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Ford Escort Mexico RA1600 A Boy Racers Dream!! By Phil Etgart 1996

The Ford Escort Mk l was launched onto the U.K. market in 1967 as a replacement for the aging Ford Anglia 105E, the charming late 50’s introduced version with the inward sloping rear window as modelled by ‘Spot-On’ (a sister Tri-Ang product to Scalextric during the early I mid 60’s).
It was the latest in a line of small Fords that stretched back to the side valve engined models of the post war years (sit-up and beg shaped Pops, Anglias and Prefects etc.). Naturally it did not take Ford Rallye Sport long to develop competition versions of the Escort, which included one of the earliest 4 WD competition models (this was the same period as the 4WD Capri’s which totally dominated the U.K. Rallycross scene for a brief period in the late 60’s).
With the success the works versions found in all types of motor sport, it was inevitable that Rovex would produce a works Ford Escort Mexico in its Scalextric range.
Whilst the variety of Escort Mexico’s produced was fairly limited, it is a range worth documenting because of a number of variations within models. C52 Ford Escort Special Build. First introduced in 1974 in catalogue 15, the C52 was the first Scalextric Escort to hit the streets.
It was available in two colours black and white, but each was slightly different. Black: came with yellow Tampo printed racing stripes on sides and bonnet/roof/boot. White:came as a plain body with decal sheets that allowed you to apply either red or yellow stripes depending on your preference. Cars with applied transfers in reasonable condition are hard to find, and cars with un-applied transfers that much harder again to find. When buying white Escorts be careful as, with most white cars, they have a tendency to yellow and are also prone to browning around the wheel arches (caused by the tyres).
This model was originally issued in the blue Rovex box, although most turn up in the later black window box. There is also a type variation in these cars.
Type l: the first batch appeared with a minor variation in the underpan. Instead of the standard guide post arrangement that was used on all subsequent Escorts, the first C52’s had a triangular hole in the underpan around the guide post through which the wires fed, similar to the Spanish design of the late 60’s early 70’s (as utilised on the U.K. assembled Spanish models 330GT, 917K, McLaren M23 etc. etc.), and were also fitted with chromed 5 spoke wheels. As far as I am aware the earlier type underpan was only fitted to the white car, and that combined with the fact that it had transfers not decals tends to suggest that the white C52 was released before the black version.
C118 Ford Escort Mexico. This was the first of the lighted Escorts, and was released as one of a pair of lighted cars (the other was the green/gold pinstripe. Porsche C119), which were in fact the first lighted cars to be released since El to E5 in the early 60’s.
As with all the Scalextric Escort Mexicos the model came with works arches and a lovely 4 spotlight chromed front bumper.
This model was released in 1980 (catalogue 2l ), and only remained in the range for approximately 2 years. They are reasonably easy to find suggesting a big batch must have been made. However, as with all Scalextric Escorts, examples with the original bumpers can be difficult to find. They came in a special elongated boxes (with a picture of a car with blazing lights headed towards you!) which were only used on five models, C 118, C287 Escorts and C119, C288 & C289 Porsche’s. This model was only available in black with gold pinstripes (what did Henry Ford say about’ Any colour so long as it is black’!) and there are no known variations of it.
C109 Ford Escort Mexico. This was also introduced in 1980 and again only remained until catalog 22 (1981 ). It was essentially an update of C52. Yet again the base color was black but this time is sported garish mid 70’s graphics -huge orange and yellow stripes (all the models of this era were similarly livered i.e.C110, Cl12, Cl13, Cl14,
Cl 15, Cl 16 etc. etc.). This was once again an unlighted Escort Mexico, and whilst reasonable looking it is probably the least popular of the five basic variations as it is the most toy like to look at.
C287 Westwood Racing Escort. The last Escort to be released, and finally a version that wasn’t black! This time Hornby choose another delightful summer color -brown!!
This in reality a little unfair as it was in fact a very attractive model. Caramel with a mid brown roof, ( can be difficult to find one with an unmarked roof), and decorated in ‘Westwood Racing’ livery
which was primarily red and yellow. All in all the best looking Escort produced, and probably the hardest to find (a close call between a nice Westwood and a nice C52!).
This car was the second of the lighted Escorts (available from 1981 to 1982) and there was a minor variation to look out for.
Type 1: The bulbs pushed through holes in the grille and then screwed into copper plates which conducted the current, whilst a second copper strip connected with the back of the bulb to complete the circuit.
Type 2: The bulbs fixed directly into the body of the car, and contacted the wiring by push on tags attached to an additional molding under the bonnet.
Variations
C52 Escort Mexico (French): Essentially the same model as the English C52. To the best of my knowledge only available in white. The key difference between English and French versions being the decal sheet French cars had. There were different transfers white blue stripes that went up and over bonnet, roof and boot, and secondly the cars came in the French style box. Plastic dome topped with a yellow plastic base -see page 147 of Roger Gillhams’ book for comparison.
Chromed cars: Factory produced chromed versions have been seen of both lighted and unlighted Ford Escorts, although as with any chromed car it is difficult to be sure unless you know its linage.
Others
Escort Mexico’s have recently been seen in both red and blue. However it is believed that these are not factory original items, and from close inspection appear to be manufactured in resin and not plastic, although for resin they are exceptionally good with little or no evidence of air bubbles. The main difference being depth of shine or lack of it on the cars body. If offered red or blue ( or any other odd colored) Escorts, be careful!!
All in all a charming representation of a classic rally car, a reasonably finite range of cars to locate, and none of the five basic models should cost more than £40 in today’s market making then an affordable target for the completist.
The only real mystery with the Escort is why Hornby have not re-released it. It is still to be seen on the roads today and would therefore appeal to enthusiastic young Scalextric fans (whose older brothers or Dad+ Uncles may even own one), and also appeal to the more mature collector.
Now who’s for a Power and Glory Escort Mexico in Daytona yellow?

Well no longer the finite range, the message did get through to Hornby and we have since seen dozens of other releases – its now possible to be an Escort only collector! On the plus side -the early ones disused in this article are regularly a lot less than £40 .
Julie Scale

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TRIUMPH TR7 -A BRIEF COLLECTORS GUIDE

TRIUMPH TR7 -A BRIEF COLLECTORS GUIDE
By Phil Etgart ( First published mid to late 1990’s)
Long regarded as the ugly ducking of the TR series, in some peoples eyes not “A Real TR”, certainly not as collectable as it’s earlier cousins, the TR7, might just be coming of age judging by the number of beautifully restored examples that I have seen during recent summer. Admittedly the resto’s have been predominantly dropheads, but there’s little doubt that once those candidates for restoration have dried up collectors will move on to the more affordable Tin-Tops.
In some respects it’s a shame Homby didn’t produce a drophead. However in the light of increasing interest in the real thing, it seems like a good time to review what variations were produced, of what has often been viewed as a difficult to drive and unattractive model (sounds like the real thing, but then at least the engine on the Scalextric version doesn’t have an aluminium head to warp!!!).
Key things to look for when buying Scalextric TR 7′ s are fairly limited but consider the following points. The underpan locates into the body at the rear, via a lug each side which locates into the rear quarter of each side of the body, (replicating the vents on the real car). These lugs are difficult to get into position, due to tight fit, and consequently they often snap off. Occasionally body’s split in the seam between side panel and rear panel. The other weak points on the chassis in common with many cars of the era, are the motor mounts and the narrow sections just ahead of the guide mount. Whilst a few underpans were available in the early 1990’s when the ‘Toys R Us’ production run was in circulation, they are now difficult to find. The other common problem is the front bumper, disregarding snapped pins, resulting in glued on bumpers, the main problem in the wrong bumper being fitted to the car. Halfway through it’s life, the tooling for the TR7 was amended to produce a car with it ‘Headlamps Up’ (replicating a real TR7 with it’s headlights on). At this point the tooling for the bumper was also amended. ‘Lamps Down’ cars should have a bumper with four spot lamps (two below & two above). Whilst ‘Lamps Up’ cars should be fitted with six spot lamps on the bumper (two below & four above). This is further confused because when producing the final version of the TR7 (the Toys-R-Us limited edition) Horny discontinued the practice of chroming the lamp ‘Lenses’ on the bumpers. All cars with the exception of the Toys-R-Us cars should therefore have bumpers with chromed headlamp ‘Lenses’ be they four or six spotlights.
I must admit I didn’t think there was so much to say about TR7’s, and we haven’t even got to the cars yet!
The TR7 first appeared in the Scalextric range in 1978 illustrated in catalogue 19. Its debut was as …… .
Cl30 White or Red
This was one of the last models produced where different colours shared this same C numbers and so in some respects was at the end of an era (immediately prior to the demise of Rovex). The car itself was in a fairly typical livery of the period with bold graphics on the side panels and a bold stripe across the bonnet. The Blue & Red ‘Burmah’ livery on the White car replicated a TR7 being campaigned at the time by Tony Pond. The two colours of this model were shown in catalogue 19 & 20, and in 1980 were combined in set C632/3 with the imaginative name ‘Set 300’. At the point they became set cars and ceased to be shown in the catalogue as separate boxed items.
They were replaced by …..
C113 Red, Cl14 Yellow
These cars appeared as separate boxed items in 1980 and remained in catalogue for two years (catalogue 21/22). Their graphics were similar to their predecessors, this time having fully tampo’d side panels and a herringbone type designed tampo’d on the bonnet. Of the first four TR 7′ s the Yellow is probably the most appealing to the eye. As with the previous pair of TR 7’s these models made the transition from boxed cars to set cars in 1981, and were shown in catalogues 22 & 23 in set C656/7 ‘Rallycross’. With the deletion of the separate boxed items in 1982, a new boxed TR7 livery was introduced ….
C294 Blue
This model was the first of the TR 7’s to remain available only as a separate boxed item, which probably explains it now being a little harder to obtain than the first four TR7’s which are readily available. It was also around this time that the familiar ‘Black Box’ packaging was introduced. (when buying a boxed C294 be aware it should have an expanded polystyrene inner not a card tray). The car itself was a Bright Blue colour with a broad White stripe up over the rear roof pillars & across the roof (similar to the Starsky & Hutch Red Ford Torino). Being pleasing to the eye however did not guarantee longevity and after one year in the catalogue it was replaced by …..
C309 Yellow
This is by far the rarest of TR7’s. The car itself was based on a yellow shell (slightly lighter than C114) with black & red stripe running diagonally from rear N/S to front O/S corners of the car. The car exists in two variations, having been produced in both ‘Lamps Down’ and ‘Lamps Up’ versions.
The first version ‘Lamps Down’ is by far the rarest, and whilst one or two have been put into boxes from ‘Lamps Up’ versions, a genuine ‘Lamp Down’ boxed car is yet to be found (to my knowledge). These cars normally tum up in the area surrounding the factory, which suggests that the ‘Lamps Down’ version was probably never in general distribution.
(whilst we agree with Phil these remain rare, we have had genuine boxed items)
With modification to ‘Lamps Up’ the C309 appeared (with six spot lamp bumper!) as a boxed item. It only appeared in one catalogue (No. 24 1983), and from its rarity, it can be assumed it was a fairly short run; These cars do not surface for sale very often. Around the time of this models production another pair ofTR7’s must have also been in early stages of production as they also changed from ‘Lamps Down’ to ‘Lamps Up’ very early in their existence …… .
C321 ‘Spiderman’ Yellow & C322 ‘Spiderman’ Red
Although not appearing in catalogue until 1984 (No. 25) it is likely these were produced at the same time as C309 (shown in catalogue 24, 1983), as there is no other logical reason for both versions to exist. The cars were shown as available in set C672 ‘Spiderman’ which was unique in that the set contained White plexytrack. It is conceivable that the first version of this set (containing ‘Lamps Down’ cars) were a rush batch for a mail order customer ( as happened in a much smaller scale with set C742 LeMans 24Hr – where the first handful of sets were rushed out with cars with stickers instead of tampo printing to meet customer deadlines). The ‘Lamps Down’ version featured a half figure of Spiderman punching the air. For some reason the ‘Lamps Up’ version had a new tampo design of the bonnet featuring Spiderman crouching. It is not clear why the bonnet logo changed as it would have been relatively easy to remove a small piece of spiders web on the original tampo design. Prototypes of the Spiderman cars have been seen in both Blue & White (the white car is actually illustrated in a 1984 sales leaflet), but these are plain shells with hand painted liveries (not tampo’d bodies). The set appeared for only one year and presumably did not sell well, as Hornby were selling off the remaining stock of White track for a number of years. Both colours of the ‘Lamps Up’ version subsequently appeared as separate boxed items ( although never appearing as such in a catalogue). The ‘Spiderman’ cars were the last of the TR7’s to appear until in 1991 we got an unexpected Christmas present ….. .
C281 Red & C282 Black During autumn 1991 it emerged that Toys-R-Us had commissioned an exclusive pair of limited edition cars. Triumph TR7 in Red or Black with complete appropriate ‘Laurel’ design in Gold on the bonnet. They were produced in a batch of 500 of each colour only, and quickly sold out. These cars are already relatively difficult to find mint boxed, as a reasonable number of them were sold as toys (GOD FORBID!) before NSCC members became aware of there existence. In common with later versions of C309/321/322 they were ‘Lamps Up’ with the six spotlight bumper but this time the lamp lenses were not chromed.
This pretty much covers the TR 7 story except to mention a few oddities. Plain untampo’d bodies have been seen in Black, Red and both shades of Yellow. Chromed examples are in circulation which are alleged to have been produced at some point for either a TR7 owners club or members of the TR7 register (the Triumph TR7 owners club). This is however unsubstantiated.
So far from being an ‘Ugly Duckling’ the TR7 includes a number of interesting versions for the collector, not least of which C309 Yellow ‘Lamps Down’ one of the rarest cars produced in any era of Scalextric’ s rich history!

which are you missing then?

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The Way Things were – with the strangest of coincidences!

Mark was looking through Phil’s back catalogue of articles to pick one out for this week, over breakfast this morning – he liked this with all the prices, published in 1997. He was reading it out loud and got to the bit near the bottom that refers to a prize Auto Union – Phil asks “I wonder where it is now”
– and it dawned on me (we have it). Yesterday John came to see us, and we purchased some cars from him. Now that is what I call a coincidence, 40 years after it was won, and 26 years after Phil asked the question – Fate gave us the answer.

NSCC
NEWSLETTER
THE FIRST 15 YEARS -HOW SCALEXTRIC COLLECTING HAS DEVELOPED SINCE FEB. ’82
By PHIL ETGART
The world of Scalextric collecting probably goes back to the very early days of production if you accept the reliveries in the old tinplate newsletters. However, it is accepted that toy collecting as we now know it developed in the 1960’s with the first swopmeet as such being held by invitation only in Leicestershire in 1967.
The first references to Scalextric collecting appear to have been through adverts in Exchange and Mart in the mid/late I 970’s. These adverts drew together early Scalextric collectors most of whom seemed to gravitate towards the London Scalextric Club. From the historical perspective of the old newsletters people such as Roy Charlesworth, Eddie Collins, Martin O’Reilly and Sean Claremont would appear to have been the leading active collectors of the day, one or two familiar names appearing in the newsletter Chris Gregory, Chuck Lawrence.
Prices were very different to today. A good example being the No. 4 newsletter (photocopied typed A4 sheet) which highlighted examples of he items recently received through the London Scalextric Club and their prices. An Auto Union made £30 whilst an Alfa Romeo sold for £32! A green Electra and a cube motor Airfix Mini sold for £7 each.
Newsletter No. 5 announced that one of the members, Eddie Collins, (now of Tottenhams ‘Shunting Yard’), had opened a shop for Scalextric collectors in Hendon and the message clearly comes that the Bugatti Type 59’s were already the Holy Grail of Scalextric collectors.
Following on from the London Scalextric Club, in 1981 the National Scalextric Collectors Club was founded by four like minded individuals. The fledgling club published single sheet A4 newsletters during 1981, but the early days of the club were fraught with difficulties and accordingly the newsletter ground to a halt in late 1981.
The remaining members took stock and appointed Rob Britain secretary and re-launched the club in February 1982. Therefore this months newsletter is the 15th anniversary of the contemporary run of newsletters. No newsletters were published in August ’92, November ’92 or April ’93, therefore this newsletter is No. 178 not 182 as it should be!!
To mark this occasion I thought it would be nice to take a look at some examples of what the ‘Scalextric Dollar’ would have purchased in those early formative days. Bearing in mind average salaries have probably increased three to four fold in that time it is interesting to see how some items have appreciated in real terms!
Whilst the early newsletters contained a significant number of adverts for swops and wants, no items were advertised for outright sale in the first newsletters. However, newsletter I started a project to generate a second-hand price guide. Each month members sent in a list of their knowledge of prices for cars in varying condition. The questionnaire in newsletter I produced interesting results m newsletter 2.
C1 Alpine mb £16
C2 Matra mb £16
C3 Javelin mb £9
C4 Electra mb £9
C5 Europa Vee mb £9
C6 Panther mb £9
C7 Mini mb £9
C8 Lotus Indy mb £11
C9 Ferrari mb £10
C10 Super Javelin mb £13
C11 Super Electra mb £13
C12 Shadow mb £6
C13 Tiger Special mb £13
C14 Matra mb £12
C15 Mirage mb £8
C16 Ferrari mb £9
C17 Lamborghini mb £10
C18 Ford 3l mb £11

quite clearly when you consider the 3 – 4 fold increase in salary levels, a significant number of these items have actually depreciated in relative terms (who would pay £24 for a MB Shadow?). What this illustrates is not that Scalextric was a bad investment, just that at this early stage of the hobby it was till a period of settlement when collectors were still unclear as to the rarity of most models (excepting obvious rarities) and the impact colour can have on prices was yet to be realised with my earlier example of a green Electra a £7 whilst the price guide offered a MB price on all Electras of £9.
The third edition of the N.S.C.C. newsletter also provided interesting food for thought as it contained the second part of the price survey.
Cl9 Team car MB £13
C20 Dart MB £9
C21 Cougar Sports MB £12
C22 Porsche 917 MB £13
C23 Scalletti Arrow MB £8
C24 Team Car Mk11 MB £12
C25 Ferrari 312 b2 MB £8
C26 March Ford 721 MB £8
C27 Lotus Turbine MB £13
C28 Renault Alpine MB £16
C29 Ferrari 312 MB £8
C32 Mercedes 250 MB £16
C34 E Type MB £13
C36 Honda MB £11
C37 BRM MB £11
C41 Ferrari 330GT MB £12
C43 McLaren F1 MB £12
C44 Mercedes c111 MB £11
Interestingly enough prices have been rounded and in fact the C43 McLaren was valued above the C4 l Ferrari 330GT not to mention the French C27+28+29 being rated above the C32 -anyone got a C32 they want to swopll). Things became even more interesting with the results of the third part of the survey. Particularly note the Bentley and Alfa prices in relation to the prices generally, and especially in relation to prices of the Spanish models (I’d certainly swop two MB C32’s for a MB C64 or C65 1).
C46 Porsche 917K MB £12
C48 Tyrell MB £12
CSO JPS Lotus 72 MB £7
C51 BRM Pl60 MB £5
C52 Escort Mexico MB £6
C53 Datsun 260Z MB £7
C54 Lotus 16 MB £11
C55 Vanwall MB £12
C56 Lister Jaguar MB £13
C57 Aston Martin DB MB £13
C58 Cooper MB £10
C60 DType MB £12
C61 Porsche Spyder MB £13
C62 Ferrari 156 MB £11
C63 Lotus 21 MB £11
(listed as a Lotus 18)
C64 Bentley MB £30
C65 Alfa Romeo MB £32
listed as Lotus 18 !
C64 Bentley MB 30
C65 Alfa Romeo MB 32
The price list above once again reflects the fact that it was still not clear which the rarer/ more desirable models were ( or at leastthe pricing didn’t yet reflect it). Certainly today you would struggle to buy mint boxed Aston DBR / Lister jag/ Porsche Spyder / D Type for the same price as mint boxed Lotus 16 /Cooper/ Van wall / BRM.
At this point the price guide disappeared. The newsletter was reduced in size due to the clubs financial predicament (it had to merge issues for July and August, and appealed for a donation of £2 from each member (approx. 50 at that time) to keep the club running to the year end). The price guide was a victim of these cuts.
It was due to the commitment of those early members in the crisis that you still have a club today.
One of the strategies to raise money was a monthly raffle for a car, from a list of donated items. The premo prize was a C96 Race Tuned Auto Union donated by Steve DeHavilland, and chosen as the prize the following month by John Kinsey (I wonder where that car is now, and if any current trader would bear to dig that deep in the time of crisis!). By December 1982 (newsletter IO) club membership had reached 85 and the future looked a whole lot brighter.
Here’s to the next fifteen years of the N.S.C.C. newsletter.

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Roots of Scalextric – the Minimodels years 1947-1959-

When Phil wrote this article he was talking about collecting models that were some 30-40 years old – its become a far harder task now. That said the Grandprix cars surface often and we do at the moment have some beautiful Austin Healey examples- The boxed cars are really sought after and hard to find-
ROOTS OF SCALEXTRIC-THE MINIMODELS YEARS 1947 TO 1959
By Phil Etgart
Anyone who has read any of the articles I have written will know how enthusiastic I am about the range of tinplate models produced by Minimodels under the Scalex, Startex and eventually Scalextric brand names,
Whilst most people are aware that the Minimodels was owned and operated by Fred Francis and eventually sold to the Lines Brothers Tri-ang empire, Little is normally known about the early output of the company,
Minimodels was formed in 1947, and was based at Tennyson works, Tennyson Rd, Mill Hill, London NW7, The company was one of a large number of toy producers operating in and around London, Whilst the smaller toy companies were primarily focused on Die-Cast and slush molded toys e,g, companies such as ‘Johilco’ (John Hill & Company) and ‘Crescent’, a number of operators produced toys that were based on a combination of tinplate and Bakelite, The majority of these toys were generally push along toys or key wound clockwork models.
Toys with any degree of inter-activity or innovation were rare, and indeed it was not unusual for small companies to survive making crude copies of the more prominent brands,
From the beginning of Minimodels Fred Francis was obviously approaching things from a slightly different perspective, The company’s first product was a charming lithographed tinplate toy typewriter, which was launched under the name ‘Mini­Type’, It is unclear how long this model remained in production but the 1952 trade catalogue that follows this article suggests that it was already out of production even that early in the company’s history,
It is difficult to assess exactly what was issued and in which sequence, but the catalogue clearly shows the company’s transition toward model cars and its continual innovation,
Fairly soon after ‘Mini-Type’ it is believed the company introduced it’s range of tinplate lorries, Absolute clarification of what was issued is lacking, and information from the broader toy trade is conflicting, but all of the items shown in the trade catalogue are known to exist
The tinplate articulated lorries are reasonably easy to locate through specialist antique Tin Toy dealers, Although expect a little paint or very minor corrosion damage, Mint­boxed items are generally not around!
The ‘Autotip lorry’, a tinplate Tipper Truck with working forward/reverse gears, working tipping bed and driver who peers out of window, is a different story, Whilst I know of one or two examples in collections I have yet to see, let alone find an example myself
The ‘Traffic Car’ turns up reasonably frequently although I am not sure how rare respective versions with & without working windscreen wipers are, Presumably Minimodels were also unsure of the markets desire for a car with working windscreen wipers as it was unique for them to issue two versions of a model with & without specific features,
Whilst the ‘Traffic Car’ was the company’s first venture towards model cars, it was not really indicative of the direction the company was going to develop in, That was provided by the companies next release which was what should be regarded as it’s first venture into producing replicas of competition cars.

The model in question was a key wound clockwork tinplate replica of John Cobb’s land speed Railton powered streamliner. The model appears to exist in three versions. Sprayed Silver with UK & US flags crossed on the nose. Sprayed Silver with plain Blue flags crossed on the nose. Plain polished metal with usual screen painted flags/signature on the body.
These cars are hard to find in anything that would normally be regarded as approaching VG to Excellent condition. Boxed examples are extremely rare as the boxes were manufactured from particularly thin card. Surviving examples are worth tracking down as the box art is especially nice with line drawings of Cobb & his car and a brief passage of text regarding his land speed attempt.
Following on from the Cobb Railton was a model of Lt/Col Goldie Garner land speed MG streamliner. The MG was produced in two colours, Red or British Racing Green. The Green being especially difficult to obtain. Boxed examples are even more scarce than boxed Cobb Railtons. The MG was notable as it was the first model in which Fred Francis fitted his patented fifth wheel self winding clockwork mechanism, which was to form the basis of the soon to be issued Scalex series.
The 1952 trade catalogue clearly illustrates that as with Fred Francis recollections on the Scalextric video, the Jaguar XK Roadster was indeed the first Scalex model to be issued and appeared in 1952.
The Jaguar was soon joined by a tinplate model of an Aston Martin DB2 and in turn by an MGTF, which was unusual in that the complex body shape demanded an aluminum rather than tin pressing. The three sports cars were then joined by two Grand Prix cars a Maserati and a Ferrari. All of the models featured the patented fifth wheel winding mechanism.
Subsequently Minimodels issued two inore models in the Scalex range. An Austin Healey 100/4 and the seventh and last in the series a Jaguar 2.4 Saloon.
The Healey 100/4 can be difficult to find a nice example of, and the Jaguar 2.4 is by far the rarest of the Scalex range. The Jaguar was only produced for a brief period before the Scalex range was superceded by the Startex range.
Early ‘Scalex’ cars came in a Dark Blue/White print box, but this was soon replaced by a very colourful box which had a press out panel to make it into a pit building. Consequently, boxed Scalex cars can be hard to find. Boxed Austin Healey l00/4’s turn up occasionally and boxed Scalex Jag’ s are virtually impossible to find.
Around 1955 Minimodels introduced a new series of models, it’s ‘Startex’ range. This comprised of re-works of two earlier ‘Scalex’ models and one completely new model. ‘Startex’ differed from ‘Scalex’ in that it no longer utilised the innovative fifth wheel winding mechanism and now relied upon a cord winding system. This was either disguised as the exhaust pipe (in the case of the Healey & Jaguar 2.4) or the steering wheel in the case of the Sunbeam Alpine Roadster.
The Healey was modified from the Scalex range by changing the shape of the grille to replicate a 100/6 and through the addition of a windscreen & screen frame. The Jaguar 2.4 lost it’s pressed tin interior and gained smoked out windows, but retained it’s delightful appearance.
The Startex Jaguar’s turn up reasonably frequently, but boxed examples are rare. The Healey 100/6 is rare in any condition boxed or unboxed!
The Alpine appears to have been the biggest seller of the Startex range by a large margin as they turn up regularly. Screens on the Alpine are particularly vulnerable as

they were often broken by a swiftly released winder cord hurtling back toward its resting place on the dashboard.
By 1956 it was becoming apparent that Minimodels needed a new product. The toy market was beginning to change rapidly in the light of high quality low cost pocket/pocket money toys such as Lesney’s newly introduced range of ‘Matchbox’ toys.
Fred Francis had already noted the popularity of wire cars & rail cars being raced by specialists clubs and the idea of a buried rail track system and electric motor powered ‘Slot Cars’ was born during a visit to a trade fair.
Minimodels initially introduced Scalextric (Scalex Electric) with a rubber track system utilising battery power and push button controllers (no graduation of power supply. Just on and off!).
The cars were a modified version of the tinplate Scalex Maserati which was fitted with an electric motor which was mounted around/over the rear axle and a gimble pick up (like two half spheres sandwiched together).
The ‘Scalextric’ system was an instant success and the Maserati was soon followed by a motorised version of the Scalex Ferrari. As with the Maserati, this car also came fitted with a rubber driver.
During late 1958 a publicity leaflet appeared which announced three additions to the Scalextric range. It showed electric versions of the Jaguar 2.4 saloon, the Austin Healey 100/6 and the Aston Martin DB2. The Healey soon appeared, but it was around this time that the takeover of Minimodels by Tri-ang put paid to the tinplate Scalextric range due to Tri-ang’s existing injection moulding capacity. Underpans for the tinplate electric Sunbeam Alpine and Jaguar 2.4 saloon eventually surfaced (see
>
page 22 of Roger Gilhams book) but no further trace exists. Whilst the existence of a tinplate electric Aston Martin DB2 in an NSCC members possession has been suggested, it has never been substantiated.
Whilst with painted models it can be difficult to be certain what was produced ( e.g. ‘Matchbox’ Friday afternoon specials) the following represents a list of models & colours that are known to exist:

The tinplate range finally ceased production in 1959 drawing to a close the first chapter of the history of Scalextric.
My Thanks to John Carmichael for providing the photocopies of 1952 trade catalogue – which follows the article.

The development & marketing of the product was supported by the production of a ‘Scalextric Bulletin’ often refereed to as tinplate newsletters. These ran to six editions (although an issue eight is alleged to exist), issue six being the one which announced the cessation of the tinplate range and introduction of plastic bodied cars post Tri­ang’s takeover of Minimodels.
The owners club also produced an enamel broach, which is now extremely difficult to find, as are the ‘Bulletins’ themselves.

So what format does your collection take?

Check out our web site
www.scalemodels.co.uk
and ebay store
https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/markscalemodels
for our latest stock of cars/catalogues and of course reproduction spares.

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A brief beginners guide to collecting Scalextric

We have recently been sorting through some old paperwork and came across a file of documents and articles that came to us from our good friend and long ago college, Phil Etgart, when we purchased his collection some 20+ years ago!
On looking through them, we thought it was wrong for all this information and knowledge about the Scalextric hobby to be lounging in a draw, gathering dust. So, it is our intention over the forthcoming months to share them with you, as many were no doubt written before may of the current collectors started collecting. Some were originally printed in the various collectors’ club’s magazines in the UK and Australia at the time of writing in the 1990’s, others I will transcribe from Phil’s original notes.

So, to start at the beginning – I have found:

Phil Etgart answers his most frequently asked question ….. longhand!

Standing behind a table of Scalextric, one of the questions most commonly asked by new members is “What should I collect?”. This particular question always worries me because it suggests that people are more worried about making a sound investment than actually enjoying their hobby!!
Anyone who regularly trades in Scalextric will tell you that there are virtually as many themes within collecting Scalextric as there are purchasers!!
It is not uncommon to find people who only collect up to 1970 (i.e. the output of the Havant factory, which encompasses all the injection moulded cars up to and including the dizzy heights of the Cougar Sport (C21) – the last model introduced by Havant). Their view seems to be that this was the ‘Golden Age’ of Scalextric, and things were never quite the same once production shifted to Margate. Similarly, there is the odd collector around who focuses on the tin cars produced.while Mini Models were based in London NW7 ‘ (before the Lines Brothers takeover in late 1958). However.embarking upon collecting every colour variation of the delightful tinplate models is not easy, and if seeking them mint boxed, you are setting yourself an incredibly difficult objective.
Very often collectors will veer towards G.P. cars or saloon bodied cars rather than collecting both(makes for a more manageable collection), but even so, if you accept that given the colour, mould and country of manufacture variations, there are in excess of 2000 models to collect. Cutting down by half still leaves one hell of a task.
Other possibilities are small themed groups (by manufacturer, by model, trucks, bikes, film or TV related, actual GP, rally or touring cars etc.) or being a little more extreme every colour + tooling variation of a given model ( e.g. C68 Aston Martin DB4 6 colours lighted, 6 colours unlighted (two shades of blue and red) English; same French; sunroof version 3 colours (two shades of red); black Marshals car UK; 3 colours of Marshals car-France; James Bond car. That gives you 32 cars to find before you consider any of the unique or semi-unique items (factory chrome models/ mould test colours clear mould flow models). Putting together a complete collection of all DB4 variants would set you back thousands!! (assuming all the combinations exist and could be located!!)) ..
Another distinct possibility is Limited Editions, 3 xN.S.C.C. Scalextric (and two more due this year!), 2 x N.S.C.C. M.R.R.C., 1 x N.S.C.C. Ninco, Beatties specials, Toys-R-Us specials, and even the 1960’s Gamleys special – the blue swivel guide Cooper.
My personal advice has always been, “Buy the cars you like.”. It is totally wrong to feel you have to buy everything, or a particular model because it goes with things you already have. Where is the logic in spending hard earned cash on things you don’t especially like? After all nostalgia is really fond Memories and if in the future your essential purchase is viewed the same way you see it now, rather than a collection that is spectacularly appreciating asset, you might find yourself with the equivalent of a roomful of Scaletti Arrows!!!
Quite aside from the cars themselves there are many other items to consider. A very colourful option is to collect Scalextric Catalogues, and in spite of the disposability of paper, it is surprising how many catalogues have survived and do come up for sale. Certain catalogues can be difficult (and a little bit more expensive) to obtain particularly I – 3,
13 – 15 and 26. It is worth remembering that with every catalogue there was a price list!! Amongst the hardest of the printed items to obtain are copies of the Scalextric Newsletter. There were six issues between winter 1957 and spring 1960, and these seldom come up for sale (I still need number 2 and 3 if anyone’s selling!!)
Also well worthy of consideration is the wonderful box art. Whilst a handful of the original paintings are in the possession of N.S.C.C. members, they are nearly impossible to obtain, but the box lids the paintings appear on are readily available (how many times have you paused before throwing that empty set box away?!?). Other options include special track sections, track side buildings and accessories, and shop display and Point of Sale material (from cabinets+ signs to spares packs and service sheets).
Stepping outside of Scalextric itself for a moment everything I have mentioned so far exists on a greater or smaller scale for other U .K. manufacturers (Airfix, V.LP., S.R.M. etc.) and likewise there are dozens of European and American manufacturers whose output is collected just as
keenly as Scalextric. It is not only 1/32nd scale to consider. Slot cars were produced predominantly in four scales (1/24, l/32, 1/43 and 1/76 (HO)), and in spite of the European perspective in which 1/32 predominates, this is very much a secondary scale in the States where HO rules all, and I/24th and I/25th scale static models also impacted on the slot race market to a greater degree than 1/32 (hence the repealed failure to establish a significant US market in the I 960’s).
Second only to the question of what to buy, is the question of condition. Is it better to buy only mint boxed, or acceptable to buy ‘played with items’? Again there is an judgement of “You pays your money, you takes your choice.”, but you should buy what feels right for you. If (like me} you are a box fetishist, then it is a fairly fruitless exercise buying unboxed items and hoping to find an empty box someday (it seldom happens – invariably you end up buying another the same to get the boxed item). However, it is worth considering that if you like to run your cars is it really worth buying mint boxed items. Once you run them round the track a few times they are no longer mint, and in doing that you only need to handle a box a few times (taking cars in and out) to start to give it that slightly dog-eared look. In broad terms if you buy them to look at mint boxed is a reasonable objective. If you buy them to run very good unboxed is realistic. Taking that into consideration there are still occasions where a good or very good unboxed item may well have to suffice (super rare variations / set only cars I difficult to obtain items), when did you last hear of a mint boxed Race-Tuned Bugatti for sale!!!
Also worth considering at this pint is reproduction/ replacement parts. It is generally accepted that a car with replacement parts is still a collectable item (if you run your cars I would have said it was a benefit (financially)). However. if you are an absolute purist could you really put your hand on your heart and say that a Healey with a cracked screen, flaking chrome or no bumpers at all, really looks better that an attractive original looking car with replacement parts?
The final question (for this article anyway) is, are the sets worth anything? Most Scalextric traders would give the same answer that, with a few exceptions (James Bond Set; Go-Kart set; Motorcycle Combination set (1960’s); Vintage set; Gamleys set (with that blue swivel guide Cooper); and the I/24th sets), sets are really only worth the value of the sum total of the cars value (unless the set includes a Pit Stop or Le Mans Start and the track is in exceptional condition), but before you take out the cars and sling the box So to briefly re-cap, buy things you like, don’t worry about only buying mint boxed items (unless you really aren’t going to open them again!), don’t worry about cars having repro parts (unless they must be mint boxed for you) so long as the price reflects this, and don’t fill your spare room up with set boxes, just cut out the lids and save them up to paste to the walls. If nothing else that might frighten the wife off from asking you to redecorate!!

I hope you found it fascinating reading- Certainly to collect every Scalextric Car now would be several thousands of cars, and finding the tin plate cars, only possible when large long standing collections come to market, The advice ‘BUY WHAT YOU LIKE’ holds true for sure.
Can you imagine only 3 NSCC limited edition cars, and this article was written before we had dreamed of the UK Slot Car Festival.
Catalogue Collecting I totally understand – the same nostalgia as the cars, but taking up far less space and in relative terms so affordable, an early catalogue in nuce condition costing little more that a modern magazine. Alternatively, just pick one catalogue and collecting its contents works for many.
One of the first cars Mark purchased was a C62 Shark Nose Ferrari in yellow- from an advert in Loot in 1987 for £35 – We have similar cars listed at similar prices today, meaning the Havant produced collection is more affordable now than when Phil wrote this!
His comments re the set boxes sill certainly hold true today.

So what format does your collection take?

Check out our web site
www.scalemodels.co.uk
and ebay store
https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/markscalemodels
for our latest stock of cars/catalogues and of course reproduction spares.

Julie Scale

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click and collect at UKSF 28th 29th May 2022 with 10% discount

As we hope you are all aware, we are now well on the way with the organisation of the UK Slot Car Festival, which is finally back for 2022!
An amazing two-day event weekend – Saturday May 28th and Sunday 29th 2022.
We hope many of you will be able to attend, it’s an amazing event – where we hope we include everything slot car – with a massive list of exhibitors, manufactures and retailers all in attendance to make a special weekend – with the wonderful addition of the British Motor Museum.
Scale Models Web Site
We are pleased this year to offer
CLICK & COLLECT at UK Slot Car Festival 2022 with 10% discount.

We will, or course be there with a massive retail stand, but we cannot possibly bring examples of all that we stock. We will endeavour to bring a great selection, but we are aware that in the past we have been approached for specific items that people have seen on the web site and been disappointed that we had not brought them with us. So with this in mind, if there is anything particular you know you want to buy, we have set up a system to enable you to place an online order and collect it at the UKSF .
You can now place an online order for collection at the UK Slot Car Festival and get a 10% discount.

Simply add the items to the basket and at checkout enter the discount code
UKSF22
Select delivery method – Collect at UKSF

Sorry but this discount code is only for items that are being collected at UKSF –
Please place orders by Sunday 22nd May.

We so look forward to seeing everyone at the show.
Julie and Mark Scale

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web site navigation

Hi

Another week has whizzed past!

The New UKSF C4284 Capri has proved very popular – It looks superb, and we have had great feedback- Thank you.

We could do with some feedback re the web site – Where would you always look when visiting?

Just the Recently listed and Featured Items on the front page- or do you follow the menus to your area of interest?

Vintage Collectable Scalextric

RUSC Spares

Spanish Scalextric

Catalogues and Paper Work

Vintage Buildings and Accessories

Or maybe we do not have the link you would be looking for!

Have you tried the Search Bar, we had some one the other day say they like to search by car type – and it works – key Ford into the Search and you get all the Fords 😊 which this week includes the New RS2000 from Team Slot.

 

Thank you so much for your continued support – we long for the day when we can get out to events and swap meets again, but in the meantime, we will try to keep expanding this new site to meet your slot car needs.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Mark and Julie Scale

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re launch one week on ……

One week on – we have been thrilled by all the kind and positive comments re the New Web Site –
Thank You, we appreciate the feedback, and we were able to sort the menus for tablets quickly because a customer advised he was having a problem. We keep adding items all the time and will happily add additional menu tabs if people think they are required. You can sort ‘BY LATEST’ , so we hope you will visit often.

Monday will see the release of the 2021 UKSF car – they were already ordered, so have to be sold. We will get them on the site first thing.  Scalextric have done us proud again.

Whilst we will not have a Slot Fest this year, talks are under way to see if we can organise a Festive Slot in December at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon.

Stay safe.

 

Julie Scale

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Web Site Relaunch Lockdown 2021

 

We first launched this site in 1996 – the year our 2nd daughter was born- and we have left some of that long history here. Good Memories.

We are living through a strange time; it is a year since we were at our last swap meet – NSCC Milton Keynes 2020! We have missed the UKSF 2020 and had to make the hard decision to cancel the 2021 event- although we do hope that we may be able to sort a Festive event towards the end of the year.

We have been keeping our Ebay Store well stocked and bought several collections, so we decided the time had come to revamp and get items listed on here too.

Please bear with us, we are learning every day – but hopefully we have developed an easy to use site, with obvious menus and easy to use payment methods –

we have thought about phone screens too -so hopefully you will enjoy a look round.

 

The plan is to add new stock daily (and it is different stock than the Ebay Store) although obviously some items will replicate – we are hoping it will be so much easier to buy your spares here – rather than battling with the ebay basket system.

You can sort by just listed – so please bookmark and come back often.

Take Care of yourselves and stay safe- we look forward to hopefully seeing everyone somewhere later this year.

 

Julie and Mark Scale

 

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Northern Modelling Exhibition, March 2012

Northern Modelling Exhibition,  EventCity, Manchester, 2nd to 4th March, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to every one who attended our track at the Northern Modelling Exhibition.
We were thrilled to feature on the local BBC News North West tonight- and have the Lord and Lady Mayor race!
We had lots of people enter our prize draw. The lucky winner was Nathan Thorley,
who wins a Brilliant Scalextric Party on the Pro 8 Track in the Goyt Mill Marple