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I get Motorsport on subscription each month and December's arrived yesterday. There are two articles that should be of interest to Slot Forum members who regularly inhabit this section of the Forum.

One deals with the probable lap speeds that would currently be achieved at Brooklands if it were still open. I have not yet had time to read it yet, I am one issue behind at the moment, but presumably it assumes that all the bumps had been ironed out.

The second is about Tim Birkin and includes a very good photograph of an electric car racing track that he was involved in promoting and lost money on. It looks like a rail track, but with twin rails close together. It must have been pre-1933 because that is when he died.

This rings a faint bell from all the history threads on this and other slot racing sites (Old Weird Herald mainly) but I am not 100% sure I had heard about his involvement before.

But one of you will know!

Gives me a chance to start a thread for the first time though!

 

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Russell Sheldon
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Dick,

In his book A History of Electric Model Roads and Racetracks 1908-1985, Roger Greenslade mentions a coin-operated rail track at a Leicester Square amusement arcade in the 1930s. It was a six-lane track with the cars guided by erect rails and a seperate controller for each car. He refers to the guidance system as a "Birkin" rail but doesn't actually mention Tim Birkin. I wonder if this is the connection?

Thanks for the info on Team Gunston, Howmet. Motor Sport is quite difficult to obtain here -- now, if someone would be so kind as to scan the article and e-mail it to me....


With kind regards,

Russell
 

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Yep, Russell and Dick, that's the one. I don't think Birkin was the inventor, but he seems to have endorsed the track, much like Stirling Moss and Jim Clark in modern times. He may have even invested in it as well, hoping to make a bit of a financial killing... plus ça change...

The Motor magazine did a couple fairly long articles on this, back in 1930 or so, which I would be glad to photocopy for anybody who's interested.

The developers seem to have done a pretty good job with this track, as a complete commercial racing system, but if it ever got further than the one track, nobody knows... There was at least one other system like this in the 30s in Britain, as I believe RWG's book explains.
Don

PS: sounds like I'll have to subscribe to Motor Sport one of these days - think they'll send it in a green envelope?
 
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I have said about this before, as the Brooklands Museum told me about the picture but never showed it to me. I when to buy a copy of Motor Sport today but their were none in the town I live in.

Don I would like to see the articles.

Jeff.
 

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I received my copy of MotorSport yesterday and was really impressed with the magazine I think it is by far the best edition since their re-brand/re-launch a few months ago.

There's something in it for everyone in terms of the various eras of racing and what a bonus with the rail track photo and the Champ car on the Brooklands members banking!!

Anyone interested in scratchbuilding classic cars or racing the current ranges of Fly Classic, Ninco Classic etc would do themselves a favour by subscribing as it will prove useful for research.

Like Howmet I immediately thought of Russell and Rail racer as soon as I started turning the pages.

David
 

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Phil Smith
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I am sure not everybody gets Motor Sport (why not
) so here is the picture of Birkin and the Rail racing track, I guess this must have been taken in the very early thirties.



BTW Don, Motor Sport no longer has a green cover, they have modernised and it now has a red one
 

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Here you go, Russell- it was only a short piece;



I liked the Lotus 56 cutaway drawing best this month, but yes- cracking issue!
I miss the old cover though

I am yours, etc.

Howmet
 
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Hi Dick,
I would love to see a close up on the cars.

This asks the queston why did nothing come from this system as it is fairly close to what started everything in the 50's.

Jeff.
 

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Russell Sheldon
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That's very kind of you, Scott.

Thanks for the scan, Howmet (and to David, who e-mailed the article to me).

Here's a colour picture of Paddy Driver in the 1974 SA GP with the Team Gunston 72E:-



Kind regards

Russell
 

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Paddy Driver was a great motorcycle racer before switching to 4 wheels. Paddy was a usual figure of the Continental Circus of the early 1960's on 350 and 500cc Norton Manx. he was also a nice chap with a great sense of humor.
I know that Dan Gurney liked him very much and they were buddies.
Regards,

Dok Pea
 

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Take a good look at that photo of Birkin - add longer sideburns, a J.P.S. jacket and a flat cap. Colin Chapman to a tee or what?

Brian
 

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I bought the first issue after their re-design (the GT40 one) but I never see the magazine in the newsagents any more. What's up?
I loved the magazine but if it's not being distributed as widely then what's the future for it?
Maybe I'll have to twist Santa's arm for a subscription.
Lowrider.
 

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Phil Smith
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I think the new cover just blends in with all the other mags. the old green one was very distinctive, but the irony is that their reason for a change of colour was to stand out on the shelves!

I have always found Motor Sport a little hard to get hold of, so I have had a subscription for the last few years, then you are gauranteed a copy every month
 

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The trouble with having a subscription is that they keep offering great gifts to NEW subscribers. They never give away any cool free videos, die casts, kits etc. just to keep us old ones signed up! Reckon if I cancelled in November each year, I could resubscribe in time to get my Classic F1 photo calendar/Revell Ferrari kit for Christmas?
Just a thought.
 

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I've also got a subscription as it is considerably cheaper. WHSmith stocks it.

David
 

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I get my copy here in Canada from EWA
The December issue came yesterday so they are quite prompt .
It was sad to see Tony Lanfranchi had succumbed to cancer at the age of sixty nine ,
a great bloke and one that I had nominated along with Gerry Marshall as "most like to have a drink with " with recently.

Richard
 
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