HO Brass Wars, "Build
the Lead Sled", with detail from the builder Bob Kircher...
(back to riggenho.com)
(another view of the Sled ) (3rd view of the Sled) (link to page with more era cars)
Back in June 2007, I recived an email to email@example.com from Bob Kircher..., Bob built the Lead Sled, one of the pro style scratcbuilt HO cars during the Brass Wars hey dey. Bob worked for Tyco Industries, his title was assistant designer. Bob's boss was Pat Dennis....Here is some detail from that correspondence!
(The scans to follow come directly from Car Model Magazine, November 1971 and January 1972!)
note: Bob also provided me with extensive detail on the last scratchbuilt he made....after this it was all AFX.. This info has extensive detail on modifying the motor, a key feature of the second magazine article....
June 11, 2007
Bob's lead Sled and HO history in general
I just stumbled across your web site, www.riggenho.com
and oh boy does it bring back the memories! I was
involved in HOPRA East for several years in the early 70's, my "home track" being the one in Trenton NJ,
owned by Bill MacDonald aka "Billy Mac". I had moderate success with two wins and a second, reaching
the main in most of the races I entered although truth be told I didn't get to many of the New York area
races; a couple at Glen Oaks, Buzz-a-rama once, and a few others that I honestly don't recall. Hey, this
was thirty five years ago!
The "Bob's Lead Sled" articles in Car
Model Magazine... those were written by Sal Lucania with the construction
by Bob Kircher not KirchNer (me). If you look
closely at the pictures you can see that they are of two different chassis; one has a gouge in the bottom near the hole
under the motor from a slip with the Dremel, the other doesn't. Basically I took two chassis, one unassembled and
the other pretty much complete, over to Sal's house for the photography. I didn't do much actual construction while
the article was being shot.
1971 1st page
November 1971 2nd page
November 1971 3rd page
January 1972 2nd page
January 1972 3rd page
I read with interest the contribution by Steven Schwartz.
(ed. note, see the article by Steve Schwartz
here..). I knew
Steven well; he was one of the people who raced regularly in the weekly Sunday races at Billy Mac's house. I'll corroborate what he said,
particularly on the AJF bodies. The AJF bodies were a big advance, much better than the Thayer etc bodies.
They were ultra thin and ultra light, I'm not sure on this but I believe they were vac-formed from .007
Lexan. Their biggest drawback was body mount pinholes would rip out *very* easily. Reinforcement with
strapping tape was pretty much mandatory. Then again this was pretty much standard practice anyway, with
all the clear bodies. But it was more of a problem with the AJF bodies.
The pictures of the two chassis he submitted... not sure
but I think the Denny-style chassis was my
handiwork and fairly certain the other one, with the Tyco guide flag and no batpans, was my work. The
reason I think the Denny chassis is mine is because of the wiper mounts. I used to cut the wiper pockets off
a Tyco guide flag and epoxy them to the brass pan. Bob Chin may have done similar, I don't recall. In
any case the Midwest guys used a completely different system for wipers. I certainly built enough chassis,
and many of them ended up in Steven's hands.