1959 Film: The Precision Models of Rex Hays

Meet Rex Hays, the master craftsman who inspired a generation of model car builders, in this 1959 film. 



The late Rex Hays of Sussex, England came from a family of artists and sculptors. Trained as a mechanical engineer, he worked as an author, historian, and broadcaster, but he is probably best remembered today as a professional model maker. Specializing in Grand Prix race cars and working in multiple scales, he drew commissions from carmakers, Formula 1 constructors, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, and the royal family, including the Queen.

A generation of enthusiasts recall how were inspired to take up model car building by the work of Hays, many of whom first encountered it in his book, Tribute by Trophy, published in 1958. (Copies sometimes can be found at eBay and Amazon.) This 1959 British Pathé newsreel item provides a brief but fascinating look at his work, including his novel methods—many of the bodies were intricate wood carvings. Video below.


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