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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,heres a rather odd set made by Lionel in 1961 called "Auto Race Game". This was their 1st race set made after their 1912 set. I think they did this as a stop gap measure done while they were trying to get in the slot car market.
In 1962 they sold Scalextric here in the US under their name,then they produced their own cars.So here we have a set with 2 Packards around 1/40th scale. The transfomer controls the power while each car has its own off & on button controls. In they literature they say this system is better than the then current slot car systems because the track is cheaper & there is more flexability in track designs.
Of course this is absurd.
Well it does make a good story in the sometimes strange history of our hobby. Thanks,Bernard
 

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Thanks for sharing this very interesting set!

I was impressed by the price, 40$ seems to be a lot in 1961.
But according to the fact, that the price for a McD hamburger was 15 cent that time, it seems quite okay. 1$ being the price for a hamburger today, this set would cost 266,66$ these days. But I´m not shure, if this is comparable...


Cheers!

Markus
 

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$40 was still a pretty big hunk of change in 1961, up there in imported Scalextric territory (for a simple set without transformer!).

And the strange thing is that Lionel was not alone in this boat... (do you have the Atlas set too Bernard?)

I have to congratulate the copywriters on this, trying to make a totally boring toy somewhat interesting, but I bet that not a lot were sold!



 

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Im wondering if this was a little misplaced forward thinking on someone,s
part.
Where they trying to cash in on selling this system to to new buyers plus
those who already had railroads ?
If it had come off, that would be a double killing !!!
Mac P
 

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"There's a new thing that all the cool kids in Southport, London, England are doing! Model racecars but on model railroad tracks! They call it English railracing. Let me get you some photographs of their setup and we'll see about launching a set."

"Hey, no need. Racecars. Model railroad. Got it. Let's get busy before someone beats us to market."
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi,heres the Atlas set as requested. The set is called Turbo Express,HO Speedway Racer Set. The vehicles are propelled by the rear propellers.
I guess Atlas & Lionel decided to duke it out for supremacy in the slot car industry.
There are photos of the decals,instructions,& a comparison between the Lionel & Atlas.Oh & the 2 transformers are called Turbo Slaves !
Well another weird direction our hobby went in the early days. Thanks,Bernard
 

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I think Bernard's explanation above is the simplest: both companies wanted to get into this hot new market as soon as possible and this was quicker than tooling up for a real slot racing system - which they both did do a year or two later...

Don
 

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More wild toys! Those are great Bernard. I know I've bugged you before about it, but do you ever run any of these fantastic sets? I don't think I'd be able to sleep at night until I got those things running!

Propellers! Ha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi guys,yes the propellers work !
They start rather slowly then speed up.I do have some sets which i have never run but will 1 day. I have around 600 sets so it may take some time.
I do really want to try some especally the pre 1960 sets. thanks, Bernard
 
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