Race car model mystery

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From reader Edrie J. Marquez:

Enclosed are pictures of a Model Racing Car that I recently purchased in an antique shop here in Pennsylvania that I am trying to identify. The car belonged to the owner of the shop who passed away years ago. The information I obtained from the owner’s spouse, whom I purchased the model car from and I spoke to, said that the model car belonged to her husband’s collection and that it was made in the 1950s in the Philippines by a skilled wood worker.

The car appears to be right-hand drive and has a distinct small door on the left side of the driver suggesting British, Australian, New Zealand or South African origin. I went on the internet to try to identify the model car and I think that it is patterned after a 1930s actual racing car, as the details that have been carved into the model car are too specific to not have been made from an actual racing car or photos of an actual racing car, such as the front and rear leaf springs and other side details, especially the louvers front and rear.

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The model car is carved out of wood and is hollow with a glued on bottom portion. The driver figurine is actually carved out of the same top portion of the model car and does not appear to have been carved separately and glued into the cockpit. As shown by the pictures, the detail of the model car is very good such as the driver figurine. The side exhaust contains eight ports suggesting a straight-eight engine.

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All the actual 1930s racing car pictures I have found on the internet show a lot of similarities to this model car with the exception of the positioning of the front wheels. This model car has the front wheels mounted aft of the radiator where as the actual internet pictures show all actual racing cars with the front wheels mounted forward of the radiator. The wheels of this model car are steel spoke with solid rubber tires. The axles are ordinary 5/16 inch size steel rod and the ends are threaded to ¼ -20 National Course Threads with common acorn nuts on them. Ordinary steel sleeves and washers are also used as shown.

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The model car is approximately 19 inches long, 6 inches wide at its’ widest point at the rear and 7 ½ inches high without the wheels installed. With the wheels installed the model car is approximately 9 inches high.

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I would sure like to know if you, your staff or any of the Old Cars Weekly Enthusiasts can identify what actual racing car, if any, that this model car was patterned after? There are no markings or signatures on the model car to indicate its’ origin or who the wood worker was who created it.

Thank you,

Edrie J. Marquez, Bethlehem Township, PA

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Any ideas on this model mystery? Post your comments below!

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