My Indy 500 Winners

One of the aims of my personal collection is to have a model of each Indianapolis 500 winner. At the time of writing, that’s 100 cars! With the models I own, I’m at 12% of target.

Now, despite the negativity of me pointing out a bunch of faults on the pieces below, I actually do like them!


Spark has an Indianapolis 500 winners collection underway at the moment. I’ve acquired a number of them over time and, in general, they are pretty good with excellent paint and decals and the odd PE part here and there.

However, nearly all of them suffer the same error – tyre size is not correct, particularly when it comes to the width of the rears. From a build perspective, chromed/plated parts on the real car are not being chromed on the models, and suspension arms are overly thick.

1965 winner – Jim Clark, Lotus 38
Spark’s version. The green is not quite right, but it’s not as wrong as this photo suggests. Exhaust paint is very messy. The ’82’ does not fill the roundel on the nose like the real car. Minor I know, but important to the vibe the model is supposed to give of a mid-60s Indy car.


1967 winner – AJ Foyt, Coyote
Spark’s version. I’ve done a review on this model in the past – read it HERE.


1969 winner – Mario Andretti, Brawner-Hawk
Spark’s version. Rims should be metallic magnesium colour, not brown! Wheels/tyres are undersize; nose deflectors are oversize.


1972 winner – Mark Donohue, McLaren M16B
Spark’s version. L&M tobacco logos on the rear wing endplate are included but need to be fitted by the collector. The rear wing is a bit high, rims are frosted-silver colour, not the almost-chrome look of polished aluminium. Driver’s visor could be darker and the model is missing the shielding on leading edge of the radiator inlet.


1974 Winner – Johnny Rutherford, McLaren M16C
Spark’s version. Machined rim edge looks ok. Spark even replicated the blue pieces of tape on the bodywork.


1976 winner – Johnny Rutherford, McLaren M16C
Spark’s version. Casting is the same as the ’74 car with slight decoration changes. Spark included the vertical fins in the rear wing. Rollover bar is a bit big.


1980 winner – Johnny Rutherford, Chaparrel
Spark’s version. Rear tyres on the model are too small.


Carousel 1

This now defunct brand had a great selection of Indy cars in 1:18, but only did these four in 1:43. I bought these in 2005 and they can be hard to come by these days.

1911 winner – Ray Harroun, Marmon Wasp
Carousel 1’s version. I don’t think the tyres should be black, but there were no colour pics in 1911! The car rolls on black rubber today.


1960 winner – Jim Rathmann, Watson
Carousel 1’s version.


1961 winner – AJ Foyt, Trevis
Carousel 1’s version. Oil tank is correct for race day.


1962 winner – Rodger Ward, Watson
Carousel 1’s version. Roll hoop colour does not match qualifying day photo.


The famous German manufacturer has a couple of Indy 500 winners in 1:43 scale, but this one the casting used does not reflect the actual race car as it ran at Indy. The biggest error is the model does not have the tail fin on the engine cover, but there are some other shape/aero issues too.

1995 winner – Jacques Villeneuve, Reynard 95I
Minichamps’ version (enhanced with aftermarket Player’s decals and some detail painting). Controversy surrounded the release of this model when Players withdrew permission, but it’s believed most, if not all, of the 4,444 pieces produced eventually hit the market. At one time these were fetching over US$300 each!  Mine is #3303 of 4444 produced.


There are other manufacturers with Indy winners (MA Scale, Tameo, RepliCarz to name a few) but I don’t have any of these. Yet.

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