Auto Cult final releases of 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs provided by, and copyright of, Auto Cult.

Auto Cult Set of the Year

Auto Cult have made their final release for 2017.  This is their set of the year which features a book and a 1:43 scale model of a Porsche-Auto Union type 52 Sportlimousine. The book is also available as a separate item. The set is made in limited numbers.

Two versions of the book are available, one written in English and the other German. It is 184 pages long and looks at the stories of the often rare and strange vehicles modelled by Auto Cult in 2017. It features pictures of both the models and the real vehicles.

This design for a super car was penned in the offices of  Ferdinand Porsche but the exact details have been lost in history.  Based on the Typ 22 – a racing car concept, commissioned by the company Wanderer but never built – they created a design for a super car that was allocated Typ 52 according to the in-house numbering sequence. Josef Kales was responsible for the engine and Erwin Komenda drew the body. Both created an ambitious design  with a sixteen-cylinder V-engine of 4.4 litres with forced induction from a Roots-type supercharger and an estimated output of over 200 hp.

The sketched blueprints showed a low car body with a central driving position with passenger seats on either side offset to the rear. The designers were apparently divided on whether to built in a rear bench seat or not, since the sketches of both layouts exist. The V-16 engine was a mid-engined arrangement as the gearbox needed to be accommodated ahead of the rear axle.

 

The rear end of the car body with its great number of air outlets harmoniously curved around the engine. The front of the car in the design sketches had a large upright radiator grille, which probably carried the airstream via inner ducts to the engine. Externally fitted mudguards that followed the general silhouette of the car completed the harmonious overall look.

Unfortunately the super car never progressed beyond the design stage. Why there was not even a prototype built remains unclear.

Dubonnet Dolphin

Also released this month is the Dubonnet Dolphin to 1:18 scale. This was developed in France in the early 1930s by André Dubonnet and called the Dolphin to go with its aerodynamic shape.

Dubonnet had been a pilot during the First World War and then a racing driver in Bugatti and Sunbeam cars and dreamt of creating a streamlined car for mass production With the Engineer Chedru, he  created a car body powered by a 3.6 litre Ford V8 engine. The tear drop shape was rounded and an unconventional solution had to be found for the doors. At the front only the right half next to the steering wheel could be opened and two further doors were fitted further back on both sides which also provided access to the front area.

The engine was positioned directly behind the back seat and at the  rear axle point Dubonnet was provided an upright tail unit influenced by aircraft to stabilise the car at high speed. So that the sophisticated aerodynamics would not be marred by external influences Dubonnet provided complete cladding for all four wheels.  In the case of the steerable front wheels the cladding was fixed directly onto the axle and followed the steering movement.

 

Compared to a conventional Ford car the performance was considerably better, with the prototype reaching a maximum speed of 173 km/h (108 mph), when the standard Ford was only reached 131 km/h (82 mph). But this performance failed to convince any company to put the car into mass-production so André Dubonnet moved on to other projects and the car was lost to history.

For collectors of larger scale models Auto Cult has announced their next 1:18 scale model which is to be a Skoda 935 which will be released in 2018.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.