Post by 1961redlegs on Jan 9, 2016 20:46:10 GMT -5
I just finished today my rendition of the Autolite Special Tony Bettenhausen would've driven in the 1961 Indianapolis 500. Bettenhausen pushed the Lindsey Hopkins-owned Epperly towards the 150 mph barrier in the early practice sessions the month of May. This was a barrier not yet broken but Bettenhausen approached it, getting closer each session and appeared that he would conquer it on Pole Day. However, on May 12, 1961 he died in a crash while helping his friend Paul Russo get his car ready for qualifications. The anchor bolt on the radius rod fell off, causing a twist in the axle and when he applied the brakes the car shot into the wall. His car flipped and the car caught fire, wrapped in catch fencing. Lloyd Ruby drove the car in the race and finished eighth.
His tragic death was the final chapter in a cruel career at Indianapolis for the "Tinley Park Express." He won 21 Championship races in his career and the 1951 AAA championship. None of that success occurred at the Speedway, where a second in 1955 and two fourths were his best finishes. He passed on the 1951 winner, the car he'd drive to the championship in favor of one of Lou Moore's Blue Crown Specials.
His death wasn't the end of the Bettenhausen story, his sons Gary, Merle and Tony Jr all raced. None ever managed to win at IMS but all attained levels of success in the sport.
The kit is Gary Doucette's Epperly, painted Tamiya Pearl White with Gary Sleeper's amazing decals. I used a set of ARM speedway Haldibrands for the wheels and tires and also added a seatbelt and harness set to the seat. This kit was a fun build and I really enjoyed every minute of it. Gary's kits keep getting better and better! This car turned out great!
Very nice build of a beautiful car. You did a great job with the decals. I am doing the decals on the 62 Branson Mid-Continent car and they are basically the same. The GWS decals are great but doing the nose is tough--matching up the sections and going around all the bends and curves. Nice work!
OT: You know what would be cool is to have a Thurston the rabbit t-Shirt.....blue with the orange logo....I think that would be pretty sweet.
Hey Calvin. That's a great idea. Thurston is really cool. I found a place that I think can do the shirt. Would need the artwork, however. Have not found anything suitable on the net yet.