QUOTE Don't have to tell us, seen them on Ebay like that already.
Well, maybe I should anyway.
QUOTE Who chopped what?
I don't know exactly who, probably people at Strombecker, but what was chopped was a lot of Scuttler motors. Before explaining more, to avoid any confusion, in the picture below there appear, from left to right, all Strombecker, an early open motor, a late open motor (both made by Igarashi I assume, you Philippe know better) and a Scuttler, as mounted in the '65 competition kits and some rtr/set cars (Igarashi too?).
Next are the three two-pieces aluminium chassis that came with the set, rtr and custom kits (the cheaper kits, not the brass ones) of 1966: the short version (Chap, Dino, Cheetah) on the right, the long version (Lotus 30 and, later on, Ferrari P2 and Porsche Carrera) at the centre, and the extra-long version (Barracuda only) on the left. Note the triangular and square identification holes in the first two.
By 1967 the Barracuda was discontinued and the standard rtr/set sport cars came with the well known (horrible) plastic/aluminium chassis shown below. There are short (blue plastic) and long (black plastic) wheelbase versions.
It seems that, also by 1967, somebody decided to recycle the remaining stock of Scuttler motors (they were still offered in the '66 catalogue, but were not in 1967) by the way of chopping their u-bracket arms and installing the chopped motors in new, specially designed, two pieces aluminium chassis, similar to those used in 1966. The pictures below appeared on eBay USA some years ago (sorry for their quality): they show a box of Scuttler motors, from which some are still intact, while others have been chopped and fitted with pinions and push-in terminals. One sample of each is also shown. Was this box left in this way when somebody decided to halt the production?
This is a sample of the new chassis. Compared with those of 1966, it has more room for the longer motor and provides clearance for the motor brushes.
Apparently, these chassis, also made in short and long wheel-basis versions, were paired with all types of sport car bodies available in 1967, and sold as bagged kits
as rtr, and even offered by pairs as a bonus in some sets. The two cars shown below came to me as shown, together with the bag label and flyer also shown. Note the different identification holes on the chassis. Apparently they were part of a set (probably a 9804 Sebring) which, besides the standard chassis, included a pair of these Scuttler chassis intended to be used on a commercial track (!?). The flyer is self-explicative enough.