US 3402503 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 1968 M I. GLASS ETAL MODEL VEHICLE TILE TRACK SYSTEM WITH ACCESSORIES 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 24, 1965 IN VEN T035 BY MAIiVl/VZ. GLASS ATTORNEYS g 8 E a OfiflO/VA. BAFZOW M. I. GLASS ETAL Sept. 24, 1968 MODEL VEHICLE TILE TRACK SYSTEM WITH ACCESSORIES INVENTORS MAW 0V1. 64455 60200444. AAKLUW ATTORNEYS cfmo i/ 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 24, 1965 United States Patent 3,402,503 MODEL VEHICLE TILE TRACK SYSTEM WITH ACCESSORIES Marvin I. Glass and Gordon A. Barlow, Chicago, 111., as-
signors to Marvin Glass & Associates, Chicago, 11]., a partnership Filed Sept. 24, 1965, Ser. No. 489,862 2 Claims. (Cl. 46--17) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A prefabricated miniature road racing layout including a plurality of square sections each having scenic components and electrically conductive tracks, whereby the positioning of the sections in a predetermined manner provides a continuous path of roadway for the cars and means for supplying electrical power to the cars through the roadways. The road race layout includes changes in elevation, turns and a bi-level cross-over. There is also provided a switch means which is operable to automatically alternately direct a vehicle from one of the two track sections onto the other track section, and a movable bridge section which is operative to provide a gap of adjustable length for jumping by the vehicle.
The present invention relates generally to a layout for miniature vehicles and it is particularly directed to a road racing set comprising a plurality of pre-fabricated units or tiles each including model scenery and tracks for electrically powered miniature automobiles.
Miniature automobile race sets have become very popular in recent years and are available on the market in many different forms and with a large number of accessories. However, the previously known road racing sets involve a substantial amount of time in assembling since they generally comprise a plurality of relatively short sec tions of track or roadway which must be assembled and connected With a source of electrical power. Furthermore, if realism is to be added to such sets, the available accessories must also be individually located and Wired with respect to the assembled roadway. The present invention is particularly directed to an arrangement whereby the track, scenery and accessories are integrally formed or fixed on relatively large square sections or tiles, so that the entire layout can be readily assembled by locating the tiles in side-by-side relation to one another to quickly achieve a complete scenic layout which heretofor has been possible only for the most accomplished hobbyist after many hours of work. An object of the invention is to provide the described layout wherein changes in elevation of the roadway is aiforded together with turns, curves and a bi-level cross-over to further add to the interest of the layout. Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the following description of the embodiment illustrated in the drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of a layout comprising six rectangular sections or tiles;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged top plan view of the mating edge portions of one pair of tiles;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIGURE 1;
3,402,503 Patented Sept. 24, 1968 FIGURE 4 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of means employed in FIGURE 1 for releasably securing four adjoining tile corners together;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of switch means used in the layout;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the lap counting devices used in the layout;
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 7-7 in FIGURE 1, illustrating an adjustably positionable bridge or jump device;
FIGURE 8 is a schematic illustration of the electric wiring employed in the layout; and
FIGURE 9 is a sectional view taken along the line 9--9 in FIGURE 1.
As seen particularly in FIGURE 1, a selected embodiment of the present invention comprises six square sections or tiles designated as A, B, C, D, E and F, each including at least two generally parallel track or roadway sections to permit competitive racing between a pair of miniature race cars. Each tile is formed to provide suitable three-dimensional landscape so as to provide a more realistic setting for the race. The tracks or roadways are arranged on the individual tiles so that, when the tiles are assembled in a predetermined manner to provide a generally rectangular layout, the ends of the tracks of each tile mate with the ends of the tracks on the adjacent tile and a continuous roadway is provided throughout the layout. The tracks provide the means for guiding the path of the scars and also conduct the electric energy for operation of the car motors. The transmission of power from the tracks to the cars is conventional, such as through a conductor 12 depending from the minature automobile 14 and engaging the metal conductors forming the tracks. As is usual in road race sets, a track for each car includes three parallel metal strips 16, 18 and 20 and the flow of current from the track to the car motor is through the center rail 18 and one of the two outside rails 16 or 20, with the direction of the car being deter mined by the contacted outside rail so that the car may be run in either direction. Since this is a conventional mode of operation it is believed unnecessary to illustrate and describe the car and its connection with the tract in detail. The base of each of the tiles includes a marginal flange portion 22 of sufficient depth to accommodate the embedded tracks and also permit concealed positioning of the wiring beneath the tiles. As illustrated in FIGURE 8, tile section F includes a terminal strip 24 providing electrical connection with each of the outer rails 16 and 20 on each of the tracks and with a conventional transformer 26 which is concealed normally beneath the removable mountain 28. A pair of remote hand-control devices 30 and 32 are also connected to the terminal strip 24 to afford individual control of the cars on the two tracks in a conventional manner.
The tiles A-F are formed so that there is a change in elevation of the roadway throughout the layout and with tiles C, D and F havin'g banked turns to provide more realistic effect and promote greater speeds on the turns than is possible with the usual fiat layout. The starting position for the cars is indicated at 34 on tile A and simulates the well known Le JMans racing start, with the parallel track sections having portions at the entrance 3 on to the main road which are so closely positioned together that two cars cannot run side-by-side at this point, and the parallel tracks then diverge slightly to permit side-by-side racing as the cars enter tile B. Also associated with the Le Mans starting section is a pair of movable switch sections 36 and 38, illustrated particularly in FIGURE 5. Each of the switches comprises a generally triangular member 40 which is pivotally mounted on the tile by a pin 42, and the trailing edge of each switch is shaped to provide projections 44, 46 disposed for engagement by the depending conductor on the race car as it passes the switch so as to throw the switch. Consequently, each time a car passes one of the switches it moves the switch so that the car will take the alternate route the next time it passes through the switch.
Suitable connecting means are provided for releasably locking the tiles in the position shown in FIGURE 1, so that the tiles are not displaced and so that the metal rails are more positively interlocked for the flow of electrical power thereto. As seen particularly in FIGURE 2, the abutting edge of each tile preferably includes a pair of tongue-and-groove means 48, 50 for locating the tiles together, as well as a clamp 52 (FIGURE 3) adjacent the tracks comprising a C-shaped member which fits into slots 54 along the edge of each of the two tiles. As a further means for holding the tiles in position at the center of the layout, wherein the corners of four tiles come together, there is provided an element 56 (FIGURES l and 4) having four depending legs 58 which fit into openings 60 formed in the corners of the tiles. This element preferably is formed to simulate a rock or the like on its top surface so as to blend'with the landscape, as illustrated in FIGURE 1.
On tile B there is provided a bi-level cross-over 62 in the form of a simulated brick hill 64 leading up to a bridge or over-pass 66, and road sections which are below the over-pass are through a simulated mountain 68 which is removably positionable on the tile and includes a pair of tunnel sections. The track through one of the tunnels 70 includes a very sinuous portion to add further interest to the layout and to require greater skill in operation of the cars through such portion. The overpass 66 terminates at one end in an elevated section having a downwardly inclined portion 72 which is movable lengthwise of the track to provide a jump of varying lengths as desired by the racers. Of course, this portion of the track is not powered and there is preferably provided guided means 74 on the movable bridge section and cooperating channel forming means 76 on the adjoining inclined roadway to generally guide the cars back onto the powered track section.
Various other interesting hazards are possible with the described layout, such as the oil slick 78 which appears at the curve on tile E. The oil slick 78 is in the form of a very smooth plastic sunface which makes it more difficult to manipulate the cars at this point and keep them on the track. Electrical lights are provided at various positions around the layout, as indicated at 80, 82 and 84, and each light receives its power from the metal rails forming the tracks. Preferably some of these lights, such as lights 82, 84, are of the blinking type to provide a warning at hazard positions such as the jump and the oil slick.
There is also provided a pair of lap counters 86, 88 on tile A which automatically record the number of laps a car has completed. Each of these lap counters (FIG- URE 6) is in the form of a wheel 90 rotatably mounted beneath the surface of the tile and including a plurality of numbers placed around the periphery of the wheel. Each of the wheels 90 includes a series of circumferentially spaced teeth 92 or projections which are arranged so that one of the teeth 92 or projections which are arranged so that one of the teeth is exposed below the center slot 94 in each track, and as a car passes this point the depending conductor on the car strikes a tooth 92 4 and moves it forwardly, in the direction of travel of the car as indicated by the arrow in FIGURE 6, to thereby expose the next number on the lap counter through a rectangular opening 96 in the tile.
As seen particularly in FIGURE 7, the movable bridge section 72 provides the inclined portion of the bridge 66 and the adjustable jump mentioned previously. Section 72 is a generally rectangular member having a pair of rails 98 on its lower side slidably engaging a pair of grooves 100 in the stationary inclined portion 102 of the roadway. The rails 98 and grooves 100 have a frictional engagement so that the movable section 72 can be adjustably positioned and remain in place. As indicated in FIG- URE 1, the position of this section is indicated by numbers on stationary section 102, so that the competing players can select a predetermined gap or distance for the jump to be achieved.
As indicated previously, the portions of the tiles A-F which are not occupied by the tracks are suitably formed to simulate hills or mountains 68, 104 a lake .106, etc. to provide a more interesting and realistic appearance for the layout. Hill 104 is removable and provides a cover for a transformer 26. Although shown and described with respect to particular structure and configurtaions, it will be apparent that various modifications might be made without departing from the principles of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A model vehicle layout comprising a plurality of rectangular tiles formed to provide three-dimensional simulated landscape features therewith, each of said tiles having a pair of vehicle tracks integral therewith, said tracks extending over essentially parallel courses and terminating at edge portions of each tile at positions which correspond with track positions on another tile, so as to provide for mating of the tiles in a manner affording continuous paths for the tracks on the assembled tiles, means providing electrical current through the tracks when said tiles are assembled to provide a continuous layout, switch means on at least-one of said tiles operable to automatically alternately direct a vehicle on to a first of two intersecting track sections and then on to the second one of such sections, a movable bridge section joining the tracks on two adjoining tiles and operative to provide a gap of adjustable length for jumping of the vehicle from one of said adjoing tiles ot the other, and a power source on one of said tiles connected to each of the tracks on said tile to prvide the flow of electrical current thereto.
2. A model vehicle layout comprising a plurality of rectangular tiles formed to provide three-dimensional simulated landscape features therewith, each of said tiles having a pair of vehicle tracks integral therewith, said tracks extending over essentially parallel courses and terminating at edge portions of each tile at positions which correspond with track positions on another tile, so as to provide for mating of the tiles in a manner affording continuous paths for the tracks on the assembled tiles, means providing electrical current through the tracks when said tiles are assembled to provide a continuous layout, said tracks being closely arranged on at least one of said tiles so that vehicles cannot pass one another along a predetermined length of their path of movement, switch means on at least one of said tiles operable to automatically alternately direct a vehicle on to a first of two intersecting track sections and then on to the second one of such sections, a movable bridge section joining the tracks on two adjoining tiles and operative to provide a gap of adjustable length for jumping of the vehicle from one of said adjoining tiles to the other, a power source on one of said tiles connected to each of the tracks on said tile to provide a flow of electrical current thereto, and a pair of manual control means connected with said power source and each being operable to control the flow of electricity to one of said tracks.
(References on following page) Schneider 4643 X Glass et a1. 46-17 Lombardo 27386 Co ggon 27386 Coderre 23810 Northrop et a1. 273-86 Schumacher 46216 X Robinette et a1. 238-10 Lahr 246-415 6 FOREIGN PATENTS 503,477 4/1939 Great Britain. 907,252 10/ 1962 Great Britain.
5 OTHER REFERENCES Playthings, publication, December 1964, p. 77, vol. 62, N0. 12.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner. 10 T. ZACK, Assistant Examiner.