THE PRE-HISTORIC SERIES

Once the Historic series of cars was up and running, I missed the enjoyment of actually building the cars. I thought about making another complete series of cars. I considered sports cars from the 1950s; Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin, Jaguar etc etc etc; but as I have only ever made single seaters I put the sports cars onto the back burner for another day. Eventually I settled on the middle years of the 1950s, reasoning that it would give me the opportunity to build and race some wonderfully evocative cars like the Lancia D.50 that is pictured at the top of my home page.

It took me a while to really get going with the construction of these cars, but now I am well into it, as you can see from this page. Happily, the series as turned out even better than I had hoped it would. I now have some great names, both cars and drivers; Mercedes-Benz - Vanwall - Ferrari - Maserati - Lancia - Gordini - BRM - Connaught; and Fangio - Moss - Castellotti - Hawthorn - Behra - Brooks etc etc etc.

Here are a couple more pictures of the full set - taken on 25th June 2003.

Below you will find some team photos from the top teams in F.1 during the mid 1950s.

Here are two images of the Mercedes team W.196 cars.

       

The drivers are, of course, Fangio, Moss, Kling and Herrmann.

Below is the 4-car Maserati team. These cars are all 6 cylinder 250Fs, although as you will see from the Maserati image on the index page, I now have a V.12 car (2 in fact!)

       

For sad old buggers like myself, the drivers in the Maseratis are, car #32 Jean Behra; car #34 Luigi Musso; car #36 Roberto Mieres and car #38 Carlos Menditeguy. As if you could give a monkeys!

Here are the Lancia and Ferrari teams. The Lancia D.50 is one of my very favourite Grand Prix cars and I am delighted at how these have turned out. One of the team cars is featured in the picture at the top of this page. Next to them, added on the 7th July 2001 is the last of the 'multi-car' teams - Ferrari. The car is the 553 Super Squalo and before you ask, the yellow one is driven by the Belgian amateur driver Paul Frere; and YES, I know that when he drove a Super Squalo it was red, but as I have said before, it's MY series!!

         

If you look VERY closely at car # 14 you may just be able to detect Mike Hawthorn's blue and white spotted bow tie. The other two drivers are # 12 Gonzales and # 16 Alfonso de Portago.

Amazingly, the number of cars in this series rapidly grew towards 30 and although I originally intended to equip them all with the old RX motors, I rapidly discovered that I did not have anything like enough motors of the old RX type to go into every car. Then, I suddenly found a new source for the supply of the Johnson 'large can' motors that Scalextric used in the early 1970's. This source is the auction site - eBay - from which I have obtained a dozen or so of the Johnson motors. Then I met a guy named Malcolm Aird who builds a similar range of cars to me (although not in series). I went to see him and he very kindly GAVE me about another 20 Johnson motors that he says he will never use. So, the upshot is, all the Pre-historic series use these motors.

ANOTHER UPDATE ON THE PRE-HISTORIC SERIES

As well as the cars pictured above, I have completed quite a few more. Here are some fairly unusual ones, the unusually-shaped 'toothpaste tube' Connaught and a very rare Formula One Bugatti:

     

You may notice a distinct difference in the quality of some of these cars. A very nice guy named John Abraham from Pennsylvania, U.S.A e-mailed me a while ago regarding slot-racing, and he alerted me to the existence of Nostalgia Shells. These are fibreglass, and are made in Australia. Within a few minutes of visiting the website from which these shells may be obtained, I had ordered 16 shells. I have now completed 10 Nostalgia bodied cars. It is fairly obvious which these are because the detail on them is outstanding. In fact, my home-built, vacuum formed shells look pretty pathetic next to John Bacon's; (John Bacon is the man who makes the Nostalgia shells.)

The Mercedes-Benz team cars that are pictured on my fist page took 3 months to build. Initially, I planned to use a Patto shell to create a pattern so that I could mould the bodies on my B-B-Vac. However, I thought Patto's shell was too narrow, so in the end I carved a jelutong pattern of my own. The wheels and rear tyres on these cars are MRRC, but as their fronts are so small (why is that?) I had to look around for a tyres that would fit these very nice spoked MRRC wheels, but would also by the correct size. I found what I wanted in the shape (round!) of Jack Stinson's silicone tyres.

Jack lives in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A, and he makes a whole range of these silicone tyres to fit any requirement you might have. Jack can be found at SILICONE TYRES. The driver's heads are from BTS Mouldings, with the driver's bodies being cast up from car body filler in rubber moulds. The exhaust pipes are pieces of thick copper wire, simply bent to shape and superglued into holes in the bodyshell.

Here are some more of the rapidly expanding series of cars:

     

The sharp-eyed, or very sad, reader may notice a rather large time-range across these cars. The 4 Ferraris are actually type 500 F.2 cars from around 1952-3 but a few of these cars were converted to 625s and ran as late as 1955. The Vanwalls are as late as 1957. Well, I've no excuses, I just wanted a good range of cars and drivers. Call it artistic licence!
From left to right we see Harry Schell and Ken Wharton in the Vanwalls; the owners of the Ferraris are: #58 Louis Rosier; #64 Rudi Fischer; #66 Jacques Swaters (Ecurie Francorchamps) and #70 Giorgio Scarlatti; then we have 4 privately owned Maserati 250Fs - Masten Gregory in the Centro Sud car, Roy Salvadori in the Gilby Engineering car, Mike Hawthorn in Stirling Moss' own car and Peter Collins in the Owen Racing Organization's car; and finally Tony Brooks and Ron Flockhart in the first version of the P.25 B.R.M.

DECEMBER 2001 - UPDATE

The little Gordini proved to be a problem because the car is so small it was very difficult to get any sort of motor inside the body. In the end I solved the problem by dropping the motor through the bottom of the chassis which just about enabled me to get the bodies to fit properly. I have built a 3-car team, and here they are:

     

When these photos were taken the drivers were #52 Robert Manzon, #54 Elie Bayol and #56 Mike Sparken, but as history records, various different drivers raced these little cars including the great Jean Behra, so I will switch drivers around depending on the race that is being run.

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