Michael Paul Smith modeled an entire fictional 20th century town at 1/24 scale. His clever photography brought the town to life as he set his miniature dioramas against full-size backdrops to create vivid imagery and a real sense of nostalgia. The fictional 1/24 scale town also included dozens of die cast scale model cars from the era. In fact, the whole project started because Mr. Smith had a large collection of Franklin Mint and Danbury Mint 1/24 scale models that he wanted to feature in photos. He started making model buildings as stages for the photos of his car collection. The making of an entire scale model town took off from there. 

The Avanti was designed by famous industrial designer, Raymond Lowery, under contract to Studebaker as a last ditch effort to save the company from bankruptcy. The sporty, futuristic, 4-passenger fiberglass body was ahead of its time. It included many features that later became standard on other cars, like disc brakes, red instrument lighting, curved side glass, “coke bottle” side shape, under-bumper air intake, the rear view mirror glued to the windshield, and a pass-through to the trunk from the rear seat. For safety, a roll bar was incorporated into the interior. A supercharger was optional on the 289-cubic inch Studebaker V8 engine. 

Exhibit added: December 11, 2023 - Last modified: December 11, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship