Period: Early Twentieth Century
Box Height: 4.5 inches
Box Width: 13 inches
Box Depth: 9 inches
Difficult to find in such presentable order, this wonderfully stimulating toy consists of sixteen parts of interlocking track, including a two-part tinplate bridge, which, once assembled, resembles a figure of eight. The wind up toy cars are then duly wound and pitted against each other.
Included in the box (which is in immaculate order) are three cars, two blue and one red (one blue car is defunct), and three keys for which to wind them, all in their individual boxes. Additionally, the original instructions are also present and are headed ‘Marx E50 Figure 8 Speedway’. The box reads "MANUFACTURED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY LOUIS MARX & CO. LTD”.
Louis Marx and company began in 1918, and by the 1950s became the most successful toy manufacturer in the world, with in 1955 Louis Marx heralded as 'the Henry Ford of the toy industry'. However by 1972 the company was sold, and by 1978 the brand had all but disappeared, in part because of a failure to spend on advertising, and to develop electronic toys.
Whether intending to use or just admire, this Speedway is the Scalextric of its time, and dare we say it, provides a copiously more satisfying experience than that of its eventual replacement.