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The "Wing Car"!


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#1 Jairus

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:10 PM

Simple question...
Who coined the term "Wing Car" and when was it first used in print?
Thanks.

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#2 Rick

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 07:43 PM

I think Al Gore did, right after he invented the World Wide Web. :lol:

Simple question...
Who coined the term "Wing Car" and when was it first used in print?
Thanks.


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#3 Jairus

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 08:40 PM

:lol: Haha...
....not helping... <_<

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#4 MG Brown

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 08:59 PM

If you REALLY want to start a debate, ask who raced the first HO scale pro "magnet" car.

"I'm just here for the entertainment." George Carlin


#5 Ron Hershman

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 11:28 PM

If you REALLY want to start a debate, ask who raced the first HO scale pro "magnet" car.

Terry Hreno can tell you all about that. :)

#6 TSR

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:22 AM

The world's first production slot car with magnetic traction was the Cox Superscale of 1973. But these were never actually raced as they were home-racing toys. They were also the first slot cars to use an ADDED magnet specifically to provide traction. It took until 1977 for another company (Scalextric) to do the same, a system now generalized in the industry.

John Cukras helped Aurora develop the HO scale G-Plus magnet car that was issued in 1974 and used the motor's magnet with small steel shims to provide down force over the steel rails. Would he not have been one of the first (or the first) to actually race them too?

Of course there were previous HO slot cars built with magnetic down force before that one, including the Aurora T-Jet "Magnatraction" of late 1973 in which the pankake motor's magnets were lowered to chassis level, so such racing could have happened before the G-Plus. However, at the time, heavy brass pans were fitted to T-Jet frames so that would have killed the magnet traction...

Answers?

#7 MG Brown

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:26 AM

Note the inclusion of the word "pro".

"I'm just here for the entertainment." George Carlin


#8 TSR

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:30 AM

That would include John Cukras, Tony Porcelli (also an employee of Aurora), and Gary Beedle, who else? :mellow:

#9 Jairus

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:15 AM

Seven OT replies and not one suggestion of an answer to the question?

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#10 Cheater

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:31 AM

Jairus, that may be because proving "firsts" is often very difficult in many fields, not just slots.

A great example is the rear view mirror on the Marmon Wasp that Ray Harroun drove to win the first Indy 500 in 1911. You'll find many references that claim this was the first use of a rear view mirror, yet ads in early auto magazines show such an accessory was offered commercially more than five years earlier. Firsts are never really proved; they are only nominated as such until evidence appears in support of alternatives.

Monty's reply to the same question over on OWH was a good one, but even he could not give a definitive answer.

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#11 TSR

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:37 AM

As of mid-1973 and after Neil Kuns and Dave Fortner, the inventors of the 4" tall big side fences now fitted on all wing-cars, had run their ugly mongrels for over a year, the word "wing-car" was never used by anyone. That's about as much as I can help with since I really don't care of what happened after that.
From 1973 to the advent of John Ford's SARN in what, 1979?, there were only printed newsletters as evidence, everything else is hearsay from the guys who were there, so anyone who wishes to do so can take credit (?) for the moniker as no one can prove anything.

#12 Jairus

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:04 AM

Thank you, Philippe. I will email John, but I am not asking for definitive answers here... Only opinions. Because as we all know, EVERYONE has one!
Likewise, everyone views history from his or her own perspective. Maybe I should have changed the question to "what in your opinion determines a wing car?"

Jairus H Watson - Artist
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#13 TSR

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:09 AM

"what in your opinion determines a wing car?"

One that turns people off slot car racing when they walk in a raceway for the first time since they were kids.

#14 tonyp

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:17 AM

LOL...

They were not called wing cars when I quit in the early '80s...

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#15 RomanK

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:49 AM

One that turns people off slot car racing when they walk in a raceway for the first time since they were kids.

One man's opinion possibly but certainly not an accurate statement. Just last weekend two youngsters came into the raceway with their parents and a racer was testing his Devil Wing car on the track and the response from the kids was "Wow, look at that thing go", "ka-ching" went the cash register... they left with a wing car... what could possibly be wrong with that?

I'll agree that few of the older set would opt for a wing car over a more realistic-looking car but the future of this hobby is not with the older set and we had better get used to that notion.

I am also a big fan of the new D-3 racing but know that just because it's appealing to many "returnees" and some others, I don't believe that a difficult-to-assemble, relatively expensive (if you buy it assembed) type of car can be seen as a saviour of the hobby. Surely the class will do its part, as will all the other classes available.

With that said, I truly believe that there is a place for both the devil wing cars and more realistic-looking cars in our little world but for some strange reason this discussion keeps coming up. :rolleyes:

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#16 TSR

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 01:02 PM

Hi Roman,
You simply proved Bill Cosby's statement that all children have brain damage... :lol:

#17 RomanK

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 01:32 PM

Hi Roman,
You simply proved Bill Cosby's statement that all children have brain damage ... :lol:

Possibly but for slot racing to survive, much less flourish, will require the industry collect much dinero, (or is it Francs), and if it comes from brain-damaged kids (your opinion) ... so be it. ;)

Roman Kormeluk


#18 TSR

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 01:41 PM

Hey Roman, I am jesting, don't take anything I say seriously please. I even OWN some wing-cars, yes, it's true! :lol:

#19 Cheater

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 01:45 PM

Roman, your first mistake was not realizing that PdL was in "Pontificate Mode". Your second was in thinking you can reason with the old geezer . . . can't be done. :lol:

Just last weekend two youngsters came into the raceway with their parents and a racer was testing his Devil Wing car on the track and the response from the kids was "Wow, look at that thing go", "ka-ching" went the cash register... they left with a wing car... what could possibly be wrong with that?

Well, I'm thinking that selling a wing car to a young newbie slot racer is analogous to selling a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 motorcycle to a kid who just learned to ride on two wheels the week before. Unless some strong mentoring occurs post-purchase, I wonder just how long that car will remain in runable condition. And just how long that kid will remain active in the hobby. My thinking is that starting (especially as a kid) with a wing car is not the best point of entry into the hobby. Would you disagree?

I don't believe that a difficult-to-assemble, relatively expensive (if you buy it assembed) type of car can be seen as a saviour of the hobby. Surely the class will do its part, as will all the other classes available.

I haven't seen anyone suggesting that D3 racing will be a "saviour of the hobby." What D3 does seem to be doing is bringing people back into the hobby more effectively than just about anything we've seen in the last couple of decades. I certainly don't view D3 as an entry or near-entry level class.

... the future of this hobby is not with the older set and we had better get used to that notion ... I truly believe that there is a place for both the devil wing cars and more realistic-looking cars in our little world

Truer words were never spoken! For slot racing to grow and prosper, no class or cars should be termed unacceptable or incorrect and if we can't find a way to appeal to the younger set, the future of the commercial raceway industry looks pretty bleak.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#20 RomanK

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:00 PM

Hey Roman, I am jesting, don't take anything I say seriously please. I even OWN some wing-cars, yes, it's true! :lol:

Jesting you say? As am I, my friend. Maybe we can talk you into making a trip East with those wing cars in a couple of weeks?

Roman Kormeluk


#21 RomanK

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:05 PM

Well, I'm thinking that selling a wing car to a young newbie slot racer is analogous to selling a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 motorcycle to a kid who just learned to ride on two wheels the week before. Unless some strong mentoring occurs post-purchase, I wonder just how long that car will remain in runable condition. And just how long that kid will remain active in the hobby. My thinking is that starting (especially as a kid) with a wing car is not the best point of entry into the hobby. Would you disagree?
I haven't seen anyone suggesting that D3 racing will be a "saviour of the hobby." What D3 does seem to be doing is bringing people back into the hobby more effectively than just about anything we've seen in the last couple of decades. I certainly don't view D3 as an entry or near-entry level class.
Truer words were never spoken! For slot racing to grow and prosper, no class or cars should be termed unacceptable or incorrect and if we can't find a way to appeal to the younger set, the future of the commercial raceway industry looks pretty bleak.

As far as selling a wing car (GP-12) to a newer racer for use on our track (brain-dead King) is not necessarily the same as your example. A GP-12 car on our track is more like a mini-bike on the Daytona speedway. Also keep in mind which side of the counter the opinion is generated on... the rent has to be paid for the mentoring to even be an option.

Roman Kormeluk


#22 TSR

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:19 PM

Roman, your first mistake was not realizing that PdL was in "Pontificate Mode".

Au contraire Greg, I was dead-seriously joking. :rolleyes:

Roman,
I'd love to come but this is the week of the Monterey Historic Races, and I will be racing another form of wing-car there I am afraid... :)
So I have to be content on racing D3 and "driving" one of my buds wingie-thingies at BeePee on the Gerding speedbowl from time to time...

#23 Tex

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:20 PM

Hey Roman, I am jesting, don't take anything I say seriously please. I even OWN some wing-cars, yes, it's true! :lol:

Oh... my GAWD! :o :blink:
Richard L. Hofer

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#24 Cheater

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:33 PM

As far as selling a wing car (GP-12) to a newer racer for use on our track (brain-dead King) is not necessarily the same as your example. A GP-12 car on our track is more like a mini-bike on the Daytona speedway.

Good answer and good point. I hadn't considered the kind of track you guys have.

Also keep in mind which side of the counter the opinion is generated on... the rent has to be paid for the mentoring to even be an option.

True again.

We're often faced with a similar dilemma in the auto parts business: do we sell the customer the expensive, non-returnable part he wants to buy, thinking it will fix his car, or do we counsel him to buy the cheaper part we know will fix the car?

My perspective is that, in general, businesses are better served over the long term by placing their customers' interests ahead of their own as much as possible. But that's not to say you give away the store nor refuse to take someone's money if they don't want advice.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#25 Tex

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:37 PM

Well, I'm thinking that selling a wing car to a young newbie slot racer is analogous to selling a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 motorcycle to a kid who just learned to ride on two wheels the week before. Unless some strong mentoring occurs post-purchase, I wonder just how long that car will remain in runable condition. And just how long that kid will remain active in the hobby. My thinking is that starting (especially as a kid) with a wing car is not the best point of entry into the hobby. Would you disagree?

Wing cars can come in many guises. A Flexi chassis with a wing body and an unbalanced Deathstar can be a decent starter. Not too expensive, some speed and some downforce to help the tadpole a bit. Sure, a newbie can destroy it with a good deadman wallshot, but the same can be said for ANY slot car. As you say, Greg, some initial mentoring will go a long way towards the kid being able to bring the same car back for a second visit.

Actually, I'm not surprised at all that the kid went ga-ga over a wing car. Kids haven't been around long enough to appreciate history; you won't hear a youngster walk into a slot track and say "Dood, NICE Ferrari 250 GTO!". And they are SO visually oriented... they SEE something and they WANT IT. NOW. When we were young, didn't the way-out custom cars just GRAB our attention? Didn't we go NUTS for Rat-Fink type stuff? It's no wonder a wing car grabs a kids attention. There's room at the local track for all types. Whatever gets them in the door and coming back for more.
Richard L. Hofer

Remember, two wrongs don't make a right... but three lefts do! Only you're a block over and a block behind.





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