An aero study from 1916
The 1/43 Bizarre Clarke Racing Vehicle truly lives up to the brand name. To be accurate Bizarre describes the vehicle as the 1916 Clarke Racing Vehicle, Jared A. Zichek Streamlined Dreams. Any release under the Bizarre brand name tends to be unusual. The trend to model weird and unusual cars and trucks started with Bizarre and has been taken up by other model manufacturers. Cult Models is probably the leading manufacturer of these types of models. Lord knows where they find this stuff.
It was the part about “Jared A. Zichek Streamlined Dreams” that caught my attention. After some internet searches I discovered what the heck it was about. “Streamlined Dreams” name checks an interesting book about weird early aerodynamically designed vehicles meant to cheat the wind for more speed. As it turns out the book opens with the 1916 Clarke Racing Vehicle.
The car was designed by Harry D. Clarke, a resident of Nebraska. Mr. Clarke was a tinkerer and inventor and filed several patents relating to this vehicle. It was designed as a racing car using an internal combustion engine. The bodywork was shaped for low drag for higher speeds while using less fuel. You might recognize this as the strategy that car and truck manufacturers are using right now because energy costs have risen amid dwindling supplies.
Call it cigar-shaped
Clarke designed the car with a cylindrical shape that enclosed both the driver and the riding mechanic along with most of the mechanical bits. Windows in the roof were part of the plan to reduce drag while letting in natural light. Another detail seen in racing cars today is a centrally located exhaust at the rear.
Mr. Clarke kept the center of gravity very low since the vehicle was meant for racing. This alone was a novel idea at the time because most cars sat high up which required more power to cut through the air. Seats were located at the very bottom of the car but visibility forward became an issue as the driver looked at a dashboard and nothing else. To solve this problem Clarke added periscopes to both sides at the front through which the driver could see forward and check on condition the front tires as well. To check the rear tires Clarke added mirrors to the back of the periscopes!
Contact your favorite model dealer to purchase the 1/43 Bizarre Clarke Racing Vehicle. It’s a limited edition so act quickly!
A blueprint for weirdness
While looking through some automobile art online I came across an interesting blueprint of the Clarke Racing Vehicle. As I already knew the release of the Bizarre model was imminent it was especially pertinent. Offered as a poster in several sizes it could add a nice touch to a display of the model car. You can find the poster offered by Fine Art America here.
What about that book?
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