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By 1970, Champion of Chamblee, a suburb of Atlanta in Georgia, was one of the few survivors of the massacre that began in early 1967 when the promising but highly disorganized commercial-raceway hobby began its spectacular collapse. The surviving companies, Dynamic, Riggen, Mura, Cobra/Phaze III/Ferret conglomerate and Champion survived by producing RTR cars often assembled from remaining old stock chassis and motors, slapping on them visually attractive vacuum formed bodies of more recent vintage. This is the case for this Nissan Group-7 RTR, an attempt to liquidate 1966 die-cast "Snuggler Mk1" chassis and NOS 1965 Monogram motors previously used in their 1/24 scale Lotus Type 38, Chaparral 2 and McLaren-Elva racing-set cars. Even the crown gears were old Wilson nylon jobs first issued in 1965...
The body was crafted for Jim Kirby by Lloyd Asbury (formerly of Lancer fame) and marketed by Associated Electrics now in Santa Ana from their former Paramount digs. Champion purchased their bodies from collapsing manufacturers such as Revell, Russkit, Unique and Shark, for a dime on the dollar. At a retail price of USD6.40, and leaving a distributor margin of 40+10+5%, you KNOW that they did not spend much money purchasing the basic material! :)

These cars were sold in the 600 or so surviving but decaying raceways all over the nation, to young kids still interested in the hobby. Few such cars have survived today intact in their original boxes.


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Good story Philippe.

It's true that we occasionally find old junkers, but almost never these cars in their boxes - true for all Champion cars in general!

Any idea how many of these types of cars Champion actually sold? At $6.40, really not expensive, but who would want to buy one of these after seeing a Group 20 or something like that? Seems the raceways could have organized special local competitions too, but I'm not aware of any.

Don
 

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Don,I assume that there were a few hundreds of these chassis left at the works, absolutely useless for the more sophisticated racer, but in 1970, there were still a lot of young boys walking in these raceways, and looking for something they could play with using their allowance money... so this plus a five-dollar Parma/Russkit controller and they were in business. Here is another of these RTR cars, using an old Russkit Chaparral body painted at Champion, with their typical printed card interior and translucent plastic unpainted driver, with a "Snuggler Mk1" chassis complicated by an "Iso" setup hinged from the rear axle. It has a Champion-badge Mabuchi FT26 motor with the usual blind side. It is used and could stand a bit of tidying, and its box also survived, except it is the wrong box for this car! Its troubled owner went heavy reattaching a lead wire with an industrial-size soldering iron, damaging the endbell.
Please note the Champion-exclusive nickel plated #1 self tapping body mounting screws.

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Champion's RTR cars may have been dismal, but in the early '70s they also sold a very popular C-can as well as DZ & Blue Dot magnets. Items that were used by many commercial wing car racers. Yes, I know that actual race parts doesn't keep a company profitable, but Champion at this time was more than just a pig with lipstick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Whats their value today?:(
As for all old, commercially produced slot cars, condition determines value. For a mint, unused car still sealed in a mint box, you are looking at $400.00, $500.00...

For the very same car in used condition but still retaining its original bits in a box in fair condition: $125.00 to 175.00.

For your typical well used car with body cracks, likely replaced rear tires, bit of corrosion on some parts, some artistic license on the body or chassis by its former owner, about 50 bucks if salvageable.

Champion's RTR cars may have been dismal, but in the early '70s they also sold a very popular C-can as well as DZ & Blue Dot magnets. Items that were used by many commercial wing car racers. Yes, I know that actual race parts doesn't keep a company profitable, but Champion at this time was more than just a pig with lipstick.
Champion was unable to offer a complete "C-Can" motor for several years after the can itself was issued. So they sold... parts, mostly the can, armature blanks and of course the various definitions of "Arco" magnets under various names (they were pretty much all the same with more... lipstick... over the years. "Arco 33", "Blue Dots", "DZ", "White Dots"... have you ever actually measured their strength between them? :)
But that is not a lot of income...

Anyway the RTR made from parts dumped by other (bankrupt) manufacturers did save their hide for a while until the newer generations of anglewinder chassis offered better performance and a whole new line of kits and RTR models, which lasted until the early 1980s.
But the Williams had seen the declining market and were quite happy to sell the lot to Bob Rule, who in turn was quite happy to sell what was left to Carl Ford, who could not sell it fast enough to Parma's McDowell, who now no longer has a company today.
Back to backyard manufacturers on the fly...
 
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