1958 Watson Indy racer by Mike Sells
This is a model of the Pole position winner in 1958. The original kit is the AMT 1965 Watson car but the nose has been modified to remove the suspension cover 'ears', the oil tank has been re-shaped and the nose air intake filled.
The wheels are 16" and 8" Halibrands, respectively, front and rear, turned down from 1/24 scale parts. Tires are resin casting of the kit parts drilled out to accept the larger wheels.
The original seat was removed from the interior "bucket". Sheet styrene was used to create a new firewall and rear wall to which was added a styrene rod frame through the cockpit space. A parts box "in and out" gearbox and drive shaft run past the seat on the left as the engine was tipped to the right to lower the car and keep the weight to the inside. Dash and steering wheel are original kit parts.
Markings are a combination of Fred Cady Indy car decals, rub-on letters over red decal film meatballs and hand lettered sponsor names. "Circle track" magazine featured the restored full sized car and the model was built and detailed from that information. I'm told by a very reliable source that the car was actually silver rather than light blue metallic; you can't always count on the restorations being 100% accurate and I'm not going to fix it now.
The actual car never finished a single lap of the race; the entire front row was eliminated by a classic first turn wreck! Watson roadsters and clones thereof dominated at Indy from 1958 through 1965 and marking for them are available in 1/24 that could be reduced to 1/32. Narrow tracks and tires make them less efficient as slot cars but racing might be very exciting if one restricted the fields to similar upright roadsters.