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1966

Part 29

VIPLINK Suspension, The Honda GP Car & The Lotus Indianapolis

"A unique and revolutionary feature" was the promise made by Victory prior to the launch of its 1966 range. This was to be VIPLINK independent, steerable front suspension, a clever, attractive design from John Steadman who had recently rejoined the company. Moulded in black nylon, the unit was made up from 10 separate components which very simply clipped together and could be 'sprung' by the addition of a small elastic band. While the performance benefits may have been negligible, it was a great piece of design and was greeted with enthusiasm from the trade and public alike.

Initially the suspension was only fitted the two new cars which were added to the line-up at the same time. These were the R66 Formula 1 Honda and the R67 Indianapolis Lotus 38 with which Jim Clark had won such a memorable victory in 1965. Another notable feature introduced with these models were much wider 'balloon tyres' which were much more in keeping with the larger cross section tyres which were by then the norm on real racing cars. The prototype Honda shown at the Toy Fair included rear suspension detail, but this was not included with the production version.

Production version of the R66 Honda

The prototype of the Honda - note different exhaust and rear suspension arms

R67S Lotus Indianapolis Club Special (Dark Green) and R67 Standard version 

On October 20th 1966 Victory finally made the move from the old Barfax works to a new building which they aptly christened The Raceway Works at a new industrial estate in Woodbridge Meadows, Guildford.  With careful planning the transfer of assembly lines, production, plant machinery and stock was spread over four days including the weekend and the whole operation was accomplished with the loss of one days production. With the best cars and arguably the best track in the business, this successful year was topped off when one of the two of the companies sets were declared "Best Buy" in a head to head comparison in the December issue of the Consumers' Associations highly respected Which magazine. Very much to the discomfort of several Tri-ang sales executives whose Scalextric brand leader only attained the same status in the review of the simplest sets where Victory hadn't entered!

The third issues of the Viper Gazette bought news of the move to Woodbridge Meadows

The 'Raceway Works' as they look today

1967 Pt 1

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