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Could this be considered a bonafide thingie?


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#1 Jimbolina

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Posted 18 January 2024 - 08:19 PM

I fully realize this is an older, discontinued, Parma ‘rental’ car, but I have always admired its overall aesthetic simplicity, seemingly inherent durability, and the rather neat, clean and just unfunny chassis design.

 

I was wondering if many folks would consider this an actual thingie car, or just an average, oh-hum doorstop design?

 

Anyway, curious. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings!

 

IMG_2825.jpeg

 

IMG_2830.jpeg


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#2 Dominator

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Posted 18 January 2024 - 10:13 PM

The body is a Parma Challenger that came out early 1992 and was marketed as a non-winged body mostly gears group 10 racing. Most group 10 racing used GTP or nascar bodies in that area atleast in New England.

The 16-D rental car was phased in around 2000? Mostly due I believe because the 36-D supplies were dwindling.

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#3 Bill from NH

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Posted 18 January 2024 - 11:36 PM

We used to call bodies like this 'wedge cars'. I ran the Challenger in the late 90s when the local raceway ran wedge bodies on their weekly flexi program. Some of these wedge bodies were obsolete wing bodies with the side dams added to the molds. I believe the Challenger was one of these obsolete wing bodies.   Both Parma & Outasight made several wedge bodies this way. JK had a new mold for one of theirs.


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#4 Dave Crevie

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 09:40 AM

Ah, yes. The old Whisper-Jet. Going to the belt drive eliminated the gears that seemed to get broken each time the car was rented out. Changing the belts took seconds, and cost only a fraction of a spur gear. 


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#5 Jimbolina

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 09:48 AM

I appreciate the info, guys. Thanks.

 

Still, though, wouldn’t this sorta qualify as a thingie? Say, had this body not ever been associated with this rental configuration, would it have been looked upon as a potential thingie in some people’s mind?

 

Just wondering…


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#6 Bill from NH

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 11:36 AM

If you want to consider anything a thingie that wasn't once a real 1:1 car, such as models, prototypes, etc., then consider it a thingie. In the slot car world, it was an obsolete wing car body that had side wings added so it could be sold as a wedge body. A modified mold made this way was cheaper, faster, & easier to make than making a new mold entirely from scratch.  Both Parma & Outasite did this & sold their bodies as wedge bodies rather than thingies or something else. When flexi racing was done, wedge bodies provided some fun racing. Maybe a wedge body on a brass retro chassis would too.


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#7 Martin

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 12:57 PM

Jim I would not consider this a "thingie" if it were then all wing cars would be thingies and they are not.

 

The thing was a made up design built for speed. It think it was a style or movement that had a time in slot car history. That time would be mid to late 60s.

Pre-angle winder and pre-wing car.  

 

Just my thoughts, yours may very. Gene was there in the thick of it and could add more firsthand knowledge. I hope he joins in this conversation.  :)


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#8 Bill Seitz

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 02:49 PM

Personally, "thingie" is any body style that isn't a representation of a 1:1 car. This would make modern wing car bodies "thingies".

 

The term is also used to define a group of advanced, performance-oriented bodies and chassis in the 60's, which seems to be the more commonly accepted definition.

 

I've also seen the term applied to any 60's slot car body that wasn't modeled on a 1:1 car, for example, the Classic Industries series of cars: Manta Ray, Viper, Asp, etc. So, while I would accept that the Challenger body is a "thingie" by my definition, it would not be by the more generally accepted definition.


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#9 MG Brown

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 03:01 PM

My recollection of using these as rental cars were that the belts frequently popped off. Of course the person off the street that was doing the rental is upset because the car was "broke". It could sometimes be tricky to get the belt back on without pulling off the body.

A fellow who was a copier repairman and I came up with a tool that helped snag the belt so it could be put back on the pulley.

 

But I digress; it sometimes was a full-time job fixing the cars as fast as the renters could break them.


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#10 Jimbolina

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 05:08 PM

Excellent! All good points made on this topic.

 

Thanks again.


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#11 Maximo

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 12:28 AM

I consider this "Challenger" as a thingie!

 

Wing cars are the F1 of thingies... They have "air dams" that are not common to any real automobile and are the fastest of all slot cars.

 

Thingies 2.jpg

 

Thingies 1.jpg


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#12 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 09:00 AM

If that body had been produced in the '60s it would have been considered a thingie. So the question is do you want to limit the term thingie to a time in the history of slots or leave it open. 


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#13 Bill from NH

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 10:34 AM

Everybody has their own opinion what a thingie is, so why argue? The Challenger was not sold by Parma as a thngie, so what.


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#14 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 12:14 PM

If that body had been produced in the 60s it would have been considered a thingie. So the question is do you want to limit the term thingie to a time in the history of slots or leave it open. 

 

For my part I would consider thingie to be a style from the 60s that faded into the past as the body shells more and more lost resemblance to model cars.


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#15 Jimbolina

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 01:53 PM

I consider this "Challenger" as a thingie!

 

Wing cars are the F1 of thingies... They have "air dams" that are not common to any real automobile and are the fastest of all slot cars.

 

Dang! My kind of collection!

 

You went all in on this Challenger car, didn’t you?! Love it!

 

Well, yes, I must confess I do in fact think of this Challenger design as a thingie. Granted, it’s a newish release and all, but still, like the point made here on this thread, if that body had been introduced back in the ‘60s, it would indeed have been thought of as a thingie.

 

Anyway, it’s all good…

 

Thanks for sharing.


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#16 JimR

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 05:32 PM

Not only should it be from the mid '60s, it should have a 36D. But I'm a traditionalist (did any of 'em come with a different motor? Don't recall).

 

Oops. I stand corrected. Dynamic Bandit, Gardena Spitfire, Classic Astro looked to be 16Ds. Still prefer the big can, though. I'm old.


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#17 Jimbolina

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 06:10 PM

One thing I appreciate about this particular (rental) body is it is pressed from a much thicker (.040) plastic.

 

I know the thinner Lexan bodies out there are for weight reduction, but there’s something about this more substantial feel of the thicker shell.

 

I love its inherent durability. Worth the weight in my opinion.


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#18 MG Brown

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Posted 21 January 2024 - 10:53 AM

One thing I appreciate about this particular (rental) body is it is pressed from a much thicker (.040) plastic.

 

It's like the so called better mouse trap; renters will find a way to destroy them.


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#19 Samiam

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Posted 21 January 2024 - 11:14 AM

In response to the OP.....

 

 

NO. 


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#20 Martin

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Posted 21 January 2024 - 12:37 PM

No is correct. This car is NOT a thingie.

 

So if you talk to someone that was there, they will tell you thingies were built by a group of guys that did not care much for rules and were looking to design their own cars for speed.

Rules? "We had no rules, except the cars had to be no more than 3'' wide/" The excepted max. width at the time.

 

This all happened between late1965 and late 1968 dipping into early '69 when it all came to an end.

 

What has happened over the years, as we have tried to define the term thingies it has come to include all cars that were not real 1/1 cars.

So it has included custom show cars or fantasy cars designed by manufactures to catch the eye of a young man walking in to a raceway. 

 

Meanwhile the "pro guys" were on their own path for speed, adding rear spoilers and front dia-planes and then short (at first) side-dams to their Can Am bodies of the period. As the rule makers loosened there grip, these aero add-ons became so effective, they just got bigger. In conjunction with body  manufactures that made bodies with down force in mind, so more kick up in the rear, lowered nose and less and less scale details.

This evolution was all going on through out the '60s and '70s until we ended up with what we now know as a Wing car, lets say mid 80s?

 

So if this body you asked about is 3'' wide and was designed and built in '65-68 then it is a true thingie, but it was not and is not.

It was built for for kids to blast round a rental track without falling off and when they did crash it would get damaged which would have to fixed by the track staff. 

 

My research has led me to come to the conclusion that thingies have nothing in common with wing cars as they were on separate design paths (with different rules restraints)  they are the result of a search for an advantage while racing within the rules and AIR management and of course they do not look like 1/1 cars. But that does Not make wing cars thingies. 

Save the term thingies for cars that were built from the mentioned time period, or are newly built in that same "no rules" spirit, with air and esthetics in mind.

 

Class classifications, really should be IMO. 

Scale cars.

Thingies.

Production fantasy cars.

Pro cars.

Class, Race cars.

Wing cars. 

Dragsters.


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#21 Maximo

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Posted 21 January 2024 - 09:27 PM

Too many want to pigeon hole this definition! Lets have a thousand different definitions.

 

Was the Challenger based on an actual car/automobile....no.

 

Are thingys real cars...no.


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#22 don.siegel

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Posted 11 February 2024 - 06:07 PM

The concept of Thingie actually had several different threads. 

 

Here's the first use of the word I could find, in the Winter 63 issue of Model Car & Track. 

 

Thingie first reference MCT Winter 63.jpg

 

After that, it was mostly writers talking about chopped "outlaw" cars as Thingies (and I think that goes back to the gas-powered round-the-pole era, which quickly transitioned to non-realistic cars, altho maybe not using the same name). The first to really codify the use was our friend Floyd Manley, in the December 66 issue of Model Car & Track. 

 

Superlight Thingie 1.jpg

 

Again, this is not a dream car design, but turning a real car into a high-performance slot car, with no reference to what a real car looked like. 

 

In the meantime, from about mid-65, manufacturers began making their own "Thingies" - but they were never called that, only names like outlaw, dream car, etc. Or just the name of the car. 

 

Classic Astro V ad - MCT0566.jpg

 

Shortly afterwards there emerged the pure Thingies, designed from the ground up for pure performance and using bodies like the Shinoda or Choti, making absolutely no pretense to being realistic, unlike a lot of the commercial Thingies. This article is from the April 68 issue of Model Car & Racing, but the trend started earlier. 

 

Things about Thingies-MCR0468-1.jpg

 

So you've got the commercial dream cars, chopped up cars, the pure performance pre-wing cars and there's even a category of Thingies that weren't really Thingies, like K&B's Blue Monster! 

 

KB Blue Monster-1.jpg

KB Blue Monster-0.jpg

 

And actual show cars are often classified with Thingies, like the MPC Manta Ray and a few others (Batmobile...). 

 

MPC MantaRay.jpg

 

Don 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#23 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 11 February 2024 - 06:23 PM

So what was the K&B Blue Monster motor?


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#24 MSwiss

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Posted 11 February 2024 - 07:26 PM

It was a cool looking, IMO,  painted version of the K & B Hellcat, 36D sized, non-Mabuchi motor.

 

Screenshot_20240211_181639_Google.jpg


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#25 don.siegel

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Posted 11 February 2024 - 08:21 PM

Here's how K&B promoted their Blue Monster (actually a McLaren Elva painted metallic blue): 

 

KB Blue Monster contest ad-CM0966.jpg

 

In almost the same case there was the Atlas Lynx, pretty darned close to a Ferrari P2, tho not exactly the same thing... 

 

Atlas Lynx & box.jpg

 

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