Category Archives: Essence of the Car

The Essence of the Car – 2018 plans

By David Roots

All photographs provided by the Author.

The next four models to be released in the Essence of the Car range will be the cars described below. All have distinctive shapes which will suit the simple approach of this range of models made to 1:43 scale.


Mercedes Benz W129 540K.

The body, designed by Paul Jaray originally built for the 540 K Streamliner was designed to allow it to drive at high speeds for long periods of time and as efficiently as possible, and to that end it also incorporated a number of weight-saving technologies.

It was meant to compete in the Berlin-Rome race that never happened — WWII intervened. Powered by a 5-litre inline-eight helped by a supercharger, the car produced an impressive 180 hp.


Quantum V Sports Car.

The Quantum V was the last model designed by Walter Kern of Quantum Motor Cars in the United States 1965 and only one was produced. The Quantum V was manufactured using a modified Ginetta fibreglass body and used Saab mechanical parts.


Volkswagen Type 60K10

Also known as the Type 64, it is considered by many to be the first car from what was to become the Porsche company, and a true design precursor to the post-war production model. The model number comes from the fact that it was built mainly from design drawings for the Type 64 “record car”. Most mechanical parts came from the 1938 prototype series.


Ginetta G4.

Because the Quantum V used a modified Ginetta G4 fibreglass body. The natural progression will be to add this car to the collection.

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The Essence of the Car

By David Roots

Editor: David recently posted an introduction to his range, The Essence of the Car, on our Facebook page. Interested in this different approach to capturing the visual character of cars we suggested that he introduce his series in more detail here on the website. The article and all photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author.

The Essence of the Car is a different concept in the presentation of scale model vehicles. Instead of the high level of detail usually found in the die cast ranges, these models present the vehicles in their basic form. All are made to the standard collector’s scale of 1:43 and each model carries a serial number and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

The idea started because I wanted a model of a special (full size) supercar that I was working on. Having gathered together models of comparable supercars, it became apparent that the scale of my model needed to conform to that of the models of comparative subjects. It quickly became apparent that to try to achieve die cast levels of detail within the limitations of domestic model making would be too time consuming. Therefore the idea of capturing just the raw shape of the car was born.

As the body started to take shape, the wheels were the next problem. Proprietary wheels would not fit with the simplistic approach of the body. So, the wheels and tyres had to follow the same approach. The wheels and tyres should be made as separate parts, the wheel centres being simplified to the swept shape of the wheel while the tyres were reduced to simple rings of an appropriate section.

The Essence Of The Car is basically a hobby. All of the master models are made in house by hand. When those are complete, the necessary moulds are made, again in house, and duplicate copies can be made. All of the models are then finished by hand. A typical mould is an open block into which the resin moulding compound is poured.

Whilst the process has its limitations, it is being continually developed to widen the scope of subjects that can be modelled. Examples developed earlier included thin sections such as tail fins, open pickup truck bodies and separate chassis and axle detail where these are an important part of ‘The Essence Of The Car’. More recent developments have been the inclusion of separate cycle type mudguards made as part of the tyre and the manufacture of full sweep mudguards and running boards which involves laying up fibreglass tissue into a mould. I have now developed a method of producing the basic interior of open top cars and have also developed the system of using wire armatures for slender elements of the cars.

From that modest beginning, I now have a range of 87 models, the latest being Volvo P1900, MG EX127, MG EX135 and Lotus Esprit Turbo. The number of new subjects per year depends on ideas for new ones, but currently, there are more subjects in the pipeline even though most models only get to 2 or 3 off, but I have fun doing them and it is mainly a hobby after all. My range caters for individual one off buyers, private collections and specialist collecting groups. In addition, because of the simplicity of the process, I am able to accept private commissions. I find subjects in various ways. Via the internet, in books and periodicals. When I discover a likely subject, I first try to match it with any of my current client base. I have been known to float the idea on the appropriate Facebook pages. Another way forward is to complete the master and photograph it mocked up with its wheels etc. And offer it that way. I also accept the occasional commission. Classic car clubs tend not to be interested. I do have a quite extensive range of experimental cars.

A recent model, MG EX135, came about because of an e-mail with a client who is interested in such cars. Research for this also found me one of the next models, also an MG.

The main challenge is trying to find suitable 3 View drawings. When this proves to be fruitless, I then have to work with a combination of a good side view photograph, a set of principal dimensions and more photographs taken from as many angles as I can find. The shapes of older cars are not usually a great challenge compared to more modern ones.

The big question is, how long does it take to create the master model. It can take relatively few hours spread over varying time periods. I have never made a record of how long it takes to make the master model. Once I have the mould, the copies can be cast in a few hours with the finishing taking a few hours spread over, sometimes, several days

A recent development has been my collaboration with the German publisher of a yearbook devoted to 1/43 scale vehicles. My models have featured in two editions, the first which was 2016/2017 and the latest 2017/2018. It is titled: Modellauto-Jahrbuch (ModelCar-Yearbook) published by TIM Verlag (   

Pictures of some models from the range are shown below.

Apollo Race Car


Dubonnet Dolphin


Farman Saloon


Lea Francis


Lester MG


MG EX127


MG EX135


Phantom Coupe


Rumpler Tropfenwagen


Saab Formula Junior


Voisin Aerosport v2


Volvo C303


Volvo P1900

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