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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:56
--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.