Holden Torana L34 Brock - Sampson

Holden Torana L34 Brock - Sampson

Postby wixwacing » Wed 11 Aug, 2010 3:39 pm

Scalextric Holden Torana L34
Peter Brock / Sampson
Winners Bathurst 1975


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By Phil Wicks


I could go into a monologue about the achievements and personal qualities of Mr. Brock, but not only am I less qualified than most of you readers, I would be, as they say, stating the bleeding obvious when it come to the impact Brocky has made to Australian motorsport over the years. Internationally he has driven Le Mans three times, Spa 24 hours (2nd), and contested the European touring car championships (1986). In spite of racing a number of different makes his name is synonymously linked with Holden and the Holden Dealer Team, a partnership which started way back in 1973!


This Scalextric car is a model of the L34 Torana as driven by Brocky and Sampson in the 1975 Australian Touring car series. The car’s major sponsor and developer was Gown Hindaugh of Victoria. A company which is still building tuned and race engines for the public. This represented a short departure from under the wing of HDT. The particular livery of this model is as it contested and won the 1975 Bathurst James Hardie 1000


www.brock05.com


Brocky was building on his reputation and the car was seen around Australia in various events. 1975 saw the Hobart Sporting Car Club promote the biggest Sports Sedan race held in Australia to that time. In November of 1975 the Club organised a race between Peter Brock (Gown Hindhaugh L34), Allan Grice (Craven Mild L34), Colin Bond (B&D Autos L34), Garth Wigston (Roadways L34) and Graham Parsons in his own L34. In a spectacular finish, Bond crossed the line sideways, to finish second behind Brocky by inches.



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We know what Brocky got for his money, but what do we get for ours? The model is well made and I am very pleased in its presentation. Little things which are hard to do when you scratchbuild can be accomplished so easily with modern tampo techniques. Things like the seal expanders and chrome trims around the windows, and the fine pin striping along the sides set the model off nicely. Outside there are no major disasters. I have looked this model over closely, and the only observation I can make is that the paint is a bit ‘orange peely’ compared to what we are used to. But on the other hand, the clear parts like the windows are just that. No finger prints on the inside of the windows and no fine scratching where people have tried to rub them off. Once again the Scalextric tampo stands up to close scrutiny and all the external detail, including light mouldings and wiper arms, is first class.


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Inside we have the exact same driver as the Morris Torana and can only expect this is an economy measure, but it would have been nice to see Brocky grinning from behind the wheel. Other internal detail is fair, with the obligatory roll cage in place, and even though this model is propelled by an inline FF motor, it takes up precious little room inside the model and the internal detail is virtually undisturbed. But hey!, how many Aussie slotcars can we buy that have an interior!



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Underneath the body is as we have come to expect from Scalextric. Accurate moulding and attention to detail. Surprisingly, Scalextric have continued with one of their long time assembly procedures. That is that virtually all the component parts of the model are either clip in, like the drivers tray and windscreen, or are a bonded press fit. Not a heat weld in site on the body, and a couple only on the chassis, to hold the exhaust and the front bumper. Scaley have done this for many years, and it is this attribute which makes the models so restorable many years down the line. Well done Mr. Scaley!



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Now to the chassis. The light boards slot in place and don’t clip in as some do, making them annoyingly fiddly to remove. The front valance is held in by a couple of tiny screws and the rest of the layout is very unfussy and tidy. The DPR and IR equipment sits tidily on the base and Scalextric have decided to fit a motor with a long drive shaft. This bodes well in two ways from where I stand. It has allowed the traction magnet to be fitted between axle and motor, and for us board racers it has moved the centre of gravity a little further forward, balancing the model weight more evenly.



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But once all the fiddly bits have been knocked off and the tampo is looking more like a Picasso painting, there are still the mechanicals to keep it at the front of the pack, and how good are these Mmmmmmm? Well, Let me say firstly, having already driven this model on plastic AND wood, it’s not really going to be a pack leader……but! The potential is there.



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First up, the tyres are bad old day tires. A nice soft compound, but they are eccentric. I have removed them from the hubs and with the exception of one back wheel, which had (and still has) a bit of sprue sticking out of its circumference, the wheels are good. It is definitely the tyres which are thicker on one side than the other. How can this be in this day and age, who knows! The wheel trims are fine, another nice touch on a nice model, but the front axle bearings, which are built into the chassis, are very sloppy. Up and down I can understand, but these seem to go round. Assuming the front axle is heavily knurled on the ends I can only assume the holes have to be made large enough for the knurling to pass through?



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But the rears are sloppy too! Yep, not only does the axle slop in the bushes, the bushes slop in the chassis!! This causes the rear axle to float somewhat in place. There is no fear of it coming out if body screws are loosened, but it can present other problems. What problems? If you are a magnet racer, the magnet downforce will take the slack out of all these points, but it will be essential to keep them lubed for them to continue to function properly. As far as the rear bushes being slack goes, this ensures the bushes don’t go in out of line and cause binding as happens with other models.



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As far as non magnet and board racing goes, it raises another issue. The slackness in the axle bushes and the axle in the bushes encourages axle tramp on hard acceleration and in uneven corners. This translates into severe model juddering. With the front axle floating as it does it reduces the front end stability which is required in narrow models without traction magnets. The front axle should act as an outrigger to the model and if its sloppy? Well! Moving on to the guide we have one of Mr. Scaley’s less welcome offers. It has moderate side to side slop and excess front to back slop!! Just when we thought we had got over all this slop! Not only that, the guide could do with being set a little lower in the model. As it is, it is not getting full slot penetration, especially on board surfaces.



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So what does it go like ‘avec et sans’ magnet. With the magnet in place and on home turf (Scaley Sport) the model goes very well. The FF motor as we have come to know, transforms the model into a projectile. Heaps of get up an go, and it will stop on a sixpence if you have a brake circuit on you track system. Corners are a little more precarious though. Unlike GT cars, this model can not be driven hard into a corner, probably due to its high body weight. This will eventuate in a roll over deslot as the traction magnet gives up all hope. Driving technique needs to be altered a bit more to make corners a success. The process would be to brake fractionally sooner before the bend and to drive earlier through the corner. This will see the model behave very nicely, but it will still be slightly off the cornering pace of its racing thoroughbred cousins. Oh! and don’t forget to remove the drivers tray screws (the centre ones) and slacken off the other four by at least one turn!



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Two of these together or similar sedans will make a good race but the ‘horses for courses’ rule will dictate that it will not be a contender in a serious magnet fray. Unless!! Like some other models I have seen, you gut the interior and remove a large portion of the high up weight , Heaven forbid!!!

So back to serious racing of the non magnet variety and yep, sure enough, the model is prone to hop into, round, and out of corners when under pressure! No news there! But the rubber is pretty cool and doesn’t seem to be lacking, especially after a sanding experience and a rub down with a drop of shellite (lighter fuel). The model can be made to drive and handle quite respectably on all but the most technical of circuits with its original kit. Rear axle bushes need to be spot glued and some slack removed from the front and we are set to add some ballast. There’s not a lot of space to locate large ballast pieces so be careful when adding, as the body might not go back on!!


Once weighted and back on the board track the Torana goes well and is an equal to most other sedans in its class. But why deface such a nice model. In some ways it is almost sacrilege! I’m sure Peter would want you to leave it alone and just cherish the experience!


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Scalextric (and others) have got the model racing car scene down to a fine art, each specializing in their own niche. But like real motorsport, the hobby will move forward based on innovation and technology. Although not the first name to spring to mind when thinking of competition, Scalextric are there with the leaders making as big a contribution to the hobby and this model affirms that.

Because of the tragic end to a brilliant career, this model tugs just a little at the Aussie petrol head’s heartstrings (and purse strings) for good reason. My advice? Buy it!
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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Re: Holden Torana L34 Brock - Sampson

Postby holty » Sun 15 Aug, 2010 3:38 pm

With my Bob Morris L34, I changed the rear tyres to MJK Mustang ones. I changed the front tyres to worn out SCX rally, not an exact fit but this did drop the guide deeper down into the slot. I also added a chunk of metal as weight near the rear axel. This combination has stopped the front launching out of the slot and given plenty of grip out of corners on timber. I didn't try the original tyres for long as I wanted to run against an already MJK shoed Mustang.
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Re: Holden Torana L34 Brock - Sampson

Postby wixwacing » Tue 17 Aug, 2010 11:46 pm

Hi Holty

Thanks for the info, now I have both I might think about putting the Morris car on the (board) track
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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