A limited edition commemorative Scalextric toy race car branded to mark the start of a Portsmouth City Council housing development sold out hours after it was released

Collectors snapped up the 100 replica Ford Escorts with 'Fred Francis Close - Havant' emblazoned in gold letters on the roof which were decorated to commemorate a Havant affordable housing site the council has named after the inventor of the world famous game.

The cars were unveiled at the Havant Scalextric Swapmeet 2017, at Havant Leisure Centre, on Sunday 24 September.

At the event Scalextric aficionados were able to announce that Portsmouth City Council has named a development of 30 family houses and eight flats in honour of the man who brought employment to thousands of people in Leigh Park at the Minimodels factory he opened just yards from the council's new building site near Kingsclere Avenue.

Scalextric historian Robert Learmouth said: "What a fantastic way to remember Fred Francis and everyone who was part of the story of the factory in Leigh Park - to name new housing for local people after Fred.

"We decided to release a special Scalextric car to mark the occasion because we wanted to say thank you to Fred, and the people of Leigh Park, on behalf of collectors, enthusiasts and millions of children all over the world, who have had so much fun playing Scalextric for so many years."

Adrian Legg, Portsmouth City Council's property development project manager, said: "Once I found out that Scalextric had been brought to Leigh Park, had been a stone's throw from our housing development site and that this year was its 60th anniversary, it seemed like the right thing to do to name the new housing after a man who brought so much enjoyment to so many people and so many jobs to this area."

The Fred Francis Close council homes will be ready for the first tenants in Spring 2019.

Mr Francis's widow and daughters will be the guests of honour at a Scalextric themed turf-cutting ceremony the council will host next month where children from the next door Riders School will race for toys donated by the company.

For more information about the council's housing development schemes or call 023 9283 4954.

If you would like to find out more about Scalextric clubs in your area and for details of the next Havant Scalextric Swapmeet call 01793 230328, email havant.scalextric@gmail.com or go to facebook.com/HavantScalextric.

Fred Francis Close Scalextric cars

fred-francis-close-scalextric-car