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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw these cars on ebay just a couple months ago, and a friend in the US got them for me, because the guy wouldn't ship overseas. Anyway, they seemed interesting because of the odd guide system, and I even thought of the New Jersey club that supposedly got its start in 1947 and talked about a "tether" slot guide system a bit like this... But when I saw them, they didn't really correspond to that.

From the top they just look like normal period Strombecker 1/24 kit conversions... except for that funny guide arm sticking out the side...





But when you look inside, things get a little more complicated - I had seen the capacitor, not that unusual, but there also seems to be a diode in there, so obviously some type of multiple cars on a lane system, with lane changing...





Probably home-made steering, but looks a bit like the K&B unit also... I had thought the cars would be early 60s, in line with the Strombecker kits, but those are later model Strombecker motors, from their set cars, and one of the cars has Rannalli tires, altho those could be added later.. And then looking at the guide arrangement on the bottom, things get more complicated! Not really sure how this was supposed to work - there's a front pin that's spring loaded - they little white button thing, and then the trailing arm, with a fiber board holding another short pin and the braids... Don't recognize those nylon bevels either.





So, nothing definite, but an interesting experiment in any case. Since I didn't get the cars directly, I don't have much info on the seller, but I think they came out of Ohio, if that helps anyone - would be very interested to know more about this system!

And just as a counterpoint, here's a rather conventional 50s F1 conversion from about the same time, this time with a Merit Vanwall body on a Dynamic chassis... and a very cool Chiquita banana sticker!





Don
 

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Hello Don,

I´m not specialist in electronics and 1:24 slot, so that I might fail in what is going to say, but my hypothesis is:

the first owner used a transformer 6V with the reference H19 of Strombecker'60. which was the second transformer marketed by Strombecker ( or first when 1:32 to do Strombecker scale cars ) .

That transformer was designed to run car carrying Japanese motors 3.5 V Kako, that were included in the first 1:24 of Strombecker cars 1959/60 and the budget versions of the Jaguar D 1:32 included in the circuits 312 and 313 (by the way the car is not the first version of that model and those circuits are not the first as some sources say ... but that's another story ...).

The issue is Kako 3.5 V motor is a low volume performance and a very complicated due largely to its side magnets, as a consequence it is very difficult to make mechanical changes.

I think the first owner of a material Merit / Strombecker 1959 or 1960 (references static kits Mercedes and Maserati GP GP and D43 D41, respectively), in turn transformer 1960 and commented at some point change from 1963 standart engine mechanics using open Strombecker 12V ( really built for Strombecker by Igarashi of Japan).

The new chassis, motors etc give more guidance and performance but the first owner still has the same old transformer ! .

I apologize because my knowledge of electronics are not adequate, but I think the capacitors appear to have a transformer 6V with 12V powered cars.

There were a few years following the sale of Strombecker hands of Strombeck-Becker Dowst in which there were no developments at 1:24.

During this time, fans of this scale and the mark, had no solution to customize their own cars with original Strombecker parts, then they did these things.
 

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The motors in the two cars with the weird guide are 1965 versions of the Igarashi motor first issued in 1963 for Strombecker. These motors came in the Strombecker kits featuring the 2-piece pressed-aluminum chassis. The motor was also sold separately and has a different armature and endbell compared to the original motor. This definitely dates the cars to have been manufactured at the least in 1965.

The chassis on the Mercedes MAY have been a Japanese chassis kit, it looks a bit too well made for having being hacked from brass strips by an amateur. I could be wrong on this one...


QUOTE and I even thought of the New Jersey club that supposedly got its start in 1947 and talked about a "tether" slot guide system
A club In New jersey in... 1947???? Please do tell...
 

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My excuses,
really Philippe has reason and he has corrected me well. they are 1965 versions of the Igarashi motor first issued in 1963 for Strombecker

PD: I understand that Don has been wrong and has wanted to say 1957 ... or not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nope José, I really meant 1947, based on an article in a magazine from much later, 1962, but unfortunately we've never been able to confirm the original date... very fascinating story, however. Probably 1957 would be more realistic, and maybe it was just the journalist's misunderstanding, but the temptation to believe is very strong... I'm on vacation for now, but will post the article when I get a chance...

Don
 

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"Tether" in model-car speak, generally means... circle racing, so anything is possible. Now, gas-powered or electric???
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nope, definitely electric: the tether referred to a wire or string that attached a rear guide to the car so it could drift on corners. I believe the club had an Indy oval.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here you go - the original article from the August 62 issue of American Modeler ("Iron Curtain Engines ... how good are those Red powerplants?"), reprinted in their 1963 annual, but without the photos.

They definitely claim to have been founded in 1947, and realize that this would have been an historical first. Some years ago, a friend in the States tried to track down these names in the New Jersey town, but without any luck...

Don



 

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Don,
After reading this article, one has to realize that the "15-year old" quote for the "oldest club in the USA has to be a misunderstanding from the reporter. He might have confused the age of the person when he began with the date of his first attempt. Indeed, HO racing slot cars only appeared in 1959 (Playcraft) and only in 1960 in the United states after Aurora had purchased the Playcraft license, and the story dates from... 1962. Also the bodies of the rather large "antique" cars shown in the glass case show, under close inspection, appear more modern than 1947, more like late 1950's Indy cars, like Watson, Kurtis... and there is a 1956 Lancia-Ferrari!!! , And if these cars are powered by "HO" motors, it is almost certain that the motors came from HO model trains.
So I believe that the author of the article is completely confused or this Allen fellow may have told him a tall, tall story.

If indeed this man had a club racing slot cars in 1947, you can bet your bottom dollar that it would have been all over the pages of the period mags, that were very good at finding this kind of stuff.

The first such club in the United States is well documented and was in Kalamazoo, MI, led by Tom Cook and his three friends, Duane Coleman, Bill Johnson and William Haynes, and was established with a rail-racing (and not "slot" racing) layout in late 1955. The period newspapers and magazines found them!

I would write this American Modeler article as complete (possibly) involuntary "fumisterie" as the frogs like to say.
 
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