Late 60's Group 20 Racer
1964 Lola GT Coupe - Reproduction
Total of brand 'Champion': 2 factory cars, 1 reproductions, 3 total.
Champion of Chamblee, GA, headed by Jim Williams, started operating in 1965. By 1967, they had become one of two "motor kings" in slot racing, the other being Ron Mura in San Francisco. Champion started by acquiring the leftover Mabuchi 36D motor supply of several bankrupt would-be manufacturers, such as Hawk and Garvic. Their motor series started by "hand selected" FT36D (can-driven) named 701. Dark silver in color, stock arm with brown wire. The "bad" ones were taken apart, and balanced by arm grinding. They were the "702". Rewound with #29 wire and ground-balanced, name them "703". All used the stock bearings, except the 703, that you could also buy with a large can-side high quality ball bearing. this led to the "707", with rewound arm, big good quality commutator and nylon insulators, plus the new "Arco" magnets with shim. Some 707 received the ultimate evolution, a Champion-made endbell with ball bearing. Meanwhile, the leftover dark blue ex-Hawk FT16D Can-driven motors were re-christened "501". Rewound, with a Kirkwood commutator and ground-balanced,and with magnets made from broken Arco 33 from the big 36D, it became the "507".All motors above received a metal-foil sticker with their names printed in black or green on silver.The 507 was fast but melted its endbell rapidly, so Champion made their own with better plastic, with molded-in cooling hole and better bronze bushing. The can was a modified Mabuchi FT16D, nickel-plated,with the old gimball bearing replaced by a fixed serted bronze bushing. The arm received the nylon insulators but was still ground balanced(U-Gly!)Add a set of new Arco 33 properly molded magnets with a new shim,it became the "507R" and received a white paper label with black markings. This evolved rapidly along with the new "600' line (26D),all nickel-plated, the 601 being the "selected" stock motor, while the 607 was the rewound unit with Arco mags.Both those 26D had Mabuchi-made cans with 2 holes for a future 2-56 assembly screw arrangement to help when those tabs broke... A new 507/607 line showed briefly with one-vent hole only, but were quickly replaced by an all-new, American-made can line with thicker, chrome plated one-hole cans. Called the 517 and 617, those were not only powerful but lasted longer. By that time, the 36D line was abandoned and Champion sold them in cheap kits, inside "Snuggler" chassis and on low-cost RTR's. After the 517/617 series, things got very confusing. Jim Williams left the Company and "Mr. YoYo", Bob Rule, took over. The Champion Works Team changed drivers almost on a weekly basis, and things were just not the same.As the Industry crumbled, all what was left were the Pro-designed product lines, and the emergence of Parma as an Industry leader for the next 20 years! One thing certain is that Champion were still dominant, and Mura's days had not come as yet. Champion became very active in England, thanks to their importer, B.I.C.O. Multiple products were re-labeled and re-named by the British Company, and they had their own set of Pro-racers such as Louis Meyerowicz and others. In USA, Team Captain Jack Lane faded away, and Ole Man Gardner and Bob Cozine took things in their hands, with support from various "guest" Team members such as John Cukras, John Anderson and others. After the "Chrome-Can" series, Champion produced their first real motor, no longer derived from the Mabuchi design. After the multitude of can and endbell design variations during the 507/517 days. The new motor was STRICTLY FT16-sized, with a black-painted steel can with an oval hole on one side only, a cut clearance for anglewinder mounting, and various colors endbells which determined the actual denomination of each type. The first type came in mid- 1968,(after the Anglewinder revolution) and had a black endbell. It was named "525" and existed in a variety of winds, all done on new .010 blanks, all equipped with the new Arco “blue dot” magnets, a better version of the previous ferrites, with an all new shim design. Those blanks were coated in lighChampion
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