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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I saw that already and it only mentions the KM-2.

I have Amrac chassis with both black magnets and also with orange and white magnets. The polarity is opposite in these requiring the rear axle to be installed 180° to drive forwards.
 

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I saw that already and it only mentions the KM-2.
Maybe the KM-1 is the one with the weird guide pin:

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Everything else seems to be the same. I've never seen a photo of one of these, maybe production was very low or limited to a region (Canada?).

Just out of curiosity. Why does the top chassis have the words "Hong Kong" blanked out? And the resolution of the brand name is barely legible? Could it be a clone/copy chassis?
According to the site I linked earlier the chassis were made in China. They probably made the molds with "Made in Hong Kong" but moved production to China and didn´t want to make a new mold.
 

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Here is the latest revision of my article on the history of Life-Like cars: Lifelike History Rev 4.pdf
For that article I got information directly from Philippe de Lespinay.
I will have to look more closely at the previous posts to see if there is any new information that might be added to my article.
No mention of KM-1 and according to your data AMRAC's chassis was the same as Cox's. I've seen KM-1 mentioned in other forums, so what is the KM-1?
 

· Rich Dumas
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That Leisure Dynamics illustration is interesting because it shows a slide-in guide as opposed to the regular round snap in guides used by all of the cars in my article. The Cox car and the AMRAC KM-2 cars both use the regular guide, why would the KM-1 be different? If you examine the front of the Cox chassis there is a rectangular hole right behind the guide pin holder, with the KM-2 chassis the hole is absent, but there is a slight depression in that place. It appears that the tooling for the chassis had been modified.
 

· Rich Dumas
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Maybe there was never a KM-1. In my article I said that Philippe de Lespinay was asked by Cox to do a clone of the Aurora Super G-Plus and all he did was add larger flux condensers. The KM-2 has even larger flux condensers than the Cox. I don't know if Philippe did any work for Leisure Concepts after the KM-2. I just found Philippe's e-mail address, maybe I could contact him.
 

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Here are the AMRAC chassis I have. All but one have the "Hong Kong" blanked out, only two say AMRAC, one is lighted and one has the orange magnet.

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Here's some detail on each one:
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No branding, "Hong Kong"blanked out.

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No branding, "Hong Kong"blanked out. Lighted.

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AMRAC branding, "Hong Kong" blanked out, orange magnet.

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AMRAC branding, says "Made in Hong Kong". This one had a bad armature and was in the process of replacing it with a Tyco 440 armature, while disassembling it one of the collector plates fell off and dissapeared. It'll probably appear again, some day.
 

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Rich,
to answer your request, this was a long time ago but I noted what I believe to be erroneous in your story:

"Cox became AMRAC (American Racecraft), AMRAC was owned by Jim Kirby. The KM-2 cars appear to be nearly the same as Cox cars and the Cox track system carried over to AMRAC, Rokar and Life-Like."

I would correct this: "The Cox HO car tooling was purchased by Jim Russell at the auction of the Cox's company's assets when it collapsed in 1982. This was modified by Russell and his friends (Kirby and Cukras I assume) to become the AMRAC HO car, using also the same Porsche, Datsun and the two Can-Am bodies from the Cox cars."

The little "magnetic wings" were enlarged, but I am not so sure that their effectiveness was affected. As far as where they were made, it is obvious that there was a big move to mainland China in the early 1980s, so I am not surprised of the change as Hong Kong manufacturing was likely more expensive.

I do not know anything about RoKar, so I cannot comment.

The Cox HO cars were commissioned by Leisure Dynamics of Canada and they flew me (first class!) to Ontario to do the design and engineering. I wanted a completely new car but they said no, they just wanted a "G-Plus" clone, it was very disappointing as I had a really good design! So I "cloned" the G-Plus and added that slide-in guide because they did not want to add an extra metal piece, but I convinced them to let me add those "magnetic wings" because the car could by driven faster in corners without de-slotting, allowing the car to slide at a greater angle. That was my contribution in improving the G-Plus.
But they used mediocre armatures and magnets, so the cars were never as fast as the G-Plus.
The bodies were copied in a smaller scale from the ones I had devised for the "SuperScale" 1/40 scale cars, including my own Can-Am designs which of course were pure fantasy, that is until the 1974 Shadow Can-Am was shown to the public, and looked quite similar!
The LASCM museum in Los Angeles does not cater to the HO scale, so does not have much in that size. But it does have a lot of the SuperScale cars and their hand-built prototypes.
In the book, "Slot Car Dreams" commissioned by the LASCM, I spent a few pages on HO, Aurora, Dynamic, Riggen and Cox, because the invention of magnetic traction is so important to the whole hobby today, since Chinese-built slot cars are far too light to have enough down force on their rear tires without the crutch that magnets provide,
This is the prototype car and the drawing shown in the book, of what is believed to be the first slot car with a traction magnet. The drawing is dated 11/5/1970.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive tire

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Did you ever get to build or use your design? Would be nice to see it.

Great story BTW!
Yes, at the Santa Ana base of the Cox company. It worked well with or without magnet, as I made it quite heavy to increase rear-tire traction. Unfortunately it is no longer with us and likely was binned alongside dozens of prototypes when the company went belly up. All what remains are early drawings I made of it for a company presentation to the "new products committee"... I need to retrieve the document at the LASCM and scan it.

The only survivors are of the earlier mid-1070 "magnet cars" with idler-gear drive because before I worked for Riggen, I developed these cars first for a consulting company called "Innova Inc.", and we sold the project to Matchbox, and Innova was paid for the work. But Matchbox was now in big financial trouble and when the company tanked, the new owners did not want to be involved with slot cars. I kept the now-useless prototypes and still have them to this day. Not sure what I am going to do with them...

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Maybe there was never a KM-1. In my article I said that Philippe de Lespinay was asked by Cox to do a clone of the Aurora Super G-Plus and all he did was add larger flux condensers. The KM-2 has even larger flux condensers than the Cox. I don't know if Philippe did any work for Leisure Concepts after the KM-2. I just found Philippe's e-mail address, maybe I could contact him.
There were cars packaged as both KM-1 and KM-2. Thanks for reaching out to Philippe. The question still remains, and now there is another one. What is the "Adjustamatic" chassis mentioned on the KM-2 package?

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Car Tire Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle



Here are the AMRAC chassis I have. All but one have the "Hong Kong" blanked out, only two say AMRAC, one is lighted and one has the orange magnet.
I have 4 and 3 of them have Hong Kong blanked out. I see that your orange magnet chassis is also geared opposite. I haven't done any testing yet to see if there is a performance difference between these two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The only survivors are of the earlier mid-1070 "magnet cars" with idler-gear drive because before I worked for Riggen, I developed these cars first for a consulting company called "Innova Inc.", and we sold the project to Matchbox, and Innova was paid for the work. But Matchbox was now in big financial trouble and when the company tanked, the new owners did not want to be involved with slot cars. I kept the now-useless prototypes and still have them to this day. Not sure what I am going to do with them...
Philippe, thanks for sharing these nuggets of history with us.
My original question still remains; how to identify the KM-1 and KM-2 and what are their differences.
 

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What is the "Adjustamatic" chassis mentioned on the KM-2 package?
Maybe you can adjust errr, the pickup shoes?

I see that your orange magnet chassis is also geared opposite. I haven't done any testing yet to see if there is a performance difference between these two.
You could swap the magnets to make the wheels spin in the same direction as the cars with black magnets. I don't think it'll affect handling or performance, unless the armature is somehow tuned to spin backwards.

Maybe the difference between KM-1 and KM-2 is the magnet colors? I haven't track tested any of mine yet, so cannot comment if there's any difference between them, performance wise, either.
 
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