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#51 ravajack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 02:17 PM

For what it's worth:

I've found some info on the MPC Dyno-O motors in this very pamphlet, the AMCRC/(AMF) rule book for the winter(!) of 1966:

Posted Image

Inside this 52-page rule book for the proposed American Model Car Racing Congress, there are also some ads for a few period slot racing companies: K&B, Testors, Cox, Revell, Russkit and MPC. (Strangely, though, no ad for, or a single word about, the AMCRC/AMF own specific car, the alleged "Mako Shark").

But in the MPC ad there are some info that might shed a little light on this MPC Dyn-O motor issue:
In the second paragraph in the text below it's said that MPC "started from scratch to design a motor specially for
slot racing
" instead of "buy a ready-made overseas motor, make some adjustments and put it on the market".

Posted Image

It seems the above appears for the open type Dyn-O-Charger motor only, even though the Dyn-O-Can motor is also mentioned in the text a bit further down in the text, although without the All-American bragging about its specific origin... Simply: MPC also has a new can motor, the Dyn-O-Can.

So I guess the jury is still out on the subject of what company that actually manufactured the various types of MPC's 36D-sized Dyn-O-Can and High Rise motors.

Even though there may be just a faint smell of "ready-made overseas motor" in the can motor presentation...
Bertil Berggren
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#52 Gary Bluestone

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:46 PM

While searching for info on "Rowe" I did notice that AMI jukeboxes were also somehow connected with Rowe in the late '60s!

#53 TSR

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:33 PM

There is a Rowe Electronics in IA as well as NY, but who knows if these companies are even remotely connected... that was 48 years ago!

Philippe de Lespinay
 
"We are the D..., uh, the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile"


#54 ravajack

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:53 AM

More food for thought:

Posted Image

In this sticker w. maintenance tips for the AMF car, it is referred to as INTERNATIONAL (in capitals), not "Americana" or "Mako Shark" or even MPC. As International was quite another manufacturer than MPC, is there maybe even more yet unrevealed and unwritten history behind this AMCRC/AMF slot car venture?

Another oddity:
Point (1) in the tips section reads: "Oil each axle and the gear bearing on each end of the motor".

And further down the tips section ends (in capitals): "DO NOT OIL MOTOR"

Major confusion, or what? :crazy:
Bertil Berggren
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#55 TSR

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:30 AM

No confusion whatsoever on the names. The American AMCRC car is the "Americana". while the licensed identical model marketed in other countries by AMF, licensee of AMCRC, is called the "International". The card shown is inside every box of the UK-produced AMF cars. :)

However...

Point (1) in the tips section reads: "Oil each axle and the gear bearing on each end of the motor".

And further down the tips section ends (in capitals): "DO NOT OIL MOTOR"


THAT is confusing! :laugh2:

Philippe de Lespinay
 
"We are the D..., uh, the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile"


#56 don.siegel

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:04 AM

Yes, but I assume they meant, hey kids, don't oil the inside of the motor itself, especially the commutator... (and this is why copy editors exist....)

Too bad those 3/16" axles didn't become standard, I would have bent a lot fewer over the years...

Don

#57 TSR

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:23 AM

Don,

The answer to that was what the smart guys in California did, even before AMCRC began building those heavy piles: straight axles and setscrew wheels.

Threaded axles was truly stupid engineering to begin with... Jim Russell popularized them in the Carrera series kits, and the pros never looked back!

Today, the cars use hardened steel 3/32" straight axles and it is not that often that one gets bent, you really have to have a pretty serious smashing against a hard wall to see that.

Philippe de Lespinay
 
"We are the D..., uh, the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile"


#58 zipper

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:46 AM

Today, the cars use hardened steel 3/32" straight axles and it is not that often that one get bent, you really have to have a pretty serious smashing against a hard wall to see that.


With G7 cars it's a rarity to have a straight rear axle after a race, even when the car is in pretty good condition with just minuscule dents/scratches in the wings.
Pekka Sippola

#59 don.siegel

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:44 PM

Actually, the Midwest guys and a lot of others were using set screw wheels and plain axles well before the Russkit Carrera series - see RVM...

Thanks for that detail, Zip, didn't realize that!

Don

#60 TSR

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:16 PM

Actually Don, I am pretty sure that they were not quite yet, at least not in the same configuration. Russkit was FIRST to introduced a stepped hub in their wheels, and this in mid-1965 in their two original complete kits, the Cooper and Ferrari. Before that virtually all setscrew wheels had their screw directly in he hub, often in an angle to allow the tire to be glued and still provide accessibility. RVM had such wheels but their "stepped hub" model only appeared in 1967.

There were others setscrew wheels before 1965, but not that popular until the Russkit kits were out there in large numbers, and no in the 1/32 scale, at all, until the Russkit wheels.

Pekka,

Modern G7 are a different breed... but even with slightly bent axles, they keep going, don't they? :)
If they had threaded axles they would not finish the first heat!

Philippe de Lespinay
 
"We are the D..., uh, the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile"


#61 zipper

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:24 PM

Modern G7 are a different breed... but even with slightly bent axles, they keep going, don't they? :)
If they had threaded axles they would not finish the first heat!

Yes, with the threaded ones it would be adventurous (probably missing rims eventually) - but even a chatter of just some thousandths of an inch will do havoc; you do good laps and then a sudden full speed deslot on a similar looking lap. Even glued with Skinners epoxy the mags may have hard time...
Pekka Sippola

#62 ravajack

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:37 PM

To put this topic back on track(!).

I've now to the best of my ability spied with my little eye in the CM, MCS and MC&T mags for the relevant years 1965, 1966 and 1967. Lots of interesting info in articles and ads about the period news and conditions in the slot car racing business in the US.

But not the smallest picture in sight, or any mention at all of a new car called AMCRC "Americana" or AMF "International" in the reviews or tests, or in the product news departments. The period companion and alleged sibling of the AMF car, the MPC Mako Shark, does however get its fair share of coverage.

This strange state of affairs makes at least me wonder when, where and by whom this "Americana"/"International" car was first designated as a "Mako Shark". It doesn't appear that this AMCRC/AMF car was known in this "nom de guerre" back in the day, as there are no period references. Heck, this car doesn't seem to be known at all back then, in any guise!

What I did find in the old mags, though, was articles about a new and exciting invention.
Here is a two-page spread from the MCS mag, february 1966:

Posted Image

And for the visually impaired, the spread also as easy-read single pages below:
(Right-click picture to open it in a new window, left-click again for a larger enhanced version and further detail. Don't know why the new forum software occasionally doesn't permit full-width pics. The pic of the spread immediately here above doesn't have this issue, being made in exactly the same width (784 pixels). So why not the single pages???)


Posted Image

Posted Image
Bertil Berggren
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#63 ravajack

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:59 PM

Ha! Found a way to beat the system! Enjoy full width pics! :dance4:

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image
Bertil Berggren
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#64 TSR

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:25 PM

But not the smallest picture in sight, or any mention at all of a new car called AMCRC "Americana" or AMF "International" in the reviews or tests, or in the product news departments.


While this car was always called by enthusiasts a "Mako Shark", fact is that there does not appear to be any write-up on it, maybe our librarian Don can intervene. Thing is, we KNOW what the manufacturer called them, and that should be enough for us: Americana in the USA, International everywhere else.... :)

Philippe de Lespinay
 
"We are the D..., uh, the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile"


#65 don.siegel

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:24 AM

I'm not at home, so can't check out the Library, but I don't remember any references to this car, and I think Bertil is just as obsessed as I am! So if he didn't find anything...

In fact, the whole American story is very odd from the publishing perspective - for a major concern, they only had ads for a very short time, and not that many, including in the trade magazines, where I would have thought they'd do a lot more publicity.

And oddly again, I don't remember any of these articles really talking about the cars, other than a short mention...

Don

#66 ravajack

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 05:30 AM

Thing is, we KNOW what the manufacturer called them, and that should be enough for us: Americana in the USA, International everywhere else....


Yes, we know NOW that they were called Americana/International. And that's mostly thanks to your work and research with digging up the rare and hard-to-find paper boxes and plastic cases. Only a couple of weeks ago I had no idea of this Americana/International thing. I seriously thought that the cars I had acquired was called and also originally was labeled as Mako Sharks. Upon closer inspection "something completely different" was revealed...

But thing is (as you imply... ), are they then - thingies?

Or are there any clear and identifiable 1/1 car upon which this AMF car body is patterned?

I think this is a quite interesting question, as this car is historically significant as the very first slot racing vehicle where the then-new and durable lexan plastic is substituting the common butyrate as a body making material.

Like I've said before, I've searched and re-searched the Net high and low and in every nook and cranny for info in this matter, and have come up with essentially - nothing. (That is: Apart from a conviction that the AMF car is really NOT a Mako Shark...)

In my brain-raking "Sherlock venture" I have come up with two "close-but-no-cigar" candidates to be paragon for this AMF car, none of them a Mako Shark of any kind.

The first one is this yet unidentified body, illustrating a Cox sidewinder chassis ad in mid-1965. The body doesn't look like any Cox slot car I've ever seen, but is probably meant to be a Ferrari of some kind, with the rear end looking quite similar to the AMF car.

Posted Image

The second candidate is a real car, and also another italian: The 1965 Bizzarini GT 5300 American. Apart from the front lights, the overall look reminds largely of the AMF body. The Bizzarrini American also sported a Chevy Corvette 327 engine for power source.

Intriguing, to say the least, IMHO, as both the model name "American" and the Corvette connection are reflected in this AMF "Americana" legacy. Coincidence? I think not...

Posted Image

So what's the verdict:
Has the time now come at last to bring this robust AMF car over to the thingie domains in fantasy land?
Or do we also have to ask for Edo's opinion? :D
Bertil Berggren
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#67 TSR

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:59 AM

It's a GTO, either Revell or possibly Marx, I would have to check, but likely the Revell injected model since the picture was taken in early 1965 at a time when Cox did not have its own models yet. :)

As far as the Americana, there are enough design connections to the Mako Shark and not enough to any other cars including the beautiful Iso, to ascertain that the rather crummy looking body WAS patterned after the Mako Shark simply by a mechanical engineer with little aesthetic talent. Since I have known a lot of them in the toy industry where I served for over 20 of my 69 years, I am pretty darn sure of that...

Philippe de Lespinay
 
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#68 ravajack

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:35 PM

...there are enough design connections to the Mako Shark and not enough to any other cars including the beautiful Iso, to ascertain that the rather crummy looking body WAS patterned after the Mako Shark...


Philippe,

With all due respect, exactly what do you mean by "enough design connections" linking the AMF car to the Mako Shark?
Can you please point out some of the details and features, say five is enough, that in your opinion is linking the AMF car to a Mako Shark.

Take a look at the pictures below. I assume we can agree that the MPC Mako is a good example of a proper Mako Shark II model representation. Apart from being blue with four wheels, the overall look between these two cars seems to be quite OK, but so would a comparison between the AMF car and the above Cox car (Ferrari GTO) and an Iso-Grifo/Bizzarrino also be: Quite OK in overall looks. IMHO also quite a bit more than OK.

Let's look at and compare the cars more in detail, from front to back by numbers for different parts of the bodies:

Posted Image

1. Front. Some likeness. Both bodies are pointy, but the MPC quite a bit more so than the AMF.

2. Hood. Very different. AMF has central "ridge" and no louvres, MPC has no ridge but four louvres.

3. Front fenders. Very different. AMF has smooth and rounded fenders, the MPC fenders are sharp and edgy.

4. Doors. Very different. AMF has small doors in between the fenders, MPC has larger doors that is also part of the rear fender.

5. Coupe window. Totally different. AMF has a small coupe window behind the door, MPC has no window at all.

6. Rear fenders. Very different. Again, AMF has smooth and rounded fenders, MPC sharp and edgy.

7. Rear window. Totally different. AMF has a large, transparent window, MPC has louvres and no window at all.

8. Rear spoiler. Totally different. AMF has a flat vertical rear panel with a significant spoiler, MPC has a rear panel slanted inwards and no spoiler at all.

Summary: The only likeness between the AMF and the MPC bodies in these eight segments are in the first paragraph, the front, where there is SOME likeness. The rest of the body features list ends up in VERY different or TOTALLY different, e.g. no likeness at all.

Your turn, Philippe:
I challenge you to point out the significant body features of the AMF car that in your opinion justifies it to be an OK representation of the Mako Shark II (N.B.not a good representation, as that apparently is impossible... just OK will do). A list of five paragraphs w. similarities as of above is fine with me, if you can produce more, even better.

For convenience, I'll also serve you a clean slate to work with in your task to make your point with
"enough design connections to the Mako Shark and not enough to any other cars".

What exactly are these design connections?
You've seen what I can see. Now, what do you see that I can't? :search:

Posted Image

Good luck! :heat:
Bertil Berggren
Overseas Observer

#69 don.siegel

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 04:54 AM

Bertil,

With all due respect, I think that you're overthinking this...

MPC already had a Mako Shark and they had to produce a new model for another company. Probably said to a designer, here, take this Mako and adapt it so it looks different, but don't waste too much time on it!

Ergo, the designer fiddles with the Mako front, adds on a very GTO like rear and bingo, the Americana. I really don't think it looks enough like another car to think that it was a copy of anything real. These were toy manufacturers, not design studios, and they didn't have cheap design talent or automated CAD programs... If you want a precedent, take the Atlas Lynx for example...

That's my theory, and I'm always right (just ask my wife...).

Don

#70 ravajack

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 05:49 AM

With all due respect, I think that you're overthinking this...


So do I, and also Philippe. :)
But hey, we're only in it for the money... er... fun, n'est ce pas? :laugh2:

I really don't think it looks enough like another car to think that it was a copy of anything real.


Exactly my point! :good:
Ergo, this AMF car is in fact not a Mako - it's a THINGIE! :sun_bespectacled:

And it would be very interesting to determine exactly when, where and by whom this car was first called "Mako Shark"...

We know fairly well(?) by now that neither AMCRC or AMF ever called this thing(ie) Mako Shark back in the day:
It was "Americana" in the US and "International" in the rest of the world, both designations implying not real cars, but fantasy and "thingiedom".
Bertil Berggren
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#71 TSR

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 09:35 PM

My opinion remains the same and all you have to do is to look at almost any Eldon or Marx slot car to realize what happened...
And my wife tells me that I am almost always right! :D

Philippe de Lespinay
 
"We are the D..., uh, the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile"


#72 ravajack

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 12:31 AM

OK.

Opinion is one thing, fact is quite another.
Seeing is believing, and I know what I see.
That's NOT a Mako Shark in the AMF Case. :dash2:

And like you and Don, I have a wife too.
And like your wives, guess what she says?
(She has seen it too, you know...) :D

Maybe we shall leave this to the ladies to decide? :treaten:

Funny also that you should mention Eldon and Marx.
Found this when looking for AMF Mako "proof" (CM june 1964):

Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image

As for Marx, maybe we'll let him (the famous one, Groucho) decide this AMF issue:

"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five."

(Or maybe you prefer another "marxism": "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?") :laugh2:
Bertil Berggren
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#73 don.siegel

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:42 PM

Thought you might be interested in seeing this; I've just been going through my trade magazines (incomplete), and the mentions of American Model Car Raceways Inc. and AMCRC are very limited - from about February 65 at the earliest to July 66 at the latest... for their Big $100,000 race and the following mention of the Americana (July 66 issue of Craft, Model and Hobby industry magazine) - only one I've found so far about this car in the literature, but I'm still looking.

I've included the whole page because of the intersting article on the Aurora Hobby Raceways (did you know that in November 65, ABC bought up a half share in the raceway? yep, the TV network...)

Posted Image

#74 TSR

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:52 PM

Don, good stuff! :)

Bertil,
Dan Gurney had the sponsorship for the Times GP at Riverside, then the Nassau races in the Bahamas, and that was it. However while the magazine is dated from June 1964, the actual racing took place in 1962, in October at Riverside and December in the Bahamas... in 1963, Dan drove a Genie-Ford at the Times GP and the Pacesetter Homes Lotus-Ford in 1964. Hence Eldon waited nearly 2 years to advertize their appearance at the raceway!
I guess Eldon was as slow as their miserable and rather ugly slot cars... :laugh2:

Philippe de Lespinay
 
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#75 Maximo

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 10:07 PM

Dokk,

Not to get off the main subject matter, but wasn't Eldon going to release a commercial THINGIE?

-Max
David Ray Siller
Thingies are my thingie!

#76 TSR

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 09:49 AM

They did in the HO scale...

Philippe de Lespinay
 
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#77 don.siegel

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 05:35 PM

Max,

You might be thinking of the prototype Marx 1/24 thingies that came up a couple years ago on ebay...

Don

#78 don.siegel

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 09:24 AM

I was just looking back at this fascinating thread because an eBay seller came up with a "mystery" car that's none other than the early Pittman powered Americana... 

 

Hi Bertil: did you ever come to any other conclusions on this? 

 

As far as I remember (which isn't far), don't think I ever came up with any other info on the infamous "Mako Shark"... but I've got some more period trade magazines waiting for me in Chicago... 

 

Don 



#79 TSR

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 11:57 AM

While no "Mako Shark" show cars ever had a quarter window behind the standard side window, this is what those Americana cars were called by most (now older) racers who knew them. In fact the design is a fantasy, kind of a concoction made up by an AMCRC consultant (I now have his name) who penned the design, AMCRC using another outside consultant (I also now have his name) to not only produce the molds (with an "S") because there were 16 of them molded at the same time) but to produce and paint the actual bodies. 

 

They always were "Americana" cars in the USA, "International" cars in Europe, never "Mako Shark" in any AMCRC or AMF releases or adverts, that I have seen, but the kids called them that way anyway because the Mako was quite popular in magazines and media in general, and the kids never called them "Americana" or "International," as the first thing that hit the dumpster were the boxes, and this is why the boxes, especially the American ones, are so rare today. The British issues are a lot more common because someone discovered a pretty sizable stack of them about 15 years ago and they slowly found their way in the collector's market.

However, I certainly am not obsessing over what the heck it is, for a very simple reason: the car was an absolute dog in any form, and when I drove one with the steering wheel at Paul Pacini's raceway in Paris in 1968, it almost turned me off the hobby, if as advertised, it was the future!... Funny how I feel the same about the "self-driving" cars pushed upon us today. 

Just happy to have discovered a lot of stuff about that weird AMCRC/AMF association that royally fell on its face by mid-1967, and totally collapsed in the early months of 1968. 


Philippe de Lespinay
 
"We are the D..., uh, the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile"


#80 Cheater

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 01:23 PM

Some years ago, I spent a lot of time searching CA corporate records for any evidence of the company and it's like it never existed, but of course, we know it did. Always wondered if there were some financial shenanigans under the surface.


Gregory Wells

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#81 TSR

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 01:37 PM

It was incorporated in Delaware if I recall correctly, and did business from offices on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, then from a warehouse in Santa Monica when things turned ugly. I think that some of the track plans show the Delaware address. To be verified because I have not looked at that stuff in a long time.
 


Philippe de Lespinay
 
"We are the D..., uh, the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile"


#82 Mattb

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 01:48 PM

I think the correct phrase for you guys is "almost right, most of the time"!
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Matt Bishop

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