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Now this is intriguing..


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One for the older members...

Im reading a copy of RM from 1967 and theres an advert from Sun Lane Cycles advertising for sale the then new Fleet System of r/c.

 

Is this THE Sun Lane and did Fleet originate at what became SLEC and then part company or is it all coincidence???

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It's quite likely that Derek Olley did distribute his products through the trade in a very limited way. Sun Lane may well have made some of his  moulded plastic parts, servos Tx  sticks, battery cases etc. and in a reciprocal deal they sold his radio systems. Certainly in the 1970's he sold directly to the public. He was a small operation. Two of my club's members built servos and TXs for him on a part time basis. Sadly, both have now slipped the surly bonds of earth.

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Got me thinking........I'm sure I recall back in the day that SLEC either used to refer to themselves in their ads  as 'Small Light Engineering Company' or 'Sun Lane Engineering Company'. Don't recall them being into bikes or retailing  Fleet R/C, but others might be able to clarify. As far as I remember, Fleet were always an independent firm and were reasonably popular with modellers back in the 70s when I started proper in R/C. Unfortunately, their gear was beginning to look dated even back then, and by the 80s they were vastly outclassed by the Japanese brands particularly in terms of functionality with their computerised PCM sets that IIRC, had banks of DIL switches and trimmers to set up various functions rather that proper 'soft' screen based settings. I'm not sure if you only had one 'memory' on the Fleet Gear - my Field Force 8 had the huge number of 4 memories (expandable). Their sets always looked smart  in the brushed silver metal finish though and attracted mostly older modellers at the time who baulked at the idea of even simple screen based sets rather than the youngsters on a budget or those who fancied something a bit flashier.

Edited by Cuban8
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I deed SLEC WERE sun lane engineering co., which is what got me thinking.  I too had a Fleet system, their posh one but even that was outclassed even when i bought it.

 

The idea of reciprocal marketing hadnt occurred to me so maybe thats what was going on.  Makes sense 

 

Ta

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Sun Lane Cycles were a customer of Harry Brooks, buying the Sprengbrook radios while I worked there, in the early/mid 1970's. I always thought that they morphed into Sun Lane Engineering Co, when they started to market moulded fittings, in competition to Micro Mold.

 

Tom

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