The Hannibal Turbo 9

For 2015 the subject was a whimsical or comical build incorporating one of Dave Taylor’s shorty flat-car kits. Inspired by the A.W.N.U.T.S. cars and with a head nod to John Allen the idea was very popular. It did not however fit in with my very serious vision of the Cibola RR. A compromise was reached with my 1/20.3  and former HO self; having no rail-cars for the line I would create a “might have been” on the edge of possibility.

This year I have taken inspiration from one of my favorite movies “The Great Race” starring Tony Curtis (the real villain) and Jack Lemon (the true hero), filmed in 1965. The story pits Professor Fate and The Great Leslie against each other in various daredevil feats and record breaking attempts. Together with their respective sidekicks, Hezekiah Sturdy and Maximilian Meen their battle of one-upmanship culminates in an automobile race from New York to Paris. All reported on and disrupted by the beautiful Maggie Dubois (Natalie Woods) suffragette reporter for the New York Sentinel. Newspaper

The beginning sequence of the film shows a series of Professor Fates vehicles used for both his own feats as well as attempts to destroy The Great Leslie. They are not clearly numbered but the car he uses in the race is dubbed “the Hannibal Twin 8”. Since the land speed record attempt is set several years after the race I presume the Professor has used the time to build his next masterpiece the “Hannibal Turbo 9”.

The “Hannibal Twin 8” is a true work of art for the movie prop industry. It was built from the ground up using a Corvair 6 cylinder engine with a 3 speed manual transmission. All four rear wheels are powered with a chain drive. The car ran and was issued a VIN by the state of California. Several of the functions worked such as the cannon did emerge from the front hood (it could not be fired) and smoke generators. The car was very sturdy and could be driven on any public road. Unlike today’s movie where multiple cars would have been built to facilitate filming, only one “Hannibal Twin 8” was created. After completion of the movie it and several of the other movie props were sent to the Movie World Museum in Burbank until that business closed in the late seventies. Everything remained in storage until 1993 when the car, the rocket rail car and the torpedo were sold to a private collector for an undisclosed amount. Until now they have never been publicly displayed but are now once again offered for sale by the Volo Auto Museum for $350,000. Much like the classic Batmobile several reproductions have been built but none equal the original.

PRESS THE BUTTON MAX!!!! We are about to run like a rocket with it’s tail on fire.

The Concept:



The Figures: I will of course need professor Fate and Max….
Maggie Dubois, to cover the event for her newspaper and of course the Great Leslie just to irritate the Professor.

People are proving to be a little bit easier. The men will all start with the basic figures on hand. Professor Fate and Max will be made from Tamiya pit-crew models. Fate has a choice of heads between a Rick Kapuaala head left over from a headectomy from the “George Breece” project or one my own creations from the passenger project. They both have mustaches which would save time modeling the heads. He will have a top hat.

Max has one of my heads too, this one with the glasses which I can easily convert to goggles. He will be wearing a bowler hat scavenged from another of Rick’s figures.

Ms Dubois has a choice between resin cast figures. The first is two are from Hasegawa; the last is from Just Plain Folks and is missing her lower legs. No matter what body I choose I am planning on using the women with bonnet head that I made for my passenger sets. She will need her trusty camera of course and a crate of pigeons.

The Great Leslie is the easiest of the four. He is a Model Humans body with a Tamiya head and the drivers cap from my passenger set. I will move the right arm so he is waving to his adoring fans.
All of the figures will get a change in clothing.

Building the Hannibal 9: Pieces, parts and cutting.

Some things I want to include in the build;

For the vehicle;
It must have a weird power system, weaponry (because everything the Professor builds is armed) and at least one unnecessary widget. It will need to be painted appropriately and sporting the “Fate” flag.

Clearly this must be a track powered model so I need a motor and gears. My choices are: a brand new PIKO 0-6-0, HLW Big John 0-4-4-0 or a Bachmann Big Hauler 4-6-0 from the scrap box. While Professor Fate may have no shortage of funding for his crazy contraptions I on the other hand live on oatmeal sandwiches and water. So destroying either of the new engines is out of the question. Besides they are already earmarked for other projects. That leaves the ten wheeler. Max we are going to need the big saw.

The other major piece of this build is the cab and front end. I have the remains of two 1/18th scale vehicles, a Ford Model T and a Mercedes 500K roadster. I like the ford but I think it might make the vehicle look to much like the Hannibal 8. For now I am going with the Mercedes. It is a 1936 year model so that will help reinforce the Professor’s extravagance. I will have to wait until the cutting starts to make the final decision. So here is the pile of parts I have set aside for the Hannibal 9 so far.

Fitting it together:

Some Silliness: Excerpts from the Cibola Telegraph and a very rare cover of Popular Mechanics magazine from March of 1936.


time cover

A little trivia: There was a real “Great Race” from New York to Paris. It was won by an American built and driven, 60 horsepower, 4-cylinder 1907 Thomas Model 35 called the Thomas Flyer. This was big news at the time as the contestants were from around the world. A German team made it to Paris first; however, they were severely penalized for shipping their car on a train for part of the race.

Back to serious construction:


More silliness ensues: (We are given to silliness during the build challenge)


Weapons ,gadgets and some thoughts on paint and details:

This is where construction stopped. Some day I will finish it.


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