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A different type of slot system?

1700 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  TSRF
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!

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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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"Tether" in model-car speak, generally means... circle racing, so anything is possible. Now, gas-powered or electric???
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If it is 1947 instead of 1957, we ought to learn more...
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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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