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#1 don.siegel

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 04:25 PM

Hi guys, 

 

After a little horse trading at the last Bordo meeting, I wound up with this: 

 

American%20Line%20chassis_zpsnmwrqhx3.jp

 

Don't think I've ever seen one in the package. If I understood correctly, American Line was the ancestor of BZ... 

 

Don 


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#2 Cheater

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 07:11 PM

Didn't REHCo also use the brand American Line later?


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#3 tonyp

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 08:00 PM

Yes.


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#4 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 09:24 PM

Is any info on the back of the header? Looks like an all aluminum frame.


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#5 Mattb

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 09:51 PM

This wasn't some leftover stuff REH bought and re-packaged?


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#6 TSR

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 10:15 PM

Don, they were not that rare a few years back, I think that we have about a half dozen of these at the LASCM, new in their bags. Out of the bag, they also show up time to time on e-Pay. 

amline_chassis.jpg

This chassis' tooling belonged to a machine shop that marketed it to both Classic and and BZ. But a dispute arose (because of John Power leaving Classic to go design the Banshee car for BZ), hence these chassis became unavailable, and later BZ cars had a new chassis made by another company, these are the gold painted ones with drop arms with large holes in them. The earliest type was marketed by Classic in a similar baggie before they issued their first Manta Ray with the same chassis now engraved in block letters. The one illustrated below is the earliest version with no braces across the body mounts sides. 

vault-2008-10-15 181.JPG

American Line is truly BZ before "Sonny" Zimmerman came in as a business partner after Vernon Beck produced the first car, a Ford GT offered only in RTR form. It used a Lancer body, Riggen wheels and tires and a Russkit "33" motor with Weldun gears. The company's name was changed to "BZ" after that as it also had more marketing "punch" and offered better packaging graphics. 

Some really scarce versions of the American Line Ford GT as well as the first Banshee RTR have rear tires that say in white letters, "BZ INDUSTRIES". 

 

amline_ford_1.jpg

 

I am now in touch with "Sonny" Zimmerman's son, who is providing some additional information regarding details he can remember about the company. 
 


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#7 don.siegel

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 04:30 AM

Thanks for the info, Philippe. Oh well, another "hyper rare" item bites the dust! 
 
Hey, Larry, I forgot to look on the back of the label! 
 
Don

#8 TSR

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:11 PM

Don,

just for you, here is an American Line Ford GT (in its box) next to a chassis from another Ford. Note the writing on the rear tires of both.

As far as I know, this is the only American Line slot car produced, available in white or red with wide stripes made with adhesive tape. Please note the absence of "knock-off" three-prong nuts, that will be soon present on the BZ versions of these Ford GT

american_line_ford.jpg

These cars are now really tough to find boxed, but I have seen quite a few "loose" and used, generally with cracks all over their bodies and the "wite sidewall" tires long gone. 

Here is a BZ Ford GT with the later chassis for comparison:

bz_ford.jpg
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#9 don.siegel

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 04:27 AM

Thanks, Philippe, but I'm confused: the American Line car already had BZ tires? 

 

Yep, pretty sure that was the only American Line car... I believe it was in the R&C RTR comparison article in January '66, but at the office so can't check immediately - and that's why I already knew about this car, when it must not have been very widely distributed at the time! 

 

Don 

 

PS: Still very disappointed that chassis is not going to make me a millionaire. Oh well, easy come, easy go. 



#10 Mattb

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 07:59 AM

All my years I have never seen those early white letter tires.    Years ago, I would meet up with Dallas Boothe a couple times a year.  He mentioned one time he had a bunch of BZ white letter tires that were new car take offs.   Guys that bought BZ cars to race on his track changed to a different foam tire immediately.   Dallas kept all those old tires in a bag.    I bought them all from him for $4-$5 a pair.    I wonder where they all went, I think I had 8-10 pair, all fresh.


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#11 JohnnySlotcar

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:00 AM

Hope you didnt buy any "rare" Champion motors with those! LOL


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#12 TSR

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 12:33 PM

"Thanks, Philippe, but I'm confused: the American Line car already had BZ tires? "

As often in this hobby, parts crossover took place. In this case, while the two partners had formed a new corporation and soon would rename the product line, the production continued. So there are American Line Ford GT and later Banshee cars with these tires, because that's what was in the parts box when needed... 



#13 Mattb

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:08 PM

Philippe I always thought Buzco became BZ. How is Buzco connected with this triangle, or is it a whole different company?


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#14 don.siegel

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:49 PM

Whole different company I believe Matt. 

 

Philippe, I know about the parts crossover, it was the time line that seemed weird, because I thought that American Line was before Z was ever involved... anyway, just looked at the Jan '66 R&C article and you can see writing on the wheels of the American Line car, although not clear enough to see what they say. 

 

Don 

 

PS: here's the photo, not sure if you can see anything! 

 

RTRphotos1-1.jpg



#15 TSR

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 10:15 PM

Don, the tires show the same lettering. The American Line Fords were in production when Zimmerman joined, and likely it took a little while for the name to change, which likely explains why the BZ Industries lettering began showing up on the later production. We are talking weeks here, not months!  :)

 

Matt, BuzCo is Buzz Cohen, set in the San Fernando Valley above Los Angeles. Cohen became a business partner with Dynamic's "Hi" Johnson in 1970 when things were unraveling. Cohen then became the importer for Heller plastic model kits, while Johnson unsuccessfully plunged into the R/C business.

BZ is "Becks & Zimmerman," a completely different outfit, and that effectively ended as so many others  in 1968.

 



#16 Mattb

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:34 PM

Learn something new! I have always thought BuzCo was BZ in the early days. I'll sure be glad when you get this second book to the printer to help clear up the history of a lot of our hobby. I hope that there are some kind of provisions to at least get the text out there if the pictures never get done.

 

An interesting aside. In the earlier discussion about the first series (I guess) of BZ cars and the white letter tires, I mentioned I had never seen anything other than the standard Banshee/LRW style of tires.  Guess what, the second BZ 2E I found has those other style of white letter tires. They are in poor shape, but they are the same as the above style of tires. I think from the condition of this car, it is original and not modified.


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