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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I asked this question on another forum and never got a real answer.

I raced slot cars back in the mid-60's on commercial tracks so "magnets" were never a topic of discussion except as to motors. Having just returned to slots last year, I found the use of magnets for traction interesting. I never had a home track back then so I only knew about routed MDF with either copper tape or braid.

So, I've been wondering what was the "first" RTR in 1/32nd scale that "touted" the benefits of a "magnet" for their cars/track system?

(Please, I already know about HO's and also know that Pittman motors inadvertently gave "magna-traction" thanks to my previous post - I'm just interested in the first RTR in 1/32nd scale...I'll guess Scalextric, but would like to know what car or cars they were.)
 

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Hi Da Vols

This is just going from memory I haven't double checked the details.

I believe the first Scalextric cars to use magnets were introduced back in 1988. These cars were the Honda Williams & Lotus, also during the same year Scalextric introduced the Porsche 962 & Jaguar XJR 9. All cars fitted with traction magnets at the time were denoted with the term "Magnatraction".

During 1988 Scalextric introduced a number of new cars/moulds including exciting innovations such as "Brake Lights" & "Turbo Flash" (F1 cars only) I think it was a good year for Scalextric & remember it favourably.


Regarding the answer to the question which manufacturer was the first ever to produce a RTR car which used a magnet?

Pass.


Jamie
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Jamie - funny that it took 1/32 so much longer than HO to use magnets for a traction aid, especially since this scale or I should say plastic track w/metal rails preceded HO by many a year. It's also interesting the cars you mentioned as possibly being the "first" - I see them a lot on EBAY at prices that are fair to their condition...was wondering if the first "magnet" car would have some kind of "collectability"...guess not!!!

Tropi - Yes, this query veered off quickly from what I asked immediately into HO and then into the origins/history of slot cars...though I tried to steer it back, never did get an answer - even a "possible" answer like Jamie's - but it was an interesting read nonetheless...
 

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I'm not sure it was intentional but some of the open motor cars from the 60's such as Strombecker and Atlas have a small bit of magnetic enhanced traction.
 

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The first true 1/32 magnetraction cars I remember were the polistil F1 and rally cars which were available around the late 70s early 80s I still have a jps lotus which I remember using to good effect,these cars also had air tyres and came with alternate gear ratios .amazing on classic track at the time .
 

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Not sure which was the first commercialy available magnet-car. I do know that lots of club members (including myself) were running cars with magnets addes for extra roadholding at the club I belonged to in the 1960's The habit disappeared when tracks became almost universally wooden with copper tape, but I can recall it being quite common at clubs that used Scalextric track.

I remember having a conversation with Simon Kohler at Hornby about magnatraction, and also trying to explain the dynamics of sidewinder/anglewinder cars among other things (I think 4WD came into the conversation as well). At that time Hornby had absolutely no interest in doing anything except making toys, and performance in even its most basic form was disregarded. If they had taken notice of racers earlier, or even hobbyists with practical experience, Hornby could have led the field instead of being pushed into development, having to catch up to other manufacturers coming onto the scene in the early 1990's.

Still, we can look back and amuse ourselves at other developments such as sonically-bonded axle assemblies, and floppy front wheels that would touch the track with at least 10 degrees of positive camber but perform no useful function. At least they have taken on staff with an interest in the hobby (railways as well) now and have some cutting edge technology to offer, but I feel the factor of being shareholder-led will still inhibit some areas as turnover will come before evaluation and development, to get products to the marketplace and keep the suits happy. Just my opinion of course........but how many other things have been disregarded over the years ?
 

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The first slotcars outside of the H0 world that came with special magnets were "Carrera Profi" in 1984. Carrera also has a patent on it. These cars had 3 magnets that were adjustable in their height - and the magnets were so strong that the cars are nearly undriveable.

... but I don't know who introduced magnets in 1/32 slotcars.
 

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Let me throw another ingredient into the witch's cauldron . . .

QUOTE he patented a system that consisted of placing a magnet in a particular part of the chassis that prevented the cars from continuously coming off the track.

Anyone know where that eye of newt came from?
(I do - it's just a little test!)
 

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Hi

The first "magnitraction" HO cars did not use separate magnets for handling, just placed motor and magnets to do dual usage and bragged about it.

The first "1/32"s to use this and feature it were the Cox cars from the mid 70s designed by P.deLespinay. However, the cars were actually 1/43ed. So, do you count those or not? A bit later, about 77, Bachman bought the Strombecker track molds and sold sets with cars featuring magnitraction. Again, they were advertised as 1/32, but were 1/40th scale.

Fate
 

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1 hp Trabant is not my real car
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With MRE's comments about Hornby, I don't know why Mope has not leaped into the thread yet?
 

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QUOTE (Tropi @ 17 Oct 2004, 18:16)Let me throw another ingredient into the witch's cauldron . . .

QUOTE he patented a system that consisted of placing a magnet in a particular part of the chassis that prevented the cars from continuously coming off the track.

Anyone know where that eye of newt came from?
(I do - it's just a little test!)
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That would be "Mr Fly" Rafael Barrios if my memory serves me correctly Tropi.
 

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I have to look up the exact year but I know for sure that the word "magnatraction" is registered trademark of Hornby and was introduced not for cars but HO trains before Scalextric existed.
The first Scalextric cars with magnatraction were indeed introduced in 1988.
They are not specially worth collecting: the magnet is very weak and probably lost all of its magnatraction over the years (square brown magnet). I am very interested in the history of slotcars I hope indeed someone here can give more accurate information on this subject.
 
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