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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, i'm really sorry i couldn't post anything in this last period, but at the moment i'm very busy, and the time to post is always scarce..

Anyway, i show you now something that it's really about slot cars' history, something i personally took in an antiques' shop in the beautiful Palermo (Sicily) at the end of december: the very first Italian slot cars


Ok, let's explain: usually, it was thought that the first Italian slot car was the Ferrari Sharknose made in 1963 by APS Policar, and that in the same year National Toys started its production as well, first with a Ferrari 555 Supersqualo that ran in the 1955 f1 season, and later in the year with a Ferrari 500 that ran (and won) the 1952/53 f1 seasons..

But..after some researches, and after talking to the greatest historian of Italian slot racing, Mr. Gatta, and even after talking to one of the sons of the National Toys' founder..well, it's been discovered that National Toys actually started its production in 1962, with the Ferrari 500, but with an external belt drive..very primitive, i could say


So far just one of these early Ferrari was known, not complete and in the hands of Mr. Gatta..but just so far, because the two slot cars i took in Palermo are exactly two National Toys 1/30 Ferrari 500 with external belt drive
When i spoke and showed what i'd found every big Italian collector was amazed..!

But the story carries on..so, they produced this first slot, but this system (external belt drive) wasn't much performing, so after a short while, they decided to produce the Supersqualo..why? Because the Supersqualo had very big sides, and so all the engine and transmission could be put inside the slot car, eliminating that external belt..

But again, a while later, National Toys managed to produce a smaller engine/transmission block, so they restarted to sell their first version, the 500, but without the need for the external stuff..

In this way, we can say that, in the first couple of years, National Toys produced 3 cars in 1/30 scale (later they'll make their production in 1/32), a Ferrari 500 with external belt drive, a Ferrari 555 and again a Ferrari 500 without the belt drive.

So, the two slot cars i show you now are the only two complete cars from a total of three known..they're for sure the rarest National Toys and the first Italian slot cars..

One last thing: so far i've got in the collection 8 of these Ferrari: 2 of the 1st series, 4 of the second series and 2 of the third one..but i couldn't find 3 of them to take a photo all together..but they should be somewhere at home


Anyway, in the last photo i put the two Ferrari 500 with belt drive and in the background three of the Superqualo i've got..believe me, it's not so easy to have 5 of them together in just one picture..

And now, enjoy..










 

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Very amazing David, and definitely an addition to slot car history.

These are also very much in the ugly-beautiful category... like a lot of the early toys with the distended bodies. Can you take one apart to show us the insides? I know you're not that interested in naked slot cars, but us gearheads are...

I've got a couple of the National Toys cars, and have always liked them... but I also walked right by one at a toy show here because I thought it was a Fanacourse!

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Don, i knew you were going to ask me that..


But don't worry, i've got a 9th car, a Supersqualo (the car with the same engine of the 500) missing some pieces but with the engine still there, so i'll show it to you soon..

Anyway, you're right about their uglyness or beauty, but i find them fascinating, because they give me that "vintage" feeling that is the "engine" of my collection..

And you can't imagine how pleased i was when i met (and still keep in touch) with one of the founder's two sons..he said that they both apperead in the National Toys catalogues and adverts..and he even remember that, still young boy, he helped his father to build and pack the slotcars inside the sets..

But i've got so much more unique stuff from this brand..the only problem to show them is time, given that in few days' i'll be travelling again..but with the opportunity, at least, to get some other rarities..


david
 
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