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!