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Posted By: Harvey Goranson
Posted On: Sunday October 6, 2019 at 7:26 PM
Esval 1933 Ford Roadster modified as the AAA Indianapolis 500 version

The above Ford appeared at the Indianapolis 500 in 1933. The description in the credited IMS photo is self-explanatory. The American Automobile Association was the sanctioning body for the Indy 500 at this time, long before USAC. Note that the pace car for this event was a 1933 Chrysler, so I’m guessing Ford wanted to grab a little spotlight for their V8.

In Late June of this year, Pascal Michels, the French moderator of the ‘American Cars in 1/43’ group on Facebook, put out word that he was seeking to make decals for this car, with a view to installing them on the Esval 1933 Ford V8 roadster. I responded that I had one and would be willing to help. And I would also like to get some decals for myself. Pascal uses a decal maker in Kentucky, and had already had some made in 1:18, but needed hands-on measurements for accuracy.

He messaged me some photos showing the dimensions he needed:

The hood and license dimensions were easy enough, using my grandpa’s old calipers, but I felt the body side decals needed more accuracy. So, I dug out some graph paper and set about sketching in the angles of the front of the door line and the rear of the hood side. Each box equals 1-mm:

These were e-mailed off to Pascal, who forwarded them to his decal-making source. By mid-September he had them, so I paid for mine and they arrived here by the end of the month. Kentucky to France to Tennessee – the decals have seen a few air miles!

Without much delay I set about the decal work -this shouldn’t take long, right? Just six decals and then done – piece of cake. Wrong! Even though I left the model attached to the Esval base, it didn’t take long before parts were getting dislodged. First the rear bumper, then the front license. Next thing I knew the front bumper wasn’t there, but I found it on the floor. No problem I thought, I’ll just glue these back after the decals are on, so I continued their application. I messed up one side decal, so I had to use one of my spares – they are quite prone to doubling back on themselves once released from the paper backing.

A clear wind deflector vanished to parts unknown. But I checked out that IMS photo and great news – the actual car did not have them. So I tore the other one off (the photoetch used bends and breaks VERY easily). The rumble seat handle was dislodged and re-glued quickly. Finally, I noticed there was no wiper, but I think this was missing from the time I got the car based on my photo following initial model receipt. It is good that the Chinese craftsman don’t leave gobs of glue when they assemble these, but sometimes the little bit of glue is too little.

Finally, the decal work was complete. Then I noticed the whitewall tires – the IMS photo shows the tires to be blackwalls. No problem I thought again, just turn them around. This was accomplished with relative ease and looked pretty good. But then I saw that the whitewalls still showed from the front, so I decided to paint them on the inside. I found some most-likely ancient Testors flat black enamel and painted the inside surface of the wheels (they were solid red) and tires. The wheels looked OK, but the tire painting was a disaster. The tires were sticky and the paint wasn’t holding. I disassembled the chassis plate and got a rag to wipe the tires clean, then it was off to Hobby Lobby. There I found a chalk black acrylic craft paint, and this worked much better. The picture below is where things stood after this painting and bumper reattachment.

Once the chassis and wheels were reassembled it was time to tackle the license plate. As my wife can attest, much cursing and screaming ensued as I spent well over an hour just trying to get this on using several types of glue. As for the wiper, I found a reasonable one in my spares box and attached it.

Still there were several things I left alone. Back to the IMS photo, I cannot tell if there is a spare on the back or not, the photo angle may have allowed it to hide from view. That’s my story anyway. There are no bumper over-riders, but I was not about to modify the bumpers to a simpler shape. The windshield frame appears to be body color but I had no interest in painting it. Speaking of body color, all we have to go one is a black and white photo – a black car with red wheels is a valid assumption though. Finally the license number is wrong (though the model and the 1:1 have Indiana plates). I had hoped the decal maker would have provided these too but it didn’t happen.

So, here is the standard model:

And here is the final result to compare:

Here are some more views:

Comparing to the 1933 Chrysler Pace car by Western (for TfC) one can see that the Ford was a considerably smaller car. And yes, my Chrysler’s hood ornament has gone missing (drat!)

Now if I can just get a model of Louis Meyer’s race-winning Miller. Perhaps Replicarz will come through someday!

Go back to Diecast Forums – Forum 43 – Diecast Zone

Message thread:

Esval 1933 Ford Roadster modified as the AAA Indianapolis 500 version by Harvey Goranson #26494
Harvey, this is one of the finest posts I have ever seen on Forum 43. It by David Holcombe #26494.1
And thank you for your kind comments David! Next will be Facebook postings.... (EOM) by Harvey Goranson #26494.1.1
Excellent work, Harve, a real labor of live and it looks fantastic. (EOM) by John Kuvakas #26494.2Zone Diplomat
Fantastic job Harv, the model looks superb (EOM) by Keko Romero #26494.3
Awesome Harv. How did you print the white decals? (EOM) by Tom Ciryak #26494.4
Beats me - I didn't do the printing. (EOM) by Harvey Goranson #26494.4.1
Ahh.....Thought you might have one of those printers that print white (EOM) by Tom Ciryak #26494.4.1.1

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