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#1 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:52 PM

Merit Bodies

 

Additional information, scans and photos courtesy Alan Schwartz, Joe Lupo and Don Siegel

 

Merit Bodies 21 Nov 2013.jpg

 

Merit was a British company that manufactured static model kits of older (1940s and 50s) race cars that were easily adapted as slot car bodies.  These model kits were enjoyed a long production run starting in 1956 or 57, and going on continuously until the early 1970s.

 

Here are some 1963 Auto World catalog illustrations of the various model kits they produced:

 

 

 

Merit 4600 56 Aston Martin DB3S.jpg                Merit 4602 56 BRM GP.jpg

 

Merit 4605 56 Connaught.jpg                Merit 4610 56 Cooper 500 Mk IX.jpg

 

Merit 4615 56 Lancia Ferrari.jpg                Merit 4620 54 Jaguar D Type.jpg

 

Merit 4625 56 Lotus Mk XI.jpg                Merit 4630 56 Maserati GP.jpg

 

Merit 4631 48 Maserati 4 CLT.jpg                Merit 4635 55 Mercedes Benz.jpg

 

Merit 4638 52 Simca Gordini.jpg                Merit 4640 56 Vanwall.jpg

 

Merit 4601SK 50 Alfa Romeo.jpg                Merit 4624SK 49 4.5L Talbot.jpg

 

 






#2 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:17 PM

Vanwall:

 

med_gallery_99_696_51535.jpg

 

 

med_gallery_99_696_28035.jpg

 

med_gallery_99_696_57248.jpg

 

med_gallery_99_696_14146.jpg

 

More to come as I get them photographed and loaded.

 

EM


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#3 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 08:46 AM

Alan,

 

Very nice, thank you!

 

Do you have any examples in their original packaging?

 

More, please!  :D



#4 Lone Wolf

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:54 AM

Steve , are you talking model kits or did these come some other way?

 

Here is a fine example of the wonderful and colorful box art.

 

DSC03115.JPG

 

Here is the 1954/55 Simca Gordini and the 1956 G.P. Ferrari in their original boxes. As a side note the Ferrari is nearly exact to the MPC slot car version and I am pretty sure they used it with modifications for the slot body.

 

DSC03116.JPG

 

I may have more as built up slot cars but will have to look.

 


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Joe Lupo


#5 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 11:31 AM

Joe,

 

So that's what the packaging looks like...  Very nice!

 

Infortunately, I know very little about Merit, and I was hoping others could fill-in the details.

 

Presumably, these are all model kits that are easily adapted to be slot car bodies (as shown in post #2).

 

I have discovered aditional information and some pictures in the 1963 Auto World catalog, and will be posting them up soon.

 

Does it say anywhere on the boxes that these are made in the USA?



#6 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 11:33 AM

Not USA - UK origin

 

EM


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#7 Lone Wolf

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 12:21 PM

Steve, perhaps this may be of help. Those "Oldtimers" must be from Revell molds as the have the Kooky driver.

 

PLEASE, SOMEONE TELL ME THEY HAVE A BLUEBIRD FOR SALE OR TRADE :wub:

 

Up until I looked at this today I didn't even know it existed. Never actually saw one, has anybody?

 

This stuff is as old as me! Notice the '58 release date.

 

 

slotblog 410.jpg

 

slotblog 411.jpg


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Joe Lupo


#8 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 12:40 PM

So they ARE British!  I thought so but wasn't at all sure... Cool!

 

Joe, is that a scan of a retailer's ad or a distributor's catalog (there are no prices listed - or is that the way the British do it)?

 

That 1958 release date and manufacturer's part numbers means I need to update the chart...

 

Also, you might have more luck getting a response in your search for a Bluebird if you also list in the Swap Shop forum.



#9 Lone Wolf

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 01:59 PM

That sheet was in one of those boxes. I think I have a better shot at finding affordable health car than finding one of those Bluebirds, now that's rare :laugh2: :dash2:


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#10 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:45 PM

med_gallery_99_1717_462376.jpg

 

med_gallery_99_1717_29549.jpg

 

med_gallery_99_1717_275615.jpg

 

med_gallery_99_1717_389912.jpg

 

More to come

 

BTW - on the subject of who copied whom, I don't have a Strombecker or MPC D-50 at hand but I have compared the Merit and Strombecker W-196 and D types and they are very different - ditto their versions of the 250F Maserati.

 

EM


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#11 Duffy

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:03 PM

As it happens, I just sent a sadly-mangled slot-converted Maser 4CLT that Prof. Fate had, to Howmet for backpouring...


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#12 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:23 PM

Alan and Joe,

 

So it looks like "J. & L. Randall" is actually the manufacturer, and "Merit" is one of their product lines.  Fascinating...

 

Also it seems the British do not put the product part number on the box!  How dare they!  :laugh2:

 

Duffy,

 

Do you have a list of available Howmet bodies?  I'd sure like to update the R&C bodies list and also peruse for my own potential purchases.  Thanks!  :hi:



#13 don.siegel

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:27 PM

Here are a couple miscellaneous slot conversions of Merit bodies from my files. There were a few clubs in England/UK that ran these, and I have an early article on 1/24 Merit conversions using a Scalextric motor/chassis, but 1/32 was too solidly established in the UK for them to really get a foothold, although they were available and nicely done! 

 

First, a Vanwall and Mercedes with a very odd pickup system.... (more pictures on here somewhere) (that may well be a Strombecker Mercedes body in fact)

 

MeritFWDMercVanwall.jpg

 

MeritFWDMercbottom.jpg

 

A Merc rail racing car from England: 

 

MeritMercedesrail.jpg

 

MeritMercedesrailchassis.jpg

 

A funky Vanwall with worm gear drive, indeterminate rail/slot

 

MeritVanwall2.jpg

 

MeritVanwall1.jpg

 

Slightly less funky BRM...

 

MeritBRM1.jpg

 

MeritBRMchassis.jpg

 

All pretty standard conversions ca 1960... 

 

Don 

 

PS: I believe Randall was the distributor, and the company was Merit. They were also sold in France by another company, mostly in plastic bags with header cards - the name escapes me for now... 


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#14 don.siegel

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:41 PM

I hope Roger won't mind if I reprint this article of his from 1981 (November, Auto Modeller magazine from England). He puts the start of production at 1956, which seems a bit early, but he was closer to the action! 

 

MerithistoryAM1181_zps3bbc83f3.jpg

 

MerithistoryAM181-2_zps24abb5f7.jpg



#15 don.siegel

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:56 PM

A couple of my Merit statics - as you can tell, I really like these cars! Two Talbot-Lagos, in different colors and the super kit versions with engine details. Plus a Connaught. 

 

MeritTalbotConnaught2_zpscbb7278f.jpg

 

MeritTalbotConnaught_zpsef0b047a.jpg


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#16 Jean-Michel Piot

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 06:50 PM

May-I remind you my thread about an Eleven ...

 

Eleven-final-2.jpg

 

It is here...http://slotblog.net/...midori-chassis/

 

I admit that the buckles are too big. They are already removed from the car and I shall make smaller ones.


(Bud)light is right!

#17 Duffy

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 08:00 PM

Ohh, stop. You should be ashamed. You are too perfect for Slot Cars, and besides you have given me a rash I can't cure. "Ohhh the buckles are too big," ohh Lord. I can't look, my brain hurts.


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#18 Jean-Michel Piot

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 08:10 PM

Precisely, I was thinking about stopping building slot cars...

 

I start to make mistakes like the size of the buckles.

 

Besides, I went to my top and realise I cannot do any better ...  :crazy:


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(Bud)light is right!

#19 Duffy

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 08:30 PM

Yah. Right. And then, do like the rest of us do: build something to put on the track, and watch it as it goes around. It don't gotta be FAST, it just gotta look right.

Because that's where WE started!! Right? We just loved the image of THIS or THAT car running along, looking for all the world like the BIG car that made our little hearts go pittypat, and so we built this, and and and...

 

Big buckles. Ohh my. Do you notice the buckles when you're drifting this beauty through the Deadman? Well-spun, Jean-Michel. Well-spun indeed.

 

In the next few weeks, I will build a Vintage model that I've been dreaming of, one that was set back in my schedule by my RACING demands. Yup, I will build it. Then we can talk about buckles some more.

Duf


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Michael J. Heinrich
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#20 Jean-Michel Piot

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:08 PM

Duf, I do not only put my cars in a cabinet...

 

I also use them and indeed it is sooooo pleasant to look at them moving, drifting in some curves...

 

So I have the two sides: nice when running, nice when contemplating the collection.

 

Now, I admit I would not race with cars on which I would have spend so much time working on them.


(Bud)light is right!

#21 Pete L.

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 09:17 PM

Duf,

 

 We will be waiting...  As to buckles, I use Velcro to mount my vintage bodies !!!


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#22 Lowrider

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:17 AM

At least some of the Merit kits were later issued by the SMER brand. (No relation to the Bond villains, I'm assured.)
A search of the UK eBay will usually find something.

Regards,
Steve-a-roonie Kempson

#23 TSR

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:42 AM

The Alfa 158 and the Talbot-Lago T26 are still in production, the molds are in Eastern Europe and the kits appear time to time on E-Pay and in specialized hobby shops.
I found that the hardest one to find has been the Cooper-Norton F3 followed by the Gordini.







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