Visible V8 Engine Rebuild

After watching this time lapse video of a 10 month Chrysler Hemi rebuild, you might just develop a craving to do the same thing at home, albeit on a smaller scale.
What'chu Talkin' "Bout Garagistry?
Well, many of our members and followers remember the Renwal Visible V8 model, introduced in 1958.
For those unfamiliar, the Visible V8 is a transparent, operating auto engine assembly kit Impressive in size but relatively simple to build, the quarter-scale model employed a clear plastic cylinder block, heads, and rocker covers, allowing a look inside at the working internal components. An electric motor (hidden in the starter) drove the crankshaft, rods, pistons, and valve train, while a miniature distributor illuminated tiny light bulbs that served as simulated spark plugs.

A hugely popular model in its day, the Visible V8 could be found in kids’ bedroom,in science rooms and auto shop classes, too. As a working replica it wasn’t terribly sophisticated, but it did provide a clear and useful depiction of how auto engines work. Fun and educational: What more could we have asked for?

In conjunction with the Visible V8, Renwal also made the Visible Automobile Chassis, a 3-foot long model with working parts and transparent parts allowing anyone to view the inner workings of various parts. It also came with instructions on installing your completed Visible V8 engine.
While the details are somewhat sketchy, the Renwal Model Company was either bought out by Revelle or Revelle acquired their model molds and blueprints after ceasing operations sometime in the 70's. (If anyone has the hard facts, please add them to the comments.) Can you still buy either of these models? The answer is yes, but they are vintage models, expensive and opening the box would destroy the value. We found the V8 @ $325 and the Chassis @ $1,100 here and dozens of them on eBay for far less.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE ARE STILL SEVERAL VISIBLE V8's STILL BEING MADE!
To start, there is the Revelle version of the original which is a V8 in the most simplistic form, a pushrod OHV set up that seems to have been modeled after either a Studebaker of Cadillac engine.
There is another version of a more modern V8 made by Haynes, which also makes an inline 4 cylinder version. 

We found the Revelle and Haynes kits to be priced about $75 or less and are widely available. BTW, the Revelle version is operated by a hand crank, while the Haynes is battery powered with sounds and spark plug firings.
While it might be a last-minute gift idea, we could think of no better way to immerse your favorite son, daughter, grand kid, niece or nephew in the construction of a V8 on the Dining Room table.

Happy Motoring!
The Garagistry Team

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