NSCC logo with a red Scalextric Aston Martin

Reaching Peak Membership

1991-99

Success

This was the most successful decade in terms of growing membership, reaching a peak of around 1100 by 1999, but it did not start off very professionally when the first newsletter of 1991 managed to spell Scalextric incorrectly on the front cover!

Newsletter

The newsletter continued to thrive and often contained 40 plus pages by 1999. The production quality improved as the club acquired some new-fangled things called computers!

A simple slot car doodle id=
Malcolm's slot car dawing

Tony Frewin edited it from January 1991 to December 1992 on an Amstrad word processor then Malcolm Parker took over from January 1993 till December 1994 and caused a major row when he purchased a Gateway 486 PC, scanner, Microsoft Publisher and a laser printer without getting permission from the rest of the committee! Such things were not cheap in those days and the club finances, although reasonably healthy, were not unlimited. Malcolm was responsible for the oldest surviving part of the current magazine; in his first issue he introduced this little drawing of a slot car and It remains part of the masthead to this day.

Malcolm also wrote the definitive history of VIP slot cars.

Alan Slade took over in January 1995 and edited the magazine till September 1999.

Rise of the traders

MRE classified advert

As interest in collecting and the club increased, slot car dealers, both part and full time began to appear. Many have disappeared over time but some did very well and two of the biggest ones today owe their very existence to membership of the NSCC.

Gary Cannell was an early member, joining in 1986. He served on the committee for many years and eventually, in 1998, decided to go into the slot business under the name of MRE. Here is his first advert to appear in the newsletter:

Pendle advert

Sean Fothersgill was just an ordinary collector with a full time job when he joined in April 1991. He advertised in the newsletter and began to attend swapmeets to sell off his surplus cars. He found it so successful that he decided to set up Pendle Slot Racing and the very first advert for the firm appeared in the June issue of 1995.

Scale advert

Other names you may recognise also got their start through the club with small adverts in the newsletter and attendance at swapmeets: Mark Scale of Scale Models joined in January 1991.

Phil Smith arrived in 1992 as did Rob Learmouth (who runs the Havant swapmeet) and the late Derek Cooper.

Limited Editions, financial grumblings and the 200th edition of the newsletter

In 1994 a new manufacturer, Ninco, appeared on the scene and offered to make a special car for the club. With Hornby still showing no interest in them the club decided to accept and the first club car for many years was produced in 1995, a Renault Clio in plain yellow with separate NSCC decals.

In 1996 Hornby finally agreed to produce a club car again, two in fact, a pair of Rover SD1s, tampo printed with the club logo, which were delivered to members in mid-1996.

Many years of penny pinching by the club’s treasurer and the profits from these cars led to a healthy surplus of £30,000 in the club’s accounts and people complained at the next year’s AGM that it was too high and such cars should be sold at below cost to the members.

The committee had a cunning plan in place for some of the surplus funds though. In November 1998, the 200th edition of the Newsletter arrived on the doormat. This was a bumper sixty page issue which contained the very first colour supplement and the news that every paid up member, 1018 of them, would be receiving a special Scalextric Jaguar XJ220C anniversary edition totally free of charge.

Some interesting new members

In September 1991, a previously unknown American citizen, with a small collection of 130 cars, joined the club and the following letter and advert appeared:

If you have never heard of Bernard Sampson then try looking at the website of Bernard’s Slot Car Museum in Houston, Texas which now contains over 7000 cars. His collection has grown a bit since he joined the NSCC!

In June 1992, a change of front cover was designed by new member Marc Abbot. If you haven’t heard of him either then have a look at Slot Car Magazine which he edits, his design talents have come a long way.

Stunt car driver Russ Swift joined in 1992. He had quite an extensive collection at the time and wrote some articles for the newsletter.

Other well known enthusiasts who were members and wrote articles for the magazine during this period were David Lawson of Southend and Don Siegel, an American living in Paris. Both are current moderators on SFI.

Doug Passell joined in 1995 and wrote several articles about HO cars. You will find him as 'Top Down' on the SlotRacer Forum.

Someone called Adrian Norman also joined in 1995 but more about him and the rest of the decade in the next instalment.