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Replicarz 1952 Indy 500-winning Agajanian Special, Troy Ruttman

RELATED TOPICS: REPLICARZ
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What’s better, and bigger, than a fine 1/43 scale Indy 500 winning race car? A1/18 scale version, naturally. The latest from Replicarz is the Agajanian Special dirt car that Troy Ruttman drove to win the 1952 Indianapolis 500. Ruttman immediatelybecame famous as the youngest Indy winner at 22 years and 80 days. He had lied about his age earlier, so he could start competing as a teen. His racing career ended in retirement in 1964. While Ruttman wasn’t the most famous racer of his era, his car owner, J.C. Agajanian, was a big name. In addition to Ruttman’s 1952 win, the cowboy hat-wearing Agajanian was owner of Parnelli Jones’ 1963 Indywinning roadster.

This Replicarz beauty was the last dirt-car racer to win Indy and is a limited edition model, just 200 being made. Buy early!

The History
A short history lesson from the 1952 race, which was all about Bill Vukovich who was a rookie and took off and hid in his new roadster, seemingly destined to win. But, while leading by almost a lap his car’s steering gear broke and hecrashed with just 8 laps remaining. Ruttman, who led 44 laps in all, cruised on to victory ahead of Jim Rathman, who would win Indy in 1960.

Sadly, things turned south for Ruttman later that summer when he severely injured an arm in a racing
accident, forcing him to miss almost two years of racing. For the record, this 1952 winner was a Kuzma (the builder) dirt car chassis with the then standard Offenhauser (Offy) engine. Ruttman won the 1952 race at a then record average of 128.922 mph.
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The Model
This 1/18 scale racer is even more realistic than the earlier 1/43 model as the paint scheme is more true to Ruttman’s colorful racer.

The paint is a creamy white with a brilliant dark red nose with flames licking back over the hood and down its sides. The cockpit is a matching matte red with flames painted from its headrest back toward its tail, just beyond the hole where a gas cap is located.

There’s plenty of chrome to add some sizzle here too. The nose features a somewhat triangular chrome grille and chrome grille guard that incorporates a capital A (for Agajanian) into it. There also are chrome suspension arms front and rear, along with a steering arm to the front wheels.

I like the chrome disc brakes behind the wheels too and the black wiring that hooks up all the brake mechanisms. Down the car’s right side is a slightly blued (from exhaust heat) chrome exhaust pipe with four smaller feeder pipes leading into the engine bay. The hood here is sealed so you can’t see the Offy under the bonnet.

There’s also a big cream-colored dirt car windscreen and small clear windshield above that to protect Ruttman.

Interior detail is sharply done with a flat black four-spoke steering wheel, the hub being a matte silver. The simple dash features three gauges with numbers and dials, plus a placard on the lower right of the dash. Down below the wheel is a giant chrome shift lever right on top of the drive shaft. The seat features a lap belt with photo-etched buckles.

Outside there’s the Agajanian Special logo on the hood, which features small PE and leather latches on the left side that would hold the hood in place.

In addition, the racer has Mobil Oil Co.’s Flying Pegasus logos on either side of the nose and tail. There are no other sponsor logos except the Bear Automotive cub on the cowl, just below the windscreen. Ruttman’s name also is not printed anywhere on the car.

The body features molded-in silverheaded bolts and crisp panel lines, plus mesh breather holes opposite the
exhaust pipes.

Tires are treaded Firestones and the wheels, as in the 1/43 model, are an authentic light tan with silver spinners. Ruttman’s wheels were magnesium, so this color is an exact match to what they would have been on race day.

1952 Indy 500 winner/Ruttman
Mfg: Replicarz
Scale: 1/18
Stock No: R18039
MSRP: $199.99
Link: Replicarz.com

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