General items of interest relating to F1 stock cars
DIE-CAST STOX MODELS
Husky was a brand name for a production of small die-cast toy vehicles introduced in 1964 to compete with Lesney's Matchbox cars, the market leaders at the time. They were manufactured by Mettoy Playcraft Ltd which also made larger Corgi Toys. The range was rebranded Corgi Juniors in 1970 and supplemented a range of Corgi Rockets that had been developed to race on track sets in 1969.
Among the various models in the Corgi Rockets series were two stock cars based on Superstox cars that raced on the Spedeworth circuits. They were the cars of British Champion Derek Fiske and 1967 World Champion Adrian 'Todd' Sweeney and, along with a Volvo P1800 tow car, trailer and a Jaguar Pace car, they were launched in 1970. Below are pictures of these items from my collection:
The Rockets cars were withdrawn by Mettoy at the end of 1971, after a year in production, as a result of losing a court case brought by the USA company Mattel over the production rights to associated track systems, and many of the Corgi Rockets range of cars are now hard to come by.
The shell on the Todd Sweeney car was later re-used by Corgi as a generic silver liveried Superstock car as pictured below:
With the increasing costs of UK based production and decreasing sales revenue limiting the funding available for product development, Corgi Toys were finally forced to call in the Official Receiver in 1983. This followed on from their competitors Dinky Toys ceasing to trade in 1980 and Lesney (Matchbox) who called it a day in 1982.
However, in the case of Corgi Toys, a management buy-out saw the company reformed as Corgi Toys Limited in early 1984. This company continued on a much smaller scale but although the workforce at the Welsh based manufacturing unit grew, competition from products being sourced and manufactured in China was fierce. Although they moved some of their own production to China and diversified into producing non-toy items, the management eventually sold the Corgi brand to Mattel in 1989.
The early Corgi stock car models continue to be sought after and eBay has extended what was a limited market place for would be collectors.
In 2009, Ed Creations Model Stock Cars launched a range of 1:62 scale die-cast BriSCA stock cars at pocket money prices that proved to be a great hit with younger (and older!) stock car fans. The initial range of 50 cars covered all the driver grades as can be seen from the examples in the picture below:
Six years on these die-cast cars continue to be very popular and helped by a young stock car fan from the North East, Matthew Hutchison, who developed a range of Stox Signs graphics that have done so much to enhance the original concept. See example below:
Never one to rest on his laurels, Matthew improved the Stox Signs range still further by producing sloping shale roof aerofoils as can be seen in the picture below:
Another item in the Ed Creations range is the towing vehicle and Stox Signs have livery graphics available in a variety of designs. The example below has the name of this website added:
Matthew and Stox Signs relish a challenge and the unusual wings on the 390 Stuart Smith Jnr and 53 John Lund shale cars are a credit to their patience and ingenuity:
One of Matthew's tributes to the heritage of BriSCA F1 stock car racing and to the most complete driver ever to grace the raceways, 'The Maestro & Wildcat' 391/1 Stuart Smith Senior and his 1969 World Championship winning car:
Ed Creations and Stox Signs can usually be found in Speed Square at Coventry stadium on the first Saturday of the month and at most Belle Vue meetings with their ranges of die-cast models on display for sale. For further information about Stox Signs check out their web page at www.stoxsigns.co.uk where you will find details of a new transporter truck being launched in 2015. See the pictures below for an example of this superb new item in the Stox Signs range in the colours of the current World Champion, 55 Craig Finnikin:
To conclude this feature are pictures of two 1:43 scale die-cast Ford V8 cars - a 1937 Ford V8 and a 1950 Ford V8 Pilot. These were typical of the stripped down road cars used at the birth of F1 stock car racing in 1954:
How far the sport has travelled in the last 60 years!
LEGO STOCK CARS
It's always a pleasure to be able to encourage the entrepreneurial talents of a young stock car enthusiast.
Eddie Collins aka 'Fast Eddie' from Yorkshire is not only a Mini Stox driver but a long-time Lego devotee who constructs replicas of various BriSCA F1 stock cars and even the coaches that transport the stock cars. Examples of his work can be seen on his Facebook page Brisca F1 Lego Stox - it is well worth a visit.
Recently, he has turned his attention to producing a limited run of F1 stock car Lego kits and so far has two cars available for sale. They can be seen in the picture below:
Each model is professionally presented in a robust cardboard box that contains the Lego pieces inside a sealed polythene bag and clear, pictorial building instructions. The finished car measures approximately 11cm x 5.5cm and 5.2cm tall. It looks the part and is a credit to Eddie's Lego building/designing skills.
Details of the cost and how to acquire one or both of the models can be found on Eddie's Facebook page - Brisca F1 Lego Stox.
I'm delighted to have these models as part of my extensive collection of F1 stock car memorabilia.