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Vintage slot cars are racing cars too!


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#1 T54

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 21:37

I was wondering if some of you gentlemen, be interested in a thread about old slot cars. After all, this is the Autosport Nostalgia Forum, and racing cars exist in all sizes, large and small. Looks like we are all discussing about STATIC models and toys here, why not talking about some that actually DO something, like.. move. So I propose a thread that would discuss, show old slot cars and the history of people around them, as well as some cars currently or recently manufactured, but of older racing cars, as well as show actual vintage racing of such, tracks etc.
Any interest? :)


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#2 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 03:56

I was wondering if some of you gentlemen, be interested in a thread about old slot cars. After all, this is the Autosport Nostalgia Forum, and racing cars exist in all sizes, large and small. Looks like we are all discussing about STATIC models and toys here, why not talking about some that actually DO something, like.. move. So I propose a thread that would discuss, show old slot cars and the history of people around them, as well as some cars currently or recently manufactured, but of older racing cars, as well as show actual vintage racing of such, tracks etc.
Any interest? :)


Yes. I have a few old slot cars, and a friend of mine has a good collection. Go for it.

Vince h.


#3 Hamish Robson

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 10:23

I for one would be very interested. I spent much of the 80s and late 70s kneeling next to a Scalextric set, thrashing my Mk1 Escort or Williams FW07 round, and round, and round. Used to build small versions of all the current GP tracks and chronical them in a sketch pad so I could reproduce them at a later stage. Me and a mate spent summer after glorious summer with that fantastic toy, I've still got it all at the folks' house.

Hopefully we'll get Barry B's input here - he's got some great stuff on his website.

#4 T54

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 15:03

OK, let's try then.

Here are some pictures of cars from the huge collection of the LASCM museum in Los Angeles. First, a 1/24 scale kit of the Jaguar D-Type, issued in early 1965 by the Unique company:

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This also existed as a RTR model fitted with a Pittman motor:

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This RTR model is considered by the experts (and me too...) as the first ever 1/24 scale production ready-to-race slot car in the world. Well, one still had to assemble and paint the driver and install the decals, but hey, small potatoes since one could take the car out of the clear plastic box, stick it on the track and drive it, using whatever early device such as the popular British-built MRRC controller.

That ought to get this thread started... :)

Edited by T54, 11 May 2010 - 15:04.


#5 bill p

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 17:34



Some examples of Cox 1/24th scale slot cars produced 1966/67 - note the GT40 and 2C have fixed a motor mount whereas the later 2D has an adjustable mount to allow alterations to gearing. The Cox cars were beautifully made with hard bodies, magnesium chassis and wheels but were soon overtaken competitively by the likes of Russkit with their lightweight bodies.

I raced these in 1966/67 in Northern Ireland but within a year to be competitive I was racing scratchbuilt cars made from brass rod, brass sheet and vacuum formed bodies such was the speed of development of slot cars

Ford GT40

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Chaparral 2C

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Chaparral 2D

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#6 T54

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:35

Cool models! :love:

The Chaparral "2C" is a misnomer of course, the Cox model being that of the standard "2A" in its 1965 Sebring form, since this is where and when the Cox engineers photographed it and took the necessary measurements since no plans existed.

One of their most desirable kits was that of the 1965 2E, made in 3 different version by the famous Santa Ana company, located less than a half-mile from the All American Racers shop.

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The magnesium chassis has a tendency to corrode, so this one was restored using my own method described in the LASCM blog:

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A bit of detailing on the plastic Jim Hall:

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This model not only ran great but had a working airfoil actuated by the motor's torque.

:)





#7 Hamish Robson

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:13

Excellent idea to have a torque-actated rear wing. Does aerodynamics have much of a part to play at this scale? I guess with the high scale speeds then maybe.

#8 T54

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 15:05

Due to the Reynolds scale, aerodynamics have virtually zero influence at the speed attained by this Cox model. It simply does not displace the 24-time larger air molecules fast enough. Aerodynamics began having an influence in the early 1970s when professional racing bodies were specifically designed as wedges and fitted with quite large aerodynamic implements, that grew taller and taller with time. As 1/24 scale cars reached speeds of 80mph (VS 15mph for your fastest Scalextric or any other 1/32 scale "plastikar"), aerodynamics became the sole factor of keeping the cars from flying off track, and cornering speed increased from a couple Gs in the 1960s to over 30Gs on modern pro-racing machines, that look little like a real car.

This is a 1/24 scale pro-racing 1972 machine I built in the day, that won the biggest professional "open-class" race that year in the USA:

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As you can see, the added devices are rather large, and they have DOUBLED in size since then... below is its chassis and running gear, all hand built of course as there were few bits available commercially:

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This model was restored with a reproduction body in 2007.

This car reached a speed of over 70mph and lapped an 8-turn, 155' track in 3.7 seconds. Today's pro cars cover the same distance of the same track design in 1.5 seconds. Sounds impossible, but that is a fact. A modern Scalextric or the best of other available "plastikars" cover the same lap in roughly 12 seconds.

Interestingly, the aero was developed in collaboration with Maurice Philippe, then the Indy car designer for the Vel's Parnelli team. Philippe was my friend and a fanatic of slot cars, having learned his love for racing cars from early Scalextric sets. We had the same employer who "leased" us to the two companies we worked for.



#9 Alan Cox

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 20:53

Great photos, chaps, especially the 'Unique' D Type, Philippe, which I have never seen before.
As a youth I was always keen on scale and realism in slot racing cars, rather than the piano-wire and clear bodied hot rods with sponge tyres that the pros always favoured, but have to admire the speeds that those devices attained. Hence I always coveted something from the Cox inventory, but couldn't afford one and, besides, most of them were 1/24th scale. I was given my first, tinplate Scalextric set in 1959 with two Maseratis and while I still have the cars and part of the set (including the box), I am in the course of collecting sections of the original shiny track to recreate the set. I am also repurchasing the Revell items which I had way back then, and have added some Monogram ones which were then out of my schoolboy's price range, and am amazed at how much 'mint and boxed' stuff, including spares, surfaces on eBay.

#10 T54

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 23:39

Alan,
If you are located in the United States, I may be able to help you as I have some of the early sections in "rubber", that came from a "tinplate" set. You can have them for free and just pay for the shipping.

To continue, here you have the contents of the Cox "double kit" 1965 Ferrari Dino 206:

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And one assembled as the coupe that was at Sebring that year:

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and the later version with aluminum frame, sold as a ready-to-race model:

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And its scarce box:

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:)


Edited by T54, 13 May 2010 - 23:46.


#11 Alan Cox

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 16:32

Alan,
If you are located in the United States, I may be able to help you as I have some of the early sections in "rubber", that came from a "tinplate" set. You can have them for free and just pay for the shipping.

A very kind offer, Philippe, for which I thank you. Sadly, I am the other side of the Atlantic and I know that mailing costs from the USA for can make bulky items prohibitively expensive. I have found some pieces on eBay in this country so shall continue searching.

#12 Rob Miller

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 16:55

T54, how did you make the jump from scale to 'thingy'? Was is a slow, almost unnoticed slide to remain competitive or a conscious decision at some point in time?

Also is the 1 1/2 second lap done flat out?

Edited by Rob Miller, 19 May 2010 - 16:58.


#13 T54

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:00

Sorry! Well anyway, if anyone needs them, I have them free of charge except for shipping costs. :)

Here are a few more interesting 1/24 scale slot cars completely hand built in 1966-1968 by a very good craftsman in the USA:

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How is that for craftsmanship? :)


T54, how did you make the jump from scale to 'thingy'? Was is a slow, almost unnoticed slide to remain competitive or a conscious decision at some point in time?

Also is the 1 1/2 second lap done flat out?

Rob,
The slow switch from exact-scale to speed machines began in 1966 when a fellow called Mike Morrissey installed a rear spoiler and a front diaplane on a McLaren-Elva body on his Team Russkit slot car, and promptly won a championship race organized by the defunct Rod & Custom magazine. By 1970, the McLaren M8 body was the racing pros favorite and was not only fitted with the rear spoiler but with small side dams. By 1975, the bodies vaguely resembled real cars and the side dams grew higher and higher. By 1980, pro racers had discovered cobalt magnets that made the motors much smaller and more powerful. By 1995, the motor size was now less than 1/2 of what it had been in the early 1970;s and they were more than twice as powerful.
By 2005, the average speed around the token 155' track with 8 turns exceeded 80mph, and when the track was in shape for qualifying laps, one could "punch" the track all around and set laps below 1.5". It is quite impressive to watch and a lot more difficult to drive than many believe...

Edited by T54, 20 May 2010 - 02:07.


#14 T54

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 02:43

Old Japanese kits on the LASCM website, that include racing cars:

DOYUSHA kits

TOKYO-PLAMO kits

Not precise, not faithful, but quite interesting in the early days of Japanese car racing. :)

#15 SWB

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 07:38

Absolute magic T54, I can't stop looking at the details on the chassis pics. I'm going to sound like an old fart, but what a great era to be messing about with a soldering iron. Every Thursday night at my slot car club it was like twenty Colin Chapman's all turned up with superb work and some wacky ideas. The great thing was that everybody had the opportunity to put something of their own into a design even if it was essentially copied from 'Model Cars' (like most of mine).

Steve


#16 werks prototype

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 23:39

Here are a few more interesting 1/24 scale slot cars completely hand built in 1966-1968 by a very good craftsman in the USA:

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How is that for craftsmanship? :)


Absolutely beautiful.

#17 T54

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 01:42

These are of course, vintage models built in 1966/1967 by a single craftsman, but the revival of 1/24 scale Retro Racing is upon the USA as many clubs have formed to race replicas of 1966 to 1969 Can-Am cars, with hand built brass chassis and inexpensive Chinese electric motors. It has been quite successful and has led to race meetings with over 200 entries in the various classes, and fierce racing.
The cars, Lola T160s, Ti22s, Ferrari 612, McLaren MK8 etc. are semi-scale, painted to look like pro-racing cars of that era rather than exacting reproductions of the real thing. Theya re aerodynamically efficient and the bodies develop up to 18 grams of down force at top speed. The bodies are made of 0.010" GE Lexan to resist impacts. The chassis per the rules, must be hand built from steel and brass wire as well as brass plate, but the design is free, so there are quite a few different designs!
It is like vintage racing but in the smaller scale...
Here is my own entry in one of the recent races:

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A Ti22 entry painted to look like the real thing:

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The field during tech inspection:

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The cars are fun to drive, handle superbly and are very fast despite they very low cost.