Special Book Project
by Mark J. Benton, Trustee
Thanks to a wonderful endowment by Dr. C. E. Anagnostopoulos, the Museum will contract with Championship Publishing to publish two books on Sixties model car contests. Originally intended to be covered in just one volume, the quantity of material and media reports has lead to the decision to publish two books. The first volume will focus on pre-Revell/Pactra contests and will include the Auto World contests, and competitions presented at the Winternationals car shows in California, the AMT and Monogram contests presented across the United States and Canada and related magazine contests. The title of the first volume has yet to be decided. This book will be authored by Mark S. Gustavson who will draw heavily from the rich archives at the Museum, from recollections of Paul Sable and Oscar Koveleski. Museum Trustee Mike Swan will assist by scanning the many dozens of documents, advertisements and other items that will be featured in this book. The text for this book is now in rough draft format, and will be distributed among a selected number of model car historians for editing. Hopefully, this book should be ready for sale in very late 2004.
The second volume, To Design, Build and Win! - The history and myth of the Revell-Pactra and Revell-Testor Contests, will also be published on contract with Championship Publishing and will focus on the famed Revell-Pactra I and II and the Revell-Testor I and II contests. This book -- which will exhaustively chronicle the history of those contests, events leading to them, and contain interviews with many of the original builders -- is authored by Mark S. Gustavson and will hopefully be available in late 2005 The work has been enormous: Museum research directors Rex Barden and Randy Vandraiss have been carefully double checking my text and bibliographic references, Museum enthusiast Russ Harding has been calling hundreds of people across the United States to find those vintage builders. Author Mark S. Gustavson has been lucky enough to interview Lonn Stern, Jerry Svitek, Augie Hiscano, the Yonts brothers, Rick Harris, Bob Siffered, Richard Johnson, and Charles (Chuck) Jones. I'll be talking soon to Rich Morgan, Charles Gibilterra, Abigail Capps (widow of Lewis Capps), Byron Cooper and John M. Braun. Russ is now looking for Larry Elting, Bob Sifferd, Tom Smith and Mike Yamashita. There is a much larger list, of course. If you know where any these guys are, please contact Russ Harding as soon as you can. (link to
One success so far has been the great support and donation of noted custom car and model painter, Rick Harris. Rick was the Southeast Regional Paint winner in
the Revell-Pactra I contest with a well-styled '40 Ford coupe. For years, his incredible model sat in a box, unrestored and damaged. With the establishment of the Birmingham NNL show, and through the work of Pat
Covert, Rick got back involved in the hobby, became a Museum member, and restored and then dated his historic R-P I 1940 Ford to the Museum. The 'then-and-now' photos of Rick with his model and trophy (Rick
also donated the incredible trophy to the Museum!) are especially cool. Go here for a brief photo essay on this model. The full story of Rick's model and his involvement in the hobby will be presented in our book, but for now, check out these photos of his custom Ford! Thanks to Model Cars magazine and its editor, Gregg Hutchings, for a great feature article on Rick and his model in the October 2001 issue. Thanks, Rick, for your generosity and great contributions to the hobby.
It is our goal to make these books as complete as possible. If you have any artifacts from any contest in the Sixties, whether a major event or just a local
hobby shop contest, the Museum would like to borrow them or (ideally) benefit from a donation. We have plenty of the trophies, but we are interested in hobby shop stuff, advertisements, letters, stationery, photos
of models, and so forth. If you can help out (credit will be given in the book), or if you now where any of the famous old builders are these days, please contact Mark S. Gustavson via email or at his office during regular hours: 801-523-3683, or by fax at: 801-553-8908.
Again, a special thanks to Dr. Anagnostopoulos!