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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Old surviving HO cars from a long time ago...

1/ Angle-winder car shown in the American mag "Miniature Auro Racing" in mid-1971:





2/ Brass idle-gear cars built June 1970:






To be continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
3/ Incomplete plastic idle-gear cars survivors from the 200 or so batch built for a still-born project for Matchbox (they went bankrupt before this could go into production design):



4/ World's first magnet-traction slot car, also a plastic chassied car, May-June 1970. Matchbox loved it, no one else did!:






They are not in the best of shape and have a lot of miles on them.

Dr. Pea
 

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Graham Windle
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Fantastic ,Ive never been a fan of HO but I really appreciate the work that must have gone into these cars .How did the idler gear ones run compared to the anglewinder?
Oh and by the way Phillipe hope your feeling better after the op now
 

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Alan Tadd
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Very Impressive chassis, I would imagine they went rather well..........

Seconded Grahams comments Mr.P, hope you are soon better.

Talking of HO, Fergy I can't seem to access your HO site, have you changed the link or taken down the site?.

Regards

Alan
 
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This is great Philippe,
as saving any part of slot racing history is so important and I love cars like these.

I also hope that you are better.

Best wishes,

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The story began in May 1970 when I was hired by a consulting company by the name of Innova Inc., based in Playa del Rey in California. Matchbox was one of their clients and wanted to enter the HO market to compete with Tyco and Aurora. They wanted something revolutionary and performing much better than the T-Jets and the then brand new Tyco-Pro cars.
I was put in charge of developing the vehicles, and devised an idle-winder car as weight distribution sounded ideal for the job. The car used a shortened version of the Mabuchi ST-020 motor like in the Tyco car, but the intention was to produce a much smaller unit for production.
It ran terrific and much smoother than the competition, but tire grip was still a problem, so I purchased every possible tires I could find. The Twinn-K silicone were the best but the car still snapped too easily at the limit. Then by accident, I dropped a small bar magnet over the track rails, and I as I pulled it, I felt the resistance and "saw the light".
I glued the bar magnet at the back of the car, and voila, instant and permanent traction by implied down force.
We demonstrated the car to Matchbox in their Los Angeles office along with cars from the competition, and they were so impressed that they committed a large amount of capital to put the system in production along with new revolutionary controllers and better track.
Innova's model shop made a prototype mold and built nearly 200 cars that were to be used at the soon to be NY and Chicago Hobby Shows for the trade to see. Alas it was not to be, as the company was in dire financial straits and went belly-up. It was re-organised under new ownership, but the HO project was cancelled. Lucky Innova did get paid...

I then left Innova and offered the idle-winder to Al Riggen of the Riggen Manufacturing in Gardena, CA, but he was dead-set against the use of the magnet, claiming that it would "ruin" the hobby. Since I needed the job, I accepted the employment offer anyway and helped them design what became the well-known Riggen inline HO car with the "shaker plate". Note that one of the brass prototypes has the same body-mounting tabs as on the Riggen car, that's were they came from.
Al also built 5 more idle-winder chassis for the stock Mabuchi motor, and commissioned Gordon Brimhall to make a new very wide Chaparral 2J body.

We went to the Chicago Hobby Show in February 1971 and were one of the stars of the show, with our 3-lane track and idle-winder cars that were so much better than what Aurora or Tyca had to offer. The prez of Aurora actually tried to entice me to go to work for Aurora in a private meeting at his posh hotel downtown Chicago, but I declined as there was no [email protected]#$% way I was going to live in NY, a city I deeply hate, even for the large amount of money he offered.
I met Pat Dennis of Tyco at the show, and drove his version # 2 of the experimental Tyco sidewinder HO car he later exposed in the pages of Car Model. The car was impressive and faster than mine in top speed, but mine was obviously faster anytime the track would no longer be straight, so I felt that I still had the technical advantage over anyone then.

Shortly after the show, I had a personal dispute with Al Riggen (my own fault really, I was younger and none the wiser) and left the company. I went...pro-racing 1/24 scale cars for a living, quite successfully at that. I also spent some time helping Dynamic get their angle-winder HO car off the ground, but they really made a mess of it. Dynamic's "Hi" Johnson would not hear of the traction magnet either. By that time, Tom Bowman's modified Aurora car with magnets had been shown in Car Model Magazine and was hailed as a "revolution", which made me smile quite a bit... My own "secret" car was shown over a year earlier in the pages of Miniature Auto Racing but with the body over it.
In mid 1973 I was contacted by the Cox company and accepted a very good employment offer, and designed their SuperScale 1/40 scale cars, the world's first production slot cars to feature a traction magnet.
What you have in the pictures above are the first elucubrations that led to what every modern production slot car depends on for traction.
Regards,

Dr. Pea
"Blind Faith may lead to Serious Shunts"
 
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Me too Fergy, I am very interested in everything Philippe writes.

So Mr P get it all written down in a book for the sake of future generation's as your stories are some of the most important and interesting.

Best wishes,

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE Me too Fergy, I am very interested in everything Philippe writes.

A scary thought when I am talking about the BBC slant...
 

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So P….

I had forgotten that you invented "magnetraction." (Al Gore has nothing on you!) Not to put you on the spot, but isn't it ironic that the inventor of magnetraction now regularly rails against most manufacturers' dependence on same? Do we all now suffer for your "original sin?"

mp
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
QUOTE I had forgotten that you invented "magnetraction." (Al Gore has nothing on you!) Not to put you on the spot, but isn't it ironic that the inventor of magnetraction now regularly rails against most manufacturers' dependence on same? Do we all now suffer for your "original sin?"

It is POSSIBLE that I MIGHT have been the first to use a SEPARATE magnet to create down force on a slot car. Before this documented fact (as the pages of Miniature Auto Racing easily prove in 1970), others had possibly noted that at least on home-racing tracks, lowering the chassis of an Atlas or Pittman 196 fitted car improved the handling due to the closer distance between the magnet and the contact rails. However, I am still looking for evidence of previous use of a separate magnet, the next such documented use being the one by Tom Bowman and published in Car Model magazine in 1972. Tom persevered in the HO scale, I persevered in the 1/40 scale, my car was the world's first to be produced with it. What makes me laugh are the claims of the Spanish companies who suddenly "re-invented" magnet traction nearly 20 years later... what a joke!

Now I am not railing about "most manufacturers' dependence on same". I am railing about the utter lack of sound engineering which produced beautiful cars with sub-standard chassis design and the subsequent quality-control problems. I think I proved the point with the TSRF cars, one that is practically IMPOSSIBLE to assemble wrongly even if one tries.

Now, Al Gore LIED when he claimed to have invented the Internet: he had strictly nothing to do with it. Why did he lied so blatantly raises questions about his actual sanity, since it was such an obvious lie, easy to be dismantled by the actual inventors and the palin facts.
I would really appreciate if you would not mix me with a delusional fool who oh-so nearly did not become the world's most powerful person. I'd rather have the one we have now, and you may still keep calling him a cretin as much as you want.
Regards,

Dr. Pea
 

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Ahh P.,

I'm just feeding you straight lines. I'm sure no one would ever associate or confuse you with Gore (or any liberal for that matter). However, it may be prudent on your part to carefully read items before you post or link to them. Your list of links contains several articles that dispute whether Gore ever claimed to have "invented" the internet. For example, the following passages are taken from an article by Scott Rosenberg:

"But things that "everybody knows" are always worth examining for defects. And the "Gore claims he invented the Net" trope is so full of holes that it makes you wish there were product recalls for bad information. Gore never claimed to have "invented" the Internet. What he said was: During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the Internet. …..at worst that statement is a minor exaggeration of Gore's legislative record -- and miles away from the "I built it from scratch!" lie into which it has been twisted.

The life trajectory of the "I invented the Internet" Gore meme has been well traced by Phil Agre back to the original coverage of Gore's comment by Wired News' Declan McCullagh. McCullagh's first report, while never using the word "invent," interpreted Gore's statement as an outrageously false boast, and supported that view with one quotation from a conservative foundation spokesman. (That quote -- "Gore played no positive role in the decisions that led to the creation of the Internet as it now exists -- that is, in the opening of the Internet to commercial traffic" -- offers its own wildly distorted view of Internet history, narrowing its focus to "the opening of the Internet to commercial traffic" as the only significant milestone to shape today's Net.)

From McCullagh, the tidbit got picked up by the TV pundits and became the butt of late-night political jokes. The word "invent" practically leaped into Gore's mouth. News outlets across the board -- including Salon -- have now burned the distortion of the vice president's words into the public mind."

No ideological or political arguments intended here (P. and I have been down that road before) -- just an attempt to deflate outrageous assertions. Best,

mp
 

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QUOTE However, it may be prudent on your part to carefully read items before you post or link to them. Your list of links contains several articles that dispute whether Gore ever claimed to have "invented" the internet.

I generally try to provide both sides of one's story, and this is why I chose THAT link instead of feeding you a single line of extreme-right wackiness. You decide what to believe. If, after reading the various links about this buffoon and after having listened to his recent rantings or read his book, "Earth in the Balance", you still have doubts, there is little I can do for you. However for my part, i PERSONALLY saw and heard Albert Jr. argue this very point on the telly (C-Span to be exact), and this long before the 2000 "(s)election".

Rail, I ask no one to agree or disagree with me. I am only interested in cold facts, backed by cold evidence. Some do like, some do not, not my problem.
For the ones who want to argue, see ya at the Goodwood circuit in September.
Regards,

Dr. Pea
"Blind faith may lead to serious shunts"
 

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"I generally try to provide both sides of one's story..."

Cough, cough, Quick, somebody hit me on the back! I'm choking!! (Nice recovery P.)

Anyway, about that "original sin." Since its POSSIBLE that you MIGHT have been the first to use a SEPARATE magnet for traction, any regrets? (either for leading the hobby down the black hole of shoddy design and reliance on magnetism, or conversely, for not cashing in on the concept commercially?

mp
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There is no recovery. I read most of the links before giving you the main one. I thought it gave a good overall picture of the claims and denials. As I said many times, BS flies from all directions. The biggest problem of some at this time is that some utterly believe in their own BS, and Gore is definitely one of those. Ready for Bellevue at this time in my opinion, along with his pal Moore.

QUOTE Anyway, about that "original sin." Since its POSSIBLE that you MIGHT have been the first to use a SEPARATE magnet for traction, any regrets?

None whatsoever. Magnets have been a great help for the renewal of the hobby, especially for the ones who can't drive their way out of the proverbial paper bag.
Besides, without magnets, the entire Spanish slot car industry would plunge into bankruptcy.
 

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Russell Sheldon
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mp, I think it may be better if you had a private discussion with Philippe. I don't think that your attempt to belittle him on a public forum is appreciated by many people. Not that he can't stand up for himself! I just find it distasteful and given what Philippe has done for the hobby, I'm not sure that he deserves it. We do have our own opinions.

Kind regards

Russell
 

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Graham Windle
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well said Russell I think this thread needs to get back on line and not turn into a political debate .Phillipe has a lot of intresting items to post so lets let him get on with it.
 
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