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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Which period produced the best scratch built car? (no insults allowed)

Personally I think that the period from 1955 to 1965 produced scratch cars that have never been equalled.

Now I have A rail car restored by Russell who cars are right up and I think tx's Cunningham is one of the best slot cars I have ever seen.

Mark Gussin cars are great, I also have a really nice John Jude built Jaguar. But I still think this period produced the best scratch built cars ever.

Jeff.
 

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An interesting question Jeff.

Virtually all the rail cars were scratch built. Most of the pictures from the period and original cars I have seen now look very inventive, but rather crude both in design and execution.

I remember that at your first Brooklands rail meeting Charlie Fitzpatrick showed me a D type Auto Union made by Walkden Fisher that looked more like a silver cucumber (less polite comparisons avoided for a family web-site!) I mentioned this to Charlie and he said "Oh yes, he made it fatter to fit the motor in". An early example of expediency over scale!

Not that this proves that the rail era was poor, but it was an era of experimentation.

In the late 60's and early 70's there were some really good slot cars entered for the ECRA concours championship. The competition was so fierce that entrants had to qualify through their area for the finals. I remember seeing a really impressive Hispano Suiza which used the same material as the prototype for the body....strips of rosewood.

The cars that I now see on Slot Forum are in my opinion easily comparable and frequently superior to anything I have seen over the last 40 years I have been slot racing. Which is probably as it should be as I suspect that most of the builders have been honing their skills over the last 30-40 years. If the era we live in is not the best we have learnt nothing from our predecessors or our experience!

Sorry, is that too philosophical?
 

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Gregory Petrolati
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QUOTE (Rail Racer @ 13 Jan 2005, 19:40)Which period produced the best scratch built car? (no insults allowed)

Personally I think that the period from 1955 to 1965 produced scratch cars that have never been equalled.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I dunno... I think we're doin' pretty well today.


With all the modern conveniences like computers, Dremels, CA glue, fancy schmancy resins, modern and over the counter supplies we have a greater potential... e.g. Mark Gussin, and the fellow in France he features on his web site.

Also, designing and building cars with CAD programs isn't something only the big manufacturers can do anymore. I think what we're doing today is just the tip of the iceberg. For the more anal of us the real golden days are ahead...

Stay tuned! I know I will!

Greenman62
 

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John Roche
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It's a bit like music, it's very easy to remember everything from the past in a rosy glow but we forget that when the Beatles, Stones or whoever were in the charts people like Cilla Black were also there.

In other words, every generation produces its share of genius and crap with all stations in between.



John
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have some very nice Scratch built car by people like Chuck Lawrence, John Moxon ect. The list of rail and early slot cars I collected for the book is huge but some of very best and most inventive cars were built in that 55-65 period

Jeff.
 

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Great question, Rail.
I think any period that can boast Joel Thura's McLaren-Oldsmobile has a lot going for it.
It's nice to have the time now to stretch out a bit and build the stuff you always wanted, but were frustrated by lack of funds, equipment or techniques in the old days.
And whatever was wrong with Cilla, vfr? She filled my adolescent dreams in a way few others have.... Those buck teeth nibbling at my pyjama cord... Not to mention Rosie Glow. She was the best.
Now Pat Boone- there's an argument against nostalgia.
 

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John Roche
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At least when she was nibbling your pyjama cord she wasn't trying to sing, i'd have rather had Lulu or Michelle Philips from the Mamas & Papas nibbling my cord.


You're certainly right that as we get older the funds aren't such a worry, pity you can't say the same for my building skills.



John
 

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I'm a technology boy.

IMO there is nothing greater than a finely engineered chassis using the latest materials and methods to build it.

Cue the pictures fro Russell...


Andy
 

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Howmet, thanks for defending Cilla and citing Pat Boone - got a good laugh out of that one! (this also applies to French film, by the way, where in the States all we saw was the excellent Godards, Truffaut, etc., and not all the crap that also came out there at the time)

By the way, the Dremel's been around since the 1930s, and a lot of builders had one in the 60s... but it may be much more affordable now than in the 50s, relatively speaking - just picked up the digital model on sale for 109€. (and I think they were at least $40 or so in the 60s, for a full kit). I kind of doubt a lot of the English builders had these at the time, although some of the richer Americans may have.

Not sure the two eras are comparable.... In a way, I'd have to agree with Jeff, because of the quality of the stuff that was done basically on a tabletop, without all the resources we enjoy today. I also like the "look" of some of this era of scratch-builts, more than the perfection achieved today - which really is a level of quality and realism unattained before.

Here, I'm also thinking of something like the Bryan Warmack 1/24 BRM that Philippe brought to Bordeaux in 2003, which just pleased me more deeply, in my old phart aesthetic (even tho based on a vac-form), than some of the more strictly accurate hard-body based F1 cars at that event.

Of course, I also think the stuff done by Chuck, Pierre-Yves, etc. has a very authentic look - basically, talent is independent of the era, in the final analysis - and I know, because I have a serious lack of these modeling skills!
cheers,
Don
 

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QUOTE (Dick Smith @ 13 Jan 2005, 20:52)An interesting question Jeff.

Virtually all the rail cars were scratch built. Most of the pictures from the period and original cars I have seen now look very inventive, but rather crude both in design and execution.

I remember that at your first Brooklands rail meeting Charlie Fitzpatrick showed me a D type Auto Union made by Walkden Fisher that looked more like a silver cucumber (less polite comparisons avoided for a family web-site!) I mentioned this to Charlie and he said "Oh yes, he made it fatter to fit the motor in". An early example of expediency over scale!

Not that this proves that the rail era was poor, but it was an era of experimentation.

In the late 60's and early 70's there were some really good slot cars entered for the ECRA concours championship. The competition was so fierce that entrants had to qualify through their area for the finals. I remember seeing a really impressive Hispano Suiza which used the same material as the prototype for the body....strips of rosewood.

The cars that I now see on Slot Forum are in my opinion easily comparable and frequently superior to anything I have seen over the last 40 years I have been slot racing. Which is probably as it should be as I suspect that most of the builders have been honing their skills over the last 30-40 years. If the era we live in is not the best we have learnt nothing from our predecessors or our experience!

Sorry, is that too philosophical?
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree about those 60's cars Dick, but remember in the 80's there was a constructors championship at the Nationals, the brass chassis built by Steve Walker and a few others have never been surpassed for engineering and finish

Derek
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not sure the two eras are comparable.... In a way, I'd have to agree with Jeff, because of the quality of the stuff that was done basically on a tabletop, without all the resources we enjoy today. I also like the "look" of some of this era of scratch-builts, more than the perfection achieved today - which really is a level of quality and realism unattained before.

Here, I'm also thinking of something like the Bryan Warmack 1/24 BRM that Philippe brought to Bordeaux in 2003, which just pleased me more deeply, in my old phart aesthetic (even tho based on a vac-form), than some of the more strictly accurate hard-body based F1 cars at that event.

Of course, I also think the stuff done by Chuck, Pierre-Yves, etc. has a very authentic look - basically, talent is independent of the era, in the final analysis - and I know, because I have a serious lack of these modeling skills! "
cheers,
Don

I have car built by both Chuck and Pierre-Yves and I love them but the cars built by Walkden Fisher have a charm that comes from having cars built by a great artist, I think as Don said a lot of the charm is they are not quite perfect.

So for me the cars from this period will alway be the best.

Dick, The Auto Union you saw was not perfect but I would like to have it above any other slot or rail car on this planet.

Jeff.
 
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