Can anyone tell me about the history of Marx's 1/24 scale offerings? I'm most interested in the 2C they offered. I want to know if these cars were competitive with the Cox, Monogram version is performance, looks etc?
It was not a "2C" but as almost all the others on the market, simply a Chaparral 2. The 2C was a whole different animal altogether and at the exception of the 1/32 scale Eldon horrid little car and the MRRC thing with a clear plastic body, ALL Chaparral sports car of this general shape were of the "2" or "2A" models.
The 1/24 scale Marx cars were rather poor in engineering and execution and this is reflected by their collector value today: they are dirt-cheap on the market at this time. They made a Ferrari GTO, a Chaparral 2, a Ferrari 1.5-liter F1 and a Lotus 29 Indy car. All used the same pressed-steel chassis with a drop arm and a Mabuchi FT16D in French army color.
They looked and ran poorly.
The AMT is in 1/25th scale and a bit small but the chassis handles really well. The Cox is abundant and cheap, but does not handle so well, but can be made to handle with the addition of a brass pan. The K&B is a bit more scarce but handles fairly while slower than the powerful Cox car. The Marx's best feature is its FT16D motor, both powerful and enduring. But the chassis is beyond help and the body is a brick.
The Strombecker is a bit small and the chassis is poor in either version, with or without the die-cast drop arm.
So where does this leave us?
I would take the Russkit. Vac-formed may be, but accurate and great-handling especially once fitted with Ortmann tires...
The rare occasion I beg to differ with the good Doc, but I believe the Lotus was a 38, not a 29.
And in my experience, having owned and run all four in recent years, on a good sized home layout the cars, while quite ugly to look at, will blow the doors off, in terms of performance, of stock Cox, Strombecker, Monogram, and Revell cars of similar vintage and repair.
Quick, the Marx 1/24 Chappy is quite easy to find on Epay, usually in near mint or Mint condition, and can be won for a pretty cheap price too. That is where i got mine. I find that all of the brands you mention can run fairly well, for what they are. Simple tuning (guide flag height, good traction new rear tires, good bearings, straight axles, added weight, etc) can make any of these cars perform good. So go for it, win one of those Marx Chappys!!
I have also won a Marx Ferrari GTO on Epay, another good 1/24 home racing car. Good luck and enjoy them!! :hat
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I won one for $35. It is in great condition. I'm thinking of adding some PM decals to spruce it up. Details wise, it seems to be on a par with the AMT version I occassionally see up for auction. Although they are no beuty contestants, the AMTs run very well on my home layout. This will be my first Marx so I am curious to see how it stacks up against the various Russkit, Cox, MPC, AMT, Revell and Monogram cars in my 1/24 collection.