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Hatching an Eagle

11501 Views 68 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  David Lawson
After five years of wandering around before the inevitable '60s 1/32 F 1 race at Las Vegas, I vowed (in public) that I would have my own car this year. Despite having a drawer full of Ferrari, Cooper and BRM bodies, most of which would accomodate a more-or-less conventional motor/chassis set-up, I decided to tackle the Eagle body that I obtained several years ago (a Fitzpatrick glass body)

When I first metioned my concerns about the space inside on a DL some time back, Russell, ever helpful and generous as he is, sent me one of the rare K's motors advising that it was about the only thing that would fit.

Take motor in one hand, body in the other and push them together - hmmmm - not going! - and add some side plates to the motor to form a chassis and it gets worse!

Opened the motor drawer and here is what came out:


Left to right: a version of the currently popular Bear Dog mini-motor, the TMM (Taiwan mystery motor), K's, an (MRRC?) eBay find, and, for contrast, a standard Mabuchi can. Although the K's is 0.002" narrower than the TMM, by the time side plates of any reasonable thickness, say 0.032" are added, you are at 0.66" - a non-starter for this chassis. The MRRC is about as bad, even without the screw heads. The mini-motor and the TMM are the same cross section, the only difference being length. Since my friend Jim Butt has a wickedly fast Indy Turbine powered by one of the latter and since, like the mini-motor, an end-of-the-can mount can be done, it got the nod. Like the mini-motor, the shaft needs to be sleeved to accomdate a 2 mm bore pinion (more about gears later).

Looking at photos of the Eagle Weslake, I decided that, in addition to the distinctive body shape and paint scheme, several other things defined the "look" - the solid polished (titanium?) upswept front A-arms, the long rear suspension trailing arms and the very distinctive polished exhaust system. The model would need to incorporate these.

Next consideration - the guide: The front overhang on the Eagle is long but narrow. Both the Sakatsu (trailing) guide and the TSRF guide can be accomodated without extending past the tip of the nose. The TSRF guide is more easily adjusted for height and has the wires extending from the back of the braid mount rather than the front (in the case of the Sakatsu), an advantage with the narrow nose so the nod went to the TSRF.

Thanks to wheel and tire size info from Mr. P and wheelbase and track data ( 96.5", 61" F/R) from Prof. Fate, I was ready to start cutting metal. I decided on a wire sprung pivoting chassis ( and am not at all certain that my version of this type will have any handling advantage over, for example, an out-of-the-box MRRC brass Clubman). Working on this scale has its pitfalls - most of what you will see is second and third tries (but I keep telling myslef that I am learning with each mistake)

On the jig:


and right side up:


The rear assembly is machined from brass stock. The front section is 0.062" brass and the front axle carrier and origami-like upper A arms is 0.032" brass sheet. the pivot is 1/16" drill rod and the torsion springs are 0.047" music wire.

Here is the first trial assembly:


The wheels and tires are temporary but they are of the right diameter - 0.80" front, 0.85" rear.

Now, about gears - notice the little green crown gear above - it is the smallest (24T) Slot-It gear. I would have loved to have fitted a 64 DP crown with an internal (same side as the teeth) hub but to the best of my knowledge, no such animal exists and the width does not allow for the fitting of an external hub. I know that the Scaly etc. crowns are a bit smaller but I am not about to spend the time to build a scratch chassis and then fit a P.O.S. gear set! Here are the consequences of my choice:

Dr Jekyll:


Mr. Hyde:


And that amount of cutting does not allow for any body movement! I believe that I can accomdate a little body shake by skimming 1-2 mm off the diameter of the gear (they appear to survive much more powerful motors) and chamfering the outer edge. Beyond that, I plan to add a little built up detail of some lines, add rear suspension detail including the coil-over spring units, paint the gear silver or black and hope that those measures, along with the extension of the exhaust pipes, will mask the surgery.

An Eagle or an omlet? - we shall see.

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Thanks, Jim! We'd like to see some pictures of your entries too!

Kind regards

I'll not have anything as exquisite as EM's Eagle, but will be glad to share.

I still intend to trounce him with my '67 Indy Paxton Turbine

Wish you could join us. Maybe next year?

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Ha! (borrowing from Prof. Fate) I spit in your crankcase - or would if you had one!

Actually, knowing Jim, and particulary our comparative driving skills, he's probaby right

The gauntlet has been tossed!

Here's the view EM will get of the whooshmobile!

We don't need no steenking crankcase!

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Gaunlets, hell - my fingers are so worn down from all the wire work in this car (about a grand piano's worth) that only mittens are suitable.

Well the paint is temporary (little masking problem) as are the decals (couldn't find the right type face guess I'd better learn how to use that Alps) but - we're off to the races!


watch your mirror, Subdude...


Wave nicely...


After the race, I'll let you get this close...


Clean up, lube and polish when we get to the track.

Time to go - leaving for the airport in less than 5 hours and the cars still are not all packed!

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Don't understand the "user posted image bit so I'll try again:


I give up
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Absolutely beautiful, EM- but keep that testosterone under control. Don't go crashing that honey.
The 67 British GP was the second ever that I attended, the other being '65.

I was a 14 year old schoolboy who caught a bus from Bedford to Northampton and another to Silverstone. I arrived at Woodcote just as the Eagle went past on the warm up lap, a beautiful car and a glorious sound. It was good to see it agin recently at Goodwood.

The day was completed when I managed to get into the paddock afterwards. I got autographs from Jim Clark, Graham Hill, John Surtees, Jackie Stewart, Bruce McLaren and Jochen Rindt. I've still got them but alas I didn't get Dan Gurneys.


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Beautiful! Do let us know how it performed, EM!

Kind regards

QUOTE but keep that testosterone under control. Don't go crashing that honey.

Well, in this instance it was not a question of my control but someone else's - the Eagle got its wings clipped.

Lesson one - don't go out for practice on the Blue King when others are running missles - a 1/24 missle de-slotted in the "deadman's" corner and carried the Eagle at high speed into the wall - decapitating the driver and removing 3 of the 4 exhaust pipes! - but the chassis survived unscathed - I shall not post any pictures!

QUOTE Do let us know how it performed, EM!

Undismayed (more or less) I prepared the car for the "60"s" F 1 race. I had already determined that the different tracks at Rad trax required different tires. The Blue King, which was the race venue, had a fair amount of glue on the surface and called for the harder of the two sets of tires that I had brought. I wish that I could report that despite its earlier misfortunes, the Eagle carried the day but it was not to be - due, primarily, to my failings as a driver (which may have, in part, derived from being upbraided via my cell phone for the home fronts inability to program the VCR - Lesson two - turn off cell phone one half hour before race). The crash and burn format of the race put a very heavy penalty on de-slotting early in a heat and, unfortunately, I did this in 3 of the eight heats. While it was running, however, the car ran beautifully. The little Tiawan Mystery Motor had plenty of speed and torque, equalling anything else on the track for speed and out-accelerating most. the handling was very smooth and forgiving although it lacked the ultimate grip of some of the cars with wider tires and lower, vac-formed bodies.

I have decided to do a new body rather than repair the exisiting one for several reasons: In the crash, the pipes were not only carried away but a fair amount of the glass that they were attached to was lost as well and, with the new gearing, I don't need as much of the rear cut away as before - finally, I was not happy with the paint and decal work.

To that end, I seem to recall that somewhere on this forum, someone mentioned a hobbly shop that could source the Classic bodies. This would be easier that going through the exercise of getting bank drafts etc. Can anyone recall this?


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For the body try Andy Brown at AB slotsports if Charlie wont post direct .If you want Charlies address drop me a pm.
Very nice work
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EM - You had an interesting time at the races! Sorry to hear about the damage but at least that beautiful chassis survived and fibreglass is cheap you can get a replacement Classic at

Sorry to hear about the damage, EM. Without wishing to offend anyone, I'm of the opinion that running a 1/32nd scale 1960s Grand Prix car on a King 155 track is, quite frankly, sheer lunacy!

Photo courtesy of Slot Car Illustrated.

I see from the excellent photos posted on Slot Car Illustrated that a couple of my previous years Marconi Foundation Charity proxy race entries were there too --- I hope they survived!

With kind regards

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QUOTE I was not happy with the paint and decal work
Wha? Wish I could do stuff that badly! Shame it turned out to be a Destruction Derby EM but I hope you will show us progress with the new Eagle as it shapes up.
Sympathies for the late Eagle, EM. A brave man...

Lovely pic, Russell. Any info on that All-State Special there? That made my waters move...
Hi Howmet,

The beautiful 1964 Mickey Thompson Sears All State Special is the work of Jim Cunningham.

Photos courtesy of Nomad Slot Car Racing.

Jim originally built the car for last year's Rad Trax Convention and Philippe de Lespinay borrowed it for the vintage race in Bordeaux, where it finished 5th out of 45 top-notch entries.

The real car unfortunately took the lives of both Dave MacDonald and Eddie Sachs. MacDonald drove one of two Thompson's that qualified for the 1964 Indianapolis 500, starting from row 5, directly in front of the Hallibrand of Eddie Sachs. The second car was driven by Eddie Johnson, who qualified it in 24th place on the grid.

Tragically, on the second lap, MacDonald's car veered into the inside wall, a fuel tank exploded on impact, sending a huge plume of black smoke into the air and causing more cars to crash. Sachs hit the Thompson and his car too exploded. Sadly, both drivers died in the crash. The race marked the last time a front-engine car won the Indy 500 and prompted a crusade by George Moore to ban gasoline and require the use of alcohol-based fuel.

Kind regards

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The latest edition of Motorsport magazine carries a brief desciption of Dave
MacDonald's carear , including the events leading to his last drive in the Mickey Thompson coffin . Numorous drivers refused to pilot the car , then to make thing worse
the rules dictated they run on larger diameter tires which realy upset an already spooky car .

QUOTE prompted a crusade by George Moore to ban gasoline and require the use of alcohol-based fuel

Showing stupidity here, but is this because it gives off less smoke or that it requires more heat to ignite? Or is there some other reason?


PS. Awsome work EM, any chance of a look underneath?
Absolutely- tragic history, but nevertheless a wonderful looking car, and a fantastic model. Gorgeous chassis! Any info on the body shell, or is it a scratchbuild?
How do we get to see more of Mr Cunningham's work?
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