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Johnny Lightning Super II ???

3574 Views 29 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  micyou03
I thought you guys might find this interesting,
I was talking with Tom Lowe at LF and he mentioned he is interested in reproducing AFX's Super II chassis and body,at first he thought the body would be cheap to produce but turns out it's more expensive than he would have thought because of the manufacturing process,
Anyway T.L said he is ready to go on it from his end,he's in the process of convincing RC2 it will be a worth while endeavor.

Has anyone ever swapped a quadralam arm into a t-jet? :D I'll be keeping my fingers crossed this becomes reality:wave:
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Hmmm... Verrrrry interesting... a potentially cheap big-block arm for vintage Tjets...

hey, was TL a slothead as a kid? or does he just get advice from slotheads? sounds like he has a pretty good idea of what's hot...

I've run quadralams in the original non-magnatraction AFX chassis, which is essentially the most refined gravity-traction TJet chassis Aurora ever did. They run okay when equipped with very strong magnets and access to a stout power supply.

I don't want to sound negative, but the mystique surrounding the Aurora Super II far exceeds its actual performance. The Super II was a big disappointment in its day primarily because it didn't live up to the hype and speculation surrounding its release. The Super II was primarily a parts donor chassis for its armature, wheels, and gears. The excessively large front and side weights were crudely done and did little other than add a ton of weight to the front of the chassis. Good for fishing weights and little else. Nothing on the Super II represented a departure from what hot rodders of the day were doing to their standard AFXs. In fact, the many variations of hybrid AFX+brass pan chassis were far superior to the Super II, although many of these were equipped with the fine Super II armature. The primary "go factor" in the Super II quadralam is its very low resistance double wind, which came in somewhere between 3 and 4 ohms. Having 4 laminations and mildly advance timing added a small additional boost. A good motor man could easily wind a 2-lam or 3-lam armature that would beat the stock Super II quadralam hands down.

I don't quite understand what Tom Lowe would be trying to accomplish with a Super II clone (other than appealing to the undeserved Super II mystique). The prospect of having wider access to original AFX style chassis (non-magnatraction) sounds mighty appealing to me because I happen to really like that chassis. The Super II body is nothing special and came in far too few variations. I think the current JL-XT with its tri-lam has a lot more perfomance potential in it. It runs strong and cool as it is today with a very mild 15 ohm wind. I think JL/RC2 could do a "performance series" XT chassis with a slightly hotter wind, a blueprinted chassis, aluminum wheels, etc., and appeal to the racing crowd with a beefed up chassis and racing oriented bodies. Reproducing the Super II sounds like a mighty expensive proposition and a step backwards.

Yeah, I know that my desires for the direction of the JL products differ quite a bit from the premise behind JL's entry into the market. I'd like to see JL go after the slot car market as a full fledged modern player with their own new product development and innovative new products. But the whole premise behind the JL slot cars was to appeal to the nostalgic Aurora slot car collectors who are willing to buy copies of the original cars they can no longer obtain, or obtain at reasonable prices. That's fine, but I think it's appeal is somewhat limited and I really appreciate JL's foray into areas that Aurora never even entered. I love the JL slot cars for what they are. If they never copied another Aurora slot I'd be fine with that. So far I think they've done a pretty good job of appealing to both new age and retro collectors.
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A Super II done right!

It would only be worth it if he produced a really strong quadralam or pentalam type pancake armature. Not a cheap immitation but a "balls to the wall arm". Good quality components...ONLY. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth it. Gotta make it real or nothing.
and another thing....

I will say that the Bowtie Brigade cars look fantastic and I don't think we will be disappointed. Nice going P.M. I have my case on order.
The brains behind the Aurora Super II are still around. From what I've read and heard, the Super II that Aurora released was far different than what its creators envisioned. Much was lost during the move to manufacturing. I would be far more interested if JL released the Super II as it was intended than what it ended up as after being run through one too many committees.

I'm not knocking the vintage stuff. Rather, I believe we are living during one of the better times for HO slot car collectors and racers that has happened in the past 20 years or so. There's some truly great new products on the market, custom fab shops are running at full bore as they are fueled by the online marketplace, and Johnny Lightning has created a lot of excitement with vintage inspired cars. There's too much good stuff happening today to feel like you missed out on something that happened 30+ years ago and it needs to be reincarnated. And as far as the Super II is concerned, you didn't miss out on anything other than the current EBay appeal of a failed attempt by Aurora to produce a true ready to race slot car. I wish I'd bought some IBM or Intel stock rather than Super IIs back in the 70s.
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New directions are a good thing.

I must honestly say that I hardly know the difference from a quadralam to a leg-o-lamb. Hey... Is there such a thing as an octolam... Sam I am?? Seriously though, as long as the fine folks at PM/RC2 "keep it in the slot", so to speak, and don't end up shelving the slot car program for more ventures into diecast farm equipment, I say let'em try as many new chassis designs as they think they can handle. I've never once even cared about the chassis. They'll have my support if they just keep cranking out the new bodies like they have been. It doesn't ALL have to be the fastest and best. If it is ...GREAT I'm all for it. I have a feeling that regardless of what they put out, will be pretty damn cool, and whatever they put out will sell like damn hot cakes...and ham. :lol:
AfxToo said:
The brains behind the Aurora Super II are still around. From what I've read and heard, the Super II that Aurora released was far different than what its creators envisioned. Much was lost during the move to manufacturing. I would be far more interested if JL released the Super II as it was intended than what it ended up as after being run through one too many committees.

A while back (I'm talking maybe 2 years) there was a thread on the Planet of Speed BBS regarding this. I posted a little story about a visit I took to Buzz-A-Rama, which is a commercial track in Brooklyn, NY that's been around since the 60's. I mentioned that it was the place that a kid named Tony Porcelli beat a bunch of then-new TycoPros with a souped-up AFX, and Aurora hired him on to help build a supercar which became the Super II. (This is all straight out of Greenberg's Guide to Aurora Slot Cars, if anyone happens to have it.) What I found out in response to the thread was that the Super II in fact DID deviate from Mr. Porcelli's plans/ideas to make it easier to mass produce, and the final product suffered greatly. In fact, he actually responded through another bulletin board member to point out that his original car was not in fact a souped-up AFX, but rather a souped-up Tjet. Today he manufactures lightning-fast HO scale magnet cars under the Slottech name.

More to the point: Yeah, AfxToo, imagine a JLTO that's close to the Tjet he used to beat the TycoPros...

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From talking to T.L. I get the impression he's not into research and developement so don't count on a new and improved super II...he's into copying,he sends an original to China and says copy it,that's how we got JLTO's and JLXT's.

He is also trying to get a feel how collectors would feel about a tyco pro set up,he said the tyco pro series carries a lot of cool bodies.
Don't forget the bottom line...T.L. is an entrepreneur. I don't know that much about patents or copyrights but when they expire the product is fair game for anyone to reproduce or get the rights to(this is the way I understand it) so T.L. copies the idea.
Hey that's great tjd--A good laugh about it :p!
I'm in agreement with you and the old adage " make it and they will come", pertaining to this hobby and I do feel JL is on the right track producing "bread and butter" cars for the masses, but I would like to think they have enough R&D to branch out and explore all avenues of the hobby. Catering to the racers is definitely a good way to start.
I think a "pro' series of slots based on one of the previous (but higher tech) chassis' prototypes would be a good idea and selling point. They could offer a Super II style "hop up kit" of their own with every state of the art piece to assemble a real competitive race car. I'm familiar with that thread about the Super II design, so if JL could make it better through modern production techniques-that would be great, but I would still take the original if that's only what's offered. This might even spawn a whole new race series and open another door for JL marketing and be a real boon for the serious racers.
Although I'm just a "runner" or a back-marker, I still have to fiddle with my cars to make them run optimally for their design--just like we all do. A full-out pro racer starts at the same place but takes it to the next level, and the next , and the next....so there's little difference in that respect, and a kit would benefit most everyone in some way. Not being the hard-core racer I would buy them just to have some faster built cars and to have some neat extra wheels/parts/decals etc.
I cherish the idea that TL would/could spear-head a Tyco-Pro style renaissance. I think they would have a rights issue problem with Mattel in copying the original body styles and some of some of those have been re-released, already. I would be very interested in seeing what they plan to pull-off with this idea. New body-styles from JL to fit Tyco chassis' would be hard for me to comprehend, so I would guess that would mean another chassis style. I say "BRING IT ON"! But I sure would like to see a better parts distribution than they have now, though. I'm sure they must have tons of extra chassis stock-piled.
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I heard this mentioned at Lightning Fest last week also. If PM copies the Super II then the quality of it has to be the same or better than the original. I really like the Tuff Ones and Xtractions chassies that they have copied. But they are not has good as the originals made by Aurora. My personal opinion is when you have Super IIs selling on Ebay for $630.00 to $230.00 per car (in the box) and $115.00 to $240.00 (out of the box), then there may be a market for making and selling a reproduction Super II. I saw a purple Charger (original) sell on Ebay for just under a $1,000.00 back in late 1998 or early 1999. If JL-PM makes it's own Super II it would be okay. I just hope the quality is there. Randy.
If JL/RC2 does a Super II clone it won't affect the price of the originals. It would however allow more people see exactly what the Super II really has to offer, which would greatly demystify the Super II legend. But at the end of the day I think that a JL Super II would just become a quadralam armature donor if they did the arm right. The current JLTO magnets are already at Super II levels. So the real question is, why not just build a quality quadralam armature, slide it into the existing two chassis as performance upgrades? Sell special "Super XT" versions of the XT cars and "Super TJet" versions of the TJets and invest the chassis reengineering costs into more new body styles for the two existing product lines.

Tyco wasn't sitting on its hands back when the Super II was being formulated either. There were a series of Tyco prototypes that would have taken the Tycos way beyond the limitations of the TycoPro and leave the regular AFX cars far behind. I can't say for certain, but the advent of magnet traction cars probably ended the R&D effort on a number of innovative new chassis designs at both Aurora and Tyco. If JL wants to pick up where those companies left off and can be sucessful doing it, that's great. I'll buy whatever they make and I'll probably like it.
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No, No, No!
JL do not do this!!!
If you guys HAVE to make something, do the quad lam as part of a Hop Up Kit or something like that....
A re-done Super II would just be an over-powered, lacking traction oddity like it was 30 years ago....
The Super II was a huge dog,I have put LOTS of Quadralams in t-jets with traction magnets,shunts,braided pickups and spring motor brushes packed with steel wool.They are great drag cars,but a bit unruly when coupled with neo or polymer motor magnets for road racing.Lets actually face it,the Super II (minus the quadralam) was junk then,and a clone would just be new junk.I agree that JL should make a quadralam arm as part of a hop-up kit,that would be way too cool!
Very nice thread.

Whats say we design our own super II and test it using whats available today. I believe you can still pickup Super II chassis on ebay but if not an AFX would do. Flaten the motor brush springs on an AFX Chassis, buy some brush tubes from JAG hobbies use XT motorbrush springs and brushes. Install a set of JL Tuff-one magnets. Now use an XT gear plate and Super II crown gear from JAG Hobbies. Lets skip the weights used by a Super II and use one of JW's weighted fronts and a set of his dual flange AFX rears and slip on silicones or if you want set screw wheels RT HO makes reproduction riims. Pick up a Super II clear plastic body or something better looking Scale Auto and NCPHhobbie.com Find an Autoworld body clip to mount your body or add body tubes to your chassis. Get a set of stepped MT pickups or a set from BSRT. You know have a car that will handle much better than a SuperII put won't have the top end. Drop a mean green arm in it and the Super II loses a lot of it speed advantage.

I have been thinking about building what I call JFX's using and AFX chassis, JL Tuff-one magnets and motor brushes, and XT Gear plate, pickups and springs.

Now Mr Lowe could make his own JFX and give us the old Can Am and Lemans Bodies and the new Daytona Prototype bodies. I'll buy some cases :)
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JFX, huh? I like it. I like it a lot. :)

Adding to Roger's reply...

and if you want real quadralam power it can be purchased from Alan Galinko at (http://www.slotcars.org/hodra/arms2.htm).
I say go ahead and make the Repro Super IIs. I already have 2 real ones, but will never be able to acquire the 2 unreleased "Promotional colors (Blue/wht # 1 and Whit/red/ # 3 Paint schemes) I also think they could be fun to race and disagree that the originals were total dogs (Performance Disapointments Yes). As for JL/RC2 making Tyco-Pros, It was recently brought to my attention that Mattel has stopped producing slots so the Patent may be available to someone like Tom Lowe or any other entrepreneur.

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