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February 23, 2013

Die-cast: Replicarz plans more Indy racers

by Mark Savage

Replicarz announces Tom Sneva Indy 500 pole car from 1984

I know I’m prejudiced, but I love Indy cars. Born in Indy, have been going to races since 1962 … yikes I’m old!

I mean real race cars don’t have roofs, right?

Tom Sneva's 1984 Indy 500 Pole winner, the Texaco Star will be available soon.

Tom Sneva’s 1984 Indy 500 Pole winner, the Texaco Star will be available soon.

Well, the folks at Replicarz in Vermont understand that and just keep the cool new Indy die-cast racers coming. I know I’ve gone on and on about the Marmon Wasp, but it’s almost here. Replicarz assures me it’ll be out in MAY, appropriately. AND, look for another batch of modern-era rear-engine racers then too.First, the Wasp itself looks to be spectacular. The highly detailed replica of the 1911 Indy 500 winner, says Brian Fothergill of Replicarz, has been tweaked even further to ensure authenticity and create a show stopper. He notes that the engine will be wired and that the end of the Wasp’s stinger tail will be painted flat black to add depth.But next up in May is the 1984 Indy pole winner’s car, the Texaco Star driven by the Gas Man, Tom Sneva.

Sneva set a new track record at the time of 210.029 mph in the March chassis and continued his personal attack on the record books. Sneva was the first to hit 200 mph too, in 1978. Replicarz plans to build 600 of this model.

Without the body work, you can see the carbon fiber tub. Cool!

Without the body work, you can see the carbon fiber tub.

Fothergill says some trim details are being worked out on the Sneva pole car, including larger radiator openings, and the car will have black wheels, to match the original car. A prototype we’ve seen had chrome wheels. A similar car, Gordon Johncock’s blue and orange ’84 STP March also will be released at the same time. Both will be made in limited quantities to ensure they maintain their collectability values.

Fothergill also says to look for several  1973 Eagles arriving in May.

One will be Gordon Johncock’s 1973 race winner, which previously had been released by Carousel 1 (Replicarz bought the molds), but this run also includes the STP team car of Swede Savage (not a relative of mine, but a heck of a racer), who died in a crash after leading the 1973 race. All cars will have matte finished interiors, like the recently released Jimmy Bryan and Bobby Marshman laydown roadsters, along with other improvements.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

There’s more heading into the home stretch later this year. Replicarz plans some resin 1:43 scale Indy winners and notable Indy racers.

Fothergill says that late this year he expects to offer the 1970 and ’71 Indy winning cars in both 1:18 and 1:43 scale. Those were the nearly identical Johnny Lightning Specials driven to back-to-back wins by Al Unser Sr., for the first two of his four Indy wins.

Replicarz also plans a 1:43 model of the revolutionary STP-Paxton turbine racer driven by Parnelli Jones in the 1967 Indy 500, but that fell just 4 laps short of winning. The car also was entered in the 1968 race, but was wrecked in practice by Joe Leonard.

Here's the up-close view of the massive Marmon Wasp engine from the 1911 Indy winner.

Here’s the up-close view of the massive Marmon Wasp engine from the 1911 Indy winner.

As much as I love the 1:18 die-cast racers, the 1:43 scale should be more affordable to collectors, plus allow some of us to display our Indy cars, without having to buy a second display case!Gentlemen (and ladies), start saving your bucks for the lastest Indy models!

Nearly the final version of the 1:18 Marmon Wasp.

Nearly the final version of the 1:18 Marmon Wasp.

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