Return to the Victory Index
The new VIP Raceways system first appeared at the London toy fair in February 1961. With stunning set-top artwork by the then relatively unknown artist Michael Turner, the new R1 sets were given a very warm reception by the trade press. The sets were available between 1961 and 1965 and just as with the earlier Roadway sets saw several changes during this period which I'll attempt to go through here. These sets generally include one R60 Cooper and one R61 Lotus but were also sold with two Coopers or two Lotus throughout the production period.
February 1961 - MR111 Dual pin type guide with collector brushes through front axle cross member, dome head top stub axle pins, eyelet type guide pivot, Dunlop front and rear tyres, orange motor windings.
January 1963 - R98 Open ended flag type guide with mini-brushes, pan head top stub axle pins, pan head type guide pivot
1963 - Some time around 1963 a few standard cars were fitted with narrow red wheel hubs instead of yellow. These were probably intended for exclusive use on the Club special cars (Certainly from 1966 Club Special cars were fitted exclusively with wide red wheel hubs) but for some reason this did not happen and the majority of the narrow wheeled Club Special cars (first available in January 1963) were fitted with yellow hubs as original equipment. Club Special cars have a more powerful motor with silver sides and were only available separately as they were said to be too powerful for the standard sets!
February 1964 - All cars now fitted with VIP Special rear tyres. Previously these were exclusive to the Club Special cars although they were available in sets of four as a spare part (R81). These tyres offered more grip than the Dunlops when they were new but the Dunlops have fared much better with age!
The R1 set cars then remained unchanged until they were withdrawn in 1965.
The Cooper and Lotus were produced in Yellow, Yellow Red, Red , Green, Green, and Grey-Blue Grey Blue colours.
VIP Raceways Part 2