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I've long had one or two of all the VIP single-seaters, but I bought two more last week because they seemed a little different, for me anyway.
The Ferrari has "chrome" wheel inserts, which one VIP history says were fitted to the first Club Special cars, though this one has the standard motor's black side-pieces and black 36T contrate. The body is slightly warped but not as badly as my old blue one. Yes, one rear exhaust section is missing and the driver's head is Scalex, not VIP, but I can restore both.
The Cooper has a twin-peg guide and pickups mounted on the front axle cross-member, so it's apparently a 1961 model, though the front assembly pivots look more like 1963 parts. The braid pickups are not original, of course, and aren't even wired up. I'm not sure how the original brush type were connected (info would be welcome). I could fit a later guide and the pop-in brush pickups, but the whole idea of buying it was to get a 1961 car.
Both are scruffy and have still to be cleaned up.

I've just realised that an illustration of the 1961 front assembly (in the VIP history on-line) shows the track rod in front of the cross-member. Was that the layout on the shorter wheelbase Lotus 18? I have the Lotus body and spare running gear but haven't got round to assembling it yet.
Is anyone desperate for the tiny circlips that hold the front wheels on the metal units? I have some to spare.
Rob J


 

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Amen Rob! One of the nicest lines of slot cars from this era, and so much nicer than the Scalextric that it's amazing Scalex won out on the market...

Very sweet running little cars too, although not all that fast. At least the one I ran many years ago at one of our first vintage slot racing meets: the BRM stovepipe model, race-tuned, but with the skinny tires... haven't tried the others yet... I was pretty please with my heat running the BRM, but a lot of cars following me turned in faster times, even including a few - horrors - Scalex jobs. Maybe not from the same era, however. And the Monogram F1s were definitely in a class of their own.

If you have all the models, more photos would be appreciated; otherwise I can contribute some as well.

Has anybody ever seen a VIP Sharknose Ferrari without the banana effect on the body? Not I...

Don

PS: I remember saying in one of my early NSCC columns that the VIP cars were underrated and would surely climb in value - don't think I was right on this, but as Kev says, they are definitely undervalued!
 

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Never ever seen one with a straight nose on Don! Mine are like bananas!!
They are superb cars & everyone should get at least one.
& yes Don is right, you can get some of them cheap.
I recently bought a lovely set from 1966 with rubber track. I only had to buy a pair of mirrors for the Cooper....£20 for the whole set!!





Cheers,
Kev
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi Joel
john secchi ,has one that isn,t bent! must be the only car in his box that isn,t (Only joking john )
i think that joels comment is a little unfair ,as the cars were properly engineered and less toy like than scalex ,the problems with the bodies was that they wern't very accurate more like caricatures of the cars . additionally age hasnt been kind to them with the way the bodies have warped
In the early 60s VIP certainly supported the hobby better than scalex and they used to run a works team in open meetings,which is where the club special came from.
I seem to remember that they were pretty competitive too, certainly making finals and possibly even winning in some of those early slot meets .They were designed by probably the most famous slot car designer of all ,Ralph Burgas who later joined MRRc and designed the fabulous 4 WD mercedes .Note the similarity in the motors both split 6, 3 poles . as far as I amaware ther only 2 ever marketed.What really finished VIp in addition to the general down turn in the late 60s was the factory fire which destroyed the production line and I guess with the state of the market they must have felt recapitalisation wasn,t an option

Cheers tony
Incidentally does any one know how to straighten those bent bodies.
 

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Slot King
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Ask John Secchi.

Actually, harsh though I may sound, to me they typify the exploitative attitude of some of the toy makers of the period.

They produced caricatures made from the nastiest (read cheapest) plastic known to man thinking that kids would be too dumb to notice.
And then they sat in the boardroom wondering why the firm was going bust. Heck, I am no fan of Scalextric, but even they managed better.
Just compare the looks of the average Airfix, or indeed Jouef with a VIP.

Still whatever takes your fancy, I have got plenty of ugly stuff in my collection.

Joel

PS: They ARE gross, nearly as gross as some of the early German stuff.
 

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The VIP guides were immensely popular throughout most of the sixties it seems. although they are difficult to find as spares nowadays though for some reason. Their steering units were also widely used in scratchbuilds, or parts of the units anyway. And the silver-sided Clubman motor was quite good, and I have a couple which are still pretty strong and fast.
Also, I need to check, but I think the brushes from the VIP motors fit the Scalextric formula junior, which can be hard to get. I'm not sure on that one though.
The bodies do look a bit cumbersome though.
Cheers,
Tom.
 

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QUOTE (merkit the grof @ 19 Aug 2011, 15:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ahhhh, the rose tinted glass of nostalgia! Guys, they are gross!

Sorry

Joel

If we weren't all looking at the past through rose tinted glasses, none of us would be here!

Don
 

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Hey Joel,
You haven`t seen our lass, she was also made in the 60`s & boy is she ugly!

Cheers,
Kev

PS Someone told me to soften the Ferrari bodies in a warm oven & tease them straight- never dared to try it though!
 

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And here's my first VIP, the BRM, from 62 I believe... maybe a little more bulky than I remembered, but still a very handsome little car. Remember Joel, all commercially mass produced slot cars were toys at the time, and nobody was really thinking how the plastic would hold up 10 years down the line, much less 40...







In case anybody is wondering about Joel's comment on the early German models, here's a "Sharknose" by either Stabo or Carrera, I forget... (or maybe something else entirely - I seem to have forgotten to label this photo!)

 

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And here are a couple more examples, starting with a comparison of the VIP and Scalextric Lotus 38 (not exactly the same scale), and an Airfix BRM I had iin the showcase...





The Honda and the VIP Viper - yep, VIP did a Thingie! (and seems they have acquired a certain value recently...)



Another banana'd VIP Ferrari 156



And a later production, the Porsche Carrera 906... here the body material really seems to have gone a bit cheap and poly - or maybe it was the influence of the Cucuracha! Still pretty much the same chassis...





I rest my case - for the moment... oops, wait, it's not my case, I'm just a witness for the prosecution. In any case, love them VIPs!

Don
 

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QUOTE (loosesalute @ 19 Aug 2011, 19:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>How on earth has your BRM still got all it`s exhausts Don?

Cheers,
Kev

If I told you, I'd have to kill you Kev ... or myself. A very humbling incident from early in my collecting career....

Don
 

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Thanks for the comments (or most of them) and photos. You seem to have covered all the single-seaters, Don and Kev, except the Lotus 18, and mine is incomplete.
I haven't seen "cheap plastic" seriously blamed for the warping on the Ferraris. The online VIP history attributes it to faulty temperature control (at VIP). The other cars seem fine, except to a lesser extent the long, slim Indy Lotus.
Several Scalex cars of the time are notorious warpers - the Lotus 16, Jag D-type, etc.
To cure warping, a certain TW recommends steam.
The factory fire hurt VIP badly but that was in 1964 and it did recover and carried on for another four or five years.
For the history of the cars and the company, see http://www.madmalc.screaming.net/victoryindex.htm
Several of the body shapes are admittedly not in the same class as, say, Super Shells, but I still like them. The Indy Lotus is elegant, the Ferrari was when new, and the Cooper is a very good representation of the bulky 1959 grand prix car.
VIP's engineering was a level above Scalex's and Airfix's (I don't mean MRRC), and there were spare parts galore.
Good to hear from Don and Tony that they were competitive in their time, though as Don says the Monograms would have been much faster, and I know the Marusan-Atlas F1s are.
I'd still like to hear from someone with a Lotus 18. Is the track rod in front of the cross-member? And on any 1961-62 car, how were the lead wires connected to the fixed pick-up brushes?
One of my BRMs still has all eight smokestack pipes, the other just one. One solution would be to convert it to a low-exhaust model. The real P57 didn't keep the smokestacks for long.
Rob J
 

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I seem to have found the answer to one of my questions by doing what any SF member should do first - search the forum.
I've found a pic of the underside of a VIP Lotus 18 and yes, the track rod is in front of the cross-member. The front assembly is in effect reversed, putting the cross-member and wheels further back for a shorter wheelbase. Most of the components are the same but the steering arm and track rod may be slightly different, and certainly assembly would have been different from all the other cars. This may be one of the reasons the Lotus was discontinued, to simplify production.
Looks like I'll have to modify a front suspension unit. Unfortunately a previous owner of the body has done some hacking on the front wheel arches, presumably to get around this situation with a standard front unit.
Rob J
 
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