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IT HAD TO HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER!

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Jan

IT HAD TO HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER!

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--23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

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--23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

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--23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

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--23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

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--23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

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--23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

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janwerner's picture
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--23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

The Louwman Museum on automobile history in The Hague (NL) displays a huge collection of art connected with the many real vintage cars on display. Among these art collections also many examples of the original works of the British automotive illustrator Frederick Gordon Crosby (1885-1943). I came across this photo in my files, representing Captn. G.E.T. Eyston's  'Thunderbolt', as an example. Conditions were a bit unfavourable for making this picture because of reflections, but still it may be interesting to show. Kind regards, Jan


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

I am aware of two different boxes issued for 23m Thunderbolt: one dates from May 1938, the second one from March 1939. For differences in the text please see enclosed pictures.

Were there other boxes issued, again with different text?


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Thanks Bungo, I wasn't aware that there were different texts, and, moreover, that there was a correction in the size statement of this vehicle! I calculated its scale as 1:73, based on the stated size of 30 ft. 5 in., but being apparently 36 ft. 5 in. it should be 1:87.4!

Probably John will have an answer to your question, kind regards, Jan 

 


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

The Thunderbolt in its final form was considerably longer than the one used to model the Dinky Thunderbolt. This of course could only be taken into account on the second box, unless DInky Toys would have issued a new model of Thunderbolt. So the 30 ft 5 in is correct for the model.


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Here a better picture of the newly nosed Thunderbolt.


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

And here the longer tail.


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Thanks, Bungo, for the clarification. Still, a little bit confusing, as the model inside apparently did not match the actual prototype (and its dimensions) described anymore. Kind regards, Jan 


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Here is how I see it: Eystons first world record of 1937 was made with the Thunderbolt in its first shape, reflected in the Dinky Toys 23m model and texted on the first box from 1938. Then, Thunderbolt was modified with a different nose and a longer tail. The second record of 1938 was achieved with this modified Thunderbolt, texted on the second box from 1939. Of course, the DInky model couldn't be altered, therefore the discrepancy between the model and the second box.


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Hi Bungo, I agree, so now it's valid again to state that the scale is 1/6" to 1', approx. 1/73, and with that this model finds its only scale companion in the 'lonely' Leyland Forward Control Lorry on the Dinky Toys factory scales list. This underlines how big the real Thunderbolt was compared with its seemingly equal-scale - but actually near twice bigger scale - companion prewar 23 series racers.

Besides, I'll add a picture here, taken in 2009 in the Derby Municipal Silk Mill Museum, where a lot of Rolls-Royce heritage (aircraft engines) has been preserved. It's a photo of Eyston sitting in his Thunderbolt. The engines for this monster record car were manufactured by the local Rolls-Royce aircraft engines factory. Kind regards, Jan


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Jan----That truly shows the real size and scale of that record car, when you have it next to the Forward Control Lorry.....a truck! It was amazingly large and complicated, and Eyston must have been a very brave man to pilot it.
Best regards, Terry


john45
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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Hello Walter,

I have codes of three boxes for 23 m. No other text is known to me, just the two you showed.

1 With text "November 1937 ..... 11 MPH" , BW 7874 20 M 2-38, 20.000 made February 1938, BW 9771 20 M 5-38, 20.000 made    May 1938.

2 With text "September 1938 .... 7 MPH" , BW 5023 41 M 3-39, 41.000 made March 1939.

John.


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

What an astonishing vehicle the real thing was. Faster on land than a Spitfire in the air! Terry is right! It must have taken a Helluva brave man to drive it!

My brother had the Dinky model bought in 1943. It was a very dark blue, almost black, with no other colours, or Union Jack on the tail fin, and white treaded tyres. I had 'Goldie' Gardiner's MG 'Record Car'.bought at the same time. It did have a Union Jack on each side (but no lightning flashes), silver windscreen, white driver and white treaded tyres. 

Jake.


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

You are probably aware, but I will clarify just to be sure, that the only version called the Thunderbolt was the first one, #23m, and only painted silver, with black trim, and the Union Jack on the tail fin. A short time later, the 23s was issued (the same casting), but in several solid colors with colored trim, then post war in solid colors and also silver again, but with red, green or blue trim and no Union Jack. This version was called the Streamlined Racing Car.


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Some photos below, if you like. The early blue 25s was much darker blue indeed than the one shown here - compare Bruce's example in the 25s thread. Kind regards, Jan 


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Jan—-Yes, you are quite right. Years ago, someone gave me a very dark blue, with silver trim 23s, that has the silver colored baseplate and white tires, but postwar thicker axles.....so likely from 1945-1946. Unfortunately it is quite scratched up, but an interesting piece. I would call the color “midnight blue”.
Best regards, Terry


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Here is my pre-war 23s Streamlined Racing Car with silver baseplate and white tyres. The colour is greenish-blue. It was first issued in February 1939, as announced in the Meccano Magazin from February 1939.

Best regards from Thailand

Walter


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

Here is a nice picture, showing the implant of my Thunderbolt onto a painting of the real thing. I like to do things like that!
Best regards
Walter


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

One of the two engines of the Thunderbolt. The other one is in the Science Museum in London.

Photographed at the R.A.F. Museum Hendon in August 2005.


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Re : --23m 'Thunderbolt' Racing Car (1938-1941)

... and here they are, as positioned inside the record car: