Category: Hobby

Bill Atwood, model engine designer


Image: from cover of Engine Collectors Journal, issue #144, via .

In 1938 “…he became interested in the race cars at the rail track of Tommy and Harry Dooling in nearby Culver City. Watching the Doolings and Dan Bunch running their Dennymite and Brown Jr. powered racers, he thought to himself, ‘I can do better than that!’ In his home shop he built a 10cc engine which he installed in a Bunch car and proceeded to amaze the car buffs. By 1939 he had improved this design and was selling some completed engines, as well as casting sets. These engines were the Crown Champion series.”

Excerpt from . Learn more about Bill Atwood at the link and here: .

Atwood was born in Riverside and lived in the greater Los Angeles area until his death in 1978. He had a notable 50-year history of designing and building model engines.


HO scale model railroading


Scale model railroading, as distinguished from toy trains, gained popularity in the mid 1930s with the establishment of magazines and manufacturers such as Varney in Hollywood. Excerpts from their 40 page catalog are shown here.



Varney made parts as well as kits for complete locomotives, freight cars and passenger cars. They also stocked motors, tools and paint. They were exclusively, and among the first, in HO (1:87) scale.