ELDON SLOT CARS
The first slot car sets of this design were produced by "Ungar", which was an abbreviation of "Ungar Electric Tools". Ungar made wood burning kits and other items as well. In 1958, Eldon bought a controlling interest of Ungar Electric Tools, but ran the companies independently, to a point. It is interesting to note that later on, Eldon brought out some wood burning kits, which was a reconstituted version of the Ungar set.
The early Ungar sets were battery powered and had the same track that the Eldon brand would use for the production run. I have seen some Eldon sets that had track labled Ungar. (Right: A Ford GT purchased from EJ's Hobbies)
They brought out kind of a goofy manumatic "robot". A plastic ferry with cars and trucks that floated. (A later version which was much larger came out in the late 60s). The wildest toy they came up with is the Bowl-A-Matic, also featured on this site.
A great innovation were the Selectronic cars. They were the same cars, but with a diode that allowed a sort of seperation of current if you will; when cars with these diodes were used on the track with the special Selectronic Transformer, you could drive either car in either lane, and maintain control of the car. All Selectronic sets came with a lane changing track piece as well. All Eldon sets could be upgraded to Selectronic.
Eldon brought out tons of accessories, including grandstands with plastic people, score boards, special track segments, flag kits, lap counters, and many other items to enhance the fun and functionality of the racing experience.
As the 60s progressed, more and more commercial slot car tracks opened. These were very different to these types of cars...much faster. The good news is that general interest in slot cars themselves, even the "big brother" tracks, helped fuel the general interest of the hobby down to the consumer level.
Eldon rode that wave as long as possible. As with many products, sometimes there was disappointing downgrades. Eldon started producing "chassisless" cars, with the motors and axle assemblies all snapping into the bodies. This really cheapened the whole thing, however, some racers claim the lighter cars gave a performance edge.
Big slot car interest waned in the late 60s and 70s, and interest in "HO sized" cars and tracks picked up. Eldon was eventually purchased by Cox, who along with Revell, Scaletrix, etc, made large slot cars too.to add paragraph to your block, write your own text and edit me.