Ithaca Gun Track Luger Toggle Lock Knife #23 of 100

From American Blade Magazine Sept/Oct. 1977 issue: The Track Toggle Knife has become a rare collectors item, even though it wasn't intended to be. The original concept was to mass produce a uniquely designed knife with an operating mechanism similar to that of the reknowned Luger pistol. Here was a product that would sell itself to every guy who ever owned, or thought of owning, a Parabellum. The design blueprints for the knife were submitted by Track to Carl Crumbley, a precision mechanist, for a working model and extensive production cost analysis. When the verdict was delivered, it was decided that the knife's intricate mechanism made it too complicated to mass produce. Each knife has 33 parts and requires 185 individual production operations. Additionally, its intricacy and close tolerance parts require hand fitting. The toggle assembly itself requires 58 production operations. The D-2 steel blade rotates on an eccentric cam which can be adjusted for tightness or wear. A spring loaded ball bearing maintains a constant pressure on the blade when it is in the unlocked position and another spring loaded bearing on the rear of the toggle maintains the proper locking pressure. After some serious soul searching, Track decided to go ahead with the project anyway, but on a limited rather than mass production. Sales of the knife went very well, but production was another matter. A mid-production cost analysis revealed that the cost exceeded the sale price. Fully-paid orders were delivered, but deposits on the rest of the knives were immediately returned, pending a revamp of production plans. The price of the knife was subsequently increased, and many who had originally ordered, redeposited their money-sensing the potential collector value in these knives. The total production figures are: One all brass working model; three pre-production prototypes (serial lettered A,B, and C); and 103 production knives, of which 73 have brass bolsters and cocobolo wood scales (serial numbers 1-70 and 98-100), 27 have brass bolsters and Sambar Stag scales(serial numbers 71-97), and three have titanium bolsters and Sambar Stag (serial numbers Titanium 1-3). Also, one knife (number 78) was engraved by Angelo Bee when they considered offering an engraved model. Track is emphatic when they say the knife will never again be produced-it caused them too many headaches, and they're certain that Crumbley, who fitted every piece, from working model to the last knife off the line, is the only person capable of making it. It takes a mechanically inclined person to fully appreciate the intricacy of the Track Toggle knife, but its story is as intriguing as the knife itself. It might even be called a collector's dream that emerged from a production engineer's nightmare.
Knife Maker Luger
Blade Length 3 1/4"
Overall Length 7 5/8"
Closed Length 4 3/4"
Weight 9.6oz
Blade Material D-2
Scale Material Cocobolo Wood
Frame Material Brass
Locking Mechanism Toggle Lock
Condition Excellent

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