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Hi,
Here's 2 sets made in the USA by Jim Prentice around 1962.The sets are called Electric Speedway & there are 3 versions: set #700, set #1000 & set #1400. I have sets 700 & 1000. The cars are around 1/43rd scale midget type racers. The cars were driven by a 3-1/2 volt motor. Some cars were gear driven & some were belt driven. I show photos of both. The yellow car was was actually made in the UK by Seleal. It has a different driver's head (smaller). The track & battery box is vacuum formed. You have to put the metal rails in the slots yourself. You couldnt get much cheaper if you tried.
The controls were tappets which were only on & off. These sets are probably the worse quality slot cars ever made in the USA.
Thanks,Bernard Sampson

 

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Now that's what I call a thorough presentation!

Visually impeccable pics of very unusual and nice sets.

And the cutest little cars I've ever seen. (I'm i love...
)
Keep up the excellent work!
 

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More great stuff Bernard. Your unusual items always put a smile on my face, and this set actually had me laughing out loud.

Don't know if I've ever seen artwork of cars racing without drivers before. And nice brass wheels and pulleys on these cheap cars.
 

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Go Prentice!

Thanks Bernard, one of my favorite sets, just because it's so incredibly cheap in every way possible (except for those brass pulleys I guess...).

The track is even flimsier than it looks, if possible.

I found an ad for these in an American Modeler, will have to find it, but I think it's 1961 and either 8 or 10 dollars.

Cheers,
Don

PS: and another strange thing is that, as Bernard points out, it was made in the US and the UK! Can't really figure that one out, unless two companies were just trying to get into this hot new market as cheaply as possible...
 

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Here's the ad I was talking about, from the January 62 issue of American Modeler; a general hobby magazine, but more oriented model airplanes of all kinds. It was originally called Young Men, and in 1956 published the first rail racing articles in the U.S., by DJ Laidlaw-Dickson, supposedly triggering the rail racing movement in the US. From about 1960 it continued to cover slot racing, with an article or two in most issues, until the end of 1966.

Since this ad was opposite a review on what was available at the time in the US, or maybe just known (like Wrenn), I've scanned that page too... Curiously enough, the "Jim Prentice" name isn't mentioned, just The Electric Game Company...

Don



 

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Hi

Now we are talking slots! Of probably only of interest to myself, but the city from which the set comes, Holyoke Mass, was a mill town, primarily for paper products and the home of the National Blank Book company. I think I have that right. It fell on hard times when industries moved out en masse from that section of the country. (my mother was born there and her relatives worked in the paper mills.) I tried to see if there was something about Jim Prenitice on the web, but nothing after a quick Google search.

all my very best,

Charles
 

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Ah, Chuck, now we're getting into the Sociopolitical history of slots! Von Rossem, among others, would be proud...

Isn't Holyoke also home to another famous games company, playing cards or something like that?

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Don

PS/ Bernard, from all your sets, is this really the cheapest made one? Even that Japanese tinplate set had real plastic track, and so did all the Hong Kong/Chinese made sets I've seen...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Don,its the cheapest made,but im going to do a search though my sets & be sure. I may have something close.
Thanks,Bernard
 

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Hi, lovely cars indeed, and not so bad; at least they have proper axles and gears: I guess the open wheeled Ungar, with direct driving and no front axle, is far worse. The paperwork is very interesting; the fact that the cars came with unmounted heads probably explains why the couple I already have came with second series Marx heads glued on. By the size of the heads, the cars should be 1/32th rather than 1/43th (if scale makes any sense in cases like the present one).

Is the belt driven car supposed to be a British copy of the Prentice cars? It is hard to believe they didn't find anything better to copy! The pictures show many moulding differences, so they are not two different versions of the same car. Interestingly enough, in the paperwork there is listed a belt driven Prentice car (without driver!) which I assume is not the one pictured. It would be great seeing one of these Prentice belt driven cars.

Eduardo
 
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