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                          The following article was issued by Rick BURNESON in HO-USA.

The casting adventure started slowly 10 years ago. At this time, Thierry didn't even knew polyurethan resin was existing. His first idea was to build a Cheetah body for slot racing. A long empiric R&D period began, using several materials that where all but unsuitable. He realised he had lost all this time when he discovered synthetic plaster, and then was introduced by a friend to polyurethan resin. The first application was the Mc Laren F1 GTR, because the original MicroChamps body needed few modifications to be suitable.He cast a limited quantity because he had to be ready for the first Derby Le Mans race Continental Team appearance, that took place in the fall of 1997.This body was too narrow for the TOMY chassis, and was quite hard to produce free of air bubbles.So Thierry abandoned it for the following years, and it became a collector .

The Cheetah idea was still there, and he could apply his brand new casting knowledge to it. It was ready for the Continental Team 1998 campaign, with 3 other cars. The Porsche 550 original Maisto body was found by chance in a supermarket. Thierry was impressed by this rarity, that anyone could then find in any gas station 3 months later!. He raised the detail level by adding a tonneau cover, hood-fastens, front loovers and a vacuformed windscreen. Made after a Road Champs basis, the Sprint car is still the only MagnaTraction exclusive body, for narrowness problems. He added front and main wing supports. Driving this " for men only " car is a real experience, unless you replace the main wing for a vacuformed device. The last 1998 car was the Ford '32. Based on a chopped Aurora body. Thierry powerfully filled the engine bay, and made a highly detailed interior. So highly detailed, and so hard to produce that the new item has been a little simplified. Some of the first issues had a gear lever made of a pin, and the car never had a windscreen (say. for performance ? !.). A windscreen is now planned for release 2, and Thierry if working on drag tyres made of hollow silicon. The 1998 return from holidays was so busy for Thierry, that he couldn't take part in the Continental Team last preparation month. Everything wasn't completed in time for the Le Mans race, and I still remember Philippe, Gilles and Thierry on the back seat of the van. During most of the trip on the British highways, the first man was cutting up the cards, the second one was sorting them and sealing them with the suitable kits, and the last one was controling all the process ! I guess the guys at Citroën (the van was a professional Patrice's car) are still finding pieces of paper today, 2 years later. After a short resting period, Thierry went back to his silicon and resin bottles


Patrice submitted the idea that a Cro-Sal Cheetah should be a very, very, very good idea . You know, Patrice is a great professional in cars selling business, so he really knows what boring means !. So, Thierry started to work on a Cheetah coupé, and created what will stay his all- time favourite. This car was supposed to be fast, so he created it for Super G+ chassis at first, and he admits now it was too restrictive. A Magna and TOMY Turbo version is quite ready to produce. The Lakerster was one of Thierry's " relatively long to issue " projects. When he loves a subject, he likes it to be the best he can do. The Lakester was made from one of his Ford 32, double-chopped and streamlined for speed. Various versions of the exhaust system, and a hard jod for creating the moon-discs master on the lathe where the main points. These two cars where ready for . 1999 Derby, along with the Panoz. Last but not least, if you consider the number of items sold and ordered during the week-end. This car is superb and very popular, so it was a pleasure for Thierry to work on it. The general design was harder to catch than one could think, but the result was worth doing it. Created between July and September, the model had to be completed for Derby, and it was. You can notice that the mirrors supports are made of fishing thread, for flexibility. The " coming soon " projects are now  a 1998 Mercedes CLK, a VIPER GTS/R, a delivery truck and a Corvette Grand Sport. The Mercedes is based on a Maisto. You could ask why a 1998, and not a 1999. The 1999 body is far too flat, there isn't enough room for a TOMY chassis. This project is close to be completed. The VIPER is what you could call a short wheel base Maisto (a very good make, indeed !.). The first master retained the Maisto wheelbase, but it's far more lovely when shortened !. A huge job was provided by all these hood loovers. The delivery truck will be highly detailed. Made from a Hot Wheels item, it's one of these crazy ideas Thierry sometimes has. Everything that could be opening or workable will be.
The Corvette is, of course, based on a . Matchbox (who said a Maisto ?). It's shortened too, and looks terrific.Don't repeat that, but a Marcos and a Cunningham (C4R, C4RK or C5R) are the next steps.






Article paru dans la revue Americaine "Model Car Racing" de janvier / fevrier 2003







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