We have taken for you, the true enthusiasts, detailed pictures of the models that recently surfaced at auction, and acquired by the LASCM.
One of the cars is indeed an early factory test shot of the most celebrated slot car thingie on the planet.
It was located in Tustin, California, only a few miles from its place of birth, a 440-ton injection-molding machine right off Warner Avenue in Santa Ana, in March of 1966.
Designed by a lady engineer by the charming name of Fredrica M. (for Millie) Naef, it was inspired by the Lola T70 and approved by Cox vice president Bill Selzer.
Several prototypes were built, including some with a specially produced clear-plastic vacuum formed body. Recently, Millie as she likes to be called sold original prints of the body and one of the clear bodies, as well as a very early production model and various paraphernalia.
The injected clear car came from the son of a former employee at the R&D department. Below is part of the body design, one of the very few such drawings that survives today:
Without further due, here is the beast:
And yes, it is translucent, but not quite as much as a vac body!
The chassis is standard early fare, except in few details.
The front axle cross tube is nickel plated. Was it supposed to be produced that way? Both ends are machined, not simply hacked with a Dremel disk, so one wonders… Cox of course introduced a whole rack of nickel plated brass tubes and shapes the same year. The LASCM will pay good money to anyone who will sell such a rack in excellent condition.
Note the early chassis with no body-mounting side tabs, machine-screw affixed pivot, ball-bearing (VS later needle-bearing) front wheels and very narrow gray sponge tires.
Now we have these three early models:
From left to right: the early vac body, a translucent orange early test shot in the as yet to be complete mold (there are no holes yet for windshield, roll bar, gas caps and under the chrome injectors) and the “Tupperware” body.
More and clearer pictures of the vac body for the usual “body snatchers”.
The LASCM Museum curator was able to interview Millie Naef on October 11, 2010. Now 76 years old, Millie was amazed and impressed by what she saw, was able to drive (and quite well at that) a modern slot car on the LASCM great track, and is seen here holding the very toy she designed in 1966: