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Thunderslot - new McLarens!
#1

   

Four new McLarens - two Elva M1s and two M6Bs are in the UK and are arriving at the usual retailers now.

   

Thunderslot 0304 McLaren M6B #54 Can-Am Mosport 1969, Oscar Koveleski. RRP £87.95


The first car is very timely. Koveleski - an important figure in the slot car world and Can-Am - passed away over the Christmas holidays. There have been other slot car models of Oscar Koveleski's Can-Am cars in 1:32 and HO scale, but this is a particular cool livery from the opening round of the 1969 championship at Mosport Park. Koveleski's Auto World sponsored car finished seventh - one of only two points finishes for him that season.

   

Thunderslot 0305 McLaren M6B #22 Can-Am historic racer, Robert Bodin. RRP £87.95

This car - chassis 50-06 - has an interesting history. Bought by Autodelta in 1968, it was used to test the Alfa Romeo engine destined for the new T33/3, which would have a similar aluminium monocoque to the M8B. The car was then sold by Autodelta to Charlie Gibson at Sasco Sport in Virginia. Now a historic racer in these white, red and blue colours, the 50-06 M6B is part of Robert Bodins' stunning collection of classic sports and GT cars.

   

Thunderslot 0403 McLaren-Elva Mk1 #5, Elvis Presley "Spinout" 1966. RRP £87.95

A movie car from Thunderslot? This is the McLaren-Elva Mk1-Oldsmobile that Elvis Presley drove in the 1966 musical "Spinout" - the 'King' having already driven an Elva Mk6 Maserati in the 1964 movie "Viva Las Vegas" - which was on the BBC over Christmas. The McLaren was a John Coombes-owned car, previously raced by Graham Hill in Europe and North America - including the 1965 LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside. The car was repainted from the pale duck-egg colours to this gold livery for the movie.

   

Thunderslot 0404 McLaren-Elva Mk1 #97 Nassau Speed Weeks 1965, Charlie Hayes. RRP £87.95


Charlie Hayes was a popular and prolific SCCA and Can-Am racer throughout the 1960s and raced this McLaren-Elva Mk1-Chevrolet in 1965. Sponsorship was unusual in the mid-60s - Nickey were a large Chevrolet dealer and Speed Shop in Chicago, famous for their performance parts and engine modification service. Nickey-modified street cars are now highly sought-after collectors' pieces.

Thunderslot had a difficult 2020, so it is great to see Giovanni and his team back on track with these new liveries. I'm looking forward to some updates on some of the big plans he was talking about at the UK Slot Car Festival back in 2019.
[+] 1 member Likes woodcote's post
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#2

Is that a spare wheel they carry above their dash?

Were these ever used in anger in races, or were they just included to comply with some old regulation?

I love puttering with gears
[+] 1 member Likes BourneAgainRacer's post
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#3

Yes, that's a wheel... carrying a spare wheel was is the regs for the pre-1966 FIA Group 4 'sports car' class - the forerunner of Can-Am. The spares were tucked away wherever they would fit - as they weren't likely to be used. Probably decent ballast though...

   

This well-known picture (from Dave Friedman's book 'McLaren - Sports Racing Cars') is of the McLaren M1A being tested by Bruce McLaren at Goodwood in the summer of 1964. It wasn't run with the body until September, when McLaren beat his own sport cars lap record by 3 seconds and went faster than Graham Hill's outright lap record in an F1 BRM. However, the M1A and the customer McLaren-Elva Mk1s didn't have the success on the track of McLaren's ex-Penske Cooper-Oldsmobile 'Zerex Special' - or the subsequent McLaren sports cars that went on to completely dominate Can-Am.
[+] 3 members Like woodcote's post
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#4

I know they are racers, I know they have technology for that, they look good even if oversized, and I would love one - but just on 90 quid is too much for me.....

For that I would go for - as I do - LMM cars. whose detail and accuracy is unsurpassed....

And I agree - Giovanni is a superb man. Had the absolute pleasure of chatting with him when he had just been pushed from NSR and was starting Thunderslot!
[+] 3 members Like Anthony B's post
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#5

I bought a McLaren and it's pretty good but, as Anthony says, they are too expensive to make a habit of it.

Having said that, when we move house, a BRM Alfa 1300 is on my list and that's...slightly more. Definitely a one off.
[+] 1 member Likes Gordon Steadman's post
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#6

(8th-Jan-21, 08:33 PM)Gordon Steadman Wrote:  Definitely another one off.

Corrected that for you.

I love puttering with gears
[+] 1 member Likes BourneAgainRacer's post
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#7

My biggest disappointment with Thunderslot is that the cars are so oversized and I don't think them being intended as racers is a valid excuse.

I suppose if they are being raced in a club class where everyone has the same oversized cars that is ok but I am sceptical that they would meet the rules for CSCRA and the Thunderslot championship allows so many alternative parts that the extra cost to be competitive on top of spending £90 on the base car makes it prohibitive.    
Great subjects but I regret to say that I won't be buying one any time soon.
[+] 2 members Like autoavia's post
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#8

The Thunderslot championship round held in Wales most people run there cars as they come. 
Just because the rules say you can change bits doesn’t mean you have too. 

It was hand out unglued tyres which is a good leveller.
[+] 1 member Likes Hotlap's post
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#9

I was thinking about adding an Elva to my stable, but after reading several comments about the over-size of the body I'm reluctant. Are they on par with Vanquish cars? How much larger are they compared to NSR/Slot.it/Carrera/Sidewyas/Fly, etc?
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#10

Hello DPJ.

Judge for yourself. The Revell/Monogram Surtees Lola T70 mk2 beside it is very a well known car and size.

   

I ended up buying the body kit. My only complaint is that I was making the Elvis livery when I heard they are making that exact car. I am not one to do a "me too" type car. But I look forward to building the car with a scratch chassis. The body weighs...nothing!

Chuck Norris can pop a wheelie on a unicycle!  Checkeredflag
[+] 1 member Likes KensRedZed's post
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