1991 was the year that Michael Andretti won the PPG Indy Car Championship for Newman/Haas Racing and it was also the year that we were commissioned to build our very first 1:10 scale Indy Car model. 

Ralph Hansen

Towards the end of the 1991 race season, we were invited to the Newman/Haas motor home, at the Vancouver Molson Indy, by Ralph Hansen President of Pegasus Promotions, now Pegasus Marketing Group to meet Carl Haas.  It was to discuss the building of a scale model of their Kmart Havoline Lola to present to Mr. Joseph Antonini, the president of Kmart, the major sponsor on their Indy car.  We had no idea at that time, that motor racing, would become such a major part of our life, from that time on.  In a matter of weeks, after the completion of that first prototype model, we were meeting people we had only seen in movies, or on TV sports programs.   Ralph Hansen became a personal friend, helping and guiding us, in every way he could, over the years that followed.

My wife and I, were invited to the annual Newman/Haas Racing Christmas dinner,  at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Haas in Chicago, Illinois, along with the Andretti family, team members, and their many personal friends and sponsors.   It was a grand affair, an event that was a once in a life time experience.  Ralph was there to introduce us to everyone, that he felt we needed to know.   We were asked back to the Haas residence again the next morning, to discuss the making of more models of their 1992 Indy cars, in the new year.  

Before returning to Vancouver, we got another "opportunity of a lifetime".  We were invited to visited the "Race Factory" at the famous "500 Tower Parkway" to witness the birth of their 1992 Lola Cosworths, being prepared at that time, for the upcoming race season. (pictures below are obviously not the 1992 cars)

the Race Factory Birthing Room

photo credit: Ralph Hansen 
Elza, in the reception of 500 Tower Parkway, Illinois, the offices of Newman Haas Racing, with an earlier classic

photo credit: Ralph Hansen

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