Ed Roy - Master Craftsman

Ed Roy with his creations
I mentioned Ed Roy in my post about the 1911 Simplex - the history of that car starting with his restoration back in the late 1950's. Soon after restoring his 1911 Simplex, he set out to build a fully operational scale model of each body style Simplex offered in 1911. Yes, you read that correctly - these scale models ran and drove just as the real car did!

Dad came to know Ed Roy because of his membership in the VMCCA. Dad joined the group as a kid; before he had his drivers license. Many of the members came to know Dad and would pick him up in one of their old cars and take him to the weekly meetings. It was through this mentorship that Dad came to know collectors such as Frank Gardner, Rob Blood, Ed Roy and others. Ed was an engineer who worked for Warren Collins (another collector from the era) who's company made, among other things, iron lungs.

It's my understanding that during the restoration of the full size car, Ed had created drawings of many of the parts. After he had completed the full size car, he came upon the idea of scaling these drawings down to build an exact, working 1/6 scale replica. This turned into 6 scale replicas - one for each body style offered in 1911. He literally cast or machined miniature gears, cylinders, etc. He fabricated bodies, wheels, lamps, etc. - all to exacting standards. Of course, these models were quite a thing to see. I had the good fortune of see two of them as a kid at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum - simply amazing.

These pictures were sent to Dad from Ed before he passed away. Dad always wanted to own one of these pieces, but was never able to work out an arrangement with Ed before he died. I'm not sure where they all are now. I know that Ed sold a couple - one to Dick Teague. I believe the others were left to his daughter. If anyone knows where these are today, I'd love to hear about it.



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