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earlier wheels

670 Views 10 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  TSRF
The industry did not bet on the electric car racing model. The first inventions and first fans had to resort to making their pieces or resorting to other hobbies or toys (this act is known in some books as canivalization).

wheels, wheels, wheels ...

The model makers of the cars that won the beauty contests were able to manufacture their own wheels (Henri Baigent, Manel Olivé ...) but for the rest of the mortals they resorted to canivalize pieces from other origins.

The first english fans resorted to Asian toy, but easier accessibility to the Scalex 1/27 cars of Mini Models, the company of Fred Francis.

The best wheels on the market could be the Scamold, or the SMEC.
Then it happened ...
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Model Maker Oct´55 >

Mr. Alaistair Robertson-Aikman receives the news that there is a club where the members are setting up an electric circuit to scale and they are going to start competing. This race will be the first Grand Prix of the Southport MES at the end of September '55.

Mr. A R-A subsidizes this race and contributes his fantastic SMEC wheels. I do not know all the exact conditions, if he gives away or offers material of wheels or if he also material of HobbyCraft kits of wood or AutoCraft of plastic. SMEC wheels are metallic but allow the insertion of hubcaps, creating a beautiful three-dimensional effect.

This commitment between SMEC and the Southport MES club means that in the "Southport standarts" rules the scale must be 1/32.

SMEC worked since 1946, ( since 1947 with cars ) and the mythical first modern car, the Alfa Romeo 1/28 of Woodland has SMEC wheels as resource.

It is my opinion or I see it in the following way: from this action happened in summer'55, SMEC is not a resource, but a brand of our hobby ( in my own consideration the 2nd brand ).

Best 1º Grand Prix of Southport MES cars have SMEC wheels, the rest Scalex 1/27 or from another toys.
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MM Feb´56

Alf Walshaw is a co-founder or MRRC, but after the capital increase it is possible that by being relegated he founded his own company A. Walshaw Ltd (or it is possible too, that he had already created it before).

His company was focused on supplying handcrafted pieces to the hobby of diesel model car racing cars, in particular wheels, but it is in Feb'55 when it is demonstrated that he makes his first work for electric model car racing.

In Dec´55 Henry Baigent´s prototype uses A. Walshaw wheels, but I consider that as a resource, since the large scale of Henry's prototype is more usual for diesel

In Feb'55 he has a client to D.J. Laidlaw-Dickson, and this time it is a special order, because the scale is 1/32, not usual for A. Walshaw.
Dickie edits in an article in the magazine where he is director, his home circuit.
One of their cars has wheels made by Alf Walshaw.

It is possible that there were other previous orders (or not), but the truth is that this is at the moment his order of electric model car racing older known.
Alf Walshaw

In my personal classification A. Walshaw is the second brand that makes wheels (and by the way the 3 mark of all the electric model car racing).

The Alf Walshaw´s creations are very unknown, because they are made under request and in an artisanal way, not in series, therefore it is very difficult to catalog their work, but normally their wheels are not beautiful, but functional. Normally they are metalic alloy disc-shaped and their tires have the engraving "A W".
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MM July´56

Then arrive the Roadege and Pathfinda systems from Victory Industries (future VIP).

The cars are 1/18 and then the wheels are 1/18.

In my own classification Victory is the 3rd brand that made wheels ( and the 4th brand of electric model car racing ).
MM Oct´56 >

2nd Grand Prix of Southport MES, but 1st race under regulation and 1st international open.

All cars units are british except 4 american cars. They 4 use Veco wheels coming from the Aeromodeller, a bit big for the standart ( 1/32 ) scale, just like the cars. Fortunately the judge of the race (DJ Laidlaw-Dickson) with very good judgment allows his career. Otherwise he would have broken the internationality and the propagation of the hobby, although with warning that this was going to be the first and the last time the standart scale (1/32) was not respected strictly.

Effectively in the 3rd Grand Prix the following year they let run, although out of competition, an American unit out of competition.

I do not consider these wheels Veco of our hobby, but as a resource.
MM Ene´57 >

MRRC is the fourth brand that offers wheels, ( 5th of electric model car racing ) although they are actually Scalex 1/27 wheels.

The use of pieces of the Scalex as a resource for our hobby already came from afar, if we recapitulate we can name the Tebbutt experimental system (MM Dec'54) and the consequent test circuit made by G. Atkinson (MM May'55), Ron Warring (Mechanichs Illustrated Feb'56 and MM Feb'56), Peter Jones (MM Ago'56) and P. de Basigoiti (MM Sep'56 and MM Oct'56) ... but MRRC comerzialized them.

MM April´57 >
The first real MRRC wheels are made of metal-disc of 26mm to 1/27 " Scalextric size " or 23mm to 1/32 " standart size ". First with allen key, later without.

MM April´57 >

Scalextric of Mini Models is born, therefore the 5th brand of wheels and the sixth of the hobby.
Yes, before they were a 1/27 resource, then offered by MRRC, now as Scalextric.

MM May´57 > Mini Models ( and MRRC ) offer 1/32 wheels too.
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MM Marz´58 >

Precision Model Engineering Co of Liverpool is the 6th brand that made wheels ( and first our electric model car racing ). They made black nylon metal cromed " standarts " wheels, center brass

Do not confuse with nylon wheels MRRC ( very similar ).

MM April 58 >

MRRC black nylon " standarts " wheels, center brass.
MM Jun´58 >

Preminco Ltd cars ( conversion Crescent cars ),the 7th brand wheel and the 8th brand of electric model car racing.
MM Nov´58

Carlton-Iredale 1/27 wheels, is the 8th wheel brand, the 9th electric model car racing brand.
OK I stop here, I am aware that there are things that I have written that are debatable, because there are different opinions of seeing the story and because as it is normal each one of us has some knowledge based on their sources.

I would like to read opinions to upgrade what I know.
contributions to the story will be well received
Jose, excellent info. I had to research this myself and came to the same conclusions regarding the SMEC wheels and inserts.
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