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Howie's amazing 1967 Arco coupe/sports car


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 07:37 PM

Howie Ursaner was dominating at the 1967 Arco Nats. With his car as a Coupe it was TQ and won the race by eight laps...
 
MCJ%20V1N2%20p7-Coupe.jpg
 
... and by simply swapping bodies the car, now a Sports Car, set a new 2-minute qualifying record and another top qualifer mark. That is two TQs out of two races!
 
Through no fault of his own, this rocket ship Sports Car was wrecked before the race even started. Here is Howie telling what happened:
 

There is a great Car Model multipage article on this race posted earlier in this topic. I won the Coupe race and was tied in points with Cozine who had not won a race. The final race was Sports Cars and I was TQ with a 2-minute run. This gave me an extra point to put me in the overall lead. When they called drivers to the race I saw a child put my car on the track and the car was walled and destroyed before I even plugged in my controller. All I had to do was finish fifth to win overall but they did not give me any time to fix the car so it was launching in the bank. That is how he won. Phil won the race. I would have most likely won. Same car as the Coupe, which was pretty unbeatable there.
 
A lot up for grabs, hometown crowd in Atlanta, conspiracy theories abound, they would not give me time to fix my car. They did not want me to win. I was crushed. They were happy. End of story.

 
Both cars used the same chassis shown below:
 
MCJ%20V1N3%20p1%20-%20chassis.jpg
 
The one picture above of the Coupe version and various bare chassis pictures are all the documentation we have of the super fast but ill-fated car. With Howies help Im going to do my best to bring a tribute to the Sports Car version back to life.
 
Lets start with the Car Model magazine and Model Racing Journal coverage of the Arco Nats event:
 
dc1.jpg

dc2.jpg

dc3.jpg

dc4.jpg
 
MCJ V1N2 P1.jpg
 
MCJ V1N2 p3.jpg
 
That's the background, now we need to start building. :dance3:  But, Howie, I need some info about your car.
 
Howie question number 1: What motor did you use?
 
I'm guessing it wasn't a Champion 517 based on this picture:
 
MCJ%20V1N3%20p4-%20chassis.jpg
 
Your car on the left and the Mike Morrissey copy on the right both seem to have a Mabuchi-size endbell bearing hole in the motor bracket.
 
Howie question number 2: What body did you use on your Sports Car?
 
I found this picture that I think my be of the Arco Nats. Some of the cars seem to match those shown in the above pictures from the race... but this is just a guess:
 
scan0234.jpg
 
I see Dynamic Handling Bodies like a Lola T70, Mirage, and McLaren Mk 6 and Mk 3.
 
What do you think, Howie? :)


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#2 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 12:05 AM

Here are a couple of pics from Bob Rule taken at the 1967 Arco Nats.

h1.jpg

 

h2.jpg


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#3 mjsh

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 12:30 AM

Is that Andy Warhol next to Sandy?


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#4 James Wendel

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 01:55 AM

Geez, that body looks awfully familiar... rummaging through box of old stuff in basement...

 

Ah-ha, here it is... looks like it was cut down by a kid.

 

temp 004.JPG


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#5 tonyp

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:49 AM

Not to get off subject, but the picture of the NASCAR Howie ran in that issue is possibly the only shot of a Bob Emott inline. Bob loaned his car to Howie to take the chase for the title.
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"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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#6 John Streisguth

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 06:04 AM

Um... where is that pic? I see PvA's car, but not Howie's...


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#7 tonyp

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 07:33 AM

It's on the missing page from Model Car Journal posting.

"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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#8 MSwiss

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 08:13 AM

Tony,

Did Bob's Stocker chassis have antlers for the wheel wells?

I vaguely remember seeing them on other chassis, but not as ornate/less cagey.

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#9 tonyp

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 08:17 AM

I have it on my laptop I'll post it when I get a chance.

"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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#10 tonyp

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 08:19 AM

Mike - yes. They had real thin bodies and needed them to keep the body off the tires.


"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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#11 tonyp

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 08:28 AM

image.jpg
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"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

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
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ip


#12 tonyp

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 08:37 AM

Not to get off subject too much but the Chris Vitucci car is probably an Emott. These are the only inlines I have ever seen.

 

tp1.jpg


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"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

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
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ip


#13 tonyp

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 08:40 AM

I remember going to that first Car Model race and was amazed how fast Howie's car, pictured, and Sandy's were. We may have been just as well running Cox cars. I was impressed, made me want to build better.


"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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Revtech Team Trinity
Noose Painted Bodies
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ip


#14 Uncle Fred

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 10:07 AM

The idler gear car in the picture was mine. I was annoyed with Charlie Harris that my name wasn't mentioned. The names in the Dyna Wind photo are backwards as well with me on the right...


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#15 dc-65x

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 10:13 AM

Not to get off subject, but the picture of the NASCAR Howie ran in that issue is possibly the only shot of a Bob Emott inline. Bob loaned his car to Howie to take the chase for the title.

 
That awesome stock car chassis will be a subject for a future project, Tony. :) I've got a Du-Bro NASCAR Fairlane body with all the neato racing details, not just a street car body. The Du-Bro probably isn't as thin as the Champion bodies raced at the time but it's all I've got and it sure looks the part! It looks like I can get a 3" track with the tires inside the body as long as I use the "loops" around the tires at each corner like the original chassis.
 
For this project I need a jig motor and Howie hooked me up with what to use:
 

I can tell you now it was a Russkit 16D with an arm I wound with shimmed Arco 33 magnets. I can come up with more details I am sure.

 
I'll show some possible motor components soon...
 
As for the vintage Dynamic Handling Bodies I have that are shown in my picture, the wheel arches are factory trimmed so the wheelbase is set. The Mirage and McLaren Mk 6 are both 4". The Lola T70 and McLaren Mk 3 are closer to 3-7/8". All are 3" wide and the guide leads vary a bit.
 
Dynamic also made these bodies with the wheel arches untrimmed so the wheelbases could be fudged a bit.
 
These bodies are also butyrate plastic and require a non-lacquer paint and special handling as they are quite fragile... most things as old as these things are fragile. :crazy:
 
Another way to go for this car would be to use a Lexan TrueScale Dynamic Lola T70 reproduction body...


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#16 Half Fast

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 10:37 AM

Who built Howie's frame? Sandy, Bob E, or ???

 

Cheers,


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#17 MSwiss

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 11:24 AM

Howie.
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#18 S.O. Watt

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 12:26 PM

That would be a very young Bryan Warmack.

Is that Andy Warhol next to Sandy?


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#19 Uncle Fred

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 12:47 PM

What's really interesting is that was more than 47 years ago...  :o 


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#20 Half Fast

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 01:02 PM

Tempus Fugit, Fred!

 

Cheers,


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#21 TSR

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 01:26 PM

1) The Chaparral 2F body is not, as the MCJ said, a Champion body; it was a Dynamic product. 

 

2/)The chassis Howie used may not be entirely "original". It looks like it could have been a modified Cobra production frame, using a different drop arm and added side floppies. I will post a picture of the chassis in question soon. The chassis was also produced by Ferret and Phaze III during the evolution/convolution of the three brands.

 

Interestingly, and thanks to Howie, I recently (in the past week!) had a very nice conversation with the very person who built all the chassis for Cobra at the time this race was held...
 


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#22 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 02:45 PM

Philippe,

 

This is NOT a production frame. I built this in my bedroom in Forest Hills just like the others I built. Cobra if anything used this basic design to build theirs. They were paying me a lot of money for something.

 

I never in my life ran one of their abortions they called frames so this is ridiculous and totally insane. This will give Sandy a big laugh.


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#23 Uncle Fred

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 02:56 PM

I wondered about that! Those pre-fab chassis were worthless. :laugh2:


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#24 TSR

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 03:23 PM

Most of the Cobra chassis made after Roy Crawley came in the company are and were junk, but the original Cobra chassis were well built by a single individual named David Caldiero.
The later chassis were built outside the Cobra works by a man called Lou Atchison and those were the well-known piles you see all over today, that need entire re-soldering.

Going back to Howie's chassis, I will post the picture of the stock Cobra chassis for comparison. If Howie indeed built his own from scratch, he would have used the very same framework, motor mount, center section, exacting main rails configuration, etc. If Howie says he built it from scratch, I guess he did, but the inspiration is very evident.

What was definitely added over the Cobra design are more half rails at the back, the floppies (the Cobra chassis does not have any), an entirely new drop arm (the Cobra arm is made of brass plate), and the side plates are trimmed at the back for tire clearance.

In any case, Howie was stolen the "Grand Champion" title from sabotage, by a person who took one of his cars from impound and placed it on the track, which broke the guide. Howie had to repair the car within racing time, which was to say the least, not too kosher from the Champion boys who organized the race. Cozine had to win...


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#25 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 03:48 PM

They paid me so they could copy my chassis... David Caldiero would be the first to tell you I never even looked at or ever touched anything he built. Those chassis were actually a big joke to anyone in the know. I certainly never knew anyone that ever ran one. LOL.

When the car crashed before the race it actually bent it all over. I desperately tried to do whatever I could in the few minutes I had. It was severely damaged when I started the race and launched to break the guide.


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#26 TSR

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 03:58 PM

I am happy with that.  :D

A little controversy sure woke you up...  :)


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#27 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 04:19 PM

David told me that somewhere he has a car that I built and raced. He says that i walked up to him one day at Cobra, where he worked and I showed up once a week to collect my check, and just gave it to him. He told me how much that meant to him and he never forgot it.

 

He told me he took that car to a raceway around 2000 and it was super fast and blew up. He is looking for it. I told him he has to find it!!


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#28 dc-65x

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 04:35 PM

Howie... :D

 

need%20input1.jpg

 

I've been looking at the wheels in your Coupe picture...

 

MCJ%20V1N2%20p7-Coupe.jpg

 

I came up with these that I hope you'll like:

 

1%20003.jpg

 

1%20005.jpg

 

I'm "ASSuming" you ran blues?

 

I wish I could just order from the Autoworld catalog the exact things on the car but sadly...   :unknw:


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#29 Uncle Fred

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:04 PM

That's why you needed a 427 Vette, to race to the Bronx to pick up your check!

I remember making a trip to Cobra with you... 


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#30 Samiam

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:26 PM

Hearing these stories from the guys that were there is awesome.

 

Someone should put all this in a book.

 

Philippe, do you think you have a third book in you? And it is great to have you back from your European vacation.


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#31 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:44 PM

Those are the wheels and blue rubber it was.
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#32 dc-65x

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:49 PM

That's great news, Howie! I'd rather be lucky than good. :dance3:


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#33 SlotStox#53

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 06:34 PM

You don't need to wish about ordering from that catalog, Rick! Your slot car parts emporium seems to have pretty much most items you need for such builds.  :D



#34 dc-65x

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 06:47 PM

Hi Paul,

 

I've been saving those hard to find Weldun wheels for the "right" car. I thought they looked pretty close to the wheels in the picture of Howie's car. Like I told Howie, "I'd rather be lucky than good!" :crazy:


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#35 dc-65x

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 06:51 PM

I've added Howie's story of how his "unbeatable car got beat" at the Arco Nats to the first post in this thread. I should have included it to begin with... sorry. It's also shown below:
 

There is a great Car Model multipage article on this race posted earlier in this topic. I won the Coupe race and was tied in points with Cozine who had not won a race. The final race was Sports Cars and I was TQ with a 2-minute run. This gave me an extra point to put me in the overall lead. When they called drivers to the race I saw a child put my car on the track and the car was walled and destroyed before I even plugged in my controller. All I had to do was finish fifth to win overall but they did not give me any time to fix the car so it was launching in the bank. That is how he won. Phil won the race. I would have most likely won. Same car as the Coupe, which was pretty unbeatable there.
 
A lot up for grabs, hometown crowd in Atlanta, conspiracy theories abound, they would not give me time to fix my car. They did not want me to win. I was crushed. They were happy. End of story.


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#36 Dennis David

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 07:14 PM

Yeah, you were definitely in the lion's den in Atlanta.

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#37 Half Fast

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 07:36 PM

It's amazing how cutthroat the Pro racing was in the good?? old days.
 
Cheers,
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#38 dc-65x

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 07:44 PM

He sure was in an... um... somewhat overly competitive environment.
 
To bring a tribute to his car to life we need a body. Here are some possibilities I have based on this previously shown photo:
 
scan0234.jpg
 
Here is a vintage butyrate plastic Dynamic Mirage:
 
Ursaner%20Sports%20Car%201.jpg
 
Vintage butyrate plastic Dynamic McLaren Mk 3:
 
Ursaner%20Sports%20Car%202.jpg
 
TrueScale Lexan reproduction Dynamic McLaren Mk 6:
 
Ursaner%20Sports%20Car%203.jpg
 
TrueScale Lexan reproduction Dynamic Lola T70:
 
Ursaner%20Sports%20Car%204.jpg
 

I forgot to add another possibility so here's the TrueScale Lexan reproduction of the Dynamic Handling Body Lotus 40:

 

Ursaner%20Sports%20Car%2020.jpg

 

This is the later version of the Lola T70 that Dynamic introduced a month or so after the Arco Nats. The main difference from the rare first generation version is a slightly longer nose.
 
need%20input2.jpg
 
Sorry to keep bugging you, Howie. :D


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#39 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 08:36 PM

Pretty sure we are talking Dynamic Handling Lola T70 in red.
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#40 tonyp

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 08:13 AM

Sure it wasn't one of those lightweight Russkit Lolas with the separate engine compartments you could mount anywhere you wanted on the rear deck, especially over the rear gear so the gear did not hit the body?


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#41 tonyp

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 08:17 AM

What I find pretty amazing was the turn-out of all the important people in a time when there was no magazines or Internet to really promote a race like this. And how people from around the country could be competitive with no pictures for the most part of what the hot tip was the pros were building.


"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

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Noose Painted Bodies
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
Car Model Magazine Series Amateur Champion
2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
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#42 slotcarone

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 08:51 AM

Tony, I used to get a lot of race announcements in the mail back then. I still have many of them too!! Have the Arco rules, too.


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#43 dc-65x

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 10:03 AM

Sure it wasn't one of those lightweight Russkit Lolas with the separate engine compartments you could mount anywhere you wanted on the rear deck, especially over the rear gear so the gear did not hit the body?

 

I saw a couple of them in the picture but I didn't mention it. They are virtually impossible to find...  :unknw:


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#44 dc-65x

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 02:55 PM

While we wait for the body info (so I can have a wheelbase and guide lead to work with) I thought I'd share Mike Morrissey's how-to article on building his take on Howie's chassis. Also shown are some good shots of Howie's original chassis. You can click on the pictures and enlarge them:

 

MCJ V1N3 p1.jpg

 

MCJ V1N3 p4.jpg

 

MCJ V1N3 p5.jpg

 

MCJ V1N4 p4.jpg MCJ V1N4 p5.jpg


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#45 SlotStox#53

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 03:55 PM

Great article! Reminds me I'm going to have to speak to Steve and get his set of DVDs .

Have you sorted out the motor/parts yet, Rick?



#46 dc-65x

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 06:44 PM

Hi Paul,

 

I use my CD's all the time. The scans are huge so you can really zoom up on the details and the indexing makes finding things a breeze.

 

I'm still working out the components for the motor. I just PM'd Howie with some parts pictures for him to look over with Sandy.


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#47 dc-65x

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 08:48 PM

The front and rear tires have been glued on the rims and ground to size:

 

Ursaner%20Sports%20Car%208.jpg

 

With the rear wheels finalized I could set up the rear bracket for a 3" track width. The Russkit bracket was reamed to 3/16" for the Dynamic bearings, 7/32" brass tubes will be slipped over them...

 

Ursaner%20Sports%20Car%207.jpg

 

... a U-brace will be added and everything soldered up.


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#48 Dennis David

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 09:37 PM

It never ceases to amaze me where you guys get these parts. 


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#49 Hworth08

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 08:19 AM

Is there a good source for TrueScale bodies now? A couple of shops I checked showed most of them as being out of stock.


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#50 dc-65x

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:27 AM

It never ceases to amaze me where you guys get these parts. 

 

The wheels were tough but there is good news for anyone wanting to build the chassis. Besides the usual K&S materials, Champion has the 3/16 X 1/8 bearings and Electric Dreams has loose Russkit brackets (overpriced but at least available).

 

Is there a good source for TrueScale bodies now? A couple of shops I checked showed most of them as being out of stock.

 

According to Victor's (TrueScale Bodies) website he's taking a break from body production. He has done this many times over the years. Victor is a true artist and if he will resume production, we don't know. With Victor, I buy them when they are available!

 

His bodies are the best and his prices always reasonable. Over the years, I've stocked up on my favorites six or eight bodies per order (along with an assortment of interiors).

 

A top shelf in my hall closet is my TrueScale stash. Most of mine are of the vintage variety not the Retro racers. At least half of the boxes have two or three bodies in them:

 

TrueScale%20Body%20Stash%20002.jpg


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