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#1 Bob Kurkowski

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 08:30 AM

Back in the 60's complete cars were sold in kit forms that required assembly like the item below.

Why has this marketing concept been abandoned ?

 

The concept of building your own car offers the purchaser not only a lower cost for the car but also a insight into the cars mechanicals plus it introduces the buyer to the maintenance that is required to keep their car in a working condition which can go a long way in keeping people coming back to the tracks. These type of kits also offer the satisfaction of accomplishment that the plastic 'modeler' gets and this may even help to attract some modelers to the hobby.

 

If pouring brass bits out of a bag and tacking them together is good for scratch building it would seem that offering complete kit car build would also benefit the hobby.

 

Bob K.

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#2 Pappy

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 08:43 AM

Bob,

 

A bathroom sink faucet comes with installation instructions but most people will still hire someone else to put it in because they don't want to know how to do anything because if they did know something someone else might ask them to do it for them.

 

Case in point. My wife was helping her daughter do some drywall repair. She said to her son-in-law, come here I'll show you how to do this. His reply was "I don't want to know how to do that". That's when I would have picked up my tools and left.


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Jim "Butch" Dunaway
 
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When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. It is difficult only for the others.
It's the same when you are stupid.

 


#3 Samiam

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 08:55 AM

Case in point. My wife was helping her daughter do some drywall repair. She said to her son-in-law, come here I'll show you how to do this. His reply was "I don't want to know how to do that". That's when I would have picked up my tools and left.

 

Pappy,

You caught a good one. Your wife's daughter....not so much.

 

Bob,

Not sure what's available now but Parma used to sell a car in kit form. The Sprint Plus car was also a kit. The miserable AMT car is a kit. 

 

All the so called "Ready to Run" cars I have seen aren't so "Ready". Most need to be tweaked and massaged in order to make them runable. Rather than "RTRs" I would just call them assembled.   


Sam Levitch
 
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#4 Bob Kurkowski

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:00 AM

Butch,

 

Have we degenerated to the point that helping a friend out is a burden ? Another place and time for that discussion.

 

 Your comment about your wife doing the job herself highlights why home building centers are mad houses on weekends because people are not afraid to do thing on their own and want to save money and have the satisfaction of accomplishment and potential slot racers are the same.

 

Bob K.


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#5 slotcarone

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:02 AM

Bob I guess you have never built a Retro chassis have you? If you think it is just pouring brass bits out of a bag and tacking them together I invite you to try it some day!! :)


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#6 Bob Kurkowski

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:04 AM

Sam,

 

I do not know so I will ask, Is a good detailed instruction sheet included with any current ready-to-run car ? Something along the lines of that Russkit blueprint complete with maintenance suggestions ? I wish I had a dime for every time I showed a new hobbyist how to preform something as simple as removing the body from their car.

 

Bob K.


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#7 Bob Kurkowski

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:11 AM

Mike,

 

You have made the same comment before and I showed you what I built so If you can't add any thing productive please don't comment. I'll can show you more if you want.

 

Bob K.



#8 NJ Racer

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:11 AM

Bob

 

This concept has not been abandoned. Many 1/32 scale companies including Slot.it, & NSR offer many of their rtr cars in kit form, including unpainted white body kits. 


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#9 Bob Kurkowski

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:21 AM

Ray,

 

Slot,It and NSR, never heard of them. LOL! Of course I have.

 

Do you know if the kits are popular ?

 

Bob K.



#10 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:36 AM

Bob I was with you up to the last line. You just could not resist taking a shot at scratch building kits. 

 

We got nothing to talk about.


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#11 Samiam

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:37 AM

Sam,

 

I do not know so I will ask, Is a good detailed instruction sheet included with any current ready-to-run car ? Something along the lines of that Russkit blueprint complete with maintenance suggestions ? I wish I had a dime for every time I showed a new hobbyist how to preform something as simple as removing the body from their car.

Bob,

 

  Since I haven't bought a RTR car in 45 years or so, I couldn't tell you what's included. But judging from the simple things I have to show newbies how to do.....NO, I don't think anything is included in the box. If I owned a raceway I would include a basic "How To" manual with every starter kit. I also wouldn't let a newb leave the sales counter without a proper allen tool, tire conditioner and oil. And a good shop rag for cleaning the tires.  


Sam Levitch
 
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#12 Roy Lievanos

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:52 AM

I like the concept, but I think it the modern age we live in that would keep new people from building kits. For a few dollars more they can buy a RTR car.
In our fast paced enviroment there are too many gadgets that have made us lazy.
Alexis, turn off the light (lamp 3 feet away) Alexis, turn on the TV etc.
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#13 elvis44102

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:57 AM

Building a car from scratch requires soldering skills for one..i learned when i was 11...i have seen some chassis shown online and while im glad everybody is encouraging I always look at the soldering and wonder


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#14 John Streisguth

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:58 AM

Man and son wander into a store that has cars whizzing around a track.  They think it looks like it could be fun.  They rent a car, see it's lacking in performance.  Ask the store owner about it, who explains the rental cars are made to take abuse but they dont handle as well as the cars people buy and race.  They ask whats available they could buy and use right now.  

 

IMO, that explains a lot of why RTRs are what is sold.  And these days, the availability of good parts is such that if they want to build a car, the store owner can easily sell them what's needed. It also explains why raceways sell so many RTRs but the people who buy them come a few times and then disappear


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#15 Bob Kurkowski

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 10:13 AM

Gents,

 

The original concept is very easy to shoot holes in because yes, there are a lot of lazy-unmotivated people out in the world today who can't, won't, and don't do anything to even help themselves in their daily lives but we have to look past those individuals and focus on the guy who walked into a raceway out of curiosity and what options might get him involved in slots.

 

I believe the blueprint-maintenance sheet is a must have for both the RTR or a kit.

 

Bob K.


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#16 NJ Racer

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 10:45 AM

Kits  are in demand in the 1/32 scale arena for those club racers and collectors that prefer to assemble and personalize the body. Typically the savings are a minimum of $10.00 as compared to the rtr version. 

 

On the other hand I agree the concept of a complete 1/24 scale JK, or Parma simple spec kit car version of their rtr flexi  box cars would introduce the beginner as a start to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of assembly, set-up, and paint.  Obviously all the required  parts to build a complete car are available to purchase from the  retail raceway. 

 

In the Retro scene evidently the popularity over time of chassis kits have gained significant appeal to both  the beginner and experienced. IMO i don't see the appeal of a bundled total  Retro kit because of all the moving parts and competitive nature aligned with Retro racing.  

 

Just my thinking Bob.


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#17 Pappy

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 10:55 AM

Do you know if the kits are popular ?

 

 

No, they are not


Jim "Butch" Dunaway
 
Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 
When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. It is difficult only for the others.
It's the same when you are stupid.

 


#18 jimht

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 11:54 AM

My memory fails here. What was the price differential between kits and RTRs in the Sixties?

 

I agree that it is beneficial for the customer to assemble their own car.

If they know how it goes together they are more able to maintain and repair it.

Parents would usually approve of kids buying kits to assemble.
All Raceways nowadays have tables and behind the counter aid for those wanting to assemble it right away.

 

Parma still offers the 1/24 Flexi-Kar - Unassembled Kit (No Motor) 426CKNM, $39.99  and the Turbo Flex Kit 1/8 CH131  $34.00

The Raceway could supply a motor with pinion, lead wires and maybe a body for a $20-$30 uptick, but is the final price too much for such outdated product?

 

I could easily disassemble a JK RTR car and package it with an instruction sheet, but the tools needed, even just the allen wrenches, will make the kit cost more than the RTR.

 

The solution is for Tim to do that, but it would have to be 5-10% lower retail than the RTR to be appealing.

 

Is that even feasible?

 

 

 


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#19 Steve Deiters

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:06 PM

Let's be honest.  The kits from the 60's were overly complicated and frankly not very good.  How we all survived them and maintained interest surprises me to this day.  The quality of the product has improved and a much better slot car is much simpler.

 

There are two basic skills that a slot racer needs to get a car on the track and at least running aside from basic tool skills-screwdriver, allen wrench etc.. 

 

#1. The ability to solder as well as understanding what it can and cannot do.

 

#2. Setting a gear mesh correctly either inline or anglewinder.

 

Both of these skills came to all of us in time, but it took time. Some longer than others.  Time that in this day and age, whether we like it or not, is short in supply and competed for from far more directions than when we were young.  If a slot car kit that eliminated the need for these skill sets would be a step in the right direction for more racers and most importantly sustaining interest.  The solder and gear set up ability can come later as interest expands and skill sets develop.

 

I think a flexi-style kit car that is "preassembled" to a degree so to speak that requires only the installation of the rear wheels (proper spacing), set screw front solid axle (proper spacing again), and installation of the body (prepunched for pin or body clip holes) and possibly the guide flag, with the caveat that the proper shims are available for correct guide depth-local track owners may want to do this set-up ahead of time.  In the long run that will be better for you and your new racer. "One size" does not fit all as the saying goes especially with guide depths.

 

Much simpilier than we had for sure , but does it have to be complicated?  Does it have to be some type of rite of passage?  I would hope not.

 

We are many generations of slot car technology removed from the overly complex kits of the '60's.  We just need to look at slot car kits in a different way for 21st century acceptance and success.



#20 Pappy

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:13 PM

Butch,

 

Have we degenerated to the point that helping a friend out is a burden ? 

No, but we have degenerated to the point that people expect you to do everything for them.

 

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

 

Too many people can't be bothered to learn how to fish.

 

To answer your question in your initial post, if there was a market for kit cars that you had to assemble then someone would fill it.


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Jim "Butch" Dunaway
 
Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 
When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. It is difficult only for the others.
It's the same when you are stupid.

 


#21 Bob Kurkowski

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:14 PM

Jim,

 

Good points. May I ask, is there easy to follow instructions included in any kits you know of ?

 

Steve,

 

JK offer a bolt in motor-chassis so no need to be a solder guru for assembly and gear adjustment tutoring and knowledge is easily explained when a simple piece of paper between the pinion and the spur is all that's needed to establish a gear mesh. Again simple instructions and photos go a long way.

 

Bob K.



#22 Bob Kurkowski

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:24 PM

Butch,

 

Love the positive attitude but I generally agree with most of what you said.

 

Please keep in mind that I'm presenting the 'instruction sheet' as much as the 'kit' concept. Remember, just because something has not been used or tried for a while doesn't mean it cannot be returned to fruition.

 

Bob K.



#23 blue&orange

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:28 PM

Please see the thread on this forum (I don't know how to link) about the new AWRA Womp kits now being offered by Professor Motor.  Or check PM -- the kits are listed.


Chris Matthy

#24 team burrito

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:57 PM

i did a scratch-building class with my cut-off saw, torch & tile and built a chassis in three hours on the spot. i don't think anything happened after that. either people get it or they don't; 9 times out of 10 they don't.


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#25 Mark Wampler

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 01:42 PM

Back in the 60's complete cars were sold in kit forms that required assembly

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key part of your statement is the "60's".   An era that I doubt we'll ever see again.  Slot cars originally followed upon the heels of hard plastic model car kits that kids enjoyed assembling.  Hours and hours of meticulous work to complete a car.  That's simply not a happening cultural element these days.  Far more racers than those who tinker.


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