There has been a complete dearth of commercial miniatures for some time, and as I refuse to refer to models I have not handled, apart from very brief “mentions”, I was glad to have the following letter about F1 miniatures, to fill this space; it is self-explanatory and should interest those of like enthusiasms.
Your comments in the December 1975 Motor Sport, re, lack of modern Formula One model kits, prompts me to write, enclosing some picture’s of my current F1 model collection. All models are 1/12 scale, and are either standard or modified “Tamiya” (Japanese) model kits. Due no doubt to the accuracy of D.S.J,’s and A.H.’s Grand Prix reporting, all the models are built as they appeared in one particular race, and are complete in every detail, including perforated discs on the most modern cars, or modified bodywork. Three models have been extensively modified into cars not available in the standard kits. These are: No. 1—Jochen Rindt’s 1970 Lotus 72/2; No. 6—Ronnie Peterson’s 1973 Lotus 72E/6; No. 6—Peter Revson’s 1973 McLaren M23/2.
It Should be noted that Revson’s Yardley Mac was built by me before a similar kit (Hailwood’s Yardley Mac) was commercially available.
A full history of each car, including complete specifications, has been compiled and is kept with the collection.
You may be interested to know that No. 33, Hailwood’s M23/7, was virtually destroyed when a large, heavy painting fell on it. However, the plastic monocoque emerged unscathed, and a new car was built up around this.
I am a Formula One enthusiast, and 21 years old. Many thanks for an excellent magazine.
G. MILGROM Don Mills, Ontario,. Canada.
Years ago, other types of racing cars were built of Meccano and, reading a copy of Meccano Engineer, I find myself wondering whether this still happens. Once upon a time there were those splendid GN and Frazer Nash models by D. M. Dent, of Meccano, Clothed in sheet metal, for example. I suppose the lack of such models today stems from the fact that younger enthusiasts do not remember those cars which best lend themselves to this form of construction. Dumb-irons and roadsprings can look absurd in standard Meccano strip and if these are made specially, the latter of strip brass for instance, the, entire model might as well be made entirely of workshop materials. The ploy for the unskilled is to model racing cars With enclosed dumb-irons and chassis-frames, etc. The Thomas flatirons, for instance, the underslung Montlhery record-breaking Voisin, and others, conic to mind. .Flie Meccano system gives us excellent 3 in. Dunlop rubber tyres that scale to an early large beaded-edge or later 3.50 x 19 tyre in full size, a decent steering wheel, and so on. Steering pivots may present difficulties of over-Seale and unreliability as set-screws refuse to grip, so it is a pity that an integral steering assembly of stub-axle,cum-pivot-cum steering arm, commercially available after the war, had spindle diameters just under Meccano size; does anyone remember these ? Slim single-seater Brooklands-type racing cars seem to lend themselves Well to the Meccano system, with suitable use of sheet metal for bodywork and fairings. Then even Meccano wheels can he justified, as they can be correctly covered with a disc, and the tyre size is about right, even the 3 in. plain rubber ring looking much like the slender-section tyres of many pre-1914 Track cars. If anyone has tackled anything of this kind, this column would be interested to have details and pictures.
In the above context, it is appropriate that the current issue of Meccano Magazine contains instructions for building the Meccano motor-chassis. There is a rare picture of the 1928 version powered from a rear-mounted Meccano 8 amp, accumulator and a 4-volt Meccano electric-motor “under the bonnet”. This is a “vintage” chassis, with separate gearbox, even a quadrant gear-change, cantilever rear springing, and rear-wheel brakes! It has Ackermann steering geometry, but on a special principle which I confess I do not understand, and there is provision for a dashboard starter-switch. The magazine is published by Meccano Ltd., of Binns Road, Liverpool, who this year celebrate their Diamond Anniversary, Frank Hornby’s first patent having been filed in January 1901.—W.B.