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Monogram production history


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#1 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 09:16 PM

Nothing wrong with Monogram, but are you able to figure out all the different versions of their kits within the four years of production by now?

Well, let's see if I'm the world's number two authority, after Philippe, on Monogram's slot car kit production in the sixties...

:laugh2:

First Generation Kits

1/32 Scale


MGA Sports Car
'32 Deuce Roadster

Porsche 904 GTS
Cooper-Ford
Ferrari GTO/LM
Lola GT
Ferrari 275P

The MGA and the Deuce Roadster were issued as part of Monogram's first series in 1964. This was then supplemented with the release of the other kits in late 1964 and throughout the first part of 1965. These kits all came with an X-100 motor.

1/24 scale

'34 Ford Coupe
'36 Ford Coupe
'55 Chevy Hardtop
'58 T-Bird
'40 Ford Pickup
Duesenberg
Mercedes 540

The above kits were also issued as part of Monogram's first series in 1964. Although the motor and chassis parts of these kits came sealed in a tray, the plastic body parts were loose (at least initially). These 1/24 scale kits also came equipped with the X-100 motor initially but the X-100 was replaced by the bigger and more powerful X-200 motor after a number of months. A sticker on the box was used to herald the change.

Ferrari 275P
Scarab
Porsche 904

The Ferrari 275P was then released in late 1964 and the Scarab and the Porsche 904 in 1965. These later 1/24 scale releases came equipped with the X-200 motor and with their component parts all sealed in a tray.

The first generation kits were packaged in full art boxes. Here's an example of a first generation kit:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Second Generation Kits

1/32 Scale


Porsche 904 GTS
Cooper-Ford
Ferrari GTO/LM
Lola GT
Ferrari 275P
Ford GT
Ferrari 330P/LM
Lola T70
Lotus 33 Grand Prix
Ferrari Grand Prix

The 1/32 scale second generation kits came with swing pick-up arms and racing slicks replaced the regular rear tires with which the first generation cars were equipped. The two Grand Prix cars were issued with an X-88 motor while the rest of the cars were issued with the upgraded X-110 motor.

1/24 Scale

Ferrari 275P
Scarab
Porsche 904
Chaparral II
Midget Racer
Lola T70 & Cobra Daytona Coupe (vacuum-formed bodies)
Ferrari 330/P2 & Ford GT (vacuum-formed bodies)

The 1/24 scale second generation kits were all equipped with swing pick-up arms, racing slicks, and X-220 motors.

The second generation kits were issued in white boxes throughout the latter part of 1965. Here's an example of a second generation kit:

Posted Image

Posted Image

To confuse the issue, Monogram continued to use the same model number for the second generation kits that had replaced their first generation counterparts. Any first generation kit that had not been replaced by a second generation counterpart continued to be produced as a first generation kit.

1/24 Scale Third Generation Kits

Ford GT Roadster
McLaren Elva
McLaren Elva (vacuum-formed body)
Chaparral 2D Coupe
Indy Lotus
Mustang & Chaparral (vacuum-formed bodies)
Ferrari 330P/LM & Ford GT Roadster (vacuum-formed bodies)


These third generation kits were all issued in 1966. The Indy Lotus came with an X-110 motor and the standard inline chassis. The other kits, however, all had a sidewinder chassis and the upgraded X-220S motor to be used with this chassis.

The third generation kits came in white boxes with the cars pictured within a coloured rectangle.

1/24 Scale RTR Cars

Lola T70
Ford GT
Ferrari 330LM
Vampire
Snake
Assassin
McLaren Elva

I'm sure there were also colour and other variants to these kits but I'll leave those and whatever corrections are necessary up to Philippe.

:D

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#2 TSR

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 09:34 PM

Vay,

That's about half of it! :D

Philippe de Lespinay


#3 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 04:09 PM

In general, I'd say that Monogram 1/32 scale kits are less commonly found than Monogram 1/24 scale kits these days. I've also found the stock cars more difficult to acquire than the LeMans sports prototypes, with the exception of the first and second generation Lolas which I've found very elusive indeed.

:angry:

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#4 Robert Livingston

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 08:00 PM

What about the Monogram X-220S motor? Supposedly an 8-volt wind, hotter than the X-220. This was supposedly sold in the vac-body cars. Was it ever sold in the hard plastic bodied cars?

#5 Flower

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 10:03 AM

Vay,
That's about half of it! :D

A half-wit? :roflmao:

#6 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 09:18 AM

What about the Monogram X-220S motor? Supposedly an 8-volt wind, hotter than the X-220. This was supposedly sold in the vac-body cars. Was it ever sold in the hard plastic bodied cars?

Yes! A Ford GT Roadster was released in 1966 with a sidewinder chassis and an X-220S motor.

I'm glad you asked that question because it's made me learn something more about Monogram's slot car production. I've therefore now revised the list above.

:o

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#7 BWA

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 11:30 AM

What about the very early 1/24 kits with the X-100 motor instead of the 200???
Al Penrose BWA (Batchelor Without Arts, Eh!)

#8 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 11:52 AM

Whoops! I know nothing about those... Do you have any?

:unsure:

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#9 TSR

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 02:28 PM

The only Monogram kits released with the X1-00 (the original Mabuchi FT16 with "rusty" armature and red can), were the stockers and all the early "Series 1" 1/32 scale kits with yellow trays. Later the stockers received the X-200, first in metallic red then in solid red. The stockers were never issued beyond the "series 1" and were discontinued after 1966. The second series 1/32 scale kits with white trays received an upgrades version of the X-100 with better armature stacks now protected against corrosion.

The X-220S were supplied in the McLaren-Elva and the Ford GT Roadster kits as well as in the "vac" cars including the "double kits" with two bodies.

The absolute RAREST Monogram kit is the McLaren-Elva kit #VSR2418. The standard kit is numbered SR2418 and features the injected blue body. But later the kit was re-issued with a vacuum-formed body! Very few people know about this. As of now, we have only seen ONE in the past 20 years... fortunately we have it.

Quote from the new book in the Monogram chapter:

The last two cars are also the last slot cars ever made by Monogram. The McLaren-Elva kit saw its beautiful injected blue body and plated accessories replaced by a vacuum-formed metallic red-painted unit with gray styrene interior, and no mechanical changes. The Cooper wheel inserts were again used, and the very last issues had Twinn-K silicone tires included as a bonus, with an added sticker on top of box.
An all-new instruction sheet was included, showing an altered stock number (See appendix). Very few of these kits were produced and are some of the rarest slot racing collectibles today.
The very last car was the same McLaren-Elva, now as an RTR, unfortunately using the same packaging as all previous RTRs. While less rare than the kit, it is one of the toughest Monogram cars to find.


Philippe de Lespinay


#10 Mark Wampler

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 04:31 PM

It seems to me, in my early years in racing, that Monogram was never considered all that competitive. The same with Strombecker. Of course the Pittmans were out in number, but Classic, Cox, Dynamic, and Testors seemed to be leading edge.

Not to monkey with this thread, but are the red can Monogram Mabuchis virtually the same motor as Orange Classic, silver Cox, Dynamic purple, yellow K&Bs, and so on?
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#11 TSR

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 04:47 PM

Each company had its own specification that Mabuchi was supplying to them. However the design engineers in MOST companies were simply too ignorant to submit their own specs, so Mabuchi did the leg work for them and offered them pre-digested options. So the Monogram X-200 is basically the same as a Russkit 33 or Cox TTX200 or Revell SP500 or Classic CM350, while the Monogram X2-20 is pretty much the same as the Cox TTX250, Champion 701, Gar-Vic "Panther", etc.

The third generation of "red wire" FT36D were slightly faster than those.

Philippe de Lespinay


#12 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 10:25 AM

What about the very early 1/24 kits with the X-100 motor instead of the 200?


Whoops! I know nothing about those....

I actually should have known something about those. The '34 Ford Coupe, Duesenberg, and Mercedes 540 in my own collection all have the X-100 motors.

:sorry:

I've had to edit my list once again.

:blush:

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#13 TSR

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 10:50 AM

Vay,

It is a constant learning process, eh? :D

Philippe de Lespinay


#14 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 11:46 AM

Yes, but that's a good thing. I now know more than I did a week ago.

In addition, I've had the opportunity to refamiliarize myself with my Monogram kits. All too often, we're so busy trying to acquire the new that we lose some of our previous appreciation for what we already have. Sort of a "stopping to smell the roses" kind of thing.

I'm not sure whether there were more complexities in Monogram's production history than in most, but it's certainly added to my appreciation of the cataloguing efforts you've been doing in your books.

B)

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#15 TSR

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 03:03 PM

Monogram is easy. Some companies are really tough, like some of the Japanese or MPC...

Philippe de Lespinay


#16 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 01:04 PM

What about the very early 1/24 kits with the X-100 motor instead of the 200???

Here's an example of a 1/24 scale first generation kit with a sticker advertising that the kit now comes with an X-200 motor:

Monogram_Ford.jpg

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#17 TSR

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 01:08 PM

That's in fact, SECOND generation... :)

Philippe de Lespinay


#18 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 01:42 PM

If we're sticking to a three generation nomenclature, would that not still be first generation since 1/24 scale second generation kits all had X-220 motors and swing-pick up arms?

I'm "defining" the three generations of 1/24 scale cars this way:

First Generation

Regular tires.
Either X-100 or X-200 motors.
Full art boxes.

Second Generation

Racing slicks.
Swing pick-up arms.
X-220 motors.
White boxes.

Third Generation

Sidewinder chassis. (except for the Indy Lotus)
X-220S motor. (except for the Indy Lotus)
White boxes with the car pictured in a coloured rectangle.

Or are you splitting the first generation into two with the switch from X-100 to X-200 motors?

:huh:

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#19 TSR

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 03:43 PM

Vay,

It's a bit more complex. The 1/24 scale "stockers" had only two issues, the one with the FT16 and later the FT36 motors. But while the FT16 are always solid red, the FT36 was also made in metallic red, so in fact there are THREE separate issues for those.

The 1/24 scale "sports" (Porsche 904, Ferrari 275P, and Scarab) were first issued with the FT36 motor but on yellow trays, then a second issue on white trays, then a third issue with metallic red motors. Then they were re-issued with the FT36D (can drive) and new chassis with drop arms, in the white boxes. That makes FOUR generations!

The only cars that escaped somewhat to that continuous and furious upgrading are the later cars that never had a "series 1" history. But even then there are all kinds of variants, especially the racing sets' 1/24 scale RTR cars (Chaparral, McLaren-Elva and Lotus 38) that had at least FIVE variants in their strange Mabuchi FT16 motors with red endbells and a variety of colored cans.

Then the 1/32 scale cars have their own Series 1 and Series 2 history, the later production cars not issued as Series 1 also having variations, especially the Lotla T70 that came with no less than three different motors.

All in all, not a simple task but one I have completed over time by being exposed to so many of these great kits.

Philippe de Lespinay


#20 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 04:05 PM

It's a bit more complex.

A bit?! :shok:

I'll leave the writing of the book up to you. :laugh2:

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#21 philsmith

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 08:12 AM

Where does this Monogram McLaren-Elva fit into the scheme of things?

Posted Image
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#22 mjsh

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 08:37 AM

Our first car was a '58 T-Bird, not a '54.
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#23 TSR

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 09:57 AM

Where does this Monogram McLaren Elva fit into the scheme of things?

Hi Phil,

It fits at the very end of Monogram's slot car production. This McLaren-Elva with the vacuum-formed body is indeed a scarce piece and was a factory-built RTR with stock number SR2478. It was sold in a clear plastic vacuum-formed top-sealed over a cardboard display tray, meaning that to get to the car one had to destroy the packaging. So very few have survived intact.

On your car, someone stuck decals from a K&B Porsche 904 and chrome bits from a Cox Chaparral. Quite a mix!

Philippe de Lespinay


#24 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 10:34 AM

Mike:

Our first car was a '58 T-Bird not a '54.

You're right. I got my eyes/fingers crossed. I've edited my post.

:blush:

Philippe:

On your car, someone stuck decals from a K&B Porsche 904 and chrome bits from a Russkit Chaparral and a chopped roll bar from a Cox Lotus 40. Quite a mix!

And quite the trick to be able to identify the parts!

:shok:

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#25 TSR

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 12:43 PM

I have been told that I can identify a 5-40 wheel nut from being from Cox, Monogram, Classic, MPC, or any other company.

Those rumors are false, I can only identify 90% of them. :D

Philippe de Lespinay






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