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Reading all this ("most beautiful F1 car ever made") makes me wonder about, "what happened during the history classes at school?".
It is simply appalling to witness an entire society of new children absolutely oblivious about what happened yesterday. No wonder the youth of today makes so many judgment mistakes... Luckily, some ARE more interested and are eager to learn more, and old pharts here are willing to help spray the lost information.

I am not even going to try to argue that a "wing" car is prettier or uglier than a Mercedes W163 or Bugatti T35 or even an Eagle-Weslake (note the correct spelling of Harry Weslake's name please... no "T").

I am just going to argue this statement by Ecosse:

QUOTE That Lotus from 77 was a crate of sh** then and would be even more so by the eighties.

According to the recent test of the Lotus Collection car by Motorsport, the only thing wrong with the Geoff Aldridge designed "77" was its tires, developed for "another" team (McLaren) and not suited to the particular characteristics of the Lotus. As everyone knows, the "78" did not have such problems after Chapman and JPS convinced Goodyear to make tires more adapted to their car and utterly dominated the F1 field with its inventive Maurice Philippe designed (and NOT Colin Chapman as often claimed) ground-effects technology.
Maurice Philippe had this idea a long time before. While in the employment of Scotsman Reeves Whitson in 1972 in the USA and sub-contracted to the Vel's-Parnelli team, he devised this idea on paper. As I was also an employee of Mr. Whitson and sub-contracted to Cox Hobbies, Maurice and I were good friends, and during a particular dinner one evening, as we were discussing pro-racing slot cars, he told me about this ground-effect idea. He and I translated it onto a pro-racing chassis (see the surviving pictures below) fitted with the latest aerodynamic devices. It did not increase the performance but did not hurt either... the car was on par with the world's King Track record then, which I held. Reynolds's Scale worked against it. Maurice actually drove the car at Speed & Sport on their King track. He was not too bad at it either, driving within 1/10th of what I could do!




Who was Reeves Whitson? This man was the first to establish a system of licensing model cars by the actual manufacturers. In 1968, a story on Miniature Auto (UK) showed a "whole new line of Manufacturer-Approved clear plastic bodies". Brabham, McLaren, Lotus and others had signed up on to this new idea. It fizzled as the bodies were so-so and the market was collapsing. Whitson moved to the USA and became a friend of people in high places, such as WWII hero General Curtis LeMay, Art Linkletter and especially, the head of the Immigration & Naturalization Service. Maurice Philippe received his permanent residency in the USA the same day I received mine, in a private champagne ceremony in the office of Howard Hazell, INS's Big Guy. Maurice was at the time, the design engineer for the Vel's-Parnelli "Super Team", employing Joe Leonard, Al Unser and Mario Andretti as drivers for their advanced (but not that good) VP Indy cars. Later, Maurice designed the pretty and very effective VP F1, then returned to Lotus to design the 76-77-78 series.
He then devised plans to manufacture advanced licensed slot cars, prototypes of which were built by Bryan Warmack of Team Riggen. Bryan later went to work as a mechanic for Team Surtees and now has his own fabrication business in California. This plan also faltered, and Whitson tried other things: a stupendously beautiful 1/43 scale model of the 1975 Eagle-Offy Indy 500 winner, the patterns of which were built by Lloyd Asbury, the master modeler for the Lancer bodies.
I was personally in charge of the instruction sheets and all graphics. The following gouache was the cover of the press kit when the kit was released to the general public:





I took this picture during the press conference at the Indy Speedway, and it was published in all the local newspapers and in many auto-racing mags and newspapers. Yes, Tony Hulman was still with us then... The little car was just gorgeous and was to be followed by a whole line of other Indy cars sanctioned by the Speeday and designed in collaboration with the actual manufacturers.



Whitson's project failed as he refused to delegate authority that would have allowed the project to progress. Today, nearly 30 years later, these gorgeous 1/43rd scale models have few equals in precision in the kit industry. Whitson also had Philippe (Maurice, not me!) design an advance children's pedal car, and this was built by AAR's Phil Remington. A beautiful little alloy tub had a push-push system supposedly superior to that of a rotating bicycle-like device.



The 3 prototypes built used a smaller version of the 1974 Eagle-Offy which I designed around the tub as well as a Ferrari 312 F1, trying to keep the proportions realistic.
The Eagle bodies were built in fiberglass and the cars were demonstrated in 1975 on front of the Queen Mary during the F1 Grand Prix weekend. Again, the project fizzled because Whitson would not let anyone help him, he HAD to do everything, and his recruits eventually just walked away... Whitson returned to Scotland and died of a heart attack about 10 years ago. Probably the boiled mutton got him...
Regards,

Philippe
 

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QUOTE No wonder the youth of today makes so many judgment mistakes...
Watch it...

Nice slot car, but unfortunatly, I can't really make much of it out. I presume the ground effect part is the rising venturi at the back of the chassis
.

And you certainly do know a lot of people...

Where is this going again?


McLaren
 

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Peter Farrell
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WHAT A FASCINATING ARTICLE! Thank God there are some out there that are prepared to share their knowledge, I am not detracting from any previous 'accurate' articles posted. This simply touched a nerve with me.
Alfetta
 

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"Watch it..."

Nothing personal, I just think that the education system has gone awry in the past 35 years, and that "social studies" will never replace history.

"Nice slot car, but unfortunatly, I can't really make much of it out. I presume the ground effect part is the rising venturi at the back of the chassis."

Correct. The whole idea was to create a depression, thus increasing down force, such decreasing the need for a large rear shovel spoiler while reducing drag. It worked some, but the advantages were negated by the added weight. Either way, it COULD be the first attempt to naturally generated ground effects since the Auto Union in which Bernd Rosemeyer was killed in 1938, since the Chaparral 2J used motordriven fans.

"And you certainly do know a lot of people..."

Yes. I am very lucky to have lived a very interesting life.

"Where is this going again?"

You tell me. I posted this for your enjoyment. You want more? I have enough for a lifetime.
Regards,

Philippe
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE Go for it... I can't learn enough!

That's the spirit!
 

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Cool, Basil!
I'd love some more detail on those ground effect cars. Any more photos, by chance?
Amazed that Maurice Philippe was into slot cars too- I assume everyone knows that Peter Warr ran the great Tottenham Model Raceways, the place I was baptised as a Seventh-Day Evangelical Slot Racer. (Sundays being race nights).

And if I might add something to temper your generalisations- the young people I know have a frightening amount of knowledge- and wisdom- under their belts already. They have to grow up fast in this world.
 

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I'm 13 and I think the old Gold Leaf Lotuses and John Player Special Lotuses looked great. They were World Champion Car Constructors in '63, '65, '68 and a few other years later. This is true because there's a small plaque on the drivers side rear wing of my dad's Lotus Elan S4. It doesn't say the years in the 70's because the car was made in '69 and it was then that it was made as a 1:1 car kit.
 

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Sorry Howmet, but Peter Warr ran Grand Prix Model Raceways 122 King Street Hammersmith. If this sounds remarkably precise it is because I have beside me an advert for them in the issue of Model Cars that I am taking to work tomorrow to photocopy the Laurie Cranshaw article for you! GPMR closed in 1968 after a brief spell in Shepherds Bush.

Tottenham Model Raceways opened in about 1967/68 and was run by Mike Wootton and Ron Cox (I have just checked their names in another issue of Model Cars)

For our oversees readers all three places are suburbs of London. Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush are in West London and Tottenham is in North London.

Both had AMF King tracks and initially both had a second track, but I can't remember what they were called.

I ran a few times at both. The first time I drove on an AMF King track, in about 1966, I was using a Tamiya Ford GT40. It was not the quickest car there but not the slowest. I found that I could enter the straight, look at the lap recorders, work out where I was, pick up the car in front of me, pick up my car as it came off the banking and still brake in time for the following hairpin. What's the King track record now 1.8 secs or something?
 
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I would back most of today children as being better informed than we were when we were young but Phillipe and I have already has this argument before.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yo guys, read the other part of the posting:

"Luckily, some ARE more interested and are eager to learn more, and old pharts here are willing to help spray the lost information."

QUOTE I would back most of today children as being better informed than we were when we were young but Phillipe and I have already has this argument before.

Of course, the information IS better and IS out there, especially since the great days of the Internet, a true revolution (thank you Mr. Gore!
). Problem is, MOST children today are not getting this info, because of many factors, one of them being that life is a lot easier today than it was then, so "who needs it?" attitude, the other because of the inherent inepty of the teachers. Of course when I was a kid, I and all my buddies knew exactly where we were on the planet. Not the case today, check testing scores...
Regardless, let's not start this argument again. Back to slot cars, yes indeed Mr. Maurice Philippe was very interested in slot cars, as were many racing luminaries then. And today. Ross Brawn is another...
Dick, Tottenham was cool. I went there in 1970 before my serious pro-racing days and it was impressive. By the way, I collect memorabilia from Tottenham and Wonderland, banners, time cards, ribbons... If any of you has dupes, let me know as I have tons of American neat stuff for trade.
Regards,

Philippe
 

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Philippe
Got two unused purple lane stickers from Tottenham that has "Stolen from TMR" printed on them with the phone number, trade you them for a Cox magnesium 2E or maybe one of them there Pro cars you got on your list!!

[oneofwos]
 

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You can also blame Hollywood for the dumbed down inaccurate history.... Yank glam boys get Enigma from the U boat instead of a 16 year old British lad. I`m just glad that there are not too may motor racing movies made


Seriously though Philippe I suspect that a serious amount of us are very interested in your tales so please keep em coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi John,
That's a pretty steep price! How about British apples for Yank apples?
I got bitchin' ribbons for trade...

QUOTE Lost information TSRF ?

Sometimes I feel like there has been a 900-year void between 1970 and 2000. Like the end of the Roman empire and the Renaissance...except the Renaissance does not appear to have happened yet.

QUOTE I'd love some more detail on those ground effect cars. Any more photos, by chance?

Sorry Howmet, these pictures are the only surviving ones and were enlarged from old contact sheets. I MAY have the negs somewhere and ought to get larger prints so that we can see better details. I barely remember myself how I built this thing! It is easy to date it however, because it was used in a 1972 MAC bodies advert in MAR magazine, and one can see the little winglet behind the car:



The car used a conventional (but state-of-the-art as John Secchi can assure you...) chassis design inspired by the Emott-Gilbert technology, fitted with my own mods that made the cars definitely quicker and especially more consistent. The biggest difference with a "conventional" car was the increased ground clearance to a full 1/8', so as to allow air under the car. The vortex-generating wing was formed from .015 Lexan sheet, shaped in a NACA profile for maximum low-speed negative lift. The air entered the car under the nose. The entire bottom of the chassis was taped to block most of the air flow from going through. The air was then drawn under the motor and lifted by the NACA profile, causing down force. Well, in theory of course. The car was reaching a top speed of 75MPH but of course was nowhere as fast in corners, averaging 56MPH around the 155' track.

Aero on a 1/24 scale car at 60MPH is a bit wanting, but does work to about a 4/1 ratio from real cars. In other words, a fitted aero device must be about 4 times larger to have the same effect as on a 1/1 car, roughly.
It DID work quite well but did not provide an advantage over the conventional "shovel" design, so after I also tried a high wing with the same lack of success, I just put more glue on the track and forgot about it.

I was of course not surprised at all when the Lotus 78 came out, rather I had an "insider" smile... Maurice did good. I also regret his humour, like Pete Bryant he was really funny after a couple of brews.
Regards,

Philippe
 

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Blimey Dick- I AM falling apart! Hammersmith it was. I just have this boyhood image of a tall chap with square black-rimmed glasses mooching around behind the counter, and mentally transposed him to Tottenham, which was where I spent most of my time!

The first time I went to Hammersmith I must have been about twelve. I was so excited I forgot to take my hand controller with me and had to drive my precious Monogram Ferrari round on those stupid steering wheel jobbies. The embarrassment still lingers.
Hammersmith a 267 bus ride. Tottenham meant a long trip on the Northern line until our mate Martin got himself a Capri. The original one with the Anglia-style reverse-raked rear window.

But I am still amazed by the real/slot crossover. I always assumed the real drivers would see slot racing as a bit of a joke. How wrong can you be?
 

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QUOTE (howmet tx @ 17 Sep 2004, 08:25)Blimey Dick- I AM falling apart!

until our mate Martin got himself a Capri. The original one with the Anglia-style reverse-raked rear window.
No need to keep proving it, Howmet!

That car was a Ford Classic, the Capri had a beautiful curvy sloping rear window!


Mr.M
 
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