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Cox? I don't get it

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#76 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 15 April 2023 - 10:36 PM

My first experience with Cox back in 1974(?) left me with a negative impression. My interest in slot cars at the time had been rekindled when a buddy of mine Gerry B. declared his intention to build a massive track at his father's counter top plant where he worked. There was plenty of room. I popped into McCormick's Hobby Shop on Oxford Street in London to see what old slot car inventory was still in stock. There wasn't much but the woman running the shop had put the remaining slot car kits up for sale. No Monograms but I bought a 1/24 scale Revell Lotus:
Evidently McCormick's had all kinds of new old stock kits at the back of the store behind the counter, Auroras and everything. Ms. McCormick only had limited space at the front of the store so she only displayed the new stuff that was selling. And all those times I was in London in the 1980's and never thought to ask her whether she had any old monster model kits still lying around. Groan!
But even after buying the Revell Lotus at McCormick's I still wanted to find some of the Monogram slot car kits I had coveted as a kid. I therefore hopped into my 1973 Dodge Charger and set out for the big city of Detroit. While the hobby shop on Seven Mile Road where I'd bought a couple of Monogram Ferrari slot car kits in 1965-66 was long gone, surely there'd be some Monogram slot car kits at the huge Hudson's department store on Woodward Avenue! 
I was wrong. Hudson's had no Monogram kits but they were blowing out a couple dozen 1/24 scale Cox I.F.C. from 1967 for less than half the original retail price. (In retrospect I wish I'd bought them ail! I had the money.) These featured what was in 1967 the radical new iso-fulcrum chassis which transferred weight to the rear wheels when accelerating and to the front guide post when slowing down to corner. These were all sold in a rather unattractive box where the car model - Chapparal 2D, Chaparral 2E, Ferrari or Cheetah - was merely checked off on the side of the box:

I bought the Chapparal 2D. Today though the much cooler-looking Cheetah would have been my choice:

But neither the Revell Lotus nor the Cox Chapparral was nearly as nice a model kit as the two Monogram Ferraris I'd assembled as a kid. I thought the Cox Chaparral was particularly shoddy looking as a scale model. The styrene plastic parts were thin and cheaply molded. The bodies were in fact chopped, channeled and streamlined variants of the real thing. Everything about the Cox Chaparral I.F.C. was designed for "go" instead of "show." I like more balance.
Moreover my buddy's enthusiasm for building a track quickly faded since the venture involved far more work than he was willing to do. With no place to race my new cars, I put them both away with my Monogram Ferrari in a desk drawer where they sat unmolested for fifteen years.
But I now know that I'd gotten a misleading impression from my first experience with Cox. The I.F.C. Chaparral 2D kit I'd bought was certainly not representative of the overall quality of Cox's slot car kits. 


#77 scooter_trasher


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Posted 31 August 2023 - 09:14 PM

Whether you despise, or feel the need to bash Cox, the La Slot Car Museum puts it in simple terms that yo may not agree with , but they're dead on right!



The greatest name in vintage slot cars collecting. Cox built the best quality cars and kits from 1964 to 1969 and today's collectors appreciate that quality. Cox sold their cars in RTR and kit form as well as parts. Body and chassis kits, wheels, tires, motors, axles, guides and gears were all sold separately. The kits are especially cherished but the factory-assembled RTR cars in their original boxes are also highly valued. A Blue Chip invesment." LASCM
What you may not understand is the market Roy Cox went after, as an eight year old in the winter of 67-68 I was that market.
I had had a 1/32 home set either Strombecker or Elden , I don't remember, but I do remember how cheesey and junkie they were, with their skinny hard rubber tires. Fast forward to 1967 I was staying at friends of the family during my parents divorce, their oldest son was like a big brother to me, he had a MPC Mako Shark and pumped me up on how I needed to get one , because they rule the slot car track at Wayne Hobby. I get one and Dad takes us to the track , pretty car metallic paint, aluminum channel ladder chassis with drop tongue , 36D sidewinder, tall foam tires with white silicone tread, it was fast all right , problem was it was too light and high, it would flip instead of turn, at least my 1/32 homeset cars would break traction and I could keep them on the track. But that's what all the cars were in 1967, 36D sidewinders with aluminum channel frames and wheels tall enough that the spur gear could be big enough to let the motor clear the axle. The two exceptions were Cox La Cucaracha and the Dynamic inline F1 chassis, but those Dynamics were kits and they came with too tall tires, regardless an eight year old can barley keep the wheels on a pinewood derby car , let alone build a commercial slot car kit and those Dynamics everyone remember so fondly would bust the tounge when you nosed the wall.I bought a Cuc, cut the wheel wells mounted wide lo profile silicones, got a hot wound armature when my stock one died, ruled Wayne Hobby's track (in my age group) on weekend afternoons and never looked back. That was a one season deal, I moved and in 1968 the track scene crashed and I discovered Ruttman mini bikes!     Roy cox only made slot cars from 64-69 the market crash killed his business, with his new 250,000 sq ft factory and a wharehouse full of slot cars, so he sold and retired, after that it was only COX in name., but those four years Cox dominated the commercial slot car world, no one else was close and it was a trend setter, Tupperware plastic body you couldn't break, knife edge fronts with bearings front & rear , floating pans, lo center of gravity, front to rear weight transfer, ground breaking technology in 1967, the car that saved slot car racing , the parma  flexi, mimics the cuc chassis except for drop center, but put a  "BITE BAR" in the front and what is a Cuc, a two piece flexi with floating pans!

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