New items in stock
PSK 013/1 Bocar #45, red – $239.99
Just the one new item this week, but…
Los Angeles Slot Car Museum will display vintage slot cars at major classic car event
The Los Angeles Slot Car Museum (LASCM) has been invited to display part of its vast collection of vintage slot cars at the Greystone Mansion Concours d’ Elegance. The event’s web site at http://www.beverlyhills.org/exploring/greystonemansionconcoursdelegance/ describes it as”The premiere Southern California Concours d’Elegance, held on the grounds of historic Greystone Mansion & Park in the heart of Beverly Hills”.
LASCM will show four large display cases (one case shown below) full of some of the rarest and most significant models in the history of the slot car hobby. This is only a fraction of the total LASCM collection, easily the most complete and highest-quality vintage slot car collection in the world.
If you live anywhere in Southern California and enjoy both slot cars and life-sized cars this is a must-see event for you. For those readers who live outside the greater Los Angeles area, you can explore the rich history of slot car racing at LASCM’s virtual slot car museum on line at http://lascm.com/Slot-Car-Museum/. Visit the site often and see new exhibits as they are added.
The Electric Dream Team
Warehouse phone (310) 676-7600
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Our warehouse is open to walk-in customers Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm. Next time you’re in the greater Los Angeles area stop by and see us at:
606 Hawaii Street, Unit B
El Segundo, CA 90245
We’re just minutes from LAX.
Some of the racers competing in the First Annual Checkpoint Cup retro races were offered a guided tour of the Los Angeles Slot Car Museum. Host Scott Bader and museum curator Philippe de Lespinay prepared a nice display for the visitors. Please CLICK HERE for a fully illustrated report by Keith Tanaka.
A part of the large Mura chapter in the new soon to be published “Electric Dreams” book addresses the success and failures of one of the most controversial slot car motors ever, the infamous B-can motor.
Devised by Ron Mura, Bob Lenz, and with input from John Cukras, the “B” was not what one would call a success (except maybe in the UK where it was widely used in the 1/32 scale racing classes) but today still fascinates the enthusiast.
I am not going to tell you the whole story recorded from the actual actors (that will be for you to read later) but I thought I would post a few of the many variants of this motor, manufactured or at least sold all the way through… 1975, something few really know.
So, in no particular order, here are a few pictures of some of the motors gathered over the years by Scott Bader and Yours Truly and now at the LASCM.
An original late 1968 “B” Production with comm vent, the original 16D brush holders with slot in the lead-wire terminal, and Ceramacoat armature:
Here is a two-hole Group 12 dating from 1970:
Another NCC Group 12 from late 1969 with the rectangular
A 1969 “bubblegum” with the “Ceramacoat” Team Cukras
armature and rectangular hole:
A 1972 production “B” Production with axle clearance,
produced for the UK:
This one was sold by Cobra in 1969 as a Group 15:
Another B with the two-hole pattern, built for the UK market after 1972 as proven by the end bell design. This destroys the urban legend that “B” motors were no longer produced after the introduction of the C-can motor:
Yet another B with ball bearing sold in the UK in early 1969. Note the slot in the lead-wire terminal and compare to the later motors:
One of the most famous and interesting B motors was this Long John kit with new longer magnets and Bob Green-wound arm:
A 1969 B-Production sold by REHco:
Rick Durkee Chaparral brought back to life
By Philippe de Lespinay
When Jim Russell created the world’s first professional slot car racing team in 1965, he trusted Mike Morrissey to find the “right stuff” within the So-Cal racers. Mike selected Len Vucci, Ron Quintana, and Rick Durkee as the original team members. Fred “Kenny” Larimer was later added as well as many others.
The aim was of course to showcase the Russkit products, and that, they did for a while. But the competition began using evolved home-built brass tubing and wire frames and rewound motors based on the… Russkit “23” motor!
So the team members began building some evolutions of the original Russkit “scratch-built” chassis kits, now using a new motor mount more suited to the needs of the day. Quickly, the Russkit boys set new standards and kept winning races. By early 1966, they were the team to beat anywhere they went.
Rick Durkee built this car in early 1966. Its racing history is unknown, but the traces of adhesive from the lane-color sticker tape on its nose proves that it was indeed raced. Further research may establish its exact pedigree. The car was subsequently sold to the great enthusiast, Bruce Paschal, and donated to the LASCM museum in 2002 along with a treasure trove of other surviving cars and parts.
The condition of the car was fair to poor, with serious corrosion beginning to creep into the brass and steel parts. The body had damaged decals, some cracks, and the driver insert was falling apart. The rear wheels were locked as well as the front axle, this common with old cars as the lubricant had simply returned into solid state. Help was needed!
The original Russkit motor was gone, replaced by a Bill Steube-built Team Checkpoint motor. The tires were rock-hard and several solder joints on the frame needed repair.
The frame was dirty and corroded, the lead wires had broken, and the axles showed rust. The next step was to take the whole car apart and assess the condition after a good clean-up.
Seen from the bottom, the design shows the then-fashionable curved rails made of 1/16″ brass tubing. The Russkit setscrew wheels have “Tiny’s” rear gray sponge tires while the fronts are shod with the usual cut-down K&B hard-rubber tires. A Cox “quick-change” guide is fitted.
A bath in cleaning solvent was the first thing to do. Everything including the body parts was treated, then washed in soap and water to remove all racing residue including the corrosive oil of wintergreen then used for added traction that ate the body paint and helped the corrosion to propagate onto the frame.
As usual with our sympathetic restorations, the motor was not repainted to retain its originality. The armature was cleaned, the rust removed from its stack, and the commutator and shaft polished. All the brush dirt was removed from the endbell.
The armature after polishing. This is typical of the early art of Bill Steube Sr. The single-28 wire is retained with epoxy that has lasted 40 years so far.
The commutator is a Tradeship. Blanks are Hemi.
All the parts have now been refinished: the wheels re-machined and polished, the tires slightly ground to remove the top layer of dirt, the axles machined, and the chassis cleaned (but not too much, leaving some patina). Even the original and well used Cox “Superflex” braided contacts are retained.
The car has now been reassembled. Even the original Russkit lead wires from the rewound “23” have been retained after a thorough cleaning. The motor is assembled with 3-40 machine screws and fasted to the car with 2-56 machine screws. The Cox 7-31 gears were in excellent condition and were re-used.
Here she is, ready to receive her repaired body.
The pictures found on the old period magazines are generally rather poor, often giving a false idea of what the cars truly looked like then. Thanks to the digital era and a few pioneers and guardians of these old treasures such as Bruce Paschal, we can see today what was only seen then by a few: the actual design and engineering of the pro-racing cars of the past. We are pleased to share this with all the true enthusiasts.
The body has now been repaired, and a few touches of judiciously-applied paint have helped repair the damaged decals and injected plastic details. The lost Chaparral inserts have now been added, using original NOS parts.
The cockpit has been carefully been reassembled. It was broken due to the inline motor installation that interfered with the Russkit Chaparral 2 interior. Some of it was missing and lost, we did not attempt to replace the missing bits.
Ready to run, the motor has been tested and runs beautifully. The body is now being readied to be fastened to the frame.
An “Al Hall” picture in the style of Rod & Custom or Car Model magazines, for old time sake… The right-side number decal had sustained much damage and was re-created using paint matching very exactly the faded color of the decal.
Even the old tape reinforcing the sides of the body has been saved, a very difficult task as it generally falls apart when a car is disassembled. Note the cut-outs at the back of the body. The many cracks were repaired with Pro-Weld.
Ready to pounce again, if ever called . . .
Doesn’t she look great? The driver is leaning left due to the presence of the Mabuchi FT16D motor intruding on the cockpit.
There is a little inspection/clearance hole for the Cox crown gear. Was this legal? Apparently!
The restored car alongside our next victim, another earlier Team Russkit Durkee car in dire need of restoration.
The two cars next to each other show the amount of corrosion and track dirt build-up present on the older car. This one has retained its team motor as well as an original Russkit guide. The chassis design was from only a few months earlier, showing the pace of development. We hope that you enjoyed this feature. More will be coming as the vast number of cars at the LASCM museum are prepared for permanent display.