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Premium Member
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5,147 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 1967, Pittman introduced a new motor specifically designed for slot car use. It had the general bulk of the Mabuchi FT26 but offered a much higher manufacturing quality. It used the arm of the previous 196B in a new steel formed can fitted with a die-cast zinc end bell and Pittman-style overhead brush assembly. The magnets were stronger than most out there and as usual the quality was vastly above that of the Japanese motors of the period. There were two versions, one with flanged and sealed ball bearings (model 6001BB) and with plain sintered bronze oilites (model 6000).
To help popularize these new mills which cost nearly twice as much as the mid-size Mabuchi, Pittman formed a pro-racing team, composed of two hot-shoes of the time: John Harris and Mike Smith, both from the Chicago area.
John set to build the latest pro-trend chassis as seen on the east and west coasts, and attempted to qualify at the top events, but while the 6001 were decent motors, they did not have the legs (and the brakes) of a well set up FT16, and it was not long until Pittman withdrew their support. Here are a couple of survivors found on E-Pay, sold by a dealer to whom John Harris, now 86 and retired in Florida, sold his accumulation of cars and parts:



The body is a Dynamic Mirage, with a Pittman sticker at the rear. The front wheels are rare Cox Lotus extra-narrow magnesium with Weldun tires. The rears are Riggen with black rubber. The driver is by Cox, mounted on flat black card. The car is completely original and was only cleaned from 35 years of atmospheric pollution.



The inline chassis is extremely neat and shows very good craftsmanship, especially the main rails going around the back and to the from axle tube, not so easy to do in one piece... The Pittman 6001 motor is affixed with two machine screws.
The guide is a Dynamic, the gears are Cox.



These other cars have a famous history of their own as they were shown and driven on the Johnny Carson Show, Johnny himself driving (and immediately crashing) one of them on a Revell track set in the studio.



The down side shows the Lotus and Lola T70 fitted with the Pittman 6001 motors, while the Lola T80 Indy car has a rewound Russkit 23 and the Ferrari 3-liter F1 has a rewound K&B "Jaguar", their version of the Mabuchi FT26.

John also had a whole range of modified stock Monogram 1/32 scale cars with vacuum formed bodies as well as home built ones.
At least, these cars, now relics of a fun past, did not end in the thrash can like so many...
Regards,

Dr. Pea
 

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Russell Sheldon
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2,855 Posts
Thanks for posting the article, Philippe!

The Pittman 6001 was the "preferred" motor for 1/24th scale endurance racing in South Africa in 1967-68. In sprint races, the Mabuchi FT26D reigned supreme.



Pittman have been in business for a long time. Charles Pittman Jr. first began manufacturing electric motors for the model train market in Philadelphia in 1934, expanding into commercial and industrial markets in 1958. The company was acquired by Penn Engineering & Manufacturing Corp. in 1970.

They have since been renamed PennEngineering Motion Technologies and still manufacture electric motors at facilities in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, and Offanengo, Italy.

With kind regards

Russell
 

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Brian Ferguson
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3,652 Posts
Yikes!
That Pittman can never DID find its way to southern Ontario! Not that I knew of in my circles anyway! Very nice to have info about a motor I never saw here. Thanks, PdL!
 
G

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It's always wonderful to see some historically important cars saved.

One of the most pleasing aspects of researching Built With Passion was that several sets of important rail and slot cars were saved as some of the old rail racer's were tracked down. One set of rail cars was saved by only a few days from being thrown in the bin. So it's very important we save the past for the future.

RR
 

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Premium Member
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5,147 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the update Russell. Also note that the early 6001 are apparently slower than the later "X" ones. These can be recognized by a ring around the commutator.
Best regards,

Dr. Pea
 
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