in, a vac-form for windows, wheels to fit into holes in the chassis, and a steering wheel in some cases. The range covers a broad timescale from the 1920s to 1970s.  This article looks at one of the re-mastered models.

SRV14 Daimler Conquest

This model was always one of my favourites in the John Day Daimler Conquest 1:76old range. It would have made a lovely contemporary Matchbox model, but they never made a Daimler car, only an ambulance and some military vehicles. The new casting is a lot cleaner, and has not only been modified for the separate wheels now featured (they were formerly cast into the chassis), but it also has the lights re-aligned, as they were not all level on the original master.

The Daimler Conquest was derived from the smaller-engined Lanchester saloon and was fitted with a six-cylinder 2.4 litre engine. It was a smooth-running car with the Daimler pre-selector gearbox, and whilst it was not slow, it was no match for the less expensive Jaguars. Although nicely styled and well trimmed, it offered little more than Rover cars of the period included at a lower price. The ‘Conquest’ had the appropriate launch price of £1066, a considerable sum in 1953.

The model was easy to build and assemble. The gallery below shows two models made by the Editor recently, click on any photograph to enlarge it.