By Maz Woolley
Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer
Esval have been subject to a lot of comment on bulletin boards. They made a small number of highly regarded models and announced many more of great interest but then production stopped flowing, and they seemed unable to say when the announced models would appear, to the frustration of collectors waiting for them. However they seem to be back and have launched some of the models previously announced at Nuremberg. Ten new models are said to be available now and this post includes some small pictures provided by Esval. Some comment has been made about the fact that models are not made to allow them to be displayed with either top up or top down, instead each has to be purchased separately.
One area that Esval needs to take action quickly is their web site. The section on new releases does not show most of these models which are all shown low down on the Home Page. Hardly the best way to show them off.
All these models are resin cast in China for Esval.
The Victress was a low volume sports car made in the USA and was an early used of a fiberglass body shell. It was made by the Hellings Company of North Hollywood, California. It was used as the lead car in the Tony Curtis/Piper Laurie movie “Johnny Dark,” which debuted in June 1954. After that it was called the “Johnny Dark Victress S-1.” About 30 Victress S-1’s were made, and 200 S-1As. . The Victress S-1A body was basically the same as the body of Victress S-1, with minor changes. The Victress was fitted on a variety of chassis so each car was unique.
Esval Models make both Victress S-1 and S-1A designs:
EMUS43025A 1953 Victress S-1 sport roadster
EMUS43025B 1954 Victress S-1A sport roadster
1953 Studebaker Manta Ray
The 1953 Studebaker Manta Ray was a fiberglass bodied customised sports concept built by Glen Hire and Vernon Antoine of Whittier, California. The concept car was created on a chassis of 1951 Studebaker Commander. The creators used the flowing lines of a jet fighter in the styling and used many jet-age styling elements. At a Car Show show in Los Angeles in 1954, Glenn and Vernon received a special trophy for the car as well as an award from a local newspaper for “Outstanding Creativeness and Engineering.” This car featured in a number of car magazines in 1953 and 1954. Only one car was ever built. The Esval model shows the car after restoration and is available as:
EMUS43027B 1953 Studebaker Manta Ray top down
EMUS43027C 1954 Studebaker Manta Ray top up
Pegaso Z-102 Spider
Esval have chosen to model the 1956 and 1959 Pegaso Z-102 Spiders styled by Serra. This distinctive car was made in post-war Spain. Pegaso were largely commercial vehicle and Bus and Coach makers but they made a limited number of sports cars based on racing car principles with alloy bodies Most cars sold on the Spanish market at the time were produced by SEAT based upon established FIAT designs but the production of some luxury vehicles was encouraged by the Fascist Government for national prestige.
Serra was a coachbuilding company founded by Pedro Serra in Barcelona that made bodies on the Pegaso Z-102 chassis. Just 86 Pegaso Z-102 cars were produced, and out of these, only 28 cabriolets were built.
Esval Models sell two versions of this car from 1956 and 1959:
EMEU43005A 1956 Pegaso Z-102 Spider Serra
EMEU43005C1959 Pegaso Z-102 Spider Serra
1928 Stutz Blackhawk
Stutz built cars in Indianapolis, Indiana from 1911 to 1935 and the company made its reputation at the Indianapolis 500, a major American race. The 1928 Black Hawk speedster harked back to the legendary Stutz Bearcat. The Stutz Black Hawk speedster won the Stevens Trophy Cup at Indianapolis 500 and the AAA Stock Car championships. It was America’s fastest production car of the time, and one with considerable style.
EMUS43005A 1928 Stutz Blackhawk roadster top up
EMUS43005B 1928 Stutz Blackhawk roadster top down
1948 Tucker Torpedo
This model is based upon the one-of-a-kind 1948 Tucker Torpedo. This two door convertible was a prototype based on the Tucker sedan created by Preston Tucker. Today Tucker is most remembered for his attempt to challenge the Big Three American auto makers by starting his own innovative car company. The Tucker 48 was conceived by Tucker and briefly produced in Chicago in 1948. The 1988 movie: “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” is based on the saga surrounding the car’s production.
It is said that Tucker himself gave the orders to start work on the two-door convertible project, but the car that was not finished before his empire crashed. The Tucker convertible started life as a Tucker 48 sedan. Only 51 Tucker cars were made before the company ceased operations on March 3, 1949.
The Esval Models versions are based upon a post-restoration version of this unique car with top-up and top-down:
EMUS43056A 1948 Tucker Torpedo convertible top down
EMUS43056B 1948 Tucker Torpedo convertible top up
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