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Thingies: what were they all about?


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#51 tonyp

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 04:52 PM

I'm in for the next time. The crock hunter and I will collaborate on a car. Sorry I missed the fun this year. Speedzones 220'engleman would be a cool track to run these on because it is closer to what they were originally designed to run on the the Frisco area, plus there are a ton of legends there to run them.

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#52 TSR

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:24 PM

Morrissey on "thingies" (from my new book):

An editorial by Mike Morrissey in Model Car Journal pointed out that the San Francisco variety of “Group IV thingy class” cars, largely sponsored by Mura, failed to impress when used on true road courses such as the one at Don’s Raceway in Downey. Despite their ultra-lightweight and aerodynamic bodies they barely matched the speed of the more scale models run in the rest of the country. Mike fumed: “All that butchery, all these absurd rules and the thingies could only go a mere two hundredths faster than a USRA car”.

:)

This should encourage you to persevere! :D

#53 Martin

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 06:03 PM

Thanks Jairus for the reply. I will go back and read from the start when i have more time. I only jumped in because I thought you were "spit balling" looking for input ? on a new Thingie class that represented the thinking and restrictions of the day. That sounds like a great challenge.
I love the Thingie movement of the day and would love get back to the original question "Thingies: what were they all about?" Great question. From what I have read seen and herd it was a faction that splintered off in a need for speed at any cost mentality . When did it start and end? Did track track owners look down on this crowd, or even ban them? Were they the rebels of slot cars?
I do not think Thingies evolved into the morden wing car but rather wing cars were developed from sports and Ca am cars which started to sprout wing of there own and then the bodies just seem to just get flatter with kick-up and less and less detail.
So I have a gap in my understanding of the evolution of the slot car. 1968 The Thingie movement looks strong , 1978 we almost have the modern wing car. How did we get there? I am looking for the slot car equivalent of the missing link. May be I thought this Balls out Thingie class of racing would magically bridge that cap.
My main interest in slot cars is the understanding of the evolution and advancements in design. I jumped in 1967 and was out by 1970 while growing in up in England. I never even saw a Thingie in England,so now I collect and restore cars 62 to 78 so I have a better understanding of what i missed.
So I am not trying to rain on your parade, I concede that the proxy Thingie race with modern rules may not be my thing. But I would like any input on the missing link and what were Thingies all about.
Martin.
P.S
I was writing this above when you posted this. " all these absurd rules" Philippe what were the rules or was it a lack of rules Mike was referring to?
Martin Windmill

#54 MantaRay

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 06:23 PM

Keith, Thanks for the article...........sure would like to see some pics of the chassis'sPosted Image
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#55 Gator Bob

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 06:40 PM

I'm in for the next time. The crock hunter and I will collaborate on a car. Sorry I missed the fun this year. Speedzones 220'engleman would be a cool track to run these on because it is closer to what they were originally designed to run on the the Frisco area, plus there are a ton of legends there to run them.


Awesome !!!:D

Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#56 Jairus

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:02 PM

Ray, this was the standard Mura chassis back in the day.
Posted Image

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#57 Gator Bob

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:06 PM

An editorial by Mike Morrissey in Model Car Journal pointed out that the San Francisco variety of "Group IV thingy class" cars, largely sponsored by Mura, failed to impress when used on true road courses such as the one at Don's Raceway in Downey. Despite their ultra-lightweight and aerodynamic bodies they barely matched the speed of the more scale models run in the rest of the country. Mike fumed: "All that butchery, all these absurd rules and the thingies could only go a mere two hundredths faster than a USRA car".


;) Yes, But:

1. Butchery is in the eyes of the beholder.
2. They WERE faster.
3. The intent is to run these on Fast tracks not tight road courses.
Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#58 TSR

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:16 PM

I was writing this above when you posted this. " all these absurd rules" Philippe what were the rules or was it a lack of rules Mike was referring to?

Martin,
Morrissey who was a bit of a scale freak but who hardly hesitated to add out-of-scale aerodynamic implements to his own cars, was talking about the Choti-bodied thingies that visited SoCal in early 1968 in a "confrontational race" in Downey. There, the super-slick, Mura powered cars were in fact fastest, but not by much. So Mike was fuming about what he considered to be the "beginning of the end" of slot car racing, a compromise that was not worth it according to him, and that would turn off many potential racers. In a way the same argument I make today about the pretty horrid-looking (to me) modern wing cars.
The thingies "rules" were basically few: the Mura sponsored machines were designed for very high speed tracks located in North California where these machines excelled. John Chotia was one of the few slot car racers who had understood the relation between air molecules in full size and the 1/24 scale and did not care much for looks, only for efficiency. The "chassis" were a pair of steel wires affixing thr motor bracket to a guide post, with two cross tubes acting as rigid body mounts. The bodies applied down force, some of them with an added side dam on one side...
So some of the cars we learned to love today because of our nostalgic feelings might have looked truly ugly to Mike Morrissey but who cares, they are so COOL!!!'

Let's not forget that Mike had a bit of a chip already about thingies as a year before he made the comment, he got his clock cleaned by another group of thingie lovers when he and Len Vucci visited "The Groove" near Detroit, and their lightweight Californian cars with sponge tires and scale bodies were total tilting machines, unable to compete with the very heavy "Detroit Sliders" using silicone tires on a very bity, Formica-like surface.
The local thingies were of course largely influenced by the fantastic machines devised mostly by Larry Shinoda, the "other" thingie master besides John Chotia, and powered by what were likely the fastest production motors in the US at the time, the Dyna-Rewind motors, produced by two GM engineers in their spare time... :)

#59 Jairus

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:31 PM

I'm in for the next time. The crock hunter and I will collaborate on a car. Sorry I missed the fun this year. Speedzones 220'engleman would be a cool track to run these on because it is closer to what they were originally designed to run on the the Frisco area, plus there are a ton of legends there to run them.


I am with Bob here... AWESOME Tony and happy to have you join us on the dark side! :)

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#60 Gator Bob

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:33 PM

Basically like these with body mounts as described in the article posted by Keith.

:D For the purest....

MURA FT16 Chassis.jpg
Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#61 TRM124

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 11:13 PM

Jarius,
I only built one Thingie back in 1968. And it was an anglewinder. It had a Mura body and a Mura endbell drive.
It had 3/4" rear tires,less then 1/2" front tires, a Dynamic drop arm.
I think most of the pieces are in boxes somewhere around here.
Guess it's time to re-store :)

Ted
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#62 Gator Bob

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:07 AM

Martin,

3.25" is the max width, as motioned 3" is acceptable. I understand your purest approach but we are not in the 60's anymore and can't go back and forget everything we have learned since then. We can build in this genre without being unfaithful to or past experiences.
You hit on something with the flattened Can-Ams and Coupes but these flattened areo thingies ARE the missing link leading to wing cars.Many of the scale purists of the day learned to accept them cause the were fast, the future and way cool with the beauty being in the function. If you look at some rules of the day scale cars were growing appendages that were not on the full size cars, scale thingies if you must.
Please don't get hung up on the spirit angle stressing some out by stirring the pot.

We are building in the spirit of and in the tradition of the period we wish that we could flashback too.


Duffy puts it well from this story. http://slotblog.net/...skit-26d-racer/


[Duffy wrote:

I chuckle. If you're just tuning in, Fred, a LOT of discussion here on Slotblog (and esp. in the "RETRO" camps) hovers around "What SHOULD have been"--those things we've learned in the ensuing years that in hindsight are simply no-brainers; leading some to try, sometimes very hard, to imbue '60s guys with '00s brains...

Seems like a lot of S'bloggers haven't read their Stephen Jay Gould. "Why didn't we think of that"--because we didn't, now get over it.

Of course, NOW (if it's in a "might've-been" category that Rikky is particularly charming at creating for our entertainment!) we can play with this stuff. Blessedly free of some Racing Class rules set, we can build in this genre that Rikky, Pablo, Jairus and I (long ago & not recently) have done. A real noble thing, I think. We need more of it.

--I need more of it!

Duffy


Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#63 Martin

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:22 AM

Bob, Philippe,great insight, I was wondering what the pros at the time thought of these wild looking thingies. It must of been a little like the first time I saw a wing car in the 80s at Hagganwood in Sacramento.I thought they were from another planet. After buying a couple of international 15s and getting knocked off the track every time the cars got close. Too fast too much glue too much wing. I chucked it in until I found Slot Car junction and the vintage group some years later.
I would like to know what happened to the Thingie movement after 68. As far as I know pro cars and Thingies never raced together. Philippe's mention of Mikes disgust of them lets us know that they new of them and the pros might of been influenced or inspired by there speed and may have started the transformation which became the wing car.

Ted you mentioned
you only built one Thingie back in 1968. And it was an anglewinder. It had a Mura body and a Mura endbell drive.
It had 3/4" rear tires,less then 1/2" front tires, a Dynamic drop arm.
I think most of the pieces are in boxes somewhere around here.
Guess it's time to re-store :)

Please go on, this is the only time I have herd a connection between Thingies and angle winders. Do you still have the Mura? body. I really hope you can find the car. This might be the missing link. I'm excited.
Martin Windmill

#64 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 02:27 AM

Basically like these with body mounts as described in the article posted by Keith.

:D For the purest....

MURA FT16 Chassis.jpg


Awesome Bob, what size wire are those?
Matt Sheldon

#65 Gator Bob

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 08:25 PM

Awesome Bob, what size wire are those?


Matt,
Went to the vault....

.0695 - thats through the bag and they are plated so I'd say .062 is the wire size.
Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#66 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 08:27 PM

Thanks a ton Bob!
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#67 TSR

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 09:13 PM

I would like to know what happened to the Thingie movement after 68.

Martin,
You are looking at it! :laugh2:

Long live the Thingies! :)

#68 Gator Bob

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:23 AM

-----1966----

Garvic and Classic Thingies small.jpg

----1967-----

MCR Stinger cover.jpg

Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#69 Edo

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 02:53 AM

Gentlemen, if I may:

why not run a Thingie proxy with NO RULES for once! ANYTHING GOES!

Just one rule, actually: any Thingie body, vintage, re-popped or contemporary custom made!

Just pick the track venues which would dictate a performance balance, i.e fast track vs slow curves ones, so that you wouldn't get only Wing cars's like toys.

Actually a second rule could be: your car breaks down on a track? Ooops, out of the race for good!

I mean let's see what you got under your Calvin Klein's, boys (metaphorically, off course)! :laugh2:

E

Long live the Thingies! :)

Just a bump from 2008 for those left behind ;)
A thing about Thingies
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#70 macman

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 12:05 PM

Go Edo!!! & now for some Miss C pics???
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#71 JohnnySlotcar

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 05:10 PM

Lets go with a "spec" body and anything else[time period] goes!!! Turnout should be huge,so maybe "ultimate" qualifying should be the format kinda like drag racing?? Would allow many more entries.
John Austin

#72 Jairus

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 06:03 PM

John, I don't want to spec any one thing for this race. Yeah... the last one was specified for 'Dynamic' but with all the Dynamic bits out there the range was still pretty wide open.
Problem with a spec body is then who produces it? Who gets the "Contract" and who makes some money?
I don't play politics like that and believe a wide open challenge is more interesting. (besides we have two or three guys who like to make their own bodies)

I was hoping that with the performance of "Replatron-DynaSlider" and "Wavemaker" in the current race, the general trend would push people to automatically choose the deep dish style Choti's as the most logical choice. But I have since heard guys wanting to run all sorts of stuff. If we limit it, that might turn some builders away.

As for Edo's Suggestion, I believe if he read my first few posts he will see that I have already picked two tracks and so the venue is "Balls Out Speed"! We have done the heavy is good proxy for the last three years already! In otherwords, heavy weight is OUT for this one and Aerodynamics and featherweight is IN! Other than that... the only rule would be (not yet set in stone) a 1970 cut off as to technology. Other than that this would be the least amount of rules we have ever had in a Thingie proxy race!

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#73 Horsepower

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:52 AM

There has to be SOME rules, 'cause if not, then I might as well just enter a wing car. :unknw:
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#74 Gator Bob

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 01:31 AM

BTW:

I saw Dan "Doc" Dougherty at the track Saturday night and spoke to him at length about the Heatsinks / Elephant ears that he designed and tested. While running up in Ohio, Ken McDowell spotted them on Doc's cars and said " Can you make me a batch for resale". Doc had the pattern and said "sure". So in late 1968, early 1969 they were in production and and being sold retail.


Jairus, please stick with the 1970 cut off on the cans Cans and Endbells and now we know the heatsinks are period correct.:)
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                            Bob Israelite

#75 chief32s

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 05:39 AM

Whoops, see below.
Al 'The Chief' Bond





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