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Part 30

1967 Pt 1 - VIPKIT Porsche Carrera, MkIII Club Specials, The RX1000 Motor

An unfortunate consequence of the companies success was the rejection by the main shareholder of Fred Francis' attempts to buy out his holding in the company. The owner was a wealthy industrialist without any other connections in toy manufacturing and Victory was a pretty small fish in his portfolio. When Ivor Spence had first introduced him to the company, it was in the belief that this would not carry any strings in relation to its long-term direction but his feelings had obviously changed as word of things like the Which report got back to him. Fred's success in the toy business and in business in general meant he was probably the ideal person to take Victory on to continued success, however the owner now his own ideas and understandably Fred decided he could no longer continue in his role as director without the freedom to direct and so with some regret, he left the company.

Ivor, still General Manager at this time then had to stand back while one or two key roles in the company were filled by what he referred to as "Young high flyers" employed in the belief that Victory could somehow dominate the mass market rather than filling the small niche in which its products had happily fallen. Although I'm sure these chaps had the best of intentions, they were bought in from outside the industry and it doesn't appear that they made any significant contribution other than niggling many of the staff who until then had been very happy working for this small friendly company. This was significant in the long term because - unknown at the time, their failings to take Victory's turnover to new heights would ultimately decide the fate of the company.

To the world in general, things carried on unchanged and Victory continued the steady development of its product range. The 1967 Brighton Toy Fair bought further improvements to the Club Special cars with a third reworking of the motor armature. All the Club Special F1 cars were fitted with the Viplink suspension and doughnut tyres and it was decided to drop the Lotus 18 from the range because of its unique steering unit. 

The fair also saw the introduction of a new sports car in the shape of a Porsche Carrera 6. This was offered in three different configurations. The standard model R68, the Club Special version R68S and as a new VIPkit with RX1000 motor! All three versions included doughnut tyres and Viplink suspension.

R68 (yellow) and R68S versions of the Porsche Carrera

A very rare boxed K1 VIPKit Porsche

The kit version was based around an all-new adjustable brass chassis with ball-race rear axle bearings. This and the RX1000 motor were both developed in-house by John Steadman especially for the kit. The chassis and motor were available separately but the kit version of the Porsche used a different mounting post on the front of the body which was cut off on the standard cars so it wasn't possible to use this chassis with any of normal VIP bodies. This version is very hard to find today.



1967 Part 2