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Vintage 1960s unique Maserati 5000GT on eBay


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#1 Dallas Racer

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:36 PM

Never seen one of these before. It seems like a poor design to me, but what appears to be fiberglass main rails are interesting.
 
Vintage 1960's Unique Maserati 5000GT 1/24 Slot Car w/ RussKit Motor & Box

m3.jpg

m4.jpg

m2.jpg
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#2 TSR

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:12 PM

Phil,

The Unique "semi RTR" series of cars never came painted, so someone did the job here. They came assembled with a clear body made by Stormer by Shark (Ron "von" Klein). There was this Maserati patterned after the 1962 "Tipo 152" V8 that ran at Le Mans and led until sidelined, a Ford GT, a Cheetah, and a Lotus 30.

As for most "American" slot cars of the 1960s, the chassis were produced in Japan, this one by "Orient Mfg. Ltd." under the Speedway Miniatures brand (see pics below) and offered by Unique separately in the same rather strong cardboard boxes, wrapped in blue or purple colored paper.

They were all powered by a Russkit "22" motor and their performance on track is not as bad as their design would indicate, but not that great either.

As far as monetary value, they are a bit at the bottom of the barrel.

speedway_miniature.jpg

speedway_miniature_1.jpg
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#3 Dallas Racer

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 03:33 PM

You should post more often, Philippe. I think we all miss your unbelievable knowledge of all things vintage slots. :good:

 

That looks like phenolic material in your pics. Is that right?


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#4 don.siegel

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 04:24 PM

How could you not have heard of these? Front page news in 1965! 

 

Unique%20Lotus%2030%20MCT%20cover0565_zp

 

I think it's a kind of printed circuit board material on the usual chassis, clad in copper for easier soldering. But looks like Philippe has one that's all aluminum - and I never knew these were made in Japan! 

 

Don 


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#5 Dallas Racer

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 06:06 PM

How could you not have heard of these? Front page news in 1965!

 
Honestly I don't know much about vintage slots. My participation in the '60s was in months, not years, and I was young. Ten years old in 1965. Only in the last year has my interest grown and I now have some eBay searches I follow daily.
 
I've been missing out! Some very cool stuff and I occasionally buy something.
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#6 don.siegel

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:20 AM

It was just said tongue in cheek, DR... 
 
I was only 13 in 1965, but I remember that that cover really impressed me - plus the magazine itself was sent in a clear plastic wrap, so it was doubly impressive, especially on a young mind. 
 
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#7 Mattb

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 08:16 AM

I learned  a lot from collecting all the '60s mags when I got interested in the old slot cars. Back then we had no internet and all the old paper was the only way to learn what was what. The Auto World catalogs are also a great resource and the '67 issues are worth their weight in gold.
 
mattb
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#8 don.siegel

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 08:37 AM

That was basically the only thing I saved from back in the '60s, Matt! Not even sure what happened to all my HO, 1/32, and 1/24 cars, but I kept the magazines and books in my parents basement, and brought them all back to Paris after I started collecting here in 1992. It must have been towards 1995 and I bought a big cheap trunk at Wolworth's to carry it all, girding myself to pay the extra charges in the airport. But when I got to the counter, the person said, "Oh, the plane's not too full, go ahead, no extra charge!"
 
Times have changed, eh? 
 
When I got back to Paris, that was one of the few times the customs department actually asked me to open my bags... and it passed! Not sure I even had to show them the original address tags on some of the magazines. 
 
It was only later that I learned that not everything printed in the magazines was 100% accurate, and timelines were often skewed, but they're still invaluable sources of information! 
 
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#9 TSR

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 07:30 PM

It is amazing to read some of the absolute BS stories that were published in the old slot car mags... all tied to advertising money.

Just like today in many automotive magazines, whoever pays for advertising gets the good write-ups, or which magazine is begging manufacturers for adverts gets its wheels greased after bullshitting the credulous readers in fantasy stories.

I remember when Road & Track, Car & Driver and Motor Trend told high praises of the then-new Porsche 924, built by VW-Audi for them, which was frankly a terrible car. Then, when the updated "S" model came to fix so many defects, suddenly the new model was fantastic and the old one "terrible."

Then the 944 came and it was declared the greatest thing since sliced bread, and all "924" were now described between the lines as pure garbage (which, they were!).

Then the 944S, and same scenario every time.

How do any of these mags retain credibility is amazing, but they did get better recently, actually telling it more like it is than what their advertisers would like to hear. :)

Regarding the Japanese chassis kits, the company made them both in plain aluminum and fiberboard. The idea was that the fiberboard, used for electronic instruments, was lighter and could be soldered to, which of course would be a benefit to slot car racers.

Whatever.
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#10 Cheater

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 07:34 PM

'Fake news' isn't a new invention, is it?

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#11 Mattb

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 08:34 PM

90% of the stuff in those '60s mags was made up, or not anything but an article written in some guy's study with no relation to slot car reality.

Thing is, for historical purposes, you can't find a better source of info about the '60s stuff. The ads and car features are our best reference, there really is no other except P's first book. Most of that info is correct, a few pix of cars different than the actual release or maybe never released at all, but most of it is correct. Then you have features on slot shops and tracks.  

For a 13-year old boy it was great to just page through them over and over. Back in the early '80s when I got into collecting, the old paper was the only source of info, along with phone calls to other collectors and sometimes even Electric Dreams. The guy that owned ED back then knew a little about old slots.
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#12 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 09:16 PM

When I was in college (early '50s) my fraternity brother and roommate was Belgian.He subscribed to a French language auto magazine that regularly disparaged other publications for their less-than-discerning endorsements, calling them "Les messieurs tout est bon"  Roughly translated (with apologies to PdL for my presumption): The "everything is good" guys.
 
EM


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#13 TSR

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 09:55 PM

:laugh2:
Yep, sounds right...



#14 Dallas Racer

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 10:00 PM

It was just said tongue in cheek, DR... 
 
I was only 13 in 1965, but I remember that that cover really impressed me - plus the magazine itself was sent in a clear plastic wrap, so it was doubly impressive, especially on a young mind. 
 
Don

 

When I was about 12, a kid at school that raced go karts gave me a kart catalog. I wore that thing out, along with J.C. Whitney catalogs. I loved that kind of stuff. I would have loved to have bought slot car mags in the '60s, but I don't remember ever seeing one. I didn't even know they existed. The only slot car mag I can recall ever seeing in person was a Scale Auto I bought from a track in, I believe, the early 2Ks.

 

I really enjoy when you guys post pages from the old slot mags and catalogs. :good:


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#15 don.siegel

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 04:16 AM

Thanks for the stories, guys, love the "tout est bon" comment EM! 

 

Yes, Philippe, we can clearly see now how the advertisers swayed the magazine writers, that kind of goes with the territory - and makes it all the more incredible that Rod & Custom actually published a comparison test in January '66 of all the new RTR models (they were more a real car magazine, but during the years of model cars, probably had more ads from the model car guys than the real car guys!).

 

Most of the others were puff pieces, but you could sort of read between the lines - or at least now we can! One of my favorites was when the Dynamic/GE motor came out, and all the writers went through many contortions to avoid saying it was a bad slot car motor... "great rewind candidate" - "blazing speed, just have to find the right chassis so it will go around corners," etc. 

 

Interesting to hear that, DR - I actually remember finding my first issue of Model Car Science in a small local grocery/everything store in the little town of Beverly Shores, IN, probably in 1963, maybe '64, where we vacationed for many years. The magazines were a lot more widely circulated for those couple years than they would ever be later! MCS actually had a circulation of 250,000 in the mid-'60s... 



#16 Dave Crevie

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 02:20 PM

I subscribed to MCS in 1964, '65 and '66, and still have them (they were actually gift subs from my west coast relatives).

I lived by them, but even at 16 years old I could separate the BS from the good articles. Come 1967 it had been replaced

by Hot Rod and Rod & Custom. Still have those too; I never throw anything away.


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