The fictional “Bill Eccles”! A sad mistake when the editors of the brand new ‘Pit Stop’ magazine got Charles Eckles name completely botched.

In an RC Car History article, by the editors, in the first issue (September 1970) of ‘Pit Stop’ magazine, ‘Bill Eccles’ (actually Charles Eckles) told the story about Charles development, in 1965, of an internal combustion engine RC car. The first attempt was a  1:8 scale car, then further developed into a 1:11 scale car. The story and pictures are shown below.

First posted here on July 18, 2022, by David Palmeter.

Charles Eckles (not ‘Bill Eccles’) with his prototypes utilizing a clever centrifugal clutch and an effective muffler system.

Above – Another pioneering effort – two Mustangs by Bill Eccles with early centrifugal clutch.

Pit Stop Magazine

Vol. 1 No. 1
September, 1970
Pgs 31-33, 41-42

An excerpt from:
By Don Dewey and Pat Crews (Edited by David Palmeter)

Chuck Eckles Prototype RC Cars

In 1965, Chuck (Charles) Eckles started construction of a 1/8th scale radio-controlled car. His first problem was to design and construct an effective and compact centrifugal clutch that would engage to turn the engine to start it and then disengage so that the engine could idle and then engage centrifugally as the engine speed was increased. After considerable trial and error, Charles succeeded in developing a workable centrifugal clutch which would meet his specifications.

With regard to his car, two servos were used, the forward servo being used for steering, while the rear servo was utilized for both brake and throttle. The Mustang’s rear axle ratio was 12:56 with a 56 toothed gear that was as large as space and ground clearance would permit. The wheels he used were semi-pneumatic 2 1/4-inch Veco aircraft wheels.

The final selection of the engine centered around a Cox Medallion .15 with part of the throttle control used as a collector ring for exhaust and excess oil. The carburetor spray bar had been reworked to give a better idle, while an adjustable stop was installed. The chassis on Charles’ Mustang was formed of stainless steel although both brass and tempered aluminum were used on other prototypes. Steering was rack and pinion with an independent front suspension. The overall length of this pioneering vehicle was 16 1/2″ with a height of 4 1/2″, a width of 6 1/4″ and an all-up weight of 3 ½ pounds. The body was formed from .060 butyrate-acetate which was vacuum formed over a plaster model of the 1:11 scale Mustang. The speed achieved by Charles’ car was 35 mph.


MAJOR Fumble – The June 1967 issue of Model Car Science magazine has an article by Charles Eckles about a car he developed that looks exactly like this one supposedly built by the fictional “Bill Eccles”!! This was a major error by the ‘Pit Stop’ magazine writers.