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Publication numberUS3596397 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 3, 1971
Filing dateFeb 13, 1970
Priority dateFeb 13, 1970
Publication numberUS 3596397 A, US 3596397A, US-A-3596397, US3596397 A, US3596397A
InventorsColletti Anthony
Original AssigneeColletti Anthony
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Miniature slot car
US 3596397 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor Anthony Colletti 158 Horse Bloclt Road, Centereach, N.Y. 11720 Appl. No. 11,130 Filed Feb. 13, W70 Patented Aug. 3, 1971 MlNllATURE SLOT CAR 10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 46/243 M, 46/202, 46/221 Int. Cl A63h 18/12 Field of Search 46/202, 243, 244

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,202,109 8/1965 Stewart 46/243 LV 3,243,917 4/1966 Giammarino 46/243 M 3,304,652 2/1967 Donofrio 46/243 M 3,323,252 6/1967 Gipperich et al. 46/243 M 3,350,813 11/1967 lsaacson 46/243 M 3,486,271 12/1969 Feikema 46/243 M Primary Examiner-Louis G, Mancene Assistant Examiner- Robert F. Cutting Altomey-Leonard H. King PMENTEUMIB 3191: 3,596,397

INVENTOR.

Ma 0 A: TV]

A TZ'ORNEW MINIATURE SLUT CAR means therefor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A relatively new hobby is the building and driving of miniature toys known as slot cars. An accurately scaled-down version of a conventional automobile is provided with a downwardly extending pin arranged to engage an elongated slot that traverses the length of the track. Electrical pickup means such as brushes are positioned on the car so as to engage conductors extending along the track parallel to the guide slot. An electrical motor that drives the car is energized by the voltage applied to the conductors.

I Prior art slot cars have been very faithful reproductions of their full-size counterparts. There have been, however, some difficulties with maintaining the car on the track when the voltage to the conductors is increased and when the car is running at relatively high speeds. l have found that by making the chassis as two separate but pivotally connected elements the major weight of the car can be applied to the portion thereof that supports the conventional guide pin and brushes. This results in only the front and rear wheels being mounted on the other chassis. Because of the present arrangement, there is a minimum of friction impeding the rotation of the wheels and the portion of the car that must be in contact with the track is mounted independently of the wheels on a weighted chassis. To the best of my knowledge there is no prior art structure that provides the aforementioned concept.

In U.S. Pat. No. 3,202,109, granted on Aug. 25, 1965, toE. R, Stewart there is shown a chassis, the two parts of which are pivotally coupled to each other substantially midway between the front and rear axles. The motor and the rear axle are mounted on one chassis while the front axle as well as the guide pin and the brushes are mounted on the other chassis. The patentee did not appreciate the advantage of mounting both axles and all of the wheels on one chassis and mounting the remainder of the components on a second chassis that is pivoted on the rear axle.

In U.S. Pat. No. 3,304,652, issued to W. T. Donofrio on Feb. 2 l 1967, there is shown a pivoted second chassis that includes the guide pin, the contact brushes and a weight. The second chassis is pivotally mounted on a first chassis that supports both the front and rear axle as well as the drive motor. The present invention is distinguished from this last-mentioned patent in that the front and rear axles as well as the wheels mounted thereon are supported on their own chassis independently of the remainder of the components.

A single-chassis car having means permitting relative movement of the frame with respect to the front axle is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,350,953, granted on Nov. 7, 1967 to E. R. Stewart. In this patent the front axle floats in a slot that forms part of the main chassis; The bulk of the weight of the car is close to the rear axle. The patentee did not appreciate the desirability of placing the larger portion of the car's weight nearer the front axle in order to assure the engagement of the guide pin and the brushes with the slot and the conductors of the track, respectively.

In its broadest aspect the present invention provides a twopart chassis wherein the front and rear axles and the wheels therefor are rotatably journaled on one chassis and the remainder of the components are mounted on the second chassis that is pivotally supported on the rear axle. The bulk of the weight of the car is on the second chassis and is spaced from the rear axle to provide a moment am that tends to keep the guide pin and the brushes in intimate contact with the slot and conductors of the track.

A further feature of the present invention is that the motor of the car may be readily disassembled and replaced without using special tools. An insulator member is secured to the forward end of the second or motor-supporting chassis and the leads from the motor terminate in the insulator member. The brushes have means for releasably snapping on to the insulator member so as to make contact with the leads while at the same time providing a surface with which to contact the track conductor. Thus, no crimping or soldering tools are required to remove the brushes. The opposite end of the leads are removably clamped to motor terminals and the motor itself is snapped into and frictionally retained by suitably positioned flanges on the second chassis.

Still another feature of the present invention is the use of a cam mounted on the second chassis and arranged to act as a fulcrum for the front axle. The first chassis is provided with oversized openings that rotatably journal the front axle. Therefore, the front axle floats in the first chassis and rests on the axially oriented crown of the cam so that, should there be any irregularity in the track, the front axle can pivot about the cam. A minimum of friction is applied to the front axle since the crown of the cam is essentially a ridge which is only in tangential contact with the front axle. Substantially the same type of cam arrangement isprovided for pivoting the brushes about an axial axis of the second chassis.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide an improved slot car racing toy.

It is another object of this invention to provide an improved chassis for a slot car.

It is a specific object of this invention to provide an improved two-part chassis for a slot car wherein the front and rear axles and the wheels therefor are mounted on the first chassis and the remainder of the components are mounted on the second chassis.

An important feature of the present invention is that the brushes are removably secured to and in electrical contact with the leads from the motor. 7

Another feature of this invention is that the motor may be readily replaced without the need for soldering or crimping tools.

An advantage of the present invention is that the front axle is freely floating on a cam that permits the front wheels to maintain engagement with the track.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the brushes are permitted angular movement about an axially oriented, horizontal cam.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will, in part, be pointed out with particularity and will, in part, become obvious from the following more detailed description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, which forms an integral part thereof.

BRIEIF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the various figures of the drawing like reference characters designate like parts.

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the present invention with the body of the car shown in phantom outline;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the car with the body and one of the brushes removed therefrom;

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the car;

H6. 4 is a side elevational view showing one chassis in a displaced position relative to the other chassis;

MG. 5 is a transverse sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is another transverse sectional view, taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 2.

Referring now to the drawing, there is shown in FIGS. l-4 a slot car 10 comprising the present invention. The car 10 is comprised of a first chassis 212 having an outwardly bulged center portion 114 and inwardly positioned pairs of arms 16 and lid at the front and rear thereof, respectively. The front axle 20 on which the front wheels 22 are secured is rotatably mounted in oversized holes formed in the forward arms 16 of the first chassis 122. The rear axle 2 5 on which the rear drive wheels 26 are secured is mounted in the rearwardly positioned arms 18 of the first chassis 12.

A' second chassis 30 having a flat central section 32 and a pair of rearwardly extending arms 34 is also provided. The second chassis 32 is pivotally mounted on the rear axle 24 by means of apertures formed in the arms 34. The second chassis 32 is also provided with a forwardly extending section 36 and a pair of spaced, parallel flanges 38 in the central section 32 for releasably gripping the motor.

Motive power is provided for the car by means of an electric motor 40 that is releasably mounted on the flat central portion 32 of the second chassis 30 between the flanges 38. The motor 40 includes a drive shaft 42 to which is secured a pinion 44. A

' gear 46 is secured to the rear axle 24 and is in meshing engagement with the pinion 44. it will be appreciated that the only connection between the first chassis l2 and the second chassis 30 is effective at the rear axle 24. Even though one of the two chassis 12 and 30 can move angularly with respect to the other, the pinion 44 will maintain engagement with the gear 46 since relative angular movement is made about the rotational axis of the gear 46 which is concentric with the rear axle 24.

An insulator member 50 is provided below the forward end 36 of the second chassis 30. The insulator member 50 includes a'pair of axially extending ribs 52 that define a channel for the forward extendingsection 36 of the second chassis 30. A pin 54 is secured to and extends through the insulator member 50. The lower end of the pin engages the conventional slot S in a track T while the upper end passes through the forward end 36 of the chassis 30. As will be explained more fully hereinafter, the insulator member 50 includes an axially extending rib 56 (FIG. 6) on the upper surface thereof so that the forward end 36 of the chassis 30 may rock thereabout.

The insulator member 50 is further provided, at the forward end thereof, with a pair of outboard apertures 57 and a pair of ribs 58. The apertures 57 are sized and located to receive the ends of the motor leads 60 that have been stripped of insulation material. A pair of U-shaped metallic brushes 62 are arranged to releasably snap into the channels defined by the spaced ribs 52 and 58. Thus, it will be seen that the top leg 62a of each brush 62 is in electrical contact to the bare end of its respective motor lead 60 while the bottom leg 62b of each brush 62 is in electrical contact with its respective track conductor C.

As may best be seen in FIG. 4, the first chassis 12 supports only the front and rear axles and 24, together with the front and rear pairs of wheels 22 and 26, respectively, and the gear 46. The body B (FIG. 1) of the car is removably and frictionally engaged on the bulged portion 14 of the first chassis 12. The reminder of the components are all mounted'on the second chassis 30 which is pivotally journaled on the rear axle 24. It will be appreciated then that with the major portion of the weight of the car 10 on the second chassis 30, the pin 54 and the brushes 62 will maintain contact with their respective portions of the track T.

To further assist in maintaining contact between the brushes and the pin and the track, a weight 70 is mounted on the upwardly extending portion of pin 54. The weight 70, in addition to urging contact between portions of the second chassis 30 and the track also provides a camming action for the front wheels 22.

As shown in FIG. 5, the weight 70 is provided with a camlike longitudinal rib '72 that is in tangential contact with the front axle 20. The forwardly extending arms 16 are provided with oversized holes 74 through which the front axle 20 passes. Thus, it will be appreciated that the front axle 20 is freely floating. Should one of the front wheels 22 engage any obstruction or irregularity on the track T, the front axle 20 will pivot using the rib 72 as a fulcrum so that at least one of the front wheels 22 will maintain engagement with the track T. The brush assembly pivots using rib 72a as a fulcrum.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that an improved slot car has been provided by mounting the major portion of the weight of the car on a chassis separate from the chassis on which the wheels are mounted. The guide pin and brushes are maintained in contact with the track by the improved weight distribution. This form of structure further provides a minimum of frictional drag for the wheels. Thus, the power generated by the motor can be applied, through conventional transmission means, to the drive wheels with a minimum of power loss. The second chassis is pivotally mounted with respect to the rear axle of the first chassis to create a moment arm which tends to multiply the weight of the second chassis so as to assure the continuous engagement of the guide pin and the brushes with the track.

A particularly advantageous feature of this invention is the ease of replaceability of the motor. The second chassis supports the motor independently of the first chassis and is provided with readily removable brush means, one portion of which engages the motor leads and another portion of which engages the conductors of the track. Thus, the motor is not soldered or crimped to the brushes and should the motor require replacement it is a very simple matter to first remove the motor from frictional engagement with the second chassis and then remove the brushes.

Still another feature of this invention is the rocking action of the front axle and wheels. The front axle is positioned transverseiy to a longitudinally extending rib on a weighted cam that is mounted on the second chassis. Should there be any obstruction or irregularity in the track the front axle will pivot in oversized holes formed in the first chassis using the cam rib as a fulcrum. The same rocking action is provided between the insulator member that supports the guide pin and the two brushes with respect to the second chassis. That is, the insulator member is provided with a longitudinally extending rib that is in opposition to the bottom surface of thesecond chassis. Should there be any obstruction or irregularity in the conductors that form part of the track, the insulator block, the guide pin and the brushes will move angularly using a longitudinal rib on the insulator member as a fulcrum. The rocking movement of the insulator member is minute but sufficient to assure continuous engagement between the conductors and their respective brushes.

There has been disclosed heretofore the best embodiment of the invention presently contemplated. It is to be understood, however, that various changes and modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is: i

l. A slot car for use on a track having a guide slot and a pair of conductors connected to a voltage source, said car comprismg:

a. a first chassis;

b. front and rear axles mounted on said first chassis, each of said axles including a pair of rotatable wheels;

c. a second chassis pivotally mounted on one of said axles;

d. an electric motor means having a drive shaft and a pinion, brush means electrically connected to said motor and adapted to contact said conductors and pin means adapted to engage the track slot, said last-three-mentioned means all mounted on said second chassis; and

e. gear means mounted on one of said axles and in meshing engagement with said pinion.

2. The car in accordance with claim 1 wherein said second chassis is pivotally mounted on said rear axle.

3. The car in accordance with claim 1 wherein said connec- 5. The car in accordance with claim 4 wherein said cam means is an insulator member having apertures for receiving the noninsulated end of the leads of said motor, said brush means being metallic members arranged to frictionally engage said insulator member and the motor leads absent any other fasteners.

6. The car in accordance with claim 5 wherein said motor is frictionally retained by said second chassis and is removable therefrom without the use of tools.

.7. The car in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first chassis includes oversized apertures rotatably supporting said front axle and the wheels therefor, there being further included a block member having a longitudinal rib supported on said second chassis in tangential engagement with said front axle whereby the front wheels are permitted angular movement about a horizontal axis defined by said rib on said block 8. The car in accordance with claim 7 wherein said block is a weight positioned to apply a downward force on said brush means.

9. ln a slot car having front and rear axles and wheels arranged to ride on a track, an electric motor connected to brush means adapted to engage track conductors that are energized by a voltage source, a pin arranged to engage a slot in the track and transmission means coupling the motor and the wheels, the improvement comprising:

a. a first chassis for supporting the front and rear axles and a portion of the transmission means on one of the axles; and

b. a second chassis for supporting the motor, the brush means, the pin and another portion of the transmission means, said second chassis being pivotally mounted on one ofthe axles.

10. The improvement in accordance with claim 9 wherein said second chassis is pivotally mounted on the rear axle.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3202109 *Aug 18, 1964Aug 24, 1965Stewart Edward RMiniature racing car
US3243917 *Feb 27, 1963Apr 5, 1966Aurora Plastics CorpElectrical motor operated toy vehicle
US3304652 *Feb 7, 1966Feb 21, 1967Donofrio & CompanyModel slot type racing car with differential front wheel drive
US3323252 *May 10, 1965Jun 6, 1967Model Products CorpMotor and chassis assembly for toy racing car
US3350813 *Sep 12, 1966Nov 7, 1967Ideal Toy CorpElectrically powered wheeled toy vehicle
US3486271 *May 31, 1968Dec 30, 1969Feikema Roger HModel car and track system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4183173 *Mar 28, 1978Jan 15, 1980Takara Co., Ltd.Toy assembly with interchangeable parts and detachable appendages
US4615686 *Jul 3, 1985Oct 7, 1986Parma International Inc.Slot car chassis
US4643102 *Oct 30, 1984Feb 17, 1987Exin-Iber, S.A.Toy vehicle
US4821887 *Feb 22, 1982Apr 18, 1989Okamura CorporationRotatable stock closet
US4940444 *Jan 5, 1989Jul 10, 1990Russell James BMiniature vehicle with magnetic enhancement of traction
US5158496 *Dec 21, 1990Oct 27, 1992Tomy Company, Ltd.Travelling toy
US6626116 *Dec 29, 2000Sep 30, 2003Leonard R. Clark, Jr.Outlaw powersliders toy racing vehicles
US7309023Jan 13, 2005Dec 18, 2007Steven KaiserSelf-adjusting flexible track for use with electric model vehicles
US7445540 *Mar 11, 2005Nov 4, 2008Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche AktiengesellschaftGuide mechanism for a track-guided toy vehicle
US8545284Nov 20, 2009Oct 1, 2013Access Business Group International LlcInductive toy vehicle
US8937454Jan 4, 2011Jan 20, 2015Access Business Group International LlcInductive charging system for electric vehicle
US20050215173 *Mar 11, 2005Sep 29, 2005Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche AgGuide mechanism for a track-guided toy vehicle
DE3602349A1 *Jan 27, 1986Jul 30, 1987Kurt HesseFahrspielzeug mit eigenmotorischem antrieb
DE3718249A1 *May 30, 1987Dec 15, 1988Kurt HesseToy Vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/446
International ClassificationA63H18/12, A63H18/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/12
European ClassificationA63H18/12