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Bob Lindsay


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#1 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:59 PM

Does anyone out there know / remember Bob Lindsay?
 
He built really good drag racing motors in the early 1960s.  Here is an April 1964 Car Model magazine article about him:
 
6404CM56.jpg
 
6404CM57.jpg
 
The caption beneath his photo mentions "the fabulous Lindsay motors" that come from model railroad trains and are no longer available.
 
Note the "skewed" stacks in the photo of some of his armatures.
 
Sixteen months earlier, a December 1962 Rod & Custom magazine review of "Model Car Racing Power Plants" by Jack Tate, included descriptions and photos of two "Lindsey" motors, the "1010" and "L190", also used for drag racing, also from model railroad trains and also no longer available.  In the photos (on the second and third pages) you can clearly see "skewed" stacks:
 
mcr1b.jpg
 
mcr2b.jpg
 
mcr3.jpg
 
The spelling of Bob's name (I presume Chuck Hamill got this right) is LINDSAY (with an "A").  The spelling in Jack Tate's article is LINDSEY (with an "E").
 
Are these the same motors and someone has problems with spelling, or is this just a seriously strange coincindence?
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#2 don.siegel

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 08:07 AM

Hi Keith, 

 

Glad you mentioned this: one of my favorites in the history of slot racing, and an excellent story in the early drag racing days, when the motor "to have" was a Lindsay. 

 

Yep, that's the correct spelling: 

 

lindsayboxmotors.jpg

 

I bought these from a guy on ebay about a dozen years ago, and the seller told me some of the story, including that the Lindsay assets were sold to Kemtron when he retired (don't remember all the details, will have to find my notes!). 

 

They still come up occasionally under model trains... 

 

Don 


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#3 MSwiss

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 08:46 AM

Very cool look to those motors.

Thanks for posting.

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#4 Gator Bob

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for posting this.
 
I've had every one of those power plants in stock over the last fifteen years, except... the Lindsay motors.
 
 


Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#5 DOCinCocoa

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 07:14 PM

Very interesting stuff, and from the '60s.


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#6 don.siegel

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 03:46 AM

Found the original email exchange with this very friendly eBay seller and model train enthusiast from back in 2002. Here's what he said about Lindsay: 
 
"After WWII, Lindsay designed the Varney Super Motors (V2, V3, V4). In the late '40s he started his own company in Southern California. 
 
He was an electronic engineer and obviously tried many new things. Among them were lost wax castings for models and jewelry, along with his famous motors. As you know, they were seven-pole and skew wound. 
 
The early motors were fairly small. Later he developed his own "Super Motors". They were still fairly small by comparison. There were three variations of the Super, the L-1010 (long on brush end), the L-1020 (short on both ends) and the L-1030 (long on the opposite end of the brushes). 
...
Lindsay sold out to a company called Kemtron back in the mid-'50s. Kemtron either continued making Lindsay stuff or they just used up whatever inventory was available until it was gone. 
...
Anyway, Bob retired and only enjoyed himself for a short time. It is my understanding that he died of a sudden heart attack in the '60s."
 
I've got some photocopies of product lit he sent me as well, so will try to scan those. 
 
Don

#7 TSR

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 09:13 AM

Don,

It is likely that some of the dates in this email are not correct, since Bob Lindsay, according to Gene Husting, was still producing motors for model trains until at least 1964 under his own brand. That he sold his interests to Kemtron could not have happened until then.

#8 don.siegel

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 09:22 AM

That's very possible Philippe - information on Bob in general seems a bit vague... one of the other references had him dying in mid-'50s... 
 
I can't really see him producing his own motors until '64, because all the articles talking about his motors from the mid-'60s say that they were long out of production, and I assume some of these old hobbyists must have been railroad fans as well, and would have been au courant. 
 
I did see that there was an obituary in the December '68 issue of Model Railroader, and I'm trying to get hold of that...
 
Don

#9 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 11:58 AM

Don,
 
I've found that "Bob Lindsay - Lindsay Products" was inducted in to the Hobby Manufacturer's Association (HMA) - Model Railroad Division "Hall of Fame" in 1997, but no other information about him or his motors was provided on their website.
 
Also, I've dug up an article in the January 1964 issue of CM that reports on the Rod & Custom National Drags apparently held in very late 1963. The article indicates the Division One Unlimited winner was none other than Gene Husting running none other than a Lindsay motor. BUT - he and Bob Cartwright, who also ran in the Division One unlimited class, were the only two builders still using Lindsay motors; virtually everyone else was using Pittman DC-85As.
 
Please do post up everything you can find - I'm particularly interested in the obit in the December '68 issue of MR.
 
If I can gather up enough info and scans I will assemble an article in the vintage motors section of The Independent Scratchbuilder.

#10 don.siegel

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 12:52 PM

Will do, Steve. 

 

I think I saw that article too, and between that and others, I have the feeling that these were often custom assembled motors from a variety of different components, and that it was just the Lindsay arm that was kept for these, and that Bob and Gene weren't running pure Lindsay motors... 

 

I also have a motor I acquired from Roger W. Greenslade (who wrote the first book on vintage slot cars), that is a regular inline open frame motor and identified as a Lindsay from a WW2 bomb sight - I haven't actually been able to confirm that, and will have to check with Roger where he got the info. 

 

Don 



#11 Gator Bob

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 06:01 PM

There was a long line of Lindsay model railroad products spotted on eBay. 
 
This is previous discussion might add a little something.

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Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#12 don.siegel

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 07:25 AM

Just found this, in a fascinating Kemtron Master Catalog from 1957. So it looks like they bought the Lindsay model train line in 1956. And they had their own line of "rail cars", but I'll cover that in another post... (see "Kemtron history"). 

 

Don 

 

Kemtron%20catalog%20Bob%20Lindsay%201957


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#13 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 09:42 AM

Polks Hobbies set up a dragstrip at the NY Rod and Custom show in 1966 to run demonstrations. Bob Braverman had sent his Lindsay 1010 powered magwinder for me to use in demonstrations all day long. That thing was rock solid and made a perfect pass every time. It was a rocket and blew everyone away. It was much lighter than the Pittman DC-85 and Ram-powered cars. I loved that thing. It finally went back to Bob in Cali.
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#14 boxerdog

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 10:44 AM

Are there any pictures of that car?


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#15 don.siegel

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 02:34 PM

Here's a short obit that Steve O found on Mr. Lindsay, but had some trouble posting for some reason; thanks Steve! 
December 1968 issue of Model Railroader magazine. 
 
Don 
 
6812MR80%20Bob%20Lindsay%20sb_zpsn1w0dyf
 
And one I found in Model Craftsman, a month earlier... thought I had posted these, but maybe not here.
 
Bob%20Lindsay%20obit%20model%20craftsman
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#16 boxerdog

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:46 AM

The early motor builders, Pittman and Lindsay, were very interesting and talented people as it turns out. They built some very high-quality products, especially considering the technology available to them at the time. I am sure that there are others that I don't know about, from other hobby areas (Bonner?) and the military product (maybe Globe?) areas. I am sure that there were some similar folks in Great Britain and Europe doing the same thing.

 

The Asian imports eventually took over with "disposable" products, as usual, that were cheaper to produce, but this phase of slot racing, where we were adapting anything that might fit into a car, was pretty interesting. JMO.


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#17 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 11:03 AM

Pretty sure this is the Lindsay-powered Bob Braverman car!
 
BOB BRAVERMAN.jpg
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#18 boxerdog

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 01:37 PM

Wow! Gotta love that canopy!!


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#19 Dallas Racer

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 06:46 PM

I recently bought a batch of train motors off eBay. I bought them to get a couple of Pittmans I wanted. Turns out what was printed on the boxes and what was actually inside them didn't match, so that didn't work out.

 

But there was a Lindsay 1010 included that I hadn't noticed in the pics. So I guess it wasn't a total loss. :)


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#20 Dennis David

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 09:22 PM

Any more pioneer and he would have been building covered wagons. I can imagine powered trucks being popular, it being near impossible to put a motor in some of those locomotives.


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#21 TSR

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 03:19 PM

Bob Lindsay made 3 different sizes of his basic design. The largest one does fit fine inside an HO locomotive...

The drag racers (Braverman, Husting, Cartwright, Hamill...) used the "1010" medium size, rewound by Bob or in the case of Husting, by himself. But Husting eventually made his own motors using a Buick windshield wiper circular magnet and a rewound DC85 armature, building the end plates and brush holders directly onto the chassis rails.



#22 don.siegel

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 04:17 PM

All the top drag racers in the higher classes used that basic "magwinder" setup, with the end plates and brush holders being part of the two magnesium chassis rails. There was already an article by Chuck Hamill on building a magwinder, in a 1963 issue of Car Model... 

 

Don 



#23 TSR

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 11:00 AM

Yes, many did the same. But at the end of the day, Husting built the fastest car... :)

1967-husting-record-rail-1.jpg



#24 Dave Crevie

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 02:25 PM

All Nation Hobby shop carried Lindsay motors. I used them in several of my On-3 locomotives. I also built a South Shore box cab electric using two of the Lindsay power trucks. The Lindsay motors were the smoothest around. You could still find them in hobby shops well into the 1970s. 

 

Most of the old-timers in slot racing have an amusing story or two about things that happened in the hobby. Here's one about model railroading you will get a laugh at. 

 

Back after Bob Lindsay passed, there was some concern that the power truck would become impossible to get. So John Hughes decided to design and build one under the name Uni-power. John was a regular member of the O-scale club I belonged to at the time, and he would often bring new projects for the All  Nation line to the club for testing.

 

The large loop of the layout had not quite been finished yet, and there was about a five-foot gap with no benchwork or track installed. He brought a couple of prototype power trucks down to the club, and an all-wood model of a Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin car to mount them under for testing. One of the trucks was way over-geared, and was ballistically fast. He would run the car to one end of the track, then flip the reverse switch for the car to run around to the other end of the finished track. Then he would flip the switch again to reverse the car in the opposite direction.

 

Since he knew the truck was no good anyway, he decided to try to blow the motor by running the car at full voltage, and then reverse the direction while the full 12 volts was being supplied to the track. Every went fine until on one trip he accidently threw the switch to the center off position, and the car flew off the end of the track at full boogie. It hit the benchwork on the opposite side of the gap and exploded into a million pieces. He had the most surprised look on his face that I think I have ever seen on anyone.    


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#25 PD4103

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 11:10 AM

Hi all,

 

Just found this great site, accidentally, while researching a few model railroad pioneers, one in particular was Bob Lindsay.

 

After reading this post I felt a bit compelled to join the group and see if I can add some information here on Lindsay trains.

 

Bob Lindsay did in fact sell his train line to Kemtron in 1956. They weren't interested in the whole line and sold the locomotives to US Hobbies, with a distribution agreement, however the tooling for the PA, FA, and FB body shells, along with the associated cast brass detail molds were sold to Jon Chapper of Hobbytown of Boston. Jon had an deal with Kemtron and supplied them with the PA shells, packaged under the Kemtron name. At this time hobbytown discarded their own PA body dies in favor of the Lindsay dies. Both the PA and FA/B chassis were redesigned to better fit these bodies.

 

By 1958 the PAs were no longer offered by Kemtron. The suspicion is they ran out of parts to create full locomotives.Their main interest were the molds for the highly-detailed truck side frames as well as the other diesel (and steam) detail parts, not associated with the PA, FA, and FB shells. 

 

Hobbytown supplied a limited amount their own E7 A and B shells and power chassis. They also supplied the chassis for the PAs and offered to supply the chassis for these, as well as the chassis and bodies for their E7 A and B, or a more permanent basis. For some reason that never materialized. 

 

For some reason the FA/FB shells were never part of Kemtron's offerings.

 

Hobbytown also supplied E7 A and B, PA FA and FB shells to Walthers, as well as the chassis kits on an as ordered basis.

 

At some point the Lindsay name was removed from the PA dies, and in only rare occasions does it appear when an older shell pops up. It most likely was done for the sake of Kemtron, not Hobbytown as It never appeared in the Kemtron shells. It still appears on the Lindsay FA/FB shells.

 

The Lindsay motors were said to have been offered in the TT line of trains, but I have no proof of that, and cannot find it anywhere. 

 

What I do know (I think) is Bob Lindsay never sold the motor end of the business, nor did he sell the chassis tooling for the trains. He tinkered with the motors until he passed away. No one can say where the tooling and dies for the motors or chassis ended up; it may still be floating around out there.

 

For many years it was said the PA, FA and FB dies were long scrapped, then when Bowser had a housecleaning a few years back, the dies were there. They were not scrapped, and were returned to the Hobbytown of Boston tool inventory.

 

I hope some of this helped, although not related to slot cars.

 

All the best,

 

Nick


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