by Mike -
In the early 1960s, a Borg-Warner subsidiary, Marob Chemical, experimented with the development of “CRV” (Cycolac Research Vehicle) cars, named after the plastic used to construct the bodies.
Only a handful were built. One was later modified and featured in the “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” TV show.
One actively campaigned in the SCCA’s Midwest Region and claimed the “D Modified” Central Division Championship. AMT, the model company, bought the rights to manufacture a 1/24th scale version and also built a limited run of full-size cars to enter into races to promote their kits.
The Piranha was styled by William Schmidt and constructed in Phoenix, Arizona by Jentzen-Miller.
It is powered by a turbocharged air-cooled horizontally opposed (boxer) 164 cid 6-cylinder engine developing 150 hp.
Only a handful of these cars were constructed. This example was a back yard find and has been fully restored, with the historically correct livery, painted decals and logos.
This car was photographed at the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in August 2012.
The text above describing this car was copied from the sign next to the car.
I think it is fascinating that a model car company would build real cars to help sell their model kits. I remember spending a lot of my paper route money on AMT model cars but I did not get the Piranha.
How often do you see a plastic kit car made by a model car company sitting next to a Jaguar C-Type? It was a first for me too.
I am sure there are more examples of this phenomenon – if you know of any other full size cars that were made by model companies share them with us in the Comments.
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