1961 Corvette - Big John Mazmanian Diecast Model

  • Our Price: $109.95
  • Out of Stock
Precision Miniatures 1961 Chevrolet Corvette - Big John Mazmanian diecast car
Customer Rating: 9 stars
  • Year: 1961
  • Brand: Precision Miniatures
  • Make: Chevrolet
  • Code: PRM-14
  • Model: Corvette - Big John Mazmanian
  • Scale: 1:18
  • Color: Candy Apple Red
  • Note: Legendary model made by Precision Miniatures!

Hot Rod Magazine featured “Big John” Mazmanian’s beautiful candy-apple red, drag racing Corvette on their March 1963 cover and called it the “Double-Threat ‘Vette” referring to how it was equally capable of being a racer and a show car. Once you’ve seen this car, you’ll know they hit the nail right on the head!

John Mazmanian began his “Corvette adventure” when “Dyno Don” Nicholson, who ran the dynamometer at C.S. Mead Chevrolet in Pasadena, California, told him about a 1961 “fuelie” Corvette that dyno’ed better than all the other cars on the lot. John wasted no time in purchasing it and he raced it occasionally. But when he found out his nephew, Richard Siroonian, was borrowing it to race on the streets of Los Angeles County, John decided that he and Richard would take it racing, but this time, legally.

The first year out, they won the 1961 NHRA Winternationals in A-Sports (A/SP) turning 109.96 mph with the fuel-injected 283” small-block. Over the summer they replaced the fuel injection with a GMC 4-71 blower and a Hilborn two-port injector and won the C-Modified Sports (CM/SP) title at the 1962 Winternationals with a speed of 113 mph. They also took home the 3rd place trophy at the Winternationals Car Show. Then they got serious and installed a “Bones” Balogh 327” small-block opened up to 338” and equipped with a GMC 6-71 blower, Hilborn four-port injector, Isky cam, Jardine headers and a B&M Hydro. This bumped them to B-Modified Sports (BM/SP) and by March of ’63 were turning 130 mph and 10.90 seconds e.t. with “Bones” doing the driving.

The unusual rear wheel-arch shape resulted from them borrowing a set of big drag slicks from Dick Bourgeois and Earl Wade while running at the San Gabriel Dragstrip. The slicks wouldn’t fit into the stock wheel wells so they did a “temporary fix” with a hack saw intending to re-shape the wheel wells once they got time. This became part of the car’s signature look and never got around to being fixed until after the car was sold. Bringing the car back to its present day “Mazmanian look” required getting a new rear clip and having at it with the hack saw again! “Big John” sold the ‘Vette in late 1963 and built the car he is most famous for: the ’41 Willys Gasser that was one of the “Big Four” of the “Gasser Wars” era of drag racing. But the candy-red ‘Vette will always be remembered as one of the prettiest cars to ever run the quarter-mile!

Precision Miniatures has done their “patented” magnificent job of duplicating this wonderful car. All the components are there, although some have been borrowed from different times over the car’s life. For example, the engine is the 338” SBC, but the transmission is the 4-speed. This was intentional and gives us a flavor of how the car “morphed” from stock Corvette to the ground-pounding race car it became. When you look at the car, the first thing you see is that beautiful mile deep “candy-apple” red (actually persimmon) paint. “Big John’s” cars were all about candy-apple, chrome, polished aluminum and speed! There are so many details that need mentioning about this model, it’s hard to know where to start. When you go to open the hood, the first thing you notice are the hinges. These are no ordinary dog-legs. They have beautifully replicated the stock Corvette hinges and, of course, it’s chromed, ditto the “over-center” hood brace. The SBC block has the appropriate-model 7-fin Corvette valve covers (Chevy part no. 3767493) and the space between the fins and around the “Corvette” script has been filled-in with red paint. This was hard on the full-size valve cover, I can’t imagine what doing it in 1:18 would be like. The Hilborn injector has the four little black hoses running from the throttle metering block to the individual injectors and the injector scoop actually says “Hilborn” in the casting. The Vertex magneto sitting behind the blower has the eight little white spots showing the firing order. One thing that I haven’t seen before that is a nit and, at the same time, WONDERFUL is the script “Fuel Injection” badge on the fender. Up until now, most badging was either painted-on flat to the body or made of plastic and looked a foot thick. Precision Miniatures has found a way to duplicate the chrome badge in luster and scale. You’ll need a magnifying glass for this one, but it’s worth seeing. And, I believe, an industry first! The trunk opens by disconnecting the parachute shroud lines to reveal a flocked interior. The rear of the car has the “optional third tail lights” made famous by Jan & Dean in “Deadman’s Curve” and the driveshaft rotates when the rear wheels are turned. The interior captures the feeling and detail of the car with the photo etch and plastic steering wheel, column-mounted Sun tach, white shift knob, floor-mounted fire extinguisher and doors mounted on correct hinges.

Is there anything I would change? A few : The blower belt is a little narrow, and the Moon tank and wheels are a little less polished than I would like but I’m being a total nit-picker. THIS IS ONE INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL CAR AT A PRICE WE DON’T DESERVE TO PAY FOR IT!!! They could easily charge $200 for this car and it would be good value. The new year is young, but this could easily qualify for “1:18 Scale Car of the Year”! Don’t let this one slip by.

-Bill Bennett

  • Our Price: $109.95
  • Out of Stock

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