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Replicarz’s Duesenberg Indy 500 winners

Indianapolis-based Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Co. was a powerhouse at the Indianapolis 500 in the 1920s, winning three out of four years from 1924-27.

Duesenbergs were known for their strong engines, designed by brothers, August and Frederick Duesenberg, who founded the company.

Now Replicarz, which has made 1/43 and 1/18 scale 1920s Miller racers, turns its attention to 1/18 scale resin versions of the Indy-winning Duesenbergs. They’re sharp, as usual.

The History
Duesenberg won its first Indy 500 in 1924, the first car with a supercharger to win Indy. Drivers L. L. Corum and Joe Boyer shared the driving duties and the following year the popular Peter DePaolo, won in a bright yellow Duesy.  After Frank Lockhart won aboard a Miller in the rain-shortened 1926 race, Duesenberg was back in the winner’s circle in 1927 with George Souders at the wheel.

The outgoing DePaolo, who later authored the autobiography Wall Smacker, was the first driver, and car, to average more than 100 mph for the entire 500 miles at Indy.

That speaks to the power of Duesenberg racers and its factory-sponsored drivers. Duesenberg’s featured high-tech engines including the use of aluminum pistons and superchargers, but they also were the first to use hydraulic brakes.

The 1924 win was unique in that Corum and Boyer each drove roughly half the race, with Boyer taking over in fourth place on lap 111. He drove to the checkered flag, leading 25 of the 200 laps. The duo split $20,000, but Boyer would die in an accident later that year.

In 1925 not only did DePaolo set the race speed record, he set the individual lap speed record in his Duesenberg with a speedy 114.285. He led 115 laps, taking relief for 21 laps. When he returned to his car he was fifth and had to drive back to the front.

The 1927 win by Souders is unique in several ways. First, Souders was a rookie at Indy. But he also won by a record 8 laps and was the first driver to win while driving the whole distance without relief, or having a riding mechanic. Additionally, the car was powered by a 90.29cc engine, the smallest to win Indy.

The Model
Replicarz sent us the dark wine (reddish brown) 1924 Duesy and it was, well, a … you know.

The hood pops off in two pieces, the top featuring three leather straps with buckles and a lower panel on the left side has notches that hold it in place with a hole to expose the black pipe coming off the big round supercharger.

The straight-8 engine is silver with piping to the radiator and electrical wires coming off the center-mounted distributor. Up front on the radiator cover is a chrome Duesenberg radiator cap and emblem.

Replicarz creates handsome black wire wheels that hold Firestone-branded tires and there’s a chrome gas cap behind the driver’s cockpit.

The cockpit includes a black leather-look seat with black trim and silver rivets to hold it in place. The black steering wheel is a 4-spoked number with silver hub. Five glass-faced gauges are visible on the dash.

1920s racers look simple, but that’s much of their beauty, Replicarz nails it!

1924, ’25, ’27 Indy 500 winners

Mfg: Replicarz
Scale: 1/18
Stock No: R18019, R18021, R18022
MSRP: $249.99


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