Clone the Past
Scan the Past
Used to Be...
Book Project
Clone the Past

The Hot 150 list and Clone the Past
Two Important Museum Programs
by Mark S. Gustavson

Since the inception of the Museum, one of our chief goals has been to identify and either locate or replicate the models that have most influenced the development of our hobby.   As this Museum project progresses, we'll have the ability to portray the development of model car craftsmanship in the hobby by presenting either the original models -- or clones of models -- that appear on our Hot 150 list.   Additionally, we'll also prepare a large display chart that will contain images of the notable models that appear on the Hot 150 list. 

Of course, the first task is to identify the most important models in the history of our hobby. The definition of an historicallysignificant model is crucial to this Museum program: the model has to have appeared in a major publication (or its "influence" may be very limited by definition), it must have pioneered a new technique/style of building, and it must have exhibited very high standards of craftsmanship (adjusted for the time the model was constructed).  

At this point, we have named the models, through 1968 (balloting is going on for later years), that have significantly influenced the development and progress of model car building. This effort is on going as further research continues: in fact, the list for the Second Age has recently been amended to correct an earlier oversight: now, Donald Katz' "Off Beat Beauty" (featured in Car Model, February 1964, pages 22, 27 and the cover; The "Way Out GT Custom", featured in Car Model, March 1964, pgs. 28-32, by R.A. Smith and Mike Baltes (both of Auto World);  and the various passenger car custom pickups by Budd "The Kat" Anderson (check out Car Model, February 1965) have all been nominated and appear on the Hot 150 list.

The amended list for the First and Second Ages of our hobby is available on this site by checking in at our Clone the Past Chart and, while there, you can click on the name of each of the named models to view scanned images of those models. The Museum expresses its profound appreciation to Charles Fox (Santa Monica, California) and Steve Larsen (Cedar Rapids, IA) who scanned dozens of images from vintage magazines so that visitors to the Museum site can see which models appear on our Hot 150 list. Steve and Charles generously responded to a note posted on the Hobby Heaven discussion board for hobbyists to help scan vintage magazines; when we had enough enthusiasts working on that Museum program for the time being, these guys readily agreed to scan images of famous models.

The second part of this Museum program is to acquire or replicate models that appear on the Hot 150 list. So far, a group of dedicated builders have agreed to replicate several of the models that are named in Ages One and Two. These models have been picked up by Members of our Museum to clone:  The "Nervous Nomad" by Paul Sable has been completed by Tim Pentecost.  Bill Taylor (God rest his soul) finished his replica of the famous Car Model magazine "Dixie Bee" more than a year ago. Al Gaby's  "Golden Rod" that appeared in Car Model magazine. Mark S. Gustavson has started work on Lonn Stern's "Astrorod"  and is working with Pat Bibeau who has undertaken to replicate Don Emmons' 1/8 scale channeled '32 Ford Roadster that appeared in Rod & Custom Models.  Rick Hanmore is working on his replica of Bill Neumann's '60 Ford Starliner, and John Mahaffey has selected Donna Schuld's '60 Ford to replicate. Already, Paul Sable's custom Mercury has been cloned by Rick Wright. Marc Havican is working to duplicate a Jim Yonts dragster, and Bob Paeth is working hard to finish cloning Jack Herndon's radical custom '29 Ford roadster in time for GSLXX.  Again, view the nominated models for Ages One and Two on our Hot 150 list   Of course, other models from Age Two can be seen by going to the Hot 150 chart and then clicking on the name of each nominated model.  Since March of 2004, three more great builders and Museum members have stepped forward: Jeff Worsham has just signed up to clone Tom Davison's metalflake chartreuse custom Corvette. Terry Rollins decided to build Harry Auffinger's remarkably restrained full custom 57 Chevy, and Carl Moore has stepped forward to build two of Budd "The Kat from AMT" Anderson's legendary passenger car pickups – Budd's '61 Ranchero and '58 Chevy.  Roy Urvald, who previously cloned a Jim Keeler model (model #9, from the First Age), signed up in late October 2004, to clone Al Gaby's Golden Rod – one of the most famous of the early Car Model magazines. After that, Mitch Capps signed up to replicate an incredible model from Bob Sifferd – Telstar The Museum has been in contact with Bob Sifferd who reports that the original Telstar (and Golden Nugget) still exist but that he is reluctant to loan it to the Museum at this time. Because the Telstar was so influential, it's great that noted builder Capps will be doing this work. Sifferd has promised to help Capps construct the replica! To enjoy photos of the Telstar and Golden Nugget, go here. Our thanks to all these great builders!

With the cloning effort underway, it's time to move on to identify the most influential model in the Third Age covering 1969 through 1978. We approached Tim Boyd and Chuck Helppie who contributed their nominations for that era; after that, Mark S. Gustavson added his nominations, and Dennis Doty chipped in his ideas. That list is now (November 2004) is being reviewed by Museum research assistants Rex Barden and Randy Van Draiss) after which that list will be examined again and then submitted here to your review. There are a wide array of terrific, hobby changing models in this era that meet our threshold requirements of having been published in a way that could have affected other modelers, thereby influencing the development of modeling technology and finishing techniques. Check back here for the chart for the Third Age of our hobby which should be uploaded here for your review early in 2005.

We still need more help from you.  How about these projects?

  • Harry Auffinger's T-Bird (Car Model, 5-65);
  • Bob Sifferd's Telstar and Gold Nugget (Car Model, 7-64)

Harry's model was a tour-de-force of operating features and tasteful styling.  Though it did not benefit from a how-to article, it was a winner in the Revell-Pactra II national contest, and presented graceful styling, exquisite detailing, and a first-rate paint job.

Bob Sifferd's work was daring, well-styled and beautifully executed. Recently, Mitch Capps has jumped on board and will be replicating the Telstar – with Sifferd's help! Imagine that collaboration! Thanks Mitch and Bob!

Please think about cloning one of these models, or anyone one on the Clone the Past list.  Replicating a model is a real challenge and you can help the Museum present to visitors a visual history of our hobby. If you want to accept a project, write to the Museum for a Clone the Past package.  You'll be supplied with photocopies of all available research for the model you select.  Each person cloning a model may call upon the help of Museum member Gordon Clark (email the museum phone contact information) who has offered to search his magnificent personal parts collection to assist anyone cloning a model for the Museum.  Just specifically describe the parts and he'll try to fill your 'order.'  Gordon's service is open ONLY to those who are restoring a Museum model or building one of the Clone the Past projects (specify your project). Come on, sign up, eh?

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