View Full Version : Car model

Roger Zimmermann
11-12-2009, 04:18 AM
Dear all

As often in the life, I found this forum by "accident". I'm currently finishing a car model: a 1963 Studebaker Avanti, scale 1:12. The body is made with polyester, frame, engine, chrome parts are made with brass which is cut from a sheet, formed, welded, polished...
This model is very old: I began it in 1963; it was finished in 1965 or '66. Then I began the construction of a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, also scale 1:12 with incredible details like electric windows; I had more than 15 years to finish it.
In 2002, I was put in early retirement from GM Switzerland (I do live here) and I had again a look at that old Avanti model. I was no more pleased with the wheel covers and, as I had more time, I toyed with the idea to do nice ones in brass. Then I saw that the leather had stains and needed to be replaced; the baby blue color of the body was no more to my standard...Well what was a quick refreshment was indeed a new construction with only few parts kept from the original model. The wheelcovers are not yet done; I'm curently doing the wheels (the model still has the plain rubber wheels he had first).
What is the connection with a Continental Mark II? Well, since some months, I'm wondering what I will do when the Avanti is ready. There are not many cars I would like to construct as a scale model; the Continental is probably the only one car I could again spent about 10 years with.
I saw that one member of this forum has a convertible; one real rare car indeed! Doing a regular coupe would be already a challenge, but THE convertible? that would be something really special! There is one small problem: my models are very accurate and I need many datas to establish my own blue prints. I will certainly find a regular coupe in Switzerland to photography and take the hundreds measurements I need (also from the frame and drivetrain) and, if I could find a way to get these datas, I could next year begin with the construction of a Continental 1:12. If somebody is doing a frame-off restoration of his Mark II, pictures from the floor pan and frame would be a great help too. From aa Avanti forum I got many pictures and details; for the Toronado I got from GM the drawings / plans from the underbody and frame; I doubt that Ford will provide that to me...
Some pictures from my models are attached to this message.
Sorry for my bad English; my mother tongue is French...

Roger Zimmermann
11-12-2009, 06:33 AM
Hi all!
Part of my presentation was done in my first post this morning. However, to be in line with our requirements, I'm giving here some more details:
I'm living in Switzerland; I was an automotive engineer and worked to GM for 32 years till 2002 when they put me in early retirement (thank you GM it was your best decision about me!). The last job I had was as a Service District Manager for US cars.
My parents had no car to my dismay and to compensate, I have 4: a '56 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, a '56 Cadillac Biarritz, a '57 Eldorado Brougham (still on air) and as everyday car a 2000 Cadillac DTS. A very atypical car park in Switzerland!
I restored mostly myself the 3 older Cadillacs and now, I'm more busy with car models (they are less heavy and take less space than a real car) which is the main reason why I registered to this forum: I may build a scale model 1:12 of a Mark II; maybe the convertible which, as I understood, was a prototype.
To perform such a task I need many datas and depending of what kind of responses I may get, there will be a yes or no decision.
Next to cars, I like the sun, red wine and swing jazz.

Nick DeSpirito
11-12-2009, 07:56 AM

Welcome to the forum. Your models are finely detailed and very impressive, and your automobile collection as well. But I think you need a Mark II to round off your collection. :D

How long does it take to build models of such detail? Do you sell them, or just build them for your enjoyment?

Barry Wolk
11-12-2009, 08:02 AM
What you're looking for is posted in the technical drawings post. There is an exploded view of all the body panels.

Welcome to the site. You can build a Mark II convertible model for me!

Shelly Harris
11-12-2009, 08:28 AM
Beautiful work on those models. Welcome to our Mark II site.

Roger Zimmermann
11-12-2009, 10:02 AM
How long does it take to build models of such detail? Do you sell them, or just build them for your enjoyment?
Thank you for the comments. If I would begin a Mark II, I will have between 6 and 10 years. These models are strictly for enjoyment; I don't sell them.

Roger Zimmermann
11-12-2009, 10:08 AM
What you're looking for is posted in the technical drawings post. There is an exploded view of all the body panels.

Welcome to the site. You can build a Mark II convertible model for me!
Thank you for the comments Barry. This morning, I had a look at these drawings; some are interesting but not sufficient for the job. Sometimes, I spent more time to evaluate some dimensions for a part than build the part itself. Even if some calculation and adaptation are not to be avoid, these drawings are nice to look at, but I cannot begin something with them.
When I began the Toronado in 1966, I had the intention to do two models as I had a "customer" for the second one. Fortunately, this never occured.

Roger Zimmermann
11-12-2009, 03:36 PM
Switzerland is far away from the States, but we are not behind the mond!
This evening, I searched through my Automobile Collectible magazines. There was an interesting report in June 1986 on the regular coupes as well as a note about the Derham convertible. In the October 1992 issue, there was a larger report about the Derham convertible plus pictures from a convertible done from a regular coupe.
It seems that Barry Wolk is the lucky owner of the Derham convertible. I'm wondering if the frame was modified/reinforced...
To build a coupe will be difficult enough (there are many elements I don't know yet how to do, like the grille and the wheelcovers) but to do a convertible with a functionning roof is a real challenge.
I forgot to mention that my models have at least an operable steering, suspension, emergency brake, side windows and that hood, trunk and doors can be opened like the real car.
Most element are held by watch screws from 0.6mm to 1.2 mm for the largest.

Barry Wolk
11-12-2009, 05:20 PM
Hess & Eisenhardt Mark II convertibles (2)


Derham Mark II convertible


Many of the early articles were wrong. They used the owner of the Derham car as the sole source for their story. Let me just say that his information was not reliable, and I'll leave it at that.

In fact, Dennis Adler wrote about my car a second time, correcting his earlier story. What is written is not always the truth.

Roger Zimmermann
11-13-2009, 05:49 AM
What is written is not always the truth.
Thank you Barry for this piece of education. You are right, even if the source seems to be reliable, the story can be wrong.
You were lucky to be approached by the people at Ford; this event let you reconstruct the truth. Apparently, Ford people are more interested at their products than the people at GM.
Cadillac presented the IMAJ at the Geneva Show in the year 2000. The marketing people did a parallel with the '57-58 Brougham and, for a press event, they intended to flew to Geneva the Brougham belonging to Al Haas. This person was not too interested to let go his car (stored in a GM private museum in the USA) so I was approached by Al and Yann Saunders. They asked if I would show my car at this event. I accepted and I had first hand the opportunity to see how this event was ill planed, but it's another story.
During the press event, Rick Wagoneer was there, saw the car, saw me, did know about that but he did not even cared to say a word.

OK, back to the Mark II. I did a small electrical repair on one of these cars in September 1983 when I was with my '56 de Ville in Geneva, visiting Yann Sounders (Mr Cadillac as he is known). A friend of him came with his Mark II , allowing me to do the repair and some pictures. Don't ask for the VIN or where is the car now, I just don't know. I'm attaching a picture of that event, with the owner of the Mark II.

Since yestersay I learned a lot about these wonderful cars; however, I'm still at the same point than one week before...It's probably foolish to try to do the convertible (yours or the other one) as I will probably never get enough details to duplicate the roof's mechanism.
Well, let's first finish the Avanti; the next few months are busy anyway.
Again, thank you for the time you spent to answer.

Mad Scientist
11-13-2009, 09:51 PM
Your models are absolutely amazing! Your craftsmanship is astounding they are truly something to be very proud of.
But all that work won’t it have been easier to build a full sized one from scratch?:)

As far as getting drawings for the Mark II if you talk real nice to Barry maybe you can get him to take his car all apart and measure the pieces for you. He is reel good mechanically and has taken on some unusual projects in the past, so perhaps this might interest him.:D:eek:

11-14-2009, 12:38 AM
Your handcrafted models are amazing!!! Thank you for sharing photos of your outstanding creations. What talent! I do hope you will be able to start the Mark II project. I think most of us here agree that the Mark II is one of the most handsome cars of the 20th century. As a convertible, even more so. Glad to have you aboard.

Roger Zimmermann
11-14-2009, 03:23 AM
Thank you for the kind comments.
To build a car from scratch scale 1:1 is above my possibilities. I restored 3 Cadillacs; I had 10 years to do the convertible (nickname "Nice Rust").
I'm certainly a little bit mad, but I have one excuse: I fell on the head when I was 15 years old! (bicycle accident)
I will not ask Barry to take a single part apart, but I may ask him pictures and measures from the roof's mechanism. However, I will not ask right now, it's premature. I intend to build the frame and drivetrain; then I can decide for the body style.
About my models: the pictures posted are not showing all the details. I did not mention that the Olds has an electric motor embedded in the V-8, plus a centrifugal clutch as well as mechanical 2-speed transmission with reverse and differential. All that more or less in the space allowed from the identical looking drivetrain. The front suspension is on real ball joints...
If the interest is here, I will post more pictures.

The Mark II project is slowly growing, even if I don't have the needed material right now. With any project, the initiator has to take ...the initiative.
As I did for the Avanti, I intend to buy a Mark II shop manual as a first measure. Now, the concrete question:
Does the Mark II shop manual exist? and, for the engine/transmission should I buy also a Lincoln shop manual?
As a hobby, I'm also supplying Cadillac parts and manuals to people in Europe who cannot speak English or have no idea how to do. I know well how the GM manuals are constructed; how is that with Ford? do they have more illustration? Pictures?
Thank you for your guidance,


11-15-2009, 02:17 PM
Roger, there is indeed a shop manual for the Mark II. It is called Continental Mark II Technical Data. There are a number of actual photos as well as drawings in the book. The section on the frame, has many measurements on the drawing. As to the engine, the Mark II does have the 368 cu in V8 engine. The Lincoln of the period, had the same motor. However, there are some visual differences. The exhaust manifold is not the same. The Mark II set so low to the ground, that some of the exhaust system runs through the rocker panels. The Mark II has unique valve covers crafted in aluminum with the "Continental" star embossed. The Lincoln engine block was painted a different color than the gold of the Mark II. I'm know there is a shop manual for the Lincoln, but I'm not sure of the title. Both the Lincoln and the Mark II have companion parts books as well. While the parts books have few pictures or drawings, many of the parts listed have their dimensions. Perhaps that would be some help to you. As to your other creations, yes I know I would very much like to see more photos. I'm sure I speak for many others on the forum. Your work is outstanding.

Roger Zimmermann
11-18-2009, 04:18 AM
Roger, there is indeed a shop manual for the Mark II. It is called Continental Mark II Technical Data.
Thank you for your comments! Before I could read your message, I did some bids in eBay and this morning I'm the lucky winner of an original shop manual and parts list! They are not cheap, but they could be sold again in case...
By looking at the many pictures posted in that forum, I saw many elements similar to Cadillacs: the brake system is the same as on '56 & '58 Cadillacs; I don't know if the Mark II had just one supplier or both, Bendix & Delco Moraine.
The choke heater system is also similar as well as the wiper/washer system, with one difference: the Mark II has an hybrid system for the windshield washer, vacuum and electric. This system was used in 1955 on Cadillacs; from 1956 to 1958, Cad used a 100% vacuum washer system. The Mark II has a vacuum antenna, like Cad had till 1955. Why the Mark II had not an electrical antenna?
It seems to me that the steering box is very similar to the one used till 1958 by Cadillac. However the rest of the car is totally different!

For your enjoyment I'm adding some pictures from the Avanti modell during its construction.

Roger Zimmermann
11-18-2009, 04:22 AM
A second serie of pictures taken during the construction.
Sorry if the titles of the pictures are French...

11-18-2009, 10:44 PM
Roger, thanks for posting more pictures. Wow. I can't get over all the detail. Thanks again.

Roger Zimmermann
11-24-2009, 12:16 PM
Today both manuals arrived. They are in a very good shape, hardly used originals. They will be of good help; unfortunately, the section for the automatic transmission is not included in the shop manual. I suppose it's the same transmission as in the Lincolns, am I right? Anyway, the building of the transmission is not for tomorrow as I'm now in a strange situation. Imagine that I wil have to do the tires of the Mark II very soon! (usually, it's the last thing I'm doing because it's not an easy task)
I owe you an explanation. When I did the Olds Toronado, I did my own tires, following a complicated process: the beginn for that is to have a "master tire" in metal or whatever suitable material to be able to make a negative soft mold, then a positive soft form. With the positive soft form, it is then possible to do a solid negative mold. In turn, this mold allow to copy an infinite number of tires.
I'm presently doing the wheels for the Avanti and should do the tires too, according to the above description. I still have the master tire of the Toronado which will be reworked. As you know, the Toronado had 8.85 x 15tires, the Mark II 8.20 x 15 and the Avanti tiny 6.70 x 15 tires. If I'm doing the master tire for the Avanti, I can not rework this tool as it will be too small. Therefore I will have to do the master tire for the Mark II before a single piece of brass is cut to do the frame!
The attached picture was done in 1979 when I was doing the master tire for the Toronado.

Barry Wolk
11-24-2009, 04:49 PM
What scale are your models?

Roger Zimmermann
11-25-2009, 02:31 AM
What scale are your models?
As I explained at the beginning of my presentation, the scale is 1:12. The Mark II will be 18.2" (more or less a fraction of an inch, depending of my own precision).
By the way, I discover that there is a specific transmission manual; depending of the datas and picture I can gather, I will or will not buy that manual.

Shelly Harris
11-25-2009, 09:38 AM

Am I correct that you do this for your own enjoyment? That you don't sell these models, and make only one which you keep to yourself?

Roger Zimmermann
11-25-2009, 01:17 PM

Am I correct that you do this for your own enjoyment? That you don't sell these models, and make only one which you keep to yourself?
Exactly Shelly. Would you spend 6 to 10 years of your free time doing something and sell it when ready?
I never calculate how many hours I spent for a model (this will be the third and last one, if my health allows to complete it) just the years!
By the way, if I would do it for resale, I would never dare to annoy members from a free forum. I don't know how the companies manufacturing replicas (all scales confonded) are doing to get the needed informations; I don't care either.
For the Toronado, I was lucky to get 17 plans from GM; when they are folded, they are 4" thick all together. It was a nightmare to open the plan for the frame because my flat was too small...Fortunately, as you may know, the frame of the Toronado ends behind the rear of the front door, the back of the car is a unit body. I will never sell these plans nor give them to copy as I was asked once.
For your enjoyment, 2 pictures of folded plans.

Roger Zimmermann
12-01-2009, 10:42 AM
Today I got a '56 Mark II folder. Nice piece of litterature, in excellent shape.
The front page is gold and the text is "The Ford Motor Company proudly presents"
Il will not help for the model's construction, but it's nice to have it!

Roger Zimmermann
12-08-2009, 05:06 AM
By asking different persons and clubs, I got yesterday a very good tip . It appears that a man I know has 3 Mark II and he is living about 10 miles from home! One of his car is partially dismanteled, it's a very good oportunity to have better details. The cars are now stored for the winter; I will have to wait until next Spring to visit him, which let me time to finish the Avanti.
This person was not aware of this forum; I gave him the link; he will probably come too.
Switzerland is small; it has not only inconvenients!

Roger Zimmermann
02-28-2010, 11:19 AM
As the molds for the Avanti's tires are ready, I put aside the manufacturing of the tire's pattern for the Mark II. I had a bad first tire yesterday (air bubbles) so I changed the way I'm filling the 2 forms. This morning, I could remove the tire from the mold and was happy to discover a very nice tire. The errors and trial for the Avanti will permit to perform the same to the Mark II model with less questions and errors.

02-28-2010, 11:26 AM
Beautifully done, Roger.

Roger Zimmermann
02-28-2010, 11:32 AM
Beautifully done, Roger.
Thank you Dot! It was a long process: I began with the wheels early November and early December for the tire pattern.

Barry Wolk
02-28-2010, 12:24 PM
Incredible detail.

02-28-2010, 02:01 PM
Outstanding. Just outstanding.

Mad Scientist
02-28-2010, 02:22 PM
You just took a picture of a real tire, right?:p:):)

How did you get the mold to release the tire? I would guess that the tread pattern would tend to make it stick in the mold.

Roger Zimmermann
03-01-2010, 03:08 AM
You just took a picture of a real tire, right?:p:):)

How did you get the mold to release the tire? I would guess that the tread pattern would tend to make it stick in the mold.
The mold is polyester, of course in 2 parts. I was at first worried about the tread but it goes without problem, the silicone rubber is soft enough. The biggest problem is air. The third tire I did yesterday in no good.
Anyway, you will see the complete process when I'm doing the tires for the Mark II.