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Pro chassis ID challenge


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#1 Martin

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:25 PM

These are signed, at least the one without the motor is and the chassis with motor, has part of a signature. 

 

Any guesses on who the builder was?

 

P1150290.JPG

 

P1150286.JPG


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#2 slotcarone

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:56 PM

I am guessing Bob Emott!! :)


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#3 Martin

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:15 PM

Sorry, not Bob Emott.


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#4 Pablo

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:04 PM

Uh, Windmill?


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#5 Martin

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:14 PM

Oh, your too kind, but no sorry. This builder/racer is one of the best pros of the times. I was just a follower of fashion. 


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#6 MSwiss

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:38 PM

Wild guess, Mike Steube.

 

That drop arm on the bottom chassis is really something.

 

I don't remember seeing a "constructed" one like that before.


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#7 Pablo

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:49 PM

John "The Jet" Cukras. And I'll tell you why:

 

- he was never afraid to experiment with new designs.

- he didn't obsess with absolute visual perfection.

- put lots of careful thought into special details.

- first car looks like it has an early Mura can and John was a Mura guy in those days.

 

I'm just guessing.  :)


Paul Wolcott

#8 Martin

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 09:40 PM

Dam good guess, Paul. But no, they are Mike Steube's. Well done, Mike Swiss.

 

I am assuming the BE engraved is the remains of the STEUBE after someone cut the drop arm hole bigger. Or maybe it had no hole to begin with?

 

Love the '60s style bubble letters.

 

P1150293.JPG

 

P1150285.JPG


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Martin Windmill

#9 Martin

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:55 PM

I would really like to find out who raced these cars.

 

They came with a card that was carried in their race box. It had about 20 of the top pro drivers names and phone numbers. They were well-connected for sure who ever they were. I will find the card and post. With your help and a process of elimination, well maybe we can figure it out.

 

Let me know if you think this is worth doing?


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#10 Bill from NH

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:34 PM

Is it worth doing, that I don't know. But if you can find some tangible history for these two cars and maybe the others for who raced what, where, when, it will be interesting..


Bill Fernald
 

Some people burn rubber. I burn oil.  :roflmao: 


#11 Martin

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:12 AM

Thanks for your interest, Bill.

 

It's actually three cars. This signed Emott chassis was owned by the same mystery racer. So he had the very best equipment.

 

P1150289.JPG

 

P1150283.JPG

 


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#12 Bill from NH

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:09 AM

Somebody at BPR must know how to contact Mike Steube. Pehaps they would sent him the photos of the two Steube cars or provide you his contact information.

 

Of course, it's possible that Mike would have no recollection of them, but the bubble engraving might ring a bell. If you showed all three chassis to Bryan Warmack and John Cukras, there is an outside chance they might have seen them before. There may be other elders at BPR whose names escape me. It should be a fun trip. :)


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#13 Martin

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:14 AM

Good stuff, Bill. I have to find the contact card that was with these cars. I think I know where it is I will look tomorrow.

 

I like the history hunt. Yes, a fun trip.


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#14 tonyp

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:05 AM

Looking at the Emott chassis again, I am positive the drop arm was cut later on and not original. There appears to be corresponding marks on the cross brace that look like they may have been made with a file or Dremel while cutting it out.


"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 Martin

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:42 AM

You are correct, sir, I am not sure why I did not see those nicks before. They are so obvious now. So were there tracks that ran no glue or limited glue?(I agree with your theory on that).  

 

What was this situation regarding glue? At my local raceway I do not remember a specific rule but we applied it direct to the tires and would not be so bold as to apply it to the track (this was '68-70 in England).

 

I for one would love to here a bit of history of how that all went down. When was it first used and how did it effect chassis design, etc.?  

 

There was also a brief moment early in my discovery of slots where I was sold on silicones or maybe I should say they were sold to me by the raceway salesman, they worked fine when they were clean, but the treadled glue was coming like the primeval ooze it was. My old slot box is still sticky with it.


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#16 tonyp

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:47 AM

By the time of the Emott chassis gluing all the way around the turns was the status quo. Mostly with Champion MCD and later on with Stick-It. There were no limited, spray, or no glue racing. It was the start of the glue era which just got thicker and thicker.


"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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#17 tonyp

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:49 AM

The more glue, the stiffer and heavier the cars got. Tuning was done more with glue than the chassis itself.


"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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#18 Bill from NH

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 04:27 PM

Well, after the heavy glue period, I recall running on track(s) with glue zones, but I can't recall where or what track layouts. It might have been in Maine, it might have been at the Lowell "Y."

Essentially, glue zones limited where on a track glue could be placed down. Af course, any glue I ever had used to track. :laugh2:

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#19 tonyp

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:07 PM

Bob Emott and I changed the USRA East to glue zones from full glue. Not sure the year but it was after the Western States race PDL won which was the worst glue race I ever attended.

"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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#20 tonyp

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:08 PM

The San Francisco guys had their own glue and built cars with narrow rear tires so they could control the race with a glue bottle. LOL.
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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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#21 Martin

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:50 PM

The more glue, the stiffer and heavier the cars got. Tuning was done more with glue than the chassis itself.


I get the stiffer part because you have more traction but I was thinking the cars would be getting lighter. Was air downforce being developed in parallel with glue? I am intrigued by the pro slot car devolved from '67 to '72. What a wild ride that must have been at your level?

Love to see a date line on incremental developments; someone should write a book (please).
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#22 tonyp

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:10 PM

Air dams and glue kinda progressed together. The tracks had so much glue you needed a heavy car to plow through it. We would use a half to a full bottles of Stick-It to glue for a 40 minute main.

"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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#23 gc4895

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:33 PM

Racing in the slot-car backwater of St Louis in '68-69 I remember the breaks between lane changes were a mad race to glue your lane exactly the way you wanted it. Generally it was twoman teams to get all the lanes covered.

And yes, 1/16" clearance front and rear to start the race. The only air dams there during that period were kids running Cox Chaparrals with operating wings. It was glue, glue, and more glue.
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#24 Martin

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 12:09 AM

Glue in the pursuit of speed. I am actually surprised there was not any pushback from track owners and racers or was there?

If we could re-write history and glue had been banned from the start what would have changed? Would it have changed the competition negatively or would the fast guys still be fast? Would tire development progressed in a different way? Speeds would be down, I get that, but would they find another improvement and get those speed back in some way?     

What is the glue situation in Retro racing at this time?
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#25 Half Fast

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 12:47 AM

There isn't any glue allowed in Retro racing at all. Thankfully.
 
The track is spray glued before racing starts and that's it.
 
Cheers.

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#26 Martin

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 01:10 AM

Now that's progress. Retro progress just doesn't sound right but I like it.

Still not sure why it took so long to change. I guess we were all hooked on speed, "Just say no to glue" thanks, Nancy.
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#27 Samiam

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 03:30 AM

Most Wing racing today is spray glue.

 

What body would have been on this chassis in it's day?


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#28 tonyp

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 04:30 AM

Body would have probably been a Waters McLaren M8D. Air dams at a that point would be a simple wraparound spoiler that ran at an angle halfway to the front 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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#29 tonyp

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:59 AM

At the peak of full glue racing you needed a pit crew of the following:

One or two people to glue your lane.

A minimum of two people to clean the track braid of glue and the glue off the straightaways.

A person to change motors, as we were changing every heat.

A runner to grab the car off the track at the end of the heat and remove the body while running the car to the pits for a motor change. He would then repair body if needed, put on sticker, and put body back on while returning car to track.

We had just two minutes between heats back then. No way you could go racing by yourself like you can in Retro.

But that was the only type of racing we knew, so it was never though of as stupid, like it is now.


"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
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#30 DOCinCocoa

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 11:39 AM

Tony,

 

Your #29 post spells out why I got out of slot racing in summer of '73. I went to the races by myself or with one rider. Never part of a team that could complete your outline of things to do between heats.

 

I raced one motor the entire race and never glued a lane; simply ran the glue as it was left by the previous racer (the lane was run in for me). All I had to do was to change the lane sticker and clean the track braid.

 

The only race that I attended after '73 was the US Nationals in 1978 when I went with Ken MacDowell to run his new kit car.

 

As Tony said, we only knew the "glue thing" back then; does seem pretty dumb.


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#31 MSwiss

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 12:23 PM

"Essentially, glue zones limited where on a track glue could be placed down. Af course, any glue I ever had used to track. :laugh2:

 

Glue zones weren't created to limit where the glue went.

Just where it was placed.

There was never an expectation it wouldn't track.

Regardless, Camen Stick-it made glue zones viable.

It is different and works differently, than its predecessors, like Dart.


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#32 tonyp

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 02:31 PM

Glue zones eliminated gluing the deadman on a King 10 feet before the turn for brakes.


"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
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#33 slotcarone

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 11:03 PM

If I remember correctly when we first started using glue it was on the outside of the turn and when did it go the gluing the inside?


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#34 tonyp

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 07:41 AM

Started on the outside, then both sides. The Camen guys came to Nutley right before it closed and glued on the inside right on the lane color stripe. The glued for everyone that day in qualifying and all the records were broke.


"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
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First IM Nationals Champion
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#35 Mbloes

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:08 PM

If we could re-write history and glue had been banned from the start what would have changed? 

 

Probably the most important variable was tires, with a related close second being track quality. I think the glue thing was a response to the crappy Rubatex tires that everybody used. If we knew about or had the natural rubber tires that we have today, there probably wouldn't have been the need for a big glue-fest.

 

Secondarily, (and this is only my opinion) I think that the "center spine" chassis design, was an innovation that provided an exponential improvement in handling over the classic two rail design - to the point that you really didn't need the air control either.

 

So, presuming you still want front wheels, a non-glue car that was still fast would probably look like a late '80s-early '90s Eurosport car.

 

es 1.jpg


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#36 Don Weaver

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:25 PM

Mike,

 

What the top side look like?

 

Don


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#37 gc4895

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:56 PM

Our glue in '68-69 was mainly "the racers edge" STP.


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#38 Martin

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 12:01 AM

Mike,

 

You are correct to point out the improvement in tire traction, and maybe glue was the quick fix? My belief is that if trackowners had banned glue the pro racer would have had to developed better tires instead. We did have natural rubber, that's not new, but if you do not want to reinvent the wheel (tire) just make the tracks sticky, that's a lot easier, and then you can spend your time working on other things like chassis and air control and HP.

 

I would like to know more about the spine. Does it help the tires stay in contact with the track via torsional flex?

 

I love seeing new (to me) approaches to chassis design.


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#39 tonyp

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 06:18 AM

At the time of big glue natural rubber tires were not around. All slot car rubber came from Rubatex and you just bought the ones you liked the cut on. They were all the same. Things like treating was not a concept yet, and not sure if it even worked on that type of rubber which was as I was once told a plastic more then rubber.

If glue was banned except for spray glue things would have still progressed but lap times would not be as fast.

But when we raced in that era, no one thought the glue was bad. Just the way it was.


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#40 Mbloes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 11:09 AM

Pic of the top:

 

es 2.jpg


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Mike Bloes

#41 Mbloes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 11:23 AM

I would like to know more about the spine. Does it help the tires stay in contact with the track via torsional flex? I love seeing new (to me) approaches to chassis design.

 
If you can visualize (better with my "bottom of the chassis" photo), grab the front wheels with your thumb and finger and do the same with the rear. Twist your hands in opposite directions and visualize the motor pod section twisting in relation to the front end. The idea is that the guide/ ront end will remain level while allowing the rear end to dig in and "bite" as needed.
 
While all the cars now are laser/EDM cut, you can see that this car wouldn't be difficult to replicate in '70s brass and wire. In fact, I believe the first cars with this center pivot feature were brass and wire 1/32 saloon type cars, developed in the early '80s in Europe - England in particular.
 
The rails on contemporary cars can get quite complex and be very flexy, like on this late-model 1/32 Eurosport. Unfortunately, they've also gone the "no front wheel" route.
 
1-32.jpg


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#42 Mbloes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 12:02 PM

I was looking for some brass and wire chassis pics. HERE they are.
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#43 MSwiss

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 12:05 PM

You're mixing too many genres of cars and eras.

You're saying guys should have glued less, or not at all, in the '70s, for rubber that wasn't available until the early '90s.

The center spine was a chassis innovation that was invented for low downforce bodies on twisty flat tracks.

You would have never seen a chassis that heavy, under a G7 wing car, with full air control.

There was a spray glue series in this area in the early '90s, with about 8-10 raceways participating.

The G7 end of it was the least popular. Not just because of the cost of the motor.

It was the worst racing because guys couldn't stay on in the tight turns.

Too many controllers getting crazy hot, from driving partial speed, too much.

Too many angry trackowners, from cars dragging at the end of the heat, from the cars burning off their soft fish rubber.

Guys would reguarly drop out, mid-race, after going through the three or four pairs of usable tires in their box.

Mike Swiss
 
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#44 Mbloes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:30 PM

All I'm saying, Mike, is that a scenario that might have avoided the whole glue thing might look like:
  • Natural tires
  • Nice track surface
  • Front tires that still touch
  • And a chassis that developed down the Eurosport road instead of the perimeter wing car road.
And we raced center-spine cars on King tracks. That car (above) is an early Slick 7 and was developed on Rudy Garriga's personal King track. I mean, if a King track was on our race schedule, we raced on it.
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#45 MSwiss

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:47 PM

I'll try again.

Glue started in the late 60's.

Smoooth tracks were not common until about 1983.

When I got back into racing, in late 81, there was 1 Haase King in the country, at P.A. Watson's.

Fish rubber didn't hit the scene until the early 90's, possibly real late 80's.

What would of guys done between 1969 and 1990?

Spin their tires?

Spray glue, in G7, is only a viable thing now, because of real smooth, fast tracks, and better and heavier spray techniques.

No fast 1/24 racing, be it Group F wing cars, with $14 motors, or Eurosport, is going on, on glueless tracks.

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#46 Mbloes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 02:17 PM

I understand the timeline.  I've actually been involved for a while, too.

 

It was just a little, post-cocktail, what-if hypothesizing in response to Martin's question.


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#47 MSwiss

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 02:22 PM

I like what if scenario's too, but yours was like "they could of avoided the whole missed lap thing" in 1969, if they had a DOS system computer and an SRT program.

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
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#48 Mbloes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 03:28 PM

Not really, Mike.

 

Everything that I mentioned was well within the technology of the time.

 

  • Natural rubber probably existed; it just wasn't applied to slot car tires.
  • Smoother tracks certainly could have been made with a little more effort.
  • Even though my photo is of an EDM chassis, I was really just emphasizing the concept of a center spine.  A chassis with this feature easily could have been made using existing brass & wire, had somebody thought of the concept.

 

That's all I was trying to say.


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#49 MSwiss

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 03:56 PM

I guess the 1 million+ production of cars like the Manta Ray, didn't justify the slot car producers to get off of their butt and figure out where the heck fish rubber was, and how to purchase it.

Maybe if they were producing 10 million Manta Ray's and 10 times as many of the other RTR cars, we would of seen it. Lol

As far as smooth tracks, that the "not try very hard" carpenters, of the 60's, weren't making, part of their excuse was not having MDF.

From the MDF Wikipedia page

"Large-scale production of MDF began in the 1980s, in both North America and Europe."

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
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17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
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Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#50 Mbloes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:17 PM

Mike, I don't know what to say, I think you're reading into it too much.

 

But as far as the early producers and tires, sometimes it's just a matter of a lightbulb going off, like mounting from the can instead of the endbell, or soldering in the motor.  Maybe making swirly silicones on chrome-plated plastic rims was more of a priority than traction - who knows.  Regardless, the notion of using fresh rubber in 1968 I don't think is that farfetched.

 

"More effort" was probably an unfortunate choice of words with respect to trackbuilders of the time.  I guess I was referring to something like removing the humps out of the straights.  I know that raceworthy tracks existed at the time.

 

 

I guess what I am saying, big-picture, is that the scene evolving in a different direction was a distinct possibility with a tweak to a few variables, had we thought of them.  Mine may be the ones or there may be others, I was just throwing some ideas out.

 

 

On the other hand, the notion that the scene evolved the way it did because absolutely no other scenario was possible, is ridicuous.


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