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What does " thimble drome mean"?

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What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  akjgardner on Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:59 pm

I always wondered what "Thimble Drome " meant. can someone explain?
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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  crankbndr on Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:19 pm





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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  dckrsn on Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:21 pm

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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  batjac on Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:22 pm

My take is that the engines were so small that they could operate out of an airdrome the size of a thimble.

In Inference Mark
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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  getback on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:29 pm

Kind of funny if you do a Google search and pick the right one you get this
https://www.coxengineforum.com/t82-origin-of-thimble-drome  Also Thank You I didn't know Small Cox Logo  , getback
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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  Davenz13 on Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:01 pm

I think in the tense that it is used thimble means miniature or model. I imagine it would be very hard to trademark the word miniature or model and anyway miniature-drome just doesn't sound as good. Thimble Drome was a very good idea by someone.
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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  Marleysky on Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:23 pm

From Leroy M Cox - Wikipedia :  In 1946 Roy and his partner Mark Mier developed a metal push pull toy car for toddlers. This car was based on the Indianapolis 500 racers of the day. It later developed into a tethered car and engine manufacturers soon started making engine packages for the cars. The cars became very popular and at one time Cox was producing over 1500 cars per day. In 1948 Roy Cox was approached by the Cameron Brothers, model engine makers, who had built some engine packages specifically for Cox's Champion race car. This engine was sold separately as "Thimble Drome" for the Champion car. In 1950 Roy ventured into engine manufacturing by teaming up with Mel Anderson to produce the O-Forty-Five Special car. This engine was .045 cubic inch and used some parts from Mel Anderson's Spitzy model airplane engine.

Here's a modified version, two beers, two shots and a screwdriver: TA-Da!!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ROY-COX-THIMBLEDROME-CHAMPIONS-TETHER-PUSHER-RACER-CAR-W-AIRPLANE-MOTOR-WENMAC-/231744493947?hash=item35f50c597b:g:o5cAAOSwu-BWPSqj


Last edited by Marleysky on Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:48 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Thimble Drome car !)
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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  Mudhen on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:26 pm

I apologize from the start. My response to this post was hasty, but that’s because I had several dozen pages to read before writing this up.
I was fortunate to have known Mark Mier for at least 10 years before his death. Between my interview with him, (and others,)
plus the seven or eight letters he wrote me, I was able to put together a fairly accurate, early history of Roy Cox and his company.

Mark Mier was the backbone of L.M.Cox Mfg. If not for his involvement, “Thimble Drome” would be a byword.
(By the way, Mark Mier was the one who coined that phrase for the company.)

Roy Cox designed both the Thimble Drome Special, (and its variants,) and the Champion. It was not co-designed.
MaryBelle Sauter, later to become Roy’s second wife, remembered Roy bringing a lump of clay to work at the first Quonset
and carving the Special on his desk. However, because of Mark’s machining history during and before WWII,
he was able to design the various tooling and molds required for the small machine parts and tires.
At its peak, 5,000 cars were produced each day. (That includes the Champion.)
Although it’s true modelers were adding engines to the Champion, and several after-market mods were available,
that is not to assume Roy did not attempt this avenue himself. They had every intention to power the Champion
but couldn’t find a suitable and simple engine combination. Mark said they wanted an engine, “…easy for Joe Public.”
In fact three separate prototypes were made by Cox, (one of which can be seen here: http://gascarman.blogspot.com/ scroll to the blue #64 Champion.)
It was a local enthusiast named Woody Woodward that invited Roy to Ontario California to demonstrate his
modification to a Champion; powered by a Cameron .23. It was Woody who suggested to Roy that he visit Cameron Bros.,
(at the time located in a 120’x30’chicken coup in Chino, California.) Roy was not approached by Cameron.
As for the .045, that was all Mark Mier. It was his design, partly inspired by the Mercury outboard engine on his ski boat.
Mark used several parts of the Spitzy to finish the prototype, but it was his baby. Anderson was contracted to manufacture parts for the engine,
but had no involvement in its design. The prototype can be seen
here


Last edited by RknRusty on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:40 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarified link)
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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  Davenz13 on Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:21 am

Excellent information, thank you.
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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  akjgardner on Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:09 am

thanks for the good info guys
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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  getback on Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:11 am

Man that's some really good stuff just enjoying the pictures and excitement of the moment , no wonder so many people are into collection of the wonderful toys of yesterday . Kids now a days would not know how to act with these marvels when all it seems they no is how to push buttons Sad It is sad . Thank You Much Mudhen and Joe for starting this post the info is amazing !! getback:D
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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  crankbndr on Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:39 am

The design of the complex self contained drive unit for the cars is ingenious to me.

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Re: What does " thimble drome mean"?

Post  getback on Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:35 pm

I will agree ,never seen one in person but , if I didn't know better looks like the axle is the crankshaft ?? It is very interesting for sure . getback Leaves
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