Thomas Sasse: McLaren M6 GT
Thomas Sasse sends along these images of his McLaren M6 GT,
with its incredible blue paint. Great photography, too! --TJA
Thomas Sasse writes:
The M6 GT has always been one of my favorite cars. Although the 1:1
car was raced neither by the McLaren nor by any other major team like
Penske (rumours say that later one car was purchased by David Piper
who tried to race it) slot car companies like Dynamic modeled a Lexan
body of this car. Unluckily there was never a hardbody kit manufactured
but one day I friend told me that the 1:1 "Hartcastle & McCormick" TV
(kit) car is based on the M6 GT design. So I purchased some of the MPC
kits and started to build two cars - one in McLaren livery, the other
one became the "Penskemobile" as PdL christened it.
The bodies were redesign - most work went into the front fenders and
the (added) rear window. At Slotmania
I'd purchased a box full of piano
wire 3 rail inline chassis (unknown manufacturer,
which is another interesting story, see the article,
and due to the full interior cockpit
of the M6 GT, I decided to rebuild them in sidewinder configuration with
(of course) Mabuchi FT26 power.
Technical details are as follows: one mysterious piano wire inline chassis
was converted to sidewinder by soldering the Mabucchi's 26D can (as a
stressed member) into the frame, the endbell had to be modified a little
bit to remain removable. As they did it in the late 60's the (turned down)
3 mm rear axle bearings are directly soldered to the motor case. Rims are
magnesium (with inserts), short reducer alu tubes (1/8" -> 1/16") are used
to hold the 22.5 mm od independant hard rubber front wheels on the 1/16"
piano wire axle. According to the rules rubber tires ("Wiesels") are used
at the rear. The Sigma 10:46 gears (0.5 modul ~ similar to .48 pitch) are
used to deliver the power to the 26.0 mm od rear wheels.
With the "works car" being sold at Slotmania,
the Penske car felt lonesome
in the showcase and I decided to race it. The 1997 Mettmann GP was the first
race the car was entered.
This was my "lucky punch" - despite my driving talent I was able to end on
1st in the (GT) race of the Oldtimer Grand Prix 1997. The car was perfectly
balanced without any lead (which is pretty impossible to place anywhere low
on the chassis due to the huge cockpit area) and IT won the race easily.
Additionally the car was honored to be the GT-class concours d'élègance
winner gaining the highly appreciated "double". And to make a very happy
racer flying in slot racer's heaven the blue car was elected "Best of show"
in overall concours - the "triple". I guess, such things happen only once
Unluckily, late in this evening, the car didn't make it into the winner's
circle because it was decided that piano wire chassis are illegal. Even 6
years later this is a point of on-going discussion regarding the (Mettmann)
rules. Well, pretty German ....
--Thomas Sasse, May 2003