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The Set Box & Contents
The first change made to the set was one which everyone within the company would have far rather made before the first sets went on sale. The track had been designed and produced for Victory by a sub-contractor and in it's finished form was presented with fairly sharp straight cut edges underneath - obviously not a desirable trait for a children's plaything. The contractor could fix the problem but the price demanded was quite astronomical and would have added about 10-15% to the cost of each set. The contractor had Victory over a barrel but perhaps didn't appreciate the fragile state of Victory's finances. With the additional mark-up the price of the sets would have been uncompetitive but Victory had to get the sets rolling before the end of the financial year to meet the demands of existing customers.
Confronted with a real-life Hobson's choice, Victory went ahead with production and Ralf Burgas was put to work immediately both night and day to find an affordable solution to the problem. To his credit, Ralf managed to design a tool fairly quickly which folded over the bottom edges of the track in one operation and by the middle of 1961, all new sets included this modified track. The colour of the sleepers was also changed from sand to grey perhaps to make it easier to identify the old track without actually removing it from the box.
Underside of track with straight cut edges - Early 1961 Track with folded edges - Mid 1961
Other changes to the set are as follows:-
October 1961 - Instruction manual revised and updated - printers mark 24M 8982 1061BP
June 1962 - Small black & white sticker added to the box lid for a time denoting "Selected for Design Centre London". Instruction manual reprinted but content unaltered - Printers mark 5M 9419 662BP
April 1963 - Small flyer in sets "VIP official Scale Replicas" revised to include the new BRM and the Club Special cars. Colour of the flyer changed from yellow to blue.
February 1964 - Original dual speed hand controllers were now replaced by the Varispeed type and an additional page was pasted into the instruction manual describing their operation. The small flyer was again revised to include details of the Varispeed controller noting that the raceway sets were now fitted with these as standard, however the original controllers are still depicted in the section describing the raceway sets.
September 1964 - Small flyer further amended to depict the oversight made in February and the illustration in the section about raceway sets now depicts the Varispeed controllers. Colour of the flyer changed from blue to orange.
VIP Raceways Part 3