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Early Cuc with nice early box


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#1 MattD

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 02:57 PM

https://www.ebay.com...aoAAOSwTYFedmAM

 

First style box, not very common and not many held up in this kind of shape.  Car and chassis are also first version and are pretty nice.


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#2 strummer

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 05:03 PM

That IS nice...which leads me to asking a couple questions I've been meaning to ask for some time now.  :)

 

1: Was this car meant to be some sort of "Group 7 thingie"? It resembles a sports car...kinda.

 

2: Can you explain the idea behind the "iso fulcrum" chassis? I looked it up, but am still not clear as to exactly what it means and what it's supposed to do...

 

Thanks!

 

Mark in Oregon


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#3 MattD

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 05:41 PM

Back in that time period the "Cuc" was just meant to be an "RTR thingie".   It was just another car to catch a 12-14 year old kids  eye.    It wasn't created for any other purpose, just to sell to the mass market by a clever name and good car right out of the box.    Cox cars are superb models, but the mag frame versions sucked and this was a great improvement over the mag frame cars.      The chassis is basically a tripod setup much like  current cars that don't even have front wheels.   The car ran on the rear wheels and the guide flag, the front wheels just floated and didn't carry much load.      It was also very lite and  a good driver could run hot laps with it  right out of the box.    It didn't take long for that chassis to be  put under a couple of the other Cox mag frame bodies and a new series of cars to be marketed .  This was the "Iso Fulcrum" series  and they did keep the sales going for awhile, but around that time, 1968, I think, the bottom was ready to fall out of the whole hobby.  Kids just got too old.   Mostly only serious racers were left and they built cars superior to any of the Cox offerings.

 

I'm sure other guys can add to this history.


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#4 strummer

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 07:48 PM

Thanks Matt.   :)

 

Right after I posted those questions, I looked up the definition of "iso fulcrum" in Philippe's book: so I guess the frame is more or less in two sections as you describe, and this makes for better tracking(?) Isn't that sort of the case with any car with a spring-loaded drop arm? The spring, while forcing the guide down, also pushes the front of the car up, thereby keeping the front wheels from coming into contact with the track?

 

If someone can post some detailed photos, that would be great!

 

Mark in Oregon


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#5 Martin

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 12:49 AM

One more thing to note, the guide shoe and the motor are on the same part of the chassis. When I raced them I ran a strip of tape across the frame limiting the movement. Lead helped also.

There are a few models with the "Racha" chassis. Dino Ferrari, Chaparral 2E and 2D, Cheetah and of course the popular Cuc and the Super Cuc.

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#6 Bill from NH

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:21 AM

And some have rear post guides, while others have front post guides.


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#7 strummer

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:42 AM

One more thing to note, the guide shoe and the motor are on the same part of the chassis. When I raced them I ran a strip of tape across the frame limiting the movement. Lead helped also.

There are a few models with the "Racha" chassis. Dino Ferrari, Chaparral 2E and 2D, Cheetah and of course the popular Cuc and the Super Cuc.

 

Thank you Martin

 

So the hinge point is back in front of the rear axle; just under the pinion gear...clever.

 

That makes sense now; although I'm still not clear as to how much of an improvement this was over the simple drop arm system. Seems like a more complex (and expensive) approach to getting a similar result....unless I'm still missing something.

 

Was this exclusively a Cox thing, or did other companies offer a similar feature?

 

Boy, I have a lot to learn!   :shok:    :)

 

Mark in Oregon


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#8 Martin

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:59 AM

Cox was the one most folk think of but this Pactra comes to mind and there maybe others.

Like Mini dreams .

......and Mark , we all have a lot to learn,that's half the fun.

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#9 MattD

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 09:10 AM

I find a piece of lead shaped to fit between the rails of the guide extension really helps.   That defeats the lite part of this design, but helps in the handling part.

My favorite of the whole bunch is the blue Dino.    I am caught up in doing a couple fake (resin) Cheetahs now, but the easier to find Dino seems to be the best handling of the whole body  series. 

 

One thing  I should have said..  When I compared this to current 3 point chassis, I mentioned no weight on the front wheels.   Actually compared to anything new, there is quite a bit of weight on the front wheels.   They carry the  outside chassis and the body.     

 

Many of those cars had the bodies tossed and replaced with a vac form body.     Owner ended up with   a competitive car for  money and skill involved.

 

dinobox.jpg

 

 


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#10 milmilhas

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 09:37 AM

Here is my m.i.b. Cucaracha first issue.

 

The car never saw a track

 

P1015959.JPG P1015963.JPG P1015963.JPG


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Miguel Pereira

#11 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 10:18 AM

Traditional drop arms do not maintain the flag and braid in full track contact as does the 'iso fulcrum' design.  Tires need to grip, but drift, in order for a tricycle to turn corners.  Modern tires have so much grip that current common design practice is to have the frame or the front wheels as outriggers to stabilize the car for faster cornering.

 

I use lead and tape to make my 'cucs raceable.


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#12 strummer

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 10:50 AM

Matt, Miguel

 

Thanks for the photos and input.

 

Larry

 

I would like to see some of your mods regarding "lead and tape", but...

 

...In the interest of not drifting too far afield from the topic at hand, I will start a new thread about cornering in general and the "iso fulcrum" in particular.  :)

 

Mark in Oregon


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#13 MSwiss

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 11:47 AM

The La Cucaracha was my first 1/24th car.

I won the first race I ever entered, using it.

If I remember, it was probably about a 20 lap race, I drove conservatively, and probably was the only one who didn't come off.

I'm pretty sure mine was an early one, but I can't honestly remember what box it was in.

But I'm 99.9% sure, it did not have the front canards.

At our raceway, we had to run silicones up until
Charlie bought an American Hillclimb from another raceway.

I remember the car had to be converted to small, diameter, fairly skinny, black AJ's, and a threaded axle.

The other thing I remember about the car was that it seemed impossible to take the front wheels off.

For a twelve-year-old, anyway. Lol
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#14 MattD

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 02:25 PM

Agree about those front wheels MIke,   I got a socket that fits those little nuts and that makes it a bit easier with pliers on one side and socket on the other.   

 

 Three are a few different  iso chassis in the Cox series, the very first cars had the  see thru body and the frame had no upturned body mounts on the sides, just flat extensions with the slot in it.    Next came the upturned side mounts and the front motor hold down that was a complete hole, not half a hole.  This locked the motor bearing into the rear mount and held the motor down, but let it turn so it could operate the 2E spoiler.    Somewhere in here came the  guide section that was longer and had 2 holes.   The last change was probably the body mold used for the Super Cuc which had front spoiler and this was then used for the rtr cars and the colored bodies on the card,   These bodies  probably outnumber 20 to 1 by the first style bodies.   Ball bearings got switched sometime in production.    

 

Philippe can clear up this whole history if he chimes in.  If it really matters how much more detail we need.


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#15 MSwiss

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 02:51 PM

Mine was definitely without the additional body mounts.
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Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
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#16 Rotorranch

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 02:57 PM

Who ended up with it?

 

I offered $135.00, the seller countered with $165.00, and it was sold before I could respond.

 

It looks like a nice car.

 

Rotor


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#17 Dallas Racer

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 03:43 PM

If you go a seller's "sold" items, auctions that ended with a best offer being accepted will have a line through the price. The Cuc has no line, so someone paid the full asking price of $200.

 

I don't know anything about Cucs. $200...isn't that good deal for that car?


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#18 Rotorranch

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 05:04 PM

Maybe. Someone thought it was.

 

It looked like a nice car. The box was nice, if original.

 

I'm pretty sure someone here on the blog won it.

 

Rotor


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#19 MattD

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 06:01 PM

I think it was a near new/new original and the box was original, too.   It was a very nice example of the first issue. 

 

Is it worth $200?  Not to me.   The new condition and rarer box might add $75 to what a nice first issue car is worth and then you end up at $150-$160.  If I didn't have  decent boxed car, maybe I would be Ok with that kind of money  to have it on my shelf.     A common cuc is not at all hard to find and there are plenty out there.  I like a few of the colored bodies better.  

 

P1010004.JPG

 

  


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#20 Dallas Racer

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:05 PM

Why did this one bring so much considering it's condition? https://www.ebay.com/itm/313015771443


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#21 Dallas Racer

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:07 PM

I've always liked them but never followed them or pursued buying one. Now I'm kinda wanting one. Thanks a lot, Matt! ;)


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#22 NSwanberg

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 11:08 PM

Why did this one bring so much considering it's condition? https://www.ebay.com/itm/313015771443

 

Correct me if I am wrong but that particular unit looks like it has holes for vacuum formed body clip mounts or were they screw holes? Which along with gusseted rear uprights would have made  the Cuc a much improved RTR. Something I think we could sell today.


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#23 don.siegel

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 05:03 AM

I think it's just two guys who wanted a rolling Cuc chassis and set their sights on this one! They didn't want to wait for something more reasonable. 

 

I thought $200 for a new or new new Cuc in the box was a fair price - would have bought it if I didn't already have one. There are some boxes around, but they're not all that common in good condition, and same with the Cuc as far as condition goes. 

 

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#24 strummer

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:42 AM

Question: (and please don't get mad at me!)  :shok:

 

Why is this particular model so...iconic, and therefore so sought after?

 

It doesn't REALLY look like anything specific; kind of a Can Am caricature.

 

Usually, the "value" of a vintage item is based on scarcity; in which case (if I understand it correctly) this should be one of the least valuable slot cars! 

 

Heck, even on the front and back covers of Philippe's wonderful book, there's not a "Cuc" in sight.

 

Is it because (very much like the prices now commanded by the Aurora "T-Jet" HO cars), "we" like to now have what we had ( or wanted to have) back in the day?

 

Mind you, I'm not making a value judgement; to each his own. I'm just curious...please don't kick me off this site.

 

Okay, fire away!   :)

 

Mark in Oregon


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#25 don.siegel

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 10:07 AM

I hope you're asking that tongue in cheek Mark - we love questions! 

 

Very simply, the Cuc is an iconic slot car, one that almost immediately comes to mind among all of us who raced on commercial tracks in the 60s. In a few threads here, asking which is the most iconic slot car of the 60s, I believe the Cuc came out on top - among us committed enthusiasts of course. It was also a real break in tradition for Cox, probably the most traditional of all the slot car makers, and I think the first of the "majors' to release a Thingie (let's see, among the majors, only Monogram, Russkit and MPC followed - but I'm sure I'm forgetting one - and by majors, I mean the established hobby companies, not the dedicated slot car companies like Classic or GarVic). 

 

Value is a combination of scarcity and desireability, which is why its value has held up, but also why it isn't higher than it is. Also, like a lot of slot cars, there are a lot of these around, but not that many MIB or close. 

 

Value also fluctuates, from year to year, as economic conditions and trends change, and the Cuc has been up and down. 

 

Don 


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