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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