This car was an early experiment I did with direct drive cars also in '76.  Hot Wheels came out with rechargeable battery operated Sizzlers in the very early 70's, which probably gave many slotcar scratchbuilders new ideas.  The sizzler motor shafts projected on each side of the motor can equally, and the sizzler mag wheels had rubber ring tires over them which gripped pretty well on slot car track.  Therefore you didn't need gears, which made scratchbuilding a chassis that much easier and cheaper.  I used fairly thin brass sheet bent in a simple U shape which increased rigidity, and then mounted the motor securely with just a little epoxy.  The front wheel setup was pieces of K&S nickel plated brass square tubing glued in place, which served to elevate the 1/16" aluminum tubing used as an axle.  TJet front hubs and tires were then pin-mounted to the tubing.  It could have been soldered for a more secure joint, but gluing made the job a little quicker and was good enough to withstand the limited abuse of running down our dragstrip.

  For the electricals, I used simple wipers made from thin brass sheet, folded around the front end which was insulated with some cardboard glued in place.  A TJet guide pin was glued to the very front end, and pieces of lead weight were glued over this to give better electrical contact.  The car wasn't worth much on the curves due to the simple wiper system.  The sizzler motors were rather low on power, and the wire type brush system didn't last long, and since I was always trying to make due with lowest cost materials, I couldn't see using a Tycopro or Riggen endbell with real brushes, since I didn't want to sacrifice those cars which I had to save up for.  But it would have made the cars longer lasting.  As Ed Bianchi has found with his Rattler direct drive cars, the Tomy type motors really transform this basic system into a very fast and dependable car.   It's a good example of new technology opening up the doors for old concepts.

  I was never a great customizer, but I remember one day finding in the bushes outside my house a can of metallic purple Dupli-color automotive spray paint with a little paint left inside.  It made a finish far better looking and more durable than any of the Testors paints I had used, and it worked all in one coat.  That's what I used on this Tycopro Mustang body, along with some regular lavendar paint over the windshield.  Not half bad!  A broken Tycopro chassis with good body mounts was salvaged for the mounts, which were epoxied to the sides of the brass chassis.

  My racing friend and I had countless hours of fun building up and testing our cars in our youth.  We weren't into it for the competition, so we seldom if ever formally raced, we just ran our latest creations and were always trying new things...what fun!  If I had more time on my hands, I know I'd still be doing it today.  But alas, I've got a business to run.  Happily, it's a slot car biz!

  I'm always interested in hearing what people are up to in pre- magnatraction car building.  I often wonder how many people are out there still advancing the ideas on non-magnatraction chassis development.  Seems to me like a lot of the thunder was killed when Car Model magazine went out in '74, since the place probably many people including myself turned to for ideas was no longer around.  The AFX pan-chassied cars were some of the fastest things developed at the time, with K&K rewinds, super 2 magnets, brush tubes and Faller brushes, sponge TCP wheels and tires with a little tire goop or even Aurora red oil rubbed in (much better than any silicones for road racing), but a few can-motored scratchbuilts competed too.  These were all much faster and better handling than the short-lived AFX Super 2.  Did all this just die around then, or is there still activity and development going on in a few basements out there?  If you are still active in this area and have some pics and/or descriptions of what you were/are up to with this kind of thing, please write to me at:


It would be great to hear from you!

Thanks,

Ed
T-Jet Wheelie Chassis, from 1976
  Here are 4 photos of a TJet I 'slightly' modified in 1976 (age 17), since I was having so much trouble getting the Auto World wheelie kits to work when following the instruction sheet they provided.  The basic idea here was to add enough weight to the back to allow the car to do wheelies all the way down the dragstrip.  I glued enough lead weight strip over the silicone rubber bar of the Auto World wheelie kit to prevent deslotting and hopping down the straights, which seemed to be a problem using the wheelie kits stock.  Pickup shoe springs were made from motor rewind wire, coiled around a tube (maybe from an old pen filler, I can't recall) and glued in place.  Regular springs would probably have been fine, but I was always short on springs.  I used a piece of 1/4" steel square bar I had laying around just behind the rear end, and a ~1/16" thick piece of lead was cut to shape and glued over the square bar.

  Since I wanted the car to do a wheelie all the way down the track, I needed a rear wheelie bar setup.  I used a cut down TJet hub with a TJet tire sanded down to a smaller diameter.  The tire/hub fit over a piece of 1/16" aluminum tubing, and the tubing was glued to the bottom of the lead piece as shown.  Being a kid and into thingie type cars at the time, I couldn't resist adding 2 pieces of 3/16" tubing on top of the lead weight to look like mega-exhausts.  Very cool to me then and even now, even though hopelessly out of scale!

  A hot AFX arm, magnets, and rear wheels with silicone tires gave the car good speed on our 32 foot wood dragstrip, and an extensively lightened chassis made sure the car wouldn't overheat, but more importantly would be more likely to psyche-out my best racer friend Keith who lived across the alley.  It even had the cooling air slits to either side of the brushes- an idea I borrowed which was probably first used by Richard Harrison of Hobby House fame in Monroe, LA.  The first photo shows the balsa wood altered Little Red Wagon type of body I planned for it, but never saw to completion.  25 years later, it's still in the back of my mind on the list of things I've just gotta get done 'one of these days'!
(Click on the photos for larger views)
Direct Drive semi-scratch Mustang, 1976
  This car was an early experiment I did with direct drive cars also in '76.  Hot Wheels came out with rechargeable battery operated Sizzlers in the very early 70's, which probably gave many slotcar scratchbuilders new ideas.  The sizzler motor shafts projected on each side of the motor can equally, and the sizzler mag wheels had rubber ring tires over them which gripped pretty well on slot car track.  Therefore you didn't need gears, which made scratchbuilding a chassis that much easier and cheaper.  I used fairly thin brass sheet bent in a simple U shape which increased rigidity, and then mounted the motor securely with just a little epoxy.  The front wheel setup was pieces of K&S nickel plated brass square tubing glued in place, which served to elevate the 1/16" aluminum tubing used as an axle.  TJet front hubs and tires were then pin-mounted to the tubing.  It could have been soldered for a more secure joint, but gluing made the job a little quicker and was good enough to withstand the limited abuse of running down our dragstrip.

  For the electricals, I used simple wipers made from thin brass sheet, folded around the front end which was insulated with some cardboard glued in place.  A TJet guide pin was glued to the very front end, and pieces of lead weight were glued over this to give better electrical contact.  The car wasn't worth much on the curves due to the simple wiper system.  The sizzler motors were rather low on power, and the wire type brush system didn't last long, and since I was always trying to make due with lowest cost materials, I couldn't see using a Tycopro or Riggen endbell with real brushes, since I didn't want to sacrifice those cars which I had to save up for.  But it would have made the cars longer lasting.  As Ed Bianchi has found with his Rattler direct drive cars, the Tomy type motors really transform this basic system into a very fast and dependable car.   It's a good example of new technology opening up the doors for old concepts.

  I was never a great customizer, but I remember one day finding in the bushes outside my house a can of metallic purple Dupli-color automotive spray paint with a little paint left inside.  It made a finish far better looking and more durable than any of the Testors paints I had used, and it worked all in one coat.  That's what I used on this Tycopro Mustang body, along with some regular lavendar paint over the windshield.  Not half bad!  A broken Tycopro chassis with good body mounts was salvaged for the mounts, which were epoxied to the sides of the brass chassis.

  My racing friend and I had countless hours of fun building up and testing our cars in our youth.  We weren't into it for the competition, so we seldom if ever formally raced, we just ran our latest creations and were always trying new things...what fun!  If I had more time on my hands, I know I'd still be doing it today.  But alas, I've got a business to run.  Happily, it's a slot car biz!

  I'm always interested in hearing what people are up to in pre- magnatraction car building.  I often wonder how many people are out there still advancing the ideas on non-magnatraction chassis development.  Seems to me like a lot of the thunder was killed when Car Model magazine went out in '74, since the place probably many people including myself turned to for ideas was no longer around.  The AFX pan-chassied cars were some of the fastest things developed at the time, with K&K rewinds, super 2 magnets, brush tubes and Faller brushes, sponge TCP wheels and tires with a little tire goop or even Aurora red oil rubbed in (much better than any silicones for road racing), but a few can-motored scratchbuilts competed too.  These were all much faster and better handling than the short-lived AFX Super 2.  Did all this just die around then, or is there still activity and development going on in a few basements out there?  If you are still active in this area and have some pics and/or descriptions of what you were/are up to with this kind of thing, please write to me at:


It would be great to hear from you!

Thanks,

Ed