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Cobra from the Bronx


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#1 Maximo

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 09:17 PM

Way back when... 

When I was just a young boy fascinated with these great new electric slot cars, I desired many new items that I couldn't afford but also was always looking for something "new" that everyone around didn't already have. That would be worth the effort and potential sacrifice!
 
Then I saw an advert in one of the great slot car magazines of that mid-'60s era and what I saw was "Cobra" and they were from the Bronx! That sold racer items chassis, wheels and tire sets, and more including rewound Mabuchi 16D and 26D motors!
 
Fast forward to now...

Recently, I bought a lot of various vintage rewound armatures and there were some that I believed to be "Cobra" including several armature tubes that had Cobra decals and boosted "Dynamic Balancing." I remember that these Cobra armatures were different in the way that the weight was shaved instead of drilling from the blanks!
 
What I want in help here is to determine if anyone can identify these particular armatures as Cobra or not and if not then who made these?
 
-Maximo

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#2 NY Nick

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:38 AM

I don't know if they are real or not, but growing up is great.

Are you going to run them?
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#3 Maximo

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:04 AM

Absolutely!
 
I am slowing cleaning them up and intend to build them into complete motors!
 
-maximo
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#4 Cheater

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:17 AM

Hwoie still has the tattered contract copy showing Cobra was paying him $50,000 a year to race slot cars under their banner in the mid-'60s. He brought it to one of the first R4 Retro races, so I've seen it with my own eyes.
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#5 don.siegel

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:28 PM

Max, 

 

As far as I know, Champion was the only manufacturer to use that slash type balancing method... almost all the others used drill holes, except Dyna, with their very particular cylindrical holes... 

 

I do have a Cobra or two somewhere, so can verify that, as soon as i remember which box or car or drawer they're in... 

 

I read all those same ads too, but somehow I was more impressed by SoCal or Chamblee than by the Bronx (the old Chicago-NY rivalry...), 

 

Don 

 

PS: the two arms shown in closeup don't look very Champion like however.. 



#6 Maximo

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 04:05 PM

Thanks Don. Let me if you find anything!

 

 

-maximo


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#7 Bill from NH

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 04:49 PM

Other than Champion, Camen is the only company I've seen grind balance  arms. But they did it only 15 years ago on a X-12 arm. When I saw Max's arms, I didn't notice any looking like Champions either. I wondered if they were somebody else's arms, maybe balanced by Champion. Champion once sold cloth mail-in bags for balance work. I had thought all Cobra arms were manufactured by Mura, but maybe not the early ones?


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#8 don.siegel

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 04:57 PM

Just found my early Cobra rewind, based on a Russkit 23 with silver wire, and it's got large drill balance holes. 

 

Good point Bill, about Champion's balancing service - they must have done a lot. And for a home rewinder, slash or Dremel grinder holes were easier than drill holes (don't ask me how I know). 

 

Don 

 

Another one, but you can't see the balancing marks...

 

Cobra16D.jpg

 


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#9 Maximo

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 06:05 PM

Don,

 

I appreciate your participation in any thingie discussion! 

 

Here is a different armature also from that same lot and it seems to follow your information. Does it look like a Cobra?

 

Also I post a photo of one of several Cobra Armature tubes. Something had to be Cobra, but maybe I should post the original lot photo from the eBay auction!

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#10 old & gray

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 06:48 PM


Here is a different armature also from that same lot and it seems to follow your information. Does it look like a Cobra?

 

 

 


 

Here is a different armature also from that same lot and it seems to follow your information. Does it look like a Cobra?

 

!

 

I had a couple of Cobra armatures in the late 1960s. The com, balance holes, and stack look like what I remember.


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#11 Half Fast

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:35 PM

Hwoie still has the tattered contract copy showing Cobra was paying him $50,000 a year to race slot cars under their banner in the mid-'60s. He brought it to one of the first R4 Retro races, so I've seen it with my own eyes.

 

That's the equivalent of $392,000 :shok:  :)  :victory:  today as per the inflation calculator (from 1965 to 2017)

 

Wow.


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#12 Bill from NH

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:38 PM

The off-centered in the stack, flat bottom holes was something Mura did for awhile. I think they used an endmill rather than a drill bit. I believe I have a balanced arm or two like that around here someplace.


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#13 Maximo

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:01 PM

Gentlemen,

 

Thank you all for your information!

 

So the consensus is the following armature(s) are unidentified so far! This is the same arm just rotated views. There are four like this one with the shaved filing of the stack.

 

 

-maximO

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#14 havlicek

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 06:28 AM

The off-centered in the stack, flat bottom holes was something Mura did for awhile. I think they used an endmill rather than a drill bit. I believe I have a balanced arm or two like that around here someplace.

 

Those wide-shallow holes-with-a-pilot are something I never figured-out, although I tried.  Some said they were produced with a "spot weld drill bit" or just a "spot drill", but the ones I found looked a little different.  Doing such a wide and shallow hole would be a good way to remove a lot of rotating mass where it counts the most (from the surface of the arm stack as far away from the shaft as possible)I almost think that Mura may have had bits ground to their spec specifically for the purpose, as crazy as that may seem. 

Anyway, the arms are pretty generic-looking, and without some sort of identifying detail, they could be from any number of vendors.  Anyway, many (most, all!?) sold stuff made/balanced by others and just stuck their name on it...so if they're from the period and look OK, then they probably ARE OK!  :D


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#15 Bill from NH

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:11 AM

I've never fully understood the reasoning for the off-centered Mura holes. I doubt their balancing equipment was sophisticated enough to determine where on a pole the unbalance was occurring. More likely, they thought drilling on a pole's outer edges would  weaken the laminations less. Sometimes these holes overlapped one another. The clever Japanese might have used special tooling.


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#16 MSwiss

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:19 AM

My guess, on that arm, the heavy spot was in the "well", where the wire was.

You can't drill in the wire, so they drilled as close as they could.

The design of the blank would determine if it was a good idea, structurally-wise.
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