Mini Mus­cle

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents - with Brett Jur­man

Wel­come to the first, ex­panded ver­sion of Mini Mus­cle. For starters, this time we get to ride along with the cover story and look at scale-model ver­sions of the leg­endary A9X To­rana.

The (Slot) Cars of Jacky Ickx

With Jacky Ickx fea­tur­ing else­where in this is­sue due to his win in the 1977 Hardie Ferodo 1000, what bet­ter sub­ject to fea­ture in this month’s Slot Ma­chine Ad­dic­tion than the Bel­gian ace? The cars from Jacky’s ex­ten­sive ca­reer have been abun­dant and ex­tremely pop­u­lar in the slot car mar­ket.

Ar­guably, the car he is most read­ily as­so­ci­ated with is the Gulf-spon­sored Ford GT40 from the 1969 Le Mans 24 Hours. That race was fa­mous not only for its dra­matic fi­nal laps, where Jacky had to use all of his race­craft to beat the Porsche 908 of Hans Her­rmann, but also the start. Jacky staged a protest against the dan­gers of the tra­di­tional Le Mans start where a cross-track sprint re­sulted in many driv­ers leav­ing the grid with their seat belts un­done. Start­ing across the track with a de­lib­er­ate walk, Jacky had to has­ten it into a fast shuf­fle when cars from fur­ther down the grid were in dan­ger of mow­ing him down. Porsche pri­va­teer John Woolfe died af­ter crash­ing on that first lap, hav­ing been thrown out of the cock­pit. The sprint was ban­ished at Le Mans from then on. Coin­ci­den­tally, Jacky’s win­ning car was the same GT40 that had won the race the pre­vi­ous year – a rare feat.

Slot.it has pro­duced the fa­mous 1969-win­ning GT40 as part of its lim­ited edi­tion Le Mans win­ners range.

Less well-known and more dif­fi­cult to find is the 1967 Gulf Mi­rage M1 pro­duced by Le Mans Minia­tures. How­ever, there are still quan­ti­ties of the Avant Gulf Mi­rage GR8 from 1975, al­though they have Derek Bell in­stalled as le Pilote. This race was the swan­song of the fa­mous Gulf spon­sor­ship of the JW Au­to­mo­tive team, and pro­duced a rare Le Mans win for the en­durance ver­sion of the Cos­worth Ford DFV F1 en­gine.

Then there are the cars from his Fer­rari era. Seen here is the 512 Sports pro­to­type, from Le Mans 1970, the year in which Steve McQueen pro­duced the Le Mans movie there­after loved the world over by race en­thu­si­asts. Slot.it, Sloter and Policar have also pro­duced slot ver­sions of the won­der­ful 312PBs that Fer­rari pro­duced af­ter the five-litre 512s were banned. This was dur­ing the pe­riod when Fer­rari was re­ally strug­gling to run si­mul­ta­ne­ous For­mula 1 and sportscar pro­grams. Sadly but sen­si­bly, Fer­rari gave up sportscar rac­ing in 1974 and sub­se­quently won the 1975 World Driv­ers’ Cham­pi­onship. Jacky’s F1 Fer­raris are much more dif­fi­cult to ob­tain. Un­painted resin bod­ies are avail­able from hobby sup­pli­ers, but they are best left to those who have the skills to build cars from scratch.

If you do fancy some F1 cars from Jacky’s early ca­reer, Scalex­tric have re­cently re­leased some Brab­hams in their Leg­ends range. Avail­able are both the winged and non-winged ver­sions of the BT26s from the pe­riod when Jacky re­placed Denny Hulme along­side Sir Jack.

When Jacky parted com­pany with the Gulf JWA team, he was quickly snapped up by Porsche and raced many times in the fa­mous Mar­tini liv­ery. Nat­u­rally, there are many Mar­tini Porsche slot cars, in­clud­ing 934s, 935s, 936s made by Flyslot, Spirit and Side­ways.

Pic­tured on these pages are the Scaleauto ver­sion of the 935 that Jacky shared with Jochen Mass at Sil­vert­sone in 1976, and the 1976 Le Mans win­ning 936 from Span­ish man­u­fac­turer, Spirit.

Then there are the non-Mar­tini Porsches as well, with Spirit hav­ing pro­duced the Jules and Es­sex ver­sions of the long­tail 936s.

Not im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous to over­seas buy­ers but much prized here in Aus­tralia are the Fal­cons that Jacky drove at Bathurst with Al­lan Mof­fat. Thanks to Scalex­tric Aus­tralian distrib­u­tors South­ern Mod­els, the 1978 Co­bra Fal­con was re­leased ear­lier this year, and one would as­sume they will be com­mis­sion­ing the 1977 XC Fal­con in a 1-2 Col­lec­tor’s box set in the not-to-dis­tant fu­ture. These are not to be con­fused with Scalex­tric’s pre­vi­ously re­leased XB mod­els in 1977 ATCC liv­ery, as it was in XB mode that Mof­fat and Bond con­tested the first half of that year’s cham­pi­onship.

Any­way, be­fore I fi­fifin­ish-up fin­ish-up on the Co­bra XCs, the keen-eyed amongst you may no­tice that I’ve en­hanced my Co­bra with a set of af­ter­mar­ket BBS wheels.

So far this is all good news, but then we come to the cars that many will re­mem­ber Jacky for: his days in the dom­i­nant Roth­mans Porsche 956s. De­spite Slot.it mak­ing a wide range of 956s and 962s, the Ickx Roth­mans cars are al­most im­pos­si­ble to ob­tain. The ‘82 Le Mans win­ner that Jacky shared with Derek Bell was re­leased as part of Slot.it’s lim­ited edi­tion Le Mans win­ners’ range, which came in a triple box set of the com­plete Roth­mans Porsche team. As a re­sult, the set was ex­pen­sive in ‘05, and re­mains so to this day. Strangely, Slot.it have not cap­i­talised on the pop­u­lar­ity of the Ickx/ Roth­mans Porsche era and there have been no other re­leases since this set. Per­haps Roth­mans (BAT) have been overly-pos­ses­sive of their rights to their logo and rac­ing stripes de­vice.

Last, but not least, Side­ways and Le Mans Minia­tures have re­cently been pro­duc­ing driver and manager fig­ures as ac­ces­sories to com­ple­ment slot car col­lec­tions. Gra­ham Hill, Jim Clark, John Wyer and Enzo Fer­rari are all out there, and in the main im­age of this ar­ti­cle we have Jacky Ickx him­self re­clin­ing against the GT40. And, no, that’s not a mis­take – his name was spelt ‘Jackie’ on some of his over­alls. How is that for at­ten­tion to de­tail!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.