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My pro car restoration


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#1 Martin

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:24 PM

It's been a while but I finally gave up on trying to find a replacement body for my 1968-69 race car. I raced this anglewinder car primarily at Hounslow raceway in the UK 48-49  years ago.

So over the years I have purchased every Mclaren M8a/M8b from all major players. I have yet to find a match for this body. Please notice it has the roll bar molded in and other details that make it unique and hard to find.

So I decided to put this beat up original race body back together. I must have cut the rear end off back in the day after a few hits and it getting sucked up into the rear tires.  

I glued the three broken parts that were in my slot box and then patched the missing areas with epoxy and then shaped them to fit. I will drag the chassis out with its back up body (a Ferrari 312 PB) which was in better shape as it always made the car tail happy, so it did not get used much. Whereas the M8 always worked great.

 

Please let me know if anyone has seen another body like this.Or knows which manufacture made this. By the way it is Butyrate, not Lexan  

 

Thanks, guys.

 

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Martin Windmill




#2 SlotStox#53

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:13 PM

Nice McLaren! Being a UK car could the body be a "Wonder body" from Wonderland raceway in Southend? Or perhaps by Gordon Tapsel (GT bodies) ?

#3 Martin

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:49 AM

Thanks Paul, for the response. I was not aware Wonderland (great track by the way) made there own bodies. GT was a contender and have seen a photo of a similar 1/32 M8a.  Mine is a 1.24 scale.

As I remember most of the products being offered were from the U.S. and we were very influenced by U.S. trends, at least at the commercial tracks that I raced at.

I do have Mclarens made by Lancer, Dynamic,Champion and Kirby and its not any of those. Was GT and Betta one of the same?


Martin Windmill

#4 rodslot53

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:20 AM

Possibly a Champion body from the day, Martin. The men to speak to are John Dilworth whose range of repops is amazing, or John Seechi who both race retro at North London. Are you on Facebook, as there is a page, Retro Racing, on which all facets of retro racing are discussed, and both Johns post on the site regularly. You will get an answer quite quickly I would think. Be great to see the chassis and motor that went under the body.

GT Bodies was run by Gordon Tapsell, and he employed Trevor Crout to turn out the moulds. Trevor is still involved in producing bodies and racing. Betta was run by Charlie Fitzpatrick who, I think, has retired, and his son Ian has taken over the reins.


Rod Morrison

#5 Martin

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:12 PM

Thanks Rod for the suggestions. I do have most if not all Champion candidates, but no match. I did look at Betta's currant body list and I am not sure how GT and Betta are connected or are they one of the same?  Would love to make contact with Trevor and ask if this is his work. I will look Retro racing up on Facebook. Thanks again.

The chassis is forth cumming, it is deep storage but I am looking forward to showing it.


Martin Windmill

#6 don.siegel

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:23 AM

Yep, John Dilworth is your man. His handle on the forums was Howmet TX, but unfortunately he doesn't visit the forums anymore. He does nice work and is a fan of the same era as your car - you should find him through FB. 

 

Don 



#7 Martin

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:58 AM

Thanks Don, I sent a friend request to John Dilworth. This is the chassis that was inspired by the trends in the U.S. with a couple of notable tweaks. Notice the one piece axle cross brace front and rear and the motor mount quick change locating hinge mount,of my own design. This was to make motor swaps faster and easier, assuming you had another motor pre-fit with matching hinge. This chassis was built on squared paper and with a Weller pistol type soldering iron. Mura NCC 20 was the best bang for the buck (pound) back then and it won many races. Many years ago I did add body mounting pin tubes as back in the day I just used tape to secure body, and that is why the M8a has no pin holes.

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#8 Martin

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 02:20 PM

I could not resist to put the original driver/ interior (I will call union Jack) back in his M8a after 49 years. I notice my attempt to mess with the rules. They said you have to have 3 numbers, O.K. 425 that's 3. Such a repel at age 15.

By the way all my raced cars where brush painted with Humbrol's metallic blue. Lay it on fast and wet to minimize brush strokes.

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#9 don.siegel

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 03:46 PM

Nice workmanship Martin, and that's a very clever motor change device! 

 

Don 



#10 John Secchi

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 07:40 PM

Doesn't look anything like any of the M8B's that i have, the side intakes look different to any McLaren i have seen, so can't help!

Mr Dilworth has done a lot of repulls so its possible he could have done this one as well.

As far as i know there were no links between GT Models and Betta, pretty sure it's not a Betta body.

Good luck

[oneofwos]



#11 Martin

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:37 PM

Thanks Don for the complement it actually feels like it was made by a young English lad a lifetime ago hungry to learn all he could about how the dynamics of slot cars work.

John, I believe my body is of a M8b as you said with the high wing, although there is more than a bit of confusion reguarding M8a and M8b's.It may help my search to gather all the Mclaren bodies I have of known manufactures that are not a match and post a pic for all if anybody is interested?. My priorities have shifted a little, originally while looking at my broken beaten M8b body I was looking for a replacement so I could park the original body. Once I spent some time gluing it back together fixing the numbers and cleaning 50 old clue off the body and replacing parts that were missing it became apparent it was worth saving. I would still like to find a replacement as this body could never be driven without the potential of it shattering like glass.  

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#12 SlotStox#53

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 10:27 AM

Sweet original chassis and bodies :D

Love the quick change motor hinge systems employed on many UK cars back in the day.

That is a really simple & neat one, others are a complete bar that hinges over the motor. Other designs had the whole rear end clip in and out! Some using the Ferret rear end with piano wire a tight fit inside tubing.

From what I've heard Trevor also did some of the molds for the Wonder Bodies at Wonderland. They did a great 1/32 105e Anglia called the "Wanglia" after a 1:1 racing Anglia widened by several inches hence "Wanglia"

Hope you can find who's McLaren this is!

#13 John Secchi

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 11:52 AM

 Will take a look at some period adverts in Model Cars and see if any M8B's were available, possible it might be a Titan body [Nordics] but will have to check.

[oneofwos]



#14 MSwiss

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 12:53 PM

A few guys, years ago, in the U.S. tried hinge systems for the back of the motor, and quickly scrapped them as they didn't take in account the wear of the spur gear, along with really not holding the back of the motor solid, like a good solder joint does.

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#15 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 03:06 PM

Fine looking chassis. A Weller pistol you say? It sure worked better than mine or you used it better. I could just get enough heat to put wires on motors until I got my first Ungar. 


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#16 rodslot53

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:54 PM

Lovely chassis Martin, tidy construction. There is no connection between G.T. Models and Betta, other than they made slot car bodies. If John Dilworth cannot identify the body, no hope for the rest of us. Possibly Philippe de Lespinay might know.


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#17 Bill from NH

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:21 PM

Martin, what can you tell us about this chassis? What sort of track layout was it built to run on? It appears to mostly use .047 piano wire, so my conclusion is this chassis isn't real stiff, but has plenty of flex. Any idea what wind arm is in that Mura B-can? Anyone needing 1 1/4" drop arms should look at how you constructed yours from sheet stock.


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You have to be odd to be #1. :laugh2: 


#18 Martin

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:21 PM

Thanks guys for all the help and complements.

Eddie all I can think of is my Weller gun was 220v or is it 240v ?so that may be part of it and I had plenty of time and patience to let the heat soak in. I have an Ungar now for sure.

Mike, I ran this set up in dozen of races with no problems. I would think the best solution would be putting new gears on when they wear. But hey they have lasted 50 years.

Rod, waiting to hear back from John. I bet Phillippe dose not know who made this body.(bait) he cant know everything.(more bait)

John, thanks for suggestion to look in the mags. I remember Model Car had new bodies pictured every month. My favorite brand was always Lancer{and still is) I will look myself also.


Martin Windmill

#19 Martin

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:08 PM

I have been looking through Model Cars incorporating Miniature auto hobby magazines and I did find a pic of a new product from GT models, a 1/32 scale Mclaren M8a in the December 1968. It has a roll bar that is molded in and looks similar to mine if not the same. In the February 1969 issue Gt models is advertising a 1/24 handling body listed as a 1968 M8a. I will look deeper to find a pic, but I think this is it. So an hour or so of searching I found that the February 1969 Model cars mag shows the new 1/24 GT models M8a Mclaren. I also found an add for the new Hounslow raceway and a feature in the August 1968 Model cars. Although I started at Hammersmith raceway first with a Kit car (a Revel  Ferrari 250) it was bad, and immediately graduated to a Dynamic P4 kit (the one in the clear plastic box) it was a lot better, but soon realized if you want to be competitive you have to build your own chassis. 

 So in my search through the time line my car was more likely to be built some time in 1969.  What would nail it down would be if any one knew when the Mura NCC20 came out. Did not find mention of that at all. I have Dyna rewinds and black can Champions in other cars I built and raced at the same time and I do remember the green can Mura was cheap HP. Price was important for a 15 year old and I am sure I spent every penny I earned on slot cars.

I believe the NCC rules where an American set of rules and a class aimed at keeping cost down? That did not happen at the tracks I went to. it was pretty much open. Only the body style set the class Sports /GT F1/indy or Saloon/stock.Things were simpler back then.

 

This pic looks close, but after looking at it for a while, please give me a second opinion. Take close look at the top edge at the rear of the body.Even though mine is cut short it would show some of that detail. Also the scoops on top look a Little further forward of the roll bar than mine and I cannot make out if it has side scoops in front of the rear wheel. The flat area in the very front between the fenders looks a little shorter on mine????

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#20 SlotStox#53

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 12:14 AM

Sure looks like the GT Models body with the molded in roll bar & stacks, at least you may of narrowed it down!

Would love to see the rest of your cars and motors.

#21 Martin

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 12:39 AM

Paul thanks for your interest, I know its close and I would love to find one. But mine is full width not narrowed. The high lights over the rear wheels look different to me. Mine round down, GTs have an extra fold up and then down giving it that double reflection. Not a big deal,

Anybody know when NCC20 was first introduced?

yes I will beak out some more cars out soon and take pics. 

The Mini sprint has been restored and is looking presentable. It used to line up next to full size stock cars and beat them every time. David and Goliath stuff.


Martin Windmill

#22 Martin

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 01:17 PM

Sorry Bill I missed your questions and comment, I did some measuring and it is .50"(I triple checked that) wire and has a 3 and 7/8" WB .9 guide lead. Its rear track is 3.2" The motor is tagged NCC20.The was Hounslow Racway a 160' similar to a King. I will post pic of the article and there add in Model cars mag soon.


Martin Windmill

#23 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 01:37 PM

Sorry Bill I missed your questions and comment, I did some measuring and it is .50"(I triple checked that) wire and has a 4 7/8" WB .9 guide lead. Its rear track is 3.2" The motor is tagged NCC20.The was Hounslow Racway a 160' similar to a King. I will post pic of the article and there add in Model cars mag soon.

4 7/8 WB. Are you measuring from rear axle center to front axle center or to the guide flag. It looks shorter than that axle to axle. Then photos can be deceiving.


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#24 Bill from NH

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 02:22 PM

Thanks Martin for the chassis info. I believe the NCC 20 was introduced in 1969. I raced in my first NCC 20 race in 1970 at Modelville Hobby, then in Framingham, MA, on their American Orange.. I lived in the Ashland, MA neighborhood where Modelville Hobby now is located.


Bill Fernald

 

You have to be odd to be #1. :laugh2: 


#25 Martin

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:45 PM

My bad, that is 3, 7/8" axle to axle. Sorry about that Eddie/ Bill, it was early.

Mid 1969 is correct I bet for NCC 20 Mura motors.  They were advertised in Model cars mag in November and there was the lead time for magazines.


Martin Windmill





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