By Jerry J. Broz
All Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.
Here we are looking at a few pictures of my very first model car, which was not a scale model, but an accurate depiction of the 1948 Maserati 4CLT. Built in 1955, when I was sixteen-year old, to approximately 1:10 scale, this model car is sixty-two years old. Back in 1955 when I started work on this model I had no documentation available for the actual car. and no access to any detailed drawings or photos; however, I was able to find some basic descriptions and a few low quality photographs taken at Grand Prix races.
The chassis and hood of the model were made from an aluminium sheet. The body was carved from balsa wood, sealed with a paste made from clear lacquer and baby powder, and then sanded and painted. The louvres in the body were hand carved and the louvres in the hood were hand formed. The brake disks and wheel centre hubs were turned from round aluminium rod on a small lathe. The wheels were made from short aluminium containers for water colour paints. The rims and center hubs were glued together and small holes were drilled around the perimeter of the rims and hubs for the spokes. Each wheel assembly was then hand-laced with smooth, thick thread in order to simulate the spoke pattern typical of wire wheels. Before the tires were attached to the wheels, whole wheel assemblies were spray painted with aluminium colour paint.
The toy rubber tires, the number “7’ stickers, and the screws are the only commercially purchased items used in this model car.
The metalwork, such as the dashboard, suspension arms, radiator grille frame, steering wheel centre, arm protector (with drilled perforation), windscreen frame, gas filler cap, tie and steering
rods, and hub caps, were either cut from aluminium sheets, made from aluminium wire, or turned from round aluminium rod and polished as needed. The exhaust was made from aluminium circular
tubing and painted flat black. All small parts were adapted from anything which could serve the purpose.
The cockpit; the cockpit detail is minimal, gauge bezels were turned from aluminium round rod and then the gauge faces were hand drawn in. The rear view mirrors were turned from hardwood dowel and then the silver mirrors were painted in. The two-part seat was hand-made from thin leather which was stretched over the seat shape made from balsa wood, stuffed with cotton balls and shaped into a seat. The circular steering wheel rim was hand-made and shaped from hardwood, painted black, and attached to the steering column by a metal three-spoke central part. The windscreen was made from clear plastic and glued into an aluminium windscreen frame.
A black/white photo of this 1948 Maserati 4CLT model was featured in December 1964 issue of the Auto World Newsletter. I expect that some of you might remember Auto World which was a model car mail-order business founded by Oscar Koveleski. Throughout my entire life I have been interested in model and full size racing cars. I have built and raced the slot cars, written articles for Car Model magazine, worked for Auto World, designed model cars and accessories for Auto World, Twin-K, Tonka, to name just a few. I have been involved with CAN-AM race cars and, of course, Formula One.
Since my retirement, I have remained active in Formula One, and am subscribing to F1 magazines, following F1 on TV and on computer and collecting the F1 memorabilia and various types of F1 model cars and kits. I have also took upon a new hobby, collecting and building customised and concept Volkswagen Old & New Beetles and Volkswagen Transporter T1 Trucks, Vans and Minibus models and kits.
A view of the front and left (exhaust) side of the completed car.
A front view of the completed model showing the radiator
frame with a wire simulated grille, and the front wheels
suspension arms as well as the oil lines.
A rear view of the completed model showing rear-view
mirrors, steering wheel, windscreen frame and clear
plastic windscreen,a part of the perforated arm protector,
and the dashboard with hand-drawn gauges.
A detail of the hood and body louvres and hand-laced
A rear view of the completed model showing gas filler cap, rear exhaust holder, and full arm protector.
Underside view of the Maserati 4CLT model. The piece
of a 1.5ccm model gas engine was left in as a part of the
rear axle after realising that I was to build a curbside model rather
than tethered, model gas engine powered car which
would have required a completely different design of wheels,
tires, and attachment of the front wheels to the body.
Editor: We hope to show some more of Jerry’s adapted and hand-made models in future posts to this site.
We welcome your comments and questions. Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.