Above: 1/32nd Scale Jaguar XJR-9LM
The rules for the Old Weird Herald Proxy II, held in October 1999, were designed to attract scratch-builders regardless
of their level of building skills and with only basic workshop facilities at their disposal. Chassis could be built
from any material except spring-steel, and no laser or EDM cut components were permitted, other than the guide tongue.
For the Sports Prototype class, I opted to build one of my all-time favourite cars, the Tom Walkinshaw Racing
Jaguar XJR-9LM, driven by Wallace, Dumphries and Lammers to victory in the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race.
The body is actually a 1987 Jaguar XJR-8, made in Lexan by Betta Bodies, which has been painted to resemble the
1988 car. I added a full interior, mirrors, headlights and a windscreen wiper for realism. The 'Silk Cut' logos
were hand-painted by Gary Cannell. For some odd reason, the correct shade of purple in which the body is painted,
does not show in the pictures!
The chassis design is a bit of a 'blast from the past', using 16 gauge brass plate with 18 gauge piano-wire
main-rails, with a central 'flexi-iso' pivot. The side-pans are hinged, with plumber hinges located directly
ahead of the front wheels. The mandatory Plafit Cheetah motors were not allowed to be modified in any way,
which dictated the rather large angle at which the motor is placed relative to the back axle. Front wheels
are SCD Delrin. The scale size rear wheels were also machined by SCD and tyres are Ingram 'fish rubber'.
Above: 1/32nd Scale Lola T70
The Jose Rodriguez Jr. Memorial Proxy Race was held at the splendid Marconi Foundation Automotive Museum
in Tustin, California, on the 13th of December 2000. Jose Rodriguez Jnr. was a pioneer of slot racing and
co-founder of Car Model Magazine, who passed away in 1998. The Marconi Foundation for Disadvantaged Kids
was the beneficiary of the $1,200 raised by way of donations and entry fees. The event, for 1/32nd scale cars,
was organised by Philippe de Lespinay of Electric Dreams, and attracted 53 entries, mailed-in from around the world.
For the USRRC class, I wanted to build a really different and quite experimental design. USRRC cars of the mid-1960s
were narrow and the rules dictated that the chassis sat high off the track, due to the 1/8" ground clearance rule.
My design objective was to try to get the centre of gravity as low as possible. Also, I wanted a sidewinder
configuration within the narrow confines of the body.
Al Schwartz had sent me a couple of really tiny Mabuchi motors and I soon realised that it would accept a
HO scale armature. I found a plastic Alpha "Thor" endbell in my parts box, which could be turned to fit
the can and a set of soft polymer cobalt magnets, which I honed to size. I've never raced HO scale, so
know nothing about the characteristics of these motors, but figured that given the small stack diameter,
7 feet of 34 gauge wire would be about right for the limited power available.
In terms of driveability, proxy race driver Greg Gilbert commented that it drove just like his 1/32nd
Eurosport cars. Unfortunately, the silicone tyres were not properly glued to the rims and were spinning
whenever power was applied! Still, the car top-qualified and finished second overall. The motor is
pictured here (below), on the extreme left-hand side.