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We have an Answer to: What is this?

Last week we got several replies to our “Can you help?” article. Although we can not be certain about the answers provided we strongly believe the question has been answered. See at the end of the original article below for the answer.

Wood Block Car #3

We get questions about certain cars and if we know of anyone looking to buy or sell a certain car. We get questions about museums we have been to and we get questions about the date of a certain show. We also have a few out there that are coming up with some really interesting items.

This most recent one has me stumped, can you help?  Doug White sent in these photo of a wood block car that is in perfect scale and detail for what looks like a 1970 Mercury Cyclone. He found this in an antique store. Is it some kind of design studio early effort? Could it be the product of some amateur hobbyist with tremendous carving skills?

Wood Block Car #4

You can click on these images to increase their size and detail. Why is there paint on the glass areas and some of the body? Why is some green and some purple?

Wood Block Car #5

There also appears to be some divider down the middle of the car. Were there to be two different versions?

Wood Block Car #2

If you look closely you can see some excellent detail on door gaps and other smaller areas. However, there are also areas cut out for some of the real fine details to be added later. The hood scoop, bumpers and grill, tires and wheels as well as the taillight areas are missing.

Wood Block Car #1My first reaction to seeing these images was that it was a positive mold for an 18th or 24th scale model/diecast. However, Doug states that the dimensions are:

Length: 20 1/2″
Width: 7 1/2″
Height: 4 1/2″  (body only)
Height: 6 1/4″  (complete body and wood block combined)
Wheel base: 11 3/4″

That is a big carving!

Ok, so all you guys who worked in design studios or you fellows and gals who studied historical information on car design; what is this?

You can post your comments and thoughts below or send them to me at:

Thank you for helping us solve this little mystery.

Thank you for helping us solve this little mystery.

Our sister site Team Member Don Amadio provided the most complete response: “Being a designer in the toy industry, my guess is it’s a master sculpt for a model kit or toy car. As recent as the 1990’s these sculpts would be done large to get the detail then they were panographed (a scaling machine that traced the sculpt and was connected to a milling machine) down to actual size when they were cutting the steel mold tooling. Sometimes they were sculpted from blocks of plaster too. This system was also used to make die cast model molds.”

Additional information was provided by Doug Schellinger. He stated that it looked a lot like the MPC street Cyclone body. He also ran it by some model car friends and they confirmed it is a 1/10 scale buck, which was the standard of the industry. It was used to create a body 2.5 times smaller, or 1/25 scale. The wood buck is a perfect match to the MPC model of the smaller plastic kit of the 1970 Mercury Cyclone. It was later modified by MPC to make the #21 Donnie

MPC later modified the tooling to make the #21 Donnie Allison race car body.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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