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741 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  beneke
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
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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.

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.


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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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!

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