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#1 robbovius

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 06:43 AM

A few months ago, I was talking to a coworker about my resurgent slot car enthusiasm, and he told me that back in the day (about ten years behind me, because thet's about our difference in age) he too had run cars at Modelville at the previous Ashland site, and that somewhere he thought he might still have his cars. I told him that if he wanted, I'd be interested in them and resurrecting them for fun. He said sure, though they might have gotten tossed a while ago, being from his teen years, etc...

 

Then last week, this showed up in my office...

 

20150607_122720.jpg

 

That toolbox is hand-made BTW... and inside?

 

Treasure.

 

20150607_122731.jpg

 

Everything inside shows signs of long stroage in not-completely-dry conditions - rust on the axles, corrosion on the controller resistor windings, etc., but I'm pretty sure with a little work I've got some runners.

 

The most complete, least damaged car.

 

20150607_122747.jpg

 

20150607_122751.jpg

 

Bottoms up!

 

20150607_122757.jpg

 

Its chassis and motor (which looks an awful lot like a two-hole Mura C-can (same as is in my old 1970s car, The Buyers Protection Plan Special).

 

20150607_123233.jpg

 

Pardon the blurry pics, I was a bit too excited. The chassis is covered in really blobby messy soldering, the motor is soldered in at about four places, with an extra bit of wire soldered to the bottom with what looks like about four pounds of 60/40 glopped on here. Gonna be a struggle cleaning it up and making it look nice-ish.

 

Then there was this, which looks like it was a kit of some sort.

 

20150607_122813.jpg

 

Wonderful blobby solder job on the axle bushings, makes my usual soldering look absolutely pro, right?

 

20150607_122819.jpg

 

The bottom... another Mura C-can?

 

20150607_122824.jpg

 

There was also this naked frame, which seems the mate for the thing under the gold cut-down body...

 

20150607_122911.jpg

 

... so that I don't reach an attachment limit, more treasure next post!


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#2 robbovius

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 07:03 AM

Harry's toolbox also gave up this nice MRC Endura controller...

 

20150607_122836.jpg

 

... Which was a super nostalgic moment for me, as this was the controller I had back when I was running cars in the late '60s-early '70s.

 

There was also this Parma Tiger metal-trigger controller...

 

20150607_123005.jpg

 

... And a bag full of tires, wire, and what looked like a wrench for Cox or Russkit 5-40 knockoffs?

 

20150607_122946.jpg

 

The box also gave up a couple other bodies, a rusty axle, and a beat-up Aurora HO car.

 

So, any ideas on the identity and vintage of the various frames? I'm planning on startting with the solder-up frame car, taking that apart and cleaning it up. Will likely take the motor apart and see how it's doing inside. It got this funny little heatsink on the arm shaft, off the endbell.

 

20150607_123243.jpg

 

Lots of desoldering to do...



#3 Pablo

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 08:12 AM

Nice find, Robb.  That should keep you busy for a while :to_become_senile: :D


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#4 Steve Deiters

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 08:31 AM

The  photos the scratchbuilt chassis has REHco fronts on it and the yellow lead wire is a REHco product from way back when.



#5 Bill from NH

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 09:56 AM

Robb,

 

You got some treasures in the rough. That brass/wire car with all the solder on it might be a REHco RTR car. In addition to the fronts and leadwire Steve mentioned, the brass chassis was also sold as a REHco item under their American Line label.

 

The motor is, as you said, a Mura C-can. Does its arm have a paper tag? That motor has an alumium comm cooler on its shaft. Judging from the age of the car, it's probably a John Thorpe original one.

 

Whatever you do, save all the extra solder. You might recover enough to build your next chassis. :laugh2:  

 

The gold car's chassis and the naked one are both Dynamic brass frames. I don't have one, but have been told they run pretty well. Both should clean up nicely.

 

The motor in the gold car is a Mura A-can, rather than a C-can. If you put them side-by-side, the A-can will be longer, taller, and wider. It's about the same size as a 16D. It is rebuildable and would be a good motor to rebuild. Is there any tag on its arm?

 

The misc. parts and controllers may or may not come in handy, but that toolbox surely will. :)


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#6 robbovius

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 11:50 AM

Thanks for the replies, guys!

 

Steve, Bill, I thought that the brass solder-up looked an awful lot like the chassis under the Buyers Prot Pln Spl, which you guys helped me identify as a 1970s REHco product. I haven't compared the two side by side but that's in the cards soon-ish.

 

Dunno about tags on the arms, will post up the dissection of the silver and blue car when that happens, but that's gotta wait for me to finish Pam's Pink Corvette, right?

 

I want to keep the two complete cars as they are, just cleaned-up runners. I might take the L&M 917-looking body that's in the box and put a car together with that and the naked Dynamic, but...

 

Yeah, Paul, you're right, there's a ton of work in that box. ;-)

 

Gonna cut into the next scratchbuild I want to do...



#7 Pablo

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 01:05 PM

Robb,

Watching Pam's pink Corvette take shape, I admire your "follow-through" style. You make a plan, do the hard work, and show photos of your progress.

I applaud your ability to avoid getting bogged down during the build by too much information by back-seat drivers like me. :blush:.
 
If you have some time, take a glance at some of the fun I've had restoring vintage cars:
 
Plumber's nightmare refurb

Plated plumber car refurb
 
Hopefully, that won't make you change your mind. :laugh2:
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#8 Jairus

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 01:21 PM

Everything Bill said is correct.

But I will add my two cents in that I believe the front wheels on the REHco chassis Porsche are quite possibly RVM and worth a bunch to a collector.
 
Also, I have one of those MRC controllers, kept since I was a kid. I seem to remember them having a light inside. Not used it since the '70s... but am I just dreaming?

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#9 Cheater

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 01:34 PM

The RVM vs REHco fronts are evidently similar, as this ID "conflict" has occurred before at Slotblog.

Can anyone explain or illustrate how to tell them apart?

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#10 tonyp

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 02:05 PM

RVM were magnesium, the rubber was cut flush with the width of the rim, no overhang. They were also low profile compared to the rim.   

Two set screw holes. If I remember correctly they were a smaller setscrew and came with the wrench in the bag. Not 100% positive on the setscrews.
 
The ones on that chassis are REHco.
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#11 Jairus

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 02:08 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Tony. :good:

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#12 tonyp

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 02:43 PM

Best I can come up with. 

The RVM I think was originally made for 1/32 scale. Also the vinyl on them was very shiny. Super light weight, the choice of the jet set. They also bent really easy.
 
rvm.jpg

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#13 Cheater

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 03:08 PM

The pics help, Tony, and show a much wider edge on the rim as compared to the REHco fronts.

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#14 tonyp

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 04:48 PM

The rubber if trimmed away on the REHco will show more rim...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#15 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 05:06 PM

Nice find! I would be interested in the metallic green controller.

Matt Sheldon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#16 robbovius

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 07:19 AM

Thanks for the replies, gents! interesting comments RE: the RVM vs REHco front wheels.
 
Jairus, the MRC I had back in the day was dark green, and I don't remember it having a light inside, but then again that was 45 years ago so... memory? I'm planning on trying it out with my Classic Manta Ray (same chassis and motor I had back then). I expect it would overheat with any of the modern motors, or even the Mura C cans I've cars I've got... though I don't recall my old one overheating withthe Buyers Protection Plan Special back in the day.
 
That Parma Tiger controller has noticable corrosion (rust) on the resistor though-bolt and windings. I'm going take it apart and clean it up, and see if it works. When I pulled the trigger after taking it out of the box, debris fell out of the cooling slots, so. Yeah. we shall see. 
 
I feel like the custodian for a lost archeological find, y'know? ;-) I'm the curator for this collection I seem to be putting together.
 
Paul, as I often told myself during the B-3 build, don't overthink things, you don't have to know everyhting, you just have to know enough. Decide on a path, and then cut metal. The real learning is in the doing.

#17 Bill from NH

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 07:46 AM

Robb,

If the Parma Tiger's resistor is shot, they still sell some of the replacement resistors. I've had one or two over the years that bit the farm, but usually the colored insulating ceramic on the resister degrades first. If it's the ceramic in your case, coat the exposed areas with a non-metal based epoxy. Then sand its face on a flat surface using fine grit wet-n-dry paper.


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#18 wbugenis

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 09:53 AM

I'm fairly certain that toolbox was made in a Brooklyn high school metalworking class I taught sometime in the late '80s. If I can dig it out, I will post a picture of a similar box we made with the exact same handle, latches, and piano hinge. What make that project unique is the use of a sheetmetal technique called a "Pittsburgh seam" used to join the ends of the box to the main section. We had a machine that would make that seam in one pass.  

 

It was really a lot of fun laying out and making those boxes!!

 

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#19 Cheater

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 10:08 AM

Bill,

 

In a PM to Robb on another subject, in an aside I opined that "I'm pretty sure that toolbox is not handmade, but rather a commercial product... It just doesn't have the 'handmade in the home shop with a hammer' look about it."

 

Robb's reply:

 

"RE: the toolbox. I thought it was a store bought item too, but the guy who gave it to me (one of the engineers I work with) told me he'd made it when he was attending the Wentworth Institute. It's hard to see in the pictures, but the top corners of the box are kinda sharp and unfinished, not anything that would make it out of a manufacturer. He pointed those out, mentioning I should be careful not to cut myself on them. ;-)  Take a look at the full size picture of the open box, you'll see that the corner mates are cut unevenly and mismatched in a way you'd never see on a factory item. There are other details too which give it away."

 

Wentworth is in Boston and Robb gives his location as MA, so that aligns.

 

Bill, I don't doubt what you say in any way but do wonder how or why you had the same shop project working in Brooklyn? Perhaps it was a "canned" metal shop training project marketed to vo-tech schools along with the needed tools?


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#20 don.siegel

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 10:57 AM

Jairus, 

 

The top of the line MRC controllers had a fuse, and I believe it was something that lit up - now that I say that it sounds funny, but I also have a memory of a "light" in my MRC controller, and I believe that was the explanation... 

 

Don 



#21 MSwiss

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 12:10 PM

[Mike linked to a small pic I could not read, so I have tweaked it and enlarged it bit, having failed to find a larger version of the image online via search. I've outlined the "warning light" in red.

 

I vaguely recall these controllers having the light as well.]

 

mrc.jpg


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#22 wbugenis

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 12:29 PM

Here is a picture of one of the many styles of boxes we made. The project evolved over time.

 

Amazing how similar the hardware components are. 

 

2015-05-11 13.04.59.jpg


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#23 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 12:55 PM

The all-brass stamped frames I have always been told are "Riggen"... a house brand of REHco Dist (still in business in Cincinnatti). I have both the 1/32 and 1/24 versions in my vintage slot car stable.  
 
The 1/24 has an original 16D and one has a nice two-hole Mura Group 20, making it go very nicely on 'silicoat' tires.

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#24 MSwiss

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 01:06 PM

Larry,
 
I think those brass chassis are Dynamic.

I think we'll have to take away your 50 year pin. LOL.

Aero-Dynamic racing car

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#25 robbovius

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 01:46 PM

Again, thanks for all the replies!

Mswiss, that's a great link to the slot car museum.
 
I think I need to look more closely at the MRC controller.

#26 dc-65x

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 05:15 PM

I just found this thread and I've been through the RVM vs REH wheel business before. I have a picture to share. I thought these were RVM but was schooled that they are indeed REH:

 

RVM.jpg

 

It's a magnesium rim with twin set screws but you can see how the tires bulge out past the wheel sides and how rounded the tire edges are compared to the pictures of RVMs.

 

I hope what I'm posting is "Korrect" so I'm not adding to the confusion.


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#27 Cheater

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 06:45 AM

The pics Tony posted of the RVMs show quite a bit of difference in the rim of the wheel to my eye. I doubt the REHco wheels could be massaged to look the same.

 

At least now we know what to look for...


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#28 Steve Deiters

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:05 AM

Just to confirm, the wheels in post #26 are indeed REHco. 

 

They were probably the best front wheels around at the time. Much attention to detail in their manufacture. The hard rubber was injection molded around the magnesium hub. The hubs had transverse knurling so the tire would not spin on the wheel. After trimming from the molding sprue the wheel was then ground for a superior flat surface and super true-running tire. I think they sold for the astronomical sum at the time of $2.98 a pair. It was a lot of money for the 1968 era.

 

There was a variation of the tire that was used by some racers in the Tri-State Series of the time. The late John Wing, who was a Tri-State racer, machined an approximately 3/16" wide shallow groove in the center of the tire. The idea was to minimize friction loss due to the wide face of the tire while essentially preserving its left to right footprint. So if you see the term "Wing Fronts" in some old race reports of the era from that region they are referring to these modified REHco fronts.

 

Why didn't they have widespread use? They weren't distributed much west of the Mississippi. The west coast set the trends for most of the country at the time. I think price had something to do with less than robust, but steady sales, also even though they were a superior product. To give it some perspective the minimum wage at the time was like $1.10 an hour so a kid would have to work almost three hours to be able to buy a set. When they came out the 1/8" axle was still in widespread use, but its days would soon be numbered. The use of Faas bushings worked well with these tires to take them down to 3/32", but they weren't cheap either and not necessarily readily available. So 3/32" axles came on the scene, but the shift to O-ring fronts began and then that was it. They were less expensive, ran almost as true, and 3/32" axle friendly.

 

Now you know the rest of the story, as the saying goes.


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#29 don.siegel

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:35 AM

Thanks, Steve, very interesting background story! 

 

But were the REHco wheels sold under their name? I thought they were just a distributor... 

 

Too bad about the O-rings, too - one of the big slips down the slippery slope in my opinion, and all that for a few hundredths of a second - ain't hindsight wonderful? 

 

Don 



#30 Bill from NH

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 01:49 PM

Jim Aguirre fronts were the first O-ring fronts I saw in the East. Don, I used to glue my O-rings to the hub, then true them with my Unimat. This increased the tire patch of an O-ring, but since fronts didn't touch the track, it didn't matter much. :)

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#31 dc-65x

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 05:09 PM

We saw lots of Aguirre fronts that had the O-rings trued flat from the cars and parts that were in the Oakland Speedway "time capsule" find.

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#32 Bill from NH

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:03 PM

As I recall. the Aguirre fronts were oversize with the o-rings they came with by about .020"-.025". I used to cut them down to a perfect 5/8". I think I have one new pair left.

 

l always wanted to get my hands on an Aguirre chassis, but I'm guessing few ever came east of the Mississippi. Jim and Russ Aguirre grew up in the SF Bay area. Last I knew, they still lived there.


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#33 Steve Deiters

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 11:52 AM

REHco was the brand name that REH Distributing, Inc. used for its "private label" products which these wheels were one example. Most of the distributing that it did was primarily in the Midwest, East Coast with occasional West Coast orders being entered.

 

The REHco brand sold a variety of things ranging from the front wheels, Cobra braid, gears (they purchased both the Cox and Cobra gear tooling), complete inventory of Du-Bro bodies and molds, "bubble gum" armatures from Mura, glue/tire dressing (REHco No Slime), Jet Flags – they were  dyed orange, Bob Haines favorite color – and I'm sure some other products that have slipped my mind. Some things were sold under the REHco label while others used their existing branding. In subsequent years I think they bought parts of AJ tires, Lancer bodies and molds, as well as some others.

 

For a kid in high school and college it was a very interesting place to work.


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#34 Bill from NH

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 12:09 PM

Steve, do you know when REH started using the 'American Line' brand name? Was 'Club Racing' one of their brand names for the home/club market?


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