Hauler 1/120 Texaco Bug
By Jacob Russell
The Texaco Doodlebug
The Texaco Doodlebug was a remarkably advanced gasoline tanker of the 1930s, designed by noted industrial designers Norman Bel Geddes and Walter Dorwin Teague. The Doodlebug did away with most elements typical of trucks of the period, lacking running boards, hood, cowl and separate fenders.
The Doodlebug, with a Diamond T chassis and body by the Heil Company of Alabama, was powered by a longitudinally mounted Hercules 6 cylinder rear engine. The 4 speed transmission and clutch were actuated by air pressure and a microphone in the cab, connected to a speaker in the engine compartment, told the driver when to shift. The Doodlebug had a compound curve windshield and stood a mere 6 feet tall. The driver sat well ahead of the front axle centerline so it must have given the driver a pretty rough ride.
Hauler's new 1/120th scale Doodlebug kit will fit in the palm of your hand. It's TINY! The kit consists of 25 parts. 9 of these are finely cast resin and there are 11 pieces on a photo-etch fret, a tiny decal sheet and a vacuform windshield.
This kit will be an easy build. The body and chassis are single pieces and the 6 wheels attach to axles which are first glued to the underside of the chassis. The resin quality is first class. There is minimal flash on the wheel wells. All the parts are attached to well located casting blocks and will be easily removed from them. The wheels and tires are finely detailed and will look great with an oil wash. The body has subtle, well executed details, such as the head and tail lights, the cast-on Texaco logos and body storage compartments.
The kit also includes a complete interior but I'm not sure you'll be able to see any of it. The vacuform windshield will be "fun" to install; you might want to pass on adding the interior and vac windshield. In this case, just paint the windows dark blue and then add the mirrors and windshield wipers.
The PE fret includes the windshield wipers, mirrors, steering wheel and the shifter These parts are tiny so have your preferred magnifier and photo-etch tools close at hand.
The Doodlebug had simple livery of overall red with white Texaco logos. The small decal sheet is well printed and in-register. It includes 2 options which are simply logos for the rear sides of the body. There is also a pair of Texaco logos, one each for the truck's front and rear.
The model's simplicity makes this a perfect candidate for a inclusion in a diorama. And it will be a perfect contest entry all by itself.
This is a first class kit of an obscure yet historically significant icon of Streamline Industrial Design. It's also an excellent introduction to multimedia models. Be careful with those tiny PE parts; just take your time. Hauler keeps mining history for some of the most esoteric modeling subjects and I love them for it. This will be a worthy addition to your collection. I recommend the Doodlebug kit and I would like to thank Hauler for the review sample.