Monday, May 17, 2010


Report by Mat Irvine
One of the original comic book ‘superheroes’, (though strictly speaking he actually wasn’t), was the fast-shooting detective Dick Tracy. Inventor of the wrist-watch radio, Tracy has been immortalised in model form by two kits from Aurora, (since reproduced by Polar Lights), and by his car from the 1990 movie starring Warren Beattie, by AMT, though this was really no more than a 1936 Ford two-door Coupe. But visit the Volo Auto Museum in the small town of Volo, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Chicago, as I did recently and you can see the much more exciting model of transport for the yellow-coated detective, seen in pictures shown here.

Volo is a treat for anyone interested in cars. It is basically an auction house for collectible cars of all eras, from classic to modern. But over the years it built itself up into a museum par excellence, with not only many of the cars for auction on display pre-sale, but many acquisitions made by the museum.

Many of the acquisitions are ‘Star Cars’ - cars that have featured on TV and in the movies - and although this Dick Tracy car wasn’t in the Beattie movie, it certainly looks the part.

More on the Volo Museum is just one of the ideas that are currently being discussed as an e-zine, examples of which you can see on Volo’s website.

Visit the Volo Museum online here.

The pictures show, top to bottom:
1  The 1:25 scale AMT Dick Tracy car, as featured in the 1990 movie. It is actually a black-painted 1936 Ford two-seater coupe. The kit is nicely done, and builds into a handsome replica of the full-size collectible car.
2-4  The ‘new’ Dick Tracy car I saw recently at the Volo Auto Museum, complete with a life-size figure of Dick Tracy.
5  Volo Museum poster.

SMN note:
That yellow car is a great looking retro design. Sad to say, it’s not available as a kit but would make a great kit-bashing project.
Incidentally, Dick Tracy is one of the longest-running comic strips - it was launched in the pages of the Detroit Mirror newspaper on October 4, 1931, and is still going strong today.