Metal Monsters: Jim Roark’s Rusted Automobile Relics



Metal Monsters: Jim Roark's Rusted
Automobile Relics

October 4, 2011 - November 19, 2011
at The Mini-Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
Included with regular museum admission.
Free for members!

Reception and Refreshments
with the Artist
Thursday, October 6, 2011
All admission $5- this day only

Jim Roark’s “metal monsters” are full of nostalgia for the glory days of the automobile.  His miniature American classic cars are not your typical pristine miniature collector cars; rather they are vehicles that have been abandoned, left to rust and fall apart. Roark works with 1:24 and 1:32 scale plastic model kits and ages the contents so that they appear dirty, abused and distressed rather than shiny and new. More recently he has been taking die-cast model cars and literally tearing them apart then antiquing them with paint and chemicals until the vehicles are in a dilapidated state. The vehicles are presented in fragments of landscape sculpted by Roark such as a desert wash, an overgrown forest, a vacant lot or abandon farm. They are just the places you might stumble upon a rusted automobile relic. Looking at these aged autos one can’t help but be curious about their past.

Jim Roark loves cars. Really! He has had a passion for cars since his youth. While in high school he purchased a 1930 Cadillac 4-door sedan. He restored the full size Cadillac to showroom perfection over the course of two years with the help of two buddies. Since that time Roark has pursued his interest in restoring classic cars by building them from model kits. After years of recreating classic vehicles from kits Roark pondered, “What would this car look like if it had been abandoned in the desert for the past 30 years, full of grease, dirt, dust, rust, broken windows, flat tires and lots of dents?” The question begged an answer so Roark decided to approach his next model with a new twist and his rusted relics were born. He describes his process as building the kit backward, “planning all the way to destroy it and see how it would look all bright, new and shiny and then make it dirty, abused and distressed.” Roark figures that “to some they may be just a junk pile, but to those of us who appreciate the American automobile, they are a thing of beauty and elegance!”






About Jim Roark

Jim Roark was introduced to model building as a youth by his father who built old time model ships. Even before he could read the plans the young Roark built his own model cars, trucks, ships and military miniatures. He had an aptitude for art and was encouraged to pursue a career in the field.

Roark earned a BPA (Bachelor of Professional Arts) in Advertising Design at The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 1963. His studies included fine art, architecture, graphic design and offset printing. He worked professionally as a graphic designer, printer, engineer and creative designer for 30 years.

Throughout his adult life Roark continued to build miniature model vehicles and began creating his rusted automobile relics in the1980s. Though sculpting vehicles is his passion, he also paints, and dabbles in photography. Since retiring in 1992, Roark spends hundreds of hours perfecting the detail of his decaying vehicles so to present an authentic, albeit smaller version, of what were once elegant machines. Roark resides in Tucson, Arizona.

Exhibit Guides

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you WIN, we WIN, they WIN!

While you’re here…don’t forget to purchase a raffle ticket to the 5th Annual Tucson Classics Car Show. Raffle tickets are only $5. Each ticket is good for admission to the show AND a chance to win a 2002 Corvette or $10,000 cash (ticket holders need not be present to win). Proceeds benefit the Reading Seed and other Tucson charities. Plus, if you purchase your ticket at The Mini-Time Machine Museum, a portion of proceeds will benefit the museum!