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Al Schwartz
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My MMK Lister arrived yesterday. I don't buy many RTRs but am will to spend the $ for unusual models that I find particulary appealing.

Out-Of-The Box - very good looking model - the shape seems right (this is the later, "Costin-ized" version, not the knobbly one) - paint and decorations smooth and sharp. the vac-formed windscreen seems a bit fragile but is fastened well and a welcome relief from the armored-glass thick molded screens usually seen. The only missing feature is the headlamp fairings but, in reality, this is just as well because they seem to be the first casualty in racing (and I buy cars only to race)

Turing it over, the first thing that one sees is that the car is fitted with the standard "S" can, not the HO style motor reported for MMKs earlier efforts. The (resin) chassis is the best I have seen in this material. The wheels are alloy but appear to be press-on, not screw fastened. The crown gear looks similar to the Slot-It (brass hub with a nylon gear) but also appears to be a press-on. Any similarity to the Slot-It set up evaporates immediately on turning the rear wheels - the gear set is tight.

Opeming it up. one sees that the motor is retained by a top cover similar to the Slot Classics arrangement but in this case, it is a simple flat plate and does not incorporate cockpit/driver detail. The guide fit is fair (more on this in a brief track report below). There is opportunity for a bit of judicious grinding to reduce the substantial weight of the higher-up bits.

On the track:

My track is a 67' 4 lane Scalextric Classic. I started a practice session to set some baseline numbers for a Carrera D Jag that I am fitting with a scratch chassis. the D had been set up (unsucessfully) for a "Ninco Classic" series we have run in years past. - NC-1 motor, Slot-It gears, magnet and reversing switch removed and a bit of lead added - it is a very poor performer - can't do better than about 10.9 seconds/lap. A Ninco 250TR set up for the same series, without weight but fitted with MRRC Cobra front tires on the rear, turns 9.7 laps easily. The Lister, literally out of the box with no tire truing, braid adjustment or lubrication, ran in the 10.5 range. The car showed evidence that the tires needed trueing and the braids required work. In addition, when it got too far sideways, the guide would rotate to the point where it snapped out.

Based on the initial behavior, my guess is that with minimal preparation, the car should be good for 10 sec or perhaps a bit less. I intend to take it a bit farther because I think the basic model is worth the work: better fitting guide, investigation and probably replacement of the drive set and possibly a set of BWA wheels on the rear with better tires. After all that is done, I'll look at motor options bearing in mind the fact that scale tires will limit the amount of power than can be put down and the possibility of reducing the weight of the body and cockpit.

At the end of the session, I lined it up with several other cars: In terms of size and shape, it fit well with the D Jag, the TR and a Slot Classic Ferrari 350. The comparison with the Anni-Mini Birdcage was revealing. This model is built on a Ninco 166 chassis and is way oversized - it is bigger than the Lister and the rear track is a full 3/8" wider! (Still a pretty model)

The model is as good as or better than anything else I have seen from "boutique" makers, and, fully aware of its limitations, I shall be adding others from the line to my collection. (I have to give Slot Classics the nod on detail with all of their photo etched parts but, built as they come, they are simply terrible runners)

EM
 

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Thanks for this write up EM.

I have one sitting under the tree right now but have to wait 'til Christmas before I can play (did have a quick peek just to check the goods though
)

I though it looked excellent but noticed the cockpit cover was clear. Do you know if it should be this way prototypically or will I need to paint it?
 

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The clear part over the winsdhield is correct. Both the D-Type Jag, the Lister and the Aston DBR1 used a "tonneau cover" made of snapped clear thick vinyl.

The tight gear mesh is unusual for a MMK car and should be checked as a possible defect. All MMK cars are actually individually tested before packing.

Yes, the Anni-Mini Maserati is too large... so are many so-called 1/32 scale slot cars and of course ALL HO slot cars! It is unfortunate but a fact of life. Most outrageous out-of-scale: Fly Porsche 908-3, almost an INCH too long and 3/4" too wide...
 

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Today I spoke with Mr. MMK, and we decided of the 2004 programme. It will include some really great cars such as a Maserati 450S and a Cunningham C4RK, as well as some Ferrari TR250, TR60 and TR61. Alfa 33/3 coupe is also in the cards, as well as some very white cars..
 

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Al Schwartz
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (TSRF @ 11 Dec 2003, 05:23 AM)Today I spoke with Mr. MMK, and we decided of the 2004 programme. It will include some really great cars such as a Maserati 450S and a Cunningham C4RK, as well as some Ferrari TR250, TR60 and TR61. Alfa 33/3 coupe is also in the cards, as well as some very white cars..

Some really exciting news - but bad for the exchequer! - The 450S is one of my all time favorites - must diverge for a moment to tell about the first time I saw one: It was at an SCCA race in Montgomery, NY - airport track (now restored to a functioning airport). John Edgar & Company arrived late so Shel was relegated to the last row of the grid - everyone, yours truly included, was a bit nervous expecting this monster to come blasting through at the drop of the flag. Flag up - great revving of engines with the monster quivering and bellowing at the rear - Flag down - pack moves away - loud noise and the 450S gearbox is deposited all over the track!

EM
 

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Old Shel was a bit brutal with the clutch, and Orsi bros gearboxes were notoriously fragile...

Also for the real race car lovers, I have convinced MMK to do the 450SS coupe of the 1957 Le Mans, possibly the most monstrous Maserati ever...



This Zagato-built body was designed by noted aerodynamicist Frank Costin (Lotus 11, 12, Vanwall, Costin-Nathan and Protos fame) and driven by Moss at Le Mans. Moss just took off and led the first two hours, running away from everyone until the engine fumes overwhelmed him inside the poorly ventilated cockpit. He nearly passed out and had to retire the car. I was 17 years old and saw the car run and was so impressed by its growling and tremendous speed compared to the Ferraris and Jaguars... The car still exist and was shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2000, but was modified in the 1960's in the USA, loosing its V-shaped windshield in favor of a rear window from some Yank tank. It could really stand a full restoration...
 

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Al Schwartz
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QUOTE (TSRF @ 11 Dec 2003, 05:05 PM)Also for the real race car lovers, I have convinced MMK to do the 450SS coupe of the 1957 Le Mans, possibly the most monstrous Maserati ever...

This Zagato-built body was designed by noted aerodynamicist Frank Costin (Lotus 11, 12, Vanwall, Costin-Nathan and Protos fame) and driven by Moss at Le Mans. Moss just took off and led the first two hours, running away from everyone until the engine fumes overwhelmed him inside the pootly ventilated cockpit. He nearly passed out and had to retire the car. I was 17 years old and saw the car run and was so impressed by its growling and tremendoud speed compared with the Ferraris and Jaguars... The car still exist and was shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2000, but was modified in the 1960's in the USA, loosing its V-shaped windshield in favor of a rear window from some Yank tank. It could really stand a full restoration...

Well, I'm off the hook on this one - already have one:



Cleaned up at Las Vegas 2 years ago.

BTW - I realized that I may have mixed up owners - was it John Edgar or Jim Kimberly who owned the Maser ? Time, memory and all that jazz

EM
 

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Al, Al, Al.....

I love all the Maser coupes -- wonderfully brutal and fast machines that never quite held together -- but it kills me entirely to see you mix up the 450 coupe with the later 151/2 versions. Or are my astigmatic eyes failing me? Nice one BTW.

mp
 

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Al Schwartz
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
QUOTE (speedyweenie @ 11 Dec 2003, 06:02 PM)Al, Al, Al.....

I love all the Maser coupes -- wonderfully brutal and fast machines that never quite held together -- but it kills me entirely to see you mix up the 450 coupe with the later 151/2 versions. Or are my astigmatic eyes failing me? Nice one BTW.

mp
You are absolutely correct - I guess I was just overwhelmed by the thought that there was one of the MMKs that I didn't have to buy!

EM
 

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"was it John Edgar or Jim Kimberly who owned the Maser ?"

Neither. Both T151 were commandited by Col. John Simone of Maserati-France, and all three were at one time or the other driven by Andre Simon. Then Briggs Cunningham purchased two of the cars and entered them in the 1962 Le Mans race. All 3 retired with various ills. Briggs brought his cars back to the USA, but Col. Simone persevered at Le Mans in 63 and 64, the car being competitive but victim of various ills.
In 1964 their body was changed to a brutal-looking coupe but even these did not fare well and eventually disappeared in the great cemetary of "would-have/could-have/but never did".
 

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Al Schwartz
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
QUOTE (TSRF @ 13 Dec 2003, 04:08 AM)"was it John Edgar or Jim Kimberly who owned the Maser ?"

Neither. Both T151 were commandited by Col. John Simone of Maserati-France, and all three were at one time or the other driven by Andre Simon.
No, I was referring to the 450S. the only other time that I can specifically remember Old Shel driving was at the Giant's Despair Hillclimb in Wilkes Barre, PA about '55 - he drove (and won with) The old Indy 4.5 litre GP Ferrari fitted with dual rear wheels - fearsome (although the absolute loudest car that I recall was Paul Flickinger's 4CLT/48 Maserati - 1500 cc blown and loud enough to peel your earlobes off0
 

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EM

O that Maser! That's the one they called the 'Breadvan' isn't it? I wouldn't mind picking up the Mother's Pride in one of those. Wonderful! Is it the old Hawk kit or what? I've got a Classic shell that's been sitting around for ages, gradually acquiring a chassis and stuff, but I've not got round to finishing up the body. I will now! That looks gorgeous.
 

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"O that Maser! That's the one they called the 'Breadvan' isn't it? "

The two cars nicknamed "breadvan" were both Ferrari 250GT re-bodied by Drogo into GTO-like cars but with square backs.

Tony Parravano indeed owned the first 450S spyder that was driven by many including Old Shel' and Dan Gurney. Jim Kimberley also bought one, and so did John Edgar. Temple Buell purchased another driven by Masten Gregory.

Most of the works 450S were utterly demolished by their respective drivers in the epic Venezuelan GP of 1957 when they had the opportunity to win the wolrd championship of makes, that fell by default to Ferrari. This very expensive pile of racing junk effectively put Maserati out of the factory-entered racing business. Only private entries would ever race again bearing the famous name.
Mr. Pea
 

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Al Schwartz
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
QUOTE (TSRF @ 14 Dec 2003, 08:07 PM)Most of the works 450S were utterly demolished by their respective drivers in the epic Venezuelan GP of 1957 when they had the opportunity to win the wolrd championship of makes, that fell by default to Ferrari. This very expensive pile of racing junk effectively put Maserati out of the factory-entered racing business. Only private entries would ever race again bearing the famous name.
Mr. Pea
I seem to recall a picture in Road & Track of Harry Shell walking away from one of the wrecks with a burned face and a dazed expression. Of course, it was almost a given in those days that if the Maseratis finished a race, they won.

EM
 

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Fortunately, it did not end badly as privately entered Maseratis had their days, especially the T60 and T61 Birdcage front-engined jobs...

In the hands of Moss, Gurney, Shelby, Hall, Krause and many others, they proved to be winners.
 
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