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Mokei Kagaku

A little love for vintage Carrera Structo RC-models

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I've scanned some old Carrera Structo catalogs tonight and thought I just might as well share.

First post is of first generation Carrera Structo cars, available in "Hurrikan" (friction motor and free-running), cable remote, toy-grade and hobby-grade RC-versions. They may look toyish now, but we're talking early seventies here and at least the bodies were amazing for their time.

Scales vary from 1/12 (Mercedes 350SL, Ferrari 312P and Porsche 908/3), to 1/10 (buggy), to 1/8 (Porsche 917 and Tyrrell 002).

With the second generation Carrera Structo cars, the series was separated in two series, the toy-grade RC-cars with hard plastic bodies and the hobby-grade RC-cars with modular chassises and lexan bodies (although some of the hobby-grade models came with hard plastic bodies too). Next two posts will cover the second generation, toy-grade and hobby-grade.

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Second generation Carrera Structo, toy-grade series.

1/12 scale: Porsche 935/78 og BMW M1

1/10 scale: Ferrari 312T4,  The body is not far away from the quality of the Tamiya Ferrari 312T3 hard plastic body. The Tamiya stickers are however superior, of course! Also, as far as I know, this is the only body of the second generation Structo that was also used in the hobby-grade series, but with a completely different chassis, of course.

I have these bodies with the intention of putting them on "proper" RC-chassises, and the proportions are so good and the bodies so well molded that a good paint job and high quality stickers will be enough. The blue windows are admittedly a pity, but for toy-grade models, these were amazing for their time.

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The wheels look pretty good on them too. Esp the rear discs on the porsche. Its dven got a chrome lip.

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Where's Mine!

Those are Flippn' Groovy!

I do have 1/32nd scale Carrerra Slot cars does that count? HA!:lol:

what year did these evolve?

all the time that i purchased slots, Carrea RC's never came up😢

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6 hours ago, ACCEL said:

what year did these evolve?

I don't know the exact year the first generation was released, but my father brought me the catalog from a business trip to Switzerland and I must have been between 5 and 9 years old because I remember getting the catalog in the living room of the flat we had during those years of my life. In other words, I got the catalog somewhere between 1970 and 1974.

Also, judging by the car in the series, it's possible to date the series itself to some extent. The real Mercedes R107 was released in 1971. The Ferrari 312P dates from about 1968. The model named Porsche 908 is actually a Kurzheck Spyder (shorttail) variant of the 908 and was dubbed 908/3 and raced in 1970 and 1971, first without the vertical fins, so the model is not an early version. The Porsche 917 model is actually a 917/10, which replaced the 917 PA in 1971 and was replaced by the 917/30 in 1973. As the model doesn't have airscoops behind the driver, it is necessarily an early 917/10. Finally, the Tyrrell 002, which I know the least about, so I had to google it. Apparently, it was raced in 1971 and 1972, replacing the 001 and being replaced by the 005 in 1972.

So, with these small bits of pretty solid information, it's in theory possible that the first model in the series was released in 1968 and the last in 1973. I reckon that Carrera probably didn't release the Ferrari 312P at the moment the real thing was presented, so I think 1969/1970 is more likely the year of birth of the series.

7 hours ago, ACCEL said:

all the time that i purchased slots, Carrera RC's never came up😢

Carrera is a brand with a tragical history, and the current brand Carrera is in fact a revival of the original company. The Carrera brand originates from the company Josef Neuhierl, a traditional manufacturer of tin toys from the German capital of toys, Nuremburg. When the slotcar craze started, the company Josef Neuhierl joined and turned out the high quality Carrera series, a name that quickly got synonymous with slot racing in Germany and still is today. In the late seventies, Carrera pioneered the steerable slot racing, with cars able to change between tracks with a steering wheel on the hand controller. It was named Carrera Servo and the company must have believed very much in the success of the system, because a vast range of cars and tracks were released almost simultaneously. Not just in one scale, but three! (1/32, 1/40, 1/60). The traditional ranges remained (1/24, 1/32 , 1/60) as did several other slot track related series with trucks, space ships, the Structo series and more. 

In hindsight it seems pretty clear that 6 slot racing series, which weren't at all compatible with each other, was way too much from one manufacturer, especially so as slot racing craze was about to die. Furthermore, whereas the steerable cars was surely a cool idea, the cars were relatively slow, the steering didn't work that well and it was virtually impossible to make the cars leave the track. Full speed into a curve usually meant that the car "hooked up" and either stopped or "rattled" in repeated "hook ups" around the curve. I remember so well visiting a hobby fair together with my one year older cousin. Carrera Servo was presented in a massive way. All series and cool video films greeted us when we came to the booth and at first we were very impressed. Then we were allowed to run a car each on one of the multiple tracks they had in the booth, and we were immediately very disappointed. We experienced how slow and awkward to run the cars were in comparison with traditional slot racing, how running "too fast" really wasn't possible and how the steering function didn't really serve any useful purpose, neither for the fun or the realism, nor for getting quicker round the track. In fact, it was better to let the car remain in the track with the most "outer curves", where it would "hook up" much less than in the "inner curves", making it possible to keep full speed almost all the time. Simply boring. Admittedly, it still exist fans that swear by the system, but as history would show, most (potential) customers would agree with my cousin and me, and combined with the cost of manufacturing, distributing and marketing 6 different slot racing series (when 2-3 most likely would have generated more net profit) and a falling market for slot racing in general, Carrera went bankrupt and the owner (son of Josef) and his mother committed suicide by leading a hose from the exhaust of his car into the car. 

With new owners, Carrera lived on, but it took until the nineties before the company got a management with a basic understanding of quality and what the market wants, and Carrera manufactured in the meantime is mostly really terrible. In recent years, Carrera has launched some RC-toys, but quality is poor compared to the Carrera Structo RC-models of the seventies and early eighties. In other words, if you want a Carrera RC model, getting one of the old Structos is the way to go.

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Second generation Carrera Structo, hobby-grade series. Please note the scan showing the modular chassis. Front, rear and 4WD was possible, FWD or RWD with 1 or 2 motors, 4WD with 2 or 4 motors!

1/12 scale: Porsche 935/78, Renault RS10, BMW M1, Ford Capri. As far as I know, Carrera never stated the scale for the truck, but I have one and my estimate is roughly 1/12 scale.

1/10 scale: Porsche 924GTR, Porsche 936/78, Ferrari 312T4, BMW M1. And not shown; Jeep Renegade (CJ7)

When Carrera started to make their first lexan RC bodies, they already had a lot of experience in making small scale lexan slot bodies, and it shows. The first Carrera lexan RC bodies were released almost at the same time as Tamiya released their first lexan RC bodies without any previous experience with vacuum molding, so a comparison is quite interesting. Generally, the Tamiya bodies have a smoother surface and less inclusions of contaminations, but Carrera was obviously much better at making molds and managing undercuts.

Also, when you've seen the first Tamiya lexan bodies for 4 decades, you get used to how they look and they kind of look realistic and seem to have correct proportions, when they in fact don't.

Tamiya's overall quality of course is vastly superior to Structo quality, especially the stickers(!), but in my opinion, the Carrera lexan bodies actually have better proportions and look more realistic with their undercuts and by not having to bolt on injection molded pieces front and rear to make them look complete. An amazing achievement at the time when you consider how most lexan body manufacturers till this day are capable of reaching the quality and level of realism that Tamiya did with their bodies 4 decades ago!

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Oh My God! I'd kill for the bodyshells of the 1/10 BMW M1 and Porsche 924.

Thanks for sharing these scans. 👍

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Hey Mokei, Thanx for sharing this is something i thought i'd never see, maybe some day i'll come across one of their nice rides.

hey buddy thanx for all the insight, i never knew that about that company and its history, when i got into slots in the early 80's i started purchaseing any and all makes,

Carrerra was one of them, i purchased Scalecrtix track, but years went by i ended up buying Carrerra track for you can use 1/32 and 1/24th scales (their track is that much wider). 

 

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On ‎6‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 7:00 PM, martinjpayne said:

Oh My God! I'd kill for the bodyshells of the 1/10 BMW M1 and Porsche 924.

Thanks for sharing these scans. 👍

Two of my favourites as well! As far as I know, the Carrera M1 is the best 1/10 M1 lexan body ever. Even though the Carson M1, which isn't terrible, isn't by far as well proportioned and crisply molded, even though it's 3 decades newer. And the only other 1/10 scale 4-cyl front engine Porsche lexan body I know about is the Parma 944, which is also of newer date, but not by far as nice as the Carrera 924GTR. Carrera lexan bodies were brilliant for their time and not far behind the best of today. Just wish they had good stickers too!

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On ‎6‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 5:20 AM, ACCEL said:

Hey Mokei, Thanx for sharing this is something i thought i'd never see, maybe some day i'll come across one of their nice rides.

Carrera Structo models are relatively easy to find on german eBay. All from the first generation are pretty common as are the second generation toy grade cars. From observing auctions for them for close to two decades, of the second generation hobby grade cars, I believe the Truck, the Jeep CJ-7 and the Porsche 935/78 are the most common ones. The Capri and the two F1 cars aren't too hard to find either. The Porsche 936/78 and 924GTR and the 1/12 BMW M1 are quite rare, whereas the 1/10 BMW M1 seems to be extremely rare. With a bit of patience, I reckon all can be found though and the prices for good used ones aren't too bad. NIB ones are rare and expensive.

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