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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ,

Help me with the following terms/acronyms please:

What does tampoed mean?
What is a pancake motor?
On Derek Coopers site the condition of cars is given as:(In brackets is my guess)
M (Mint)
VG( Very Good)
MB(Mint and Boxed)
G-VG (Good to Very Good)

Thanks and cheers
Bryan
 

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No idea about the pancake motor Bryan, but "tampoed" refers to a method of printing the logos onto a model - as opposed to water slide transfers or similar.

the Derek Cooper codes are pretty much as you describe.

Cheers,
Martyn
 

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Pancake motors is something that i have only seen in some HO scale slot cars. It is a different configuration. Maybe someone can post pics of their pancake motor cars. I have none having since i gave all my HO stuff away some years ago.
 

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Here's a quick SEARCH for the elusive beastie
 

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Thanks Greg, that's a good recap of the "pancake".

Despite what the article says, as far as I know, only Aurora made this type of motor (except for past and current licensees) and it only appeared in their HO cars.

It's also in production nearly 50 years after being invented, which is amazing.

Don
 

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Aurora also made what they called Super Model Motoring - (I think that what they called it) - for a few years in the mid 1960's that was approximately 1/48 scale and used a larger format pancake layout chassis. These are on the somewhat rare side these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi guys,

Thanks for the info.But you given away your age!
Very interesting article on the pancake motor.
I would think that maintenance of the Thuderbird T must have been a nightmare with all those gears!

Cheers
Bryan
 

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As a matter of fact Bryan, it wasn't a nightmare - the T-Jets were very well engineered, which is why they were so successful at the time, and why they lasted so long! The gear train was very smooth running and friction losses minimal, given the setup. But it did make it hard to change the gear ratio!

The cars generally ran very smoothly right from the beginning, with just minimal maintenance, and it turned out they could be hopped up, which made them more fun, contributed to their longevity and led to the later versions, like the AFX, which actually continued to outperform for awhile cars like the TycoPro that should have been faster (conventional inline pinion-crown gear setup, chassis influence from 1/24 "pro" cars, etc.).

The one "weakness", although relative, was the skinny rear tires, and lesser traction, which explains why you find a lot of these cars with the rear wheel wells hacked out and bigger tires fitted. In fact, Aurora's own hop-up kit included a set of their truck tires... And AJ's came out with screw-on silicone wheels/tires at some point, which were very popular and highly effective.

Yes, the 1/48 set was called Super Model Motoring and it used a larger version of the T-jet - which was also used on the second version of A.C. Gilbert's 007 James Bond set, which had an Aston Martin and a Mustang in 1/48 scale.

Don

PS: the multi-gear arrangement was not that unusual on HO cars, because of the limited space. While Tyco used worm gear drive, Atlas and Marx used a multiple gear train with an inline motor, because the motor was higher than the center line of the rear axle. I think Lionel used a worm gear as well.
 

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Just to add to this - I had Aurora sets in the 70's and was there when they made the transition from pancake to in-line motor.

The in-line motor had vast downforce (you could hold the track upside down and the car would stick to the rails). This meant the cars could corner way faster than pancake cars and let's face it - most circuits are more curve than straight. They also killed Aurora's wonderful flexy track because the increased downforce meant the cars would not move on the flexy track. This was bad news because flexy track allowed you to very easily create a layout without worrying about geometry.

The increase downforce of in-line also made the cars less fun - you were either going round the track fast or flying off without warning and whacking the skirting boards - there was no tail sliding and it made racing much less fun.

The old pancake motors were much more fun - you could control the cars on the edge of adhesion and back off from a slide to continue racing. The pancake was slower around corners BUT - given the lack of downforce - they were much faster than the in-line cars - a fact I proved by creating drag strips with all my straights and a friend's straights and placing pillows at the end of the run. The pancakes always beat the in-lines - it's great fun watching a Beetle blow an F1 Ferrari out of the water when you are 12!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi,

I have an old book by Renton-Laidlaw published in 1957 called Electric Model Rail Racing. The publication date and the dates you guys mention says to me it was wrtten pre- Aurora pancake as no mention is made of the pancake.
From the book it seems that the Triang Mk4(and similar lookiing designs) was the most popular motor of which Laidlaw says was originally designed to power model locomotives
Electric model racing was in its infancy then and cars ran on above track rails hence the book's title.Scalextric were just starting out and ,if I got my facts correctectly from the book ,produced the first commercial slot car racing set,where the cars ran in a slot and not on a rail.

Very interesting book.The 'slotters" in those days had to virtually build cars from scratch out of balsa wood and brass.Tyres were from static models.Various types of guide and steering were experimented with.
The book also gives detailed plans, materials required (and a suppliers list)in order to construct models of cars like Bughatti and Ferrari .
The book has also got a chapter about diesel powered cars on rails. Engine capacity about 0.5cc. Scale about 1/12 or bigger.I wonder if this class is still around.Doubt it though.
Those were the days or what?

Cheers
Bryan
 

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Rather "what" Bryan...

In fact, I wasn't quite around then (turned 10 in 62 when first became aware of slots), but I do miss the enterprising aspect of the hobby/sport at the time - when nobody knew what worked and were willing to try just about anything and everything! You wouldn't believe the endless debates in the period magazines about steering vs. non-steering, as well as slot vs. rail. And of course we all tried suspensions, differentials, 4WD and other things that mostly turned out to be useless in miniature...

In fact, the DJLD book was fully half electric and half diesel. Although diesel/gas model car racing was slowing down quite a bit by then, it had been a sort of a fad itself following WWII. I don't think there are any diesel rail tracks left, but there are a couple "round the pole" tracks for what was called tether racing and a small group of hard-core enthusiasts (timed races with single cars racing around a circular concrete track, held bya steel tether). The cars are also considered very collectible, and go a lot higher than their slot counterparts in general - but probably only thousands were built, not millions.

Back to the pancake, like I said, this was uniquely an Aurora invention and was never a regular motor layout in any other car, so not surprising they weren't around in 57.

Scalextric is indeed accepted as the first commercial slot racing outfit, although there are a few earlier contenders, relatively unknown (like a Bub set from Germany in 53, but with a single lane). What's curious is that although all the rail cars used model train motors, the first two slot outfits had their own purpose built motors, Scalextric and VIP, and both were sidewinders!

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi,

Aplogies I got the author's name wrong.Should be Laidlaw -Dickson..not Renton-Laidlaw
I am sure he has published other books.I remember lending one from the local library many years ago.Should have lent it on a permanent basis...because (without being political) it has probablly been used to start someones barbeque
But good to chew the fat about the early days of the hobby and hear from guys who remember those days

Rgards
Bryan
 
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