Seven Decades of Model Car Racing - One brand:
Electric model car racing was no more than a dream when Alban Adams formed in England, the triumvirate of pioneer model car enthusiasts of whom the others were Bert Walshaw and Henri Baigent, Model Road Racing Cars - better known as MRRC - was born in 1951.
MRRC established a reputation at the forefront of model car racing development be setting international standards and achieved several firsts in the market.
The success of MRRC, was as it still is, based on a passion and enthusiasm of enjoying racing. Correct proportion and observation of scale were always understood as an essential part of realistic model car racing.
In the early years of electric model car racing, initially in rail racing and then slot racing since 1954, MRRC focused mainly on the requirements of the serious racer.
With the introduction of the home racing circuit a wider selection of products for the model car racing hobbyist and car building enthusiast were developed and added to the range.
Today MRRC is the oldest brand and manufacturer of slot cars and accessories, still driven by the passion for model cars and model car racing.
MRRC - THE REAL THING IN MINIATURE
The History of MRRC Model Road Racing Cars & Accessories
MRRC in the 1950's
Model Road Racing Cars Ltd. founded in 1951. The company was based in Bournemouth, England. As a pioneer and leading company in rail racing, MRRC became the first supplier of electric model car racing equipment. Components to convert rail cars into slot cars were introduced in 1954.
Early MRRC cars utilized tin plate bodies mounted over an electrified chassis. Bodies used came from clockwork models and were purchased from Mini Models Ltd. who went on to introduce the “Scalextric” electric slot car racing system in 1957.
MRRC chassis design was simple, but very effective concept for building miniature race cars. The electric motor powering the models operated at 12 volts D.C. and was an open FRAME type equipped with a bracket on the rear, allowing the rear axle unit to be fitted directly on the motor. This in conjunction with a separate chassis front end featuring an ACKERMAN steering unit completed the chassis.
The concept meant that the chassis became a completely independent unit and could be run without a body, a very useful feature when adjusting and tuning the car to maximum performance. Another positive aspect of the design resulted in the fact that only simple body mountings were required, and in combination with different chassis front end sections the wheelbase could be adjusted to fit various body types.
New HIGH-PERFORMANCE slot cars in self-construction (KIT) configuration came equipped with a more versatile vacuum formed lightweight car body. With the clear plastic body, permitting painting and detailing on both in or outside, the cars overall track performance became much improved.
Thanks to the MRRC in‐line chassis concept cars were possible to made to 1/32 scale (early versions in 1/30 scale), representing various automobiles in miniature at same scale and of correct proportion.
Beside a complete range of spare parts components were made by MRRC to allow scratch built car construction or enable conversions from plastic static kits. With the fine detailed injection molded plastic car body as being used in model kits, building cars became simplified.
In the early years slot racing circuits were self‐built tracks made of wood. MRRC track tape (for making power rails) and surface paint were offered to ensure that everything needed for do‐it‐yourself track building was available.
MRRC hardboard slot racing track became available in two lane configuration of straight and curved sections allowing easy track set-up. With the benefits of the wooden material circuits became perfect for model car racing thanks to smooth track surface. Until today, wooden tracks are rated as first choice among enthusiasts.
Variable speed hand controller introduced by MRRC replacing the common (and unsatisfactory) push‐button “on or off” power control of cars. Variable speed added a completely new dimension to slot car racing, resulting in a much improved car steering and more realistic driving experience.
MRRC in the 1960's
MRRC fast becoming well known for everything needed in model car racing by offering a complete range of race proven cars and components. In 1962 MRRC Ltd. became a member of the “Airfix” Group of Companies (Great Britain), but MRRC continued to operate and kept its identity as the enthusiast's brand.
Company took victory in the first ever slot car racing “National Finals” with the Grand Prix championship winner driving a MRRC model fitted with 100 per cent MRRC components. The Nationals were organized by “ECRA” (Electric Car Racing Association) and raced 1964 in Watford, England.
Cars in 1/32 scale developed well in all aspects of racing with models pairing excellent results in both car appearance and performance. Also race tracks in 1/32 scale can be built with a reasonable need of space, even large or multilane racing circuits can be realized in compact size.
1/32 scale soon became an international standard in Slot Racing, and until today still is the most popular model car racing format worldwide.
With the “Airfix” MOTOR RACING electric slot car racing system a complete new range of 1/32 scale home set slot cars, in ready-to-run (RTR) configuration, became introduced in 1963.
Cars featured injection molded plastic bodies with a PAN TYPE in-line chassis being closed from underside view. Power came from a compact sized open CASE electric D.C. motor operating at 12 volts.
In addition to the RTR range, some of the “Airfix” 1/32 scale plastic models kits were also offered for model racing. The self-construction slot car KIT models were basically the same as static models with special parts added to convert into a slot car.
MRRC releases a new series of HIGH-PERFORMANCE cars including a range of 4-WHEEL-DRIVE slot cars all featuring injection molded car bodies. High performance models immediately stand out the crowed for professional racing mainly on wooden type track.
MRRC developed the CLUBMAN SPECIAL range of slot racing car kits offering much more powerful cars suitable to be raced on both the home circuits and wooden tracks. The new cars, offered in KIT form only, were powered by a SLIMLINE open frame motor operating at 12 volts D.C. – very compact in width and of low profile. Like the early MRRC cars, the in-line chassis was designed as completely independent running unit including a fully adjustable wheelbase to allow individual settings.
In addition to the CLUBMAN SPECIAL models in 1/32 scale a series of RTR slot cars became also available in 1/24 scale for use on large club or commercial tracks. A new range of vacuum formed lightweight bodies being released in both 1/32 and 1/24 scale.
The “Airfix” home racing slot cars progressed due to the influence of MRRC and their high‐end range of cars and accessories. As cars and accessories became sold under the AIRFIX/MRRC banner, all new car additions and most of the existing range of models became improved. New HI-SPEED range RTR models were equipped with more powerful CAN type electric motors for use at 12 volts D.C. and became notable by their inbuilt chassis design, making the technical components accessible from underside to permit easy access for service and tuning for advanced home or club racing.
MRRC continues with a full range of spare parts and racing components including a wide selection of general accessories for scratch built car constructions. New variable speed controllers, first BARREL and later CLUBMAN SPECIAL type, now featuring electrical dynamic braking function became introduced and also different resistor values became available.
With the incorporation of the braking action the stopping distance of the car became considerably reduced and thanks to different resistor values, the controller could be adjusted in use by matching with the requirements of motor and/or track circuit. In the result, car control and racing became even more realistic.
“Airfix” electric slot car racing system offered a complete range of race sets, cars, track sections, plus a complete selection of accessories including track side buildings and figures in 1/32 scale. Standard and specialist track made in grey colored solid injection molded plastic material and equipped with steel power rails featuring contact clips. The universal track was useable for home or club racing and initially offered in a choice of two and four lanes, but later expanded to six lanes.
MRRC introduced WIDE-SLIDE slot racing sets with wooden track sections for professional racing. The track was extra wide incorporating side borders to allow power slides.
MRRC in the 1970'sModel car racing continues under AIRFIX/MRRC label with MRRC products being supplied from MRRC Ltd. while the home racing range was supplied by “Airfix” company. Later, model car racing became mainly transferred to MRRC.
Beside the MRRC range of HIGH-PERFORMANCE and CLUBMAN SPECIAL slot cars, AIRFIX/MRRC home racing RTR models became available with updated technical equipment. Now featuring new 111 or 222 electric 12 volts D.C. can type motors as the models were released in HIGH SPEED configuration as SERIES 1, SERIES 2, and SERIES 3 (later SERIES 3 PLUS) slot cars.
A new range of SERIES 4 slot cars, again featuring an inbuilt chassis design, became introduced in 1975.
MRRC offers a full range of spare parts and racing components including a wide selection of general accessories suitable for slot car self-construction.
The WIDE-SLIDE track became sold out and improved black colored plastic track introduced with steel power rails replaced by brass material now featuring contact springs. The AIRFIX/MRRC MotorAce electric racing system was fully compatible with the previous MOTOR RACING range, early grey and black track are interchangeable.
MRRC in the 1980's
“Airfix” company went into receivership and MRRC Ltd. bought the company back in 1981. MRRC continued business as an independent company.
In 1988 MRRC Ltd. was sold to a group of Jersey residents. To continue production MRRC/JERSEY was formed with the company registered in St.Helier, Jersey (Channel Islands), Great Britain.
HIGH SPEED range of SERIES 1-4 slot cars continued with a new version of the 111 electric 12 volts D.C. can type motor. CLUBMAN SPECIAL slot car kits became available in updated version.
1/24 scale models and range of HIGH PERFORMANCE slot cars became sold out, but some of the 4-wheel-drive car kits were re-issued and produced in limited numbers.
A full range of spare parts and racing components was supplied including a selection of general accessories suitable for slot car self-construction.
The MotorAce racing system continues under MRRC being available until 1988.
MRRC in the 1990's
MIH (MRRC International Hobbies) joint venture began for development, compatibility and distribution of slot racing products. MIH was formed between MRRC Ltd. and two of their major distributors “H+T Motor Racing GmbH” (Germany) and “IBB Auto Racing SL” (Spain). Co‐operation with “Revell/Monogram” company (USA) started.
Models from HI-SPEED range continued or re-issued with new S-CAN electric 12 volts D.C. can type motor. A multiple piece plastic in-line chassis with adjustable wheelbase was released and intended for use in combination with vintage type bodies. Most slot cars were available in RTR or KIT form.
With the CLUBMAN SPECIAL range being not longer available, a new 2‐piece in-line brass chassis featuring an adjustable wheelbase was introduced. BRASS TYPE chassis equipped slot cars were powered by can‐drive S‐CAN or 13D electric 12 volts D.C. can type motors.
In addition new PAN TYPE slot cars were introduced as RTR models only. The pan type chassis concept featured a fixed wheelbase designed for use with a particular body only. Models equipped with pan chassis were also powered by the S-CAN motor and became the first MRRC slot cars equipped with a re-moveable chassis magnet for stability control. Late model releases featuring completely painted and fully decorated car bodies with all decoration added on by pad printing.
A complete range of spare parts and trackside equipment was offered including a selection of general accessories.
MRRC in the years 2000
MRRC Ltd. (MRRC International Hobbies Limited) formed with the company still based in Jersey (Channel Islands). Beside MIH, all co‐operations with other companies ended.
From previous HI-SPEED range only versions based on SERIES 4 models continued now being equipped with a re-moveable chassis magnet. Series of PAN TYPE models expands with new additions of slot cars featuring front engine in-line and sidewinder chassis.
SEBRING in-line chassis of low profile design featuring an adjustable wheelbase introduced in 2005. SEBRING chassis equipped slot cars were powered by a new compact SLIMLINE motor.
New series of CLUBMAN SPECIAL slot racing car kits released featuring a fully adjustable all aluminum in-line frame chassis. As before the MK2 chassis can be driven as an independent unit. CLUBMAN SPECIAL models were powered by new 13D can type motors.
Beside CLUBMAN SPECIAL range cars were offered in RTR configuration only. All new car releases featured chassis magnet (re‐moveable) for improved road holding and were powered by electric 12 volts D.C. can type motors.
A complete range of spares and new range of tune-up parts, also trackside buildings with figures and a selection of general accessories became available including new RT pistol grip hand controllers replacing the previous CLUBMAN SPECIAL thump operated versions.
MRRC in the 2010's
MRRC acquired by H+T Motor Racing GmbH after MIH joint venture ending early in 2010. The company is based Darmstadt, Germany.
SRP slot racing products manufacturing became part of MRRC in 2011.
Thanks to the standards of the early days international (analog) slot racing cars and equipment are full compatible, vintage slot cars can be driven on all international type of track being produced until today, while modern cars can be raced on classic tracks.
NEW EDITION SERIES models range of RTR slot cars introduced with new car releases starting in 2011.
CLUBMAN SPECIAL slot racing car kits with updated metal chassis re-issued in 2014. New MK3 chassis now suitable for use in combination with SRP competition components and all popular racing engines, including SLIMLINE, L-CAN, S-CAN or 13D can type motors.
All slot cars powered by new generation of electric D.C. motors operating between 9 to 15 volts direct current.
In addition to the universal SEBRING chassis universal type of the CLUBMAN SPECIAL and new MONZA sidewinder chassis for slot car self-construction and model kit conversions introduced in 2015.
All MRRC universal type chassis features adjustable wheelbase for use in conjunction with MRRC car bodies, but also includes additional parts as universal body holders for do-it-yourself body mounting to fit all other suitable sized injection molded plastic or resin casted 1/32 scale bodies.
Beside spares and competition components, range of tune-up parts expands by introducing a new line of general accessories suitable for slot car self-construction and slot car customizing.
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