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The first Pro anglewinder race


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 03:17 PM

The first 1/24 Pro race “sidewinders” competed in and swept 1st through 4th place was a U.S.R.A. Model Car and Science event held on April 20, 1968 at Classic Speedway in Santa Monica, CA.

 

I had so much fun researching for this thread I thought I would share all the information here all in one place. I’ll be using it to build my “inspired by” version of the first 1/24 Pro anglewinder race cars.

 

I am starting this journey with Gene Husting’s, yes, this Gene Husting’s of “Impossible” dragster fames…….

 

R amd C 2-68.jpg

 

………revolutionary 1/24 anglewinder design:

 

post-11-0-80460700-1363738867.jpg

 

Steve Okeefe did a great 2-part build thread on his “photocopy perfect” recreation of Gene’s car. Here’s Steve’s build in front compared to the original:

 

post-11-0-38416900-1363734877.jpg

 

Here are the links to Steve’s build threads:

 

The First Anglewinder

 

Husting First Anglewinder 2

 

Gene Hustings wrote the article covering the race in Model Car and Science magazine. He also covers his journey as the “Godfather” of the 1/24 Pro anglewinder promoting the idea to the Pro racers leading up to the race.

 

Click on the pictures for easy reading:

 

MCS 7-68 (1).jpg

 

MCS 7-68 (2).jpg

 

MCS 7-68 (3).jpg

 

MCS 7-68 (4).jpg

 

MCS 7-68 (5).jpg

 

Next up is the Model Racing Journal race report written by Mike Morrissey who was also in the race:

 

MCJ V1N10 p1_small.jpg

 

MCJ V1N10 p4_small.jpg

 

MCJ V1N10 p5_small.jpg

 

MCJ V1N10 p6_small.jpg

 

MCJ V1N10 p7_small.jpg

 

Next up is a Terry Schmid (who finished 2nd in the main) build article written just weeks after the race and a beautiful build of Mike Steube's race winner by Col Neaton.

 

 

 


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#2 Martin

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 04:13 PM

In your research Rick, did you notice when the term "Anglewinder" was used to replace the term "Sidewinder"  In print?

Look forward to reading more on this early period.


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#3 Jay Guard

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 05:13 PM

In Central Florida where I raced as a kid the first "Anglewinders" were called "Side Saddle Sidewinders", not sure exactly when or who came up with that monicker.  I know I built several of them patterned after the pictures in Model Car journal before our local shop closed in mid/late 1968.  The last one I built was in early 1969 for the Mini-Arco race at Stan's Hobby Shop in Tampa, but everyone was running anglewinders by then.


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#4 Samiam

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 05:47 PM

Better than the History Channel. :popcorm1:


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#5 dc-65x

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 07:37 PM

I didn't research the origin of the term "anglewinder". I decided to use it exclusively here because it's the term we have used to describe this type of slot car for a long time. I thought if I used "sidewinder", especially in the title, people might think it's some 36D or Pittman project.

 

Better than the History Channel.  :popcorm1:

 

That's the way I felt when I was reading Gene Hustings trying to enlighten people in the 1/24 Pro car world to what the 1/32 Eastern and Midwestern guys were already on to.

 

I have edited this post to show a picture of a 1/32 anglewinder car from Steve Okeefe's Gene Hustings thread:

 

post-11-0-57034900-1363738865.jpg


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#6 Paul Menkens

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 08:17 PM

In your research Rick, did you notice when the term "Anglewinder" was used to replace the term "Sidewinder"  In print?

Look forward to reading more on this early period.

l can remember a year or two before that seeing the term "anglewinder" used in an article about the midwest clubs 1/32 cars, it showed a picture of one and mentioned it more as an oddity then anything else.



#7 Paul Menkens

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 08:27 PM

l remember that Model Car Science article as if it was the day before yesterday, l was only 13yo and a couple weaks later l was at the Burlington Gran Prix Raceway and a few of the older guys were talking about it, their opinions were that it was a joke and they had no plans to give up their Dynamic frames any time soon, within a month they all had anglewinders. Speaking of the Dynamic frames, l always wondered why they didn't come out with a bolt in anglewinder motor mount, l modified a Pittman mount for a 16d and it seemed to work ok, (l still have it, but it's busted) somebody who knew what he was doing could have made it into a good car.



#8 Bill from NH

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 10:06 PM

Brian McPherson raced RCs with Roy Moody. He ended up with some of Roy's 1/32 cars. I think they later went to the LASCM.

 

Rick:

This should be a fun project. Do you know whether you will build a "historically correct" version like Steve's or a more modern version using some of the later parts? I thought about building a modern version in the past, but my hands aren't in great shape.


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#9 old & gray

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 10:14 PM

Rick,

Thank you for posting the article from Model Car Journal. I remember reading the article and studying the pictures. 

It's amazing the overnight thrash could produce the first and second place cars.


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#10 dc-65x

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 10:14 PM

Hi Bill,

 

I'm going to use all period "korrect" parts. For my chassis design I'll be mainly following the lead of the Steube and Schmid cars but it won't be a true clone. I enjoy looking at the pictures of all the cars in the race and incorporating anything I think is a good idea. That's what I did back in the day.........wait for the latest info to come out and pick out what I like best.

 

Bob, I couldn't agree more.


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#11 S.O. Watt

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 12:46 AM

I attended that race as an “observer”. I went with a friend who was an avid concours type person . I don’t remember how he did other than not 1st but it helped that I knew a few of the Orange county racers like Henline, Warmack, Anderson etc. I didn’t realize at the time that I had witnessed a complete shift of technology that day. The week or two before “Our Gang Racing” had competed in a 12 hr enduro finishing 2nd behind the Warmack/Anderson/Grant team with inline chassis. Racing the latest and greatest in inlines and what became dinosaurs in the proverbial blink of the eye.

Returning after that race to the boarding school I attended back then, with slots not on the curriculum, I entered my slotless vacuum. Upon summer break I renewed my slot passion only to discover a whole new world of chassis! I was extremely lucky in knowing Bryan Warmack and with his offer of coming over to his slot car building inner sanctum, his bedroom at his folks, to attempt to build my 1st anglewinder. And I have to admit, the resulting chassis was crude! Amazingly it seemed to work ok so with the encouragement of the OC pros I entered the 1st Western States amateur race and somehow pulled off the win!!

I don’t think I built another inline until I returned to the then new Retro racing in 2012.
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#12 Dave Crevie

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 09:16 AM

l can remember a year or two before that seeing the term "anglewinder" used in an article about the midwest clubs 1/32 cars, it showed a picture of one and mentioned it more as an oddity then anything else.

 

That's where I first heard the term used. Some of my car buddies dug a track out of a dumpster, and we modified it to fit in one guy's basement. We were building 1/32nd scale cars with the motor kicked at an angle, so we could use smaller diameter gears. Otherwise, you needed obscenely large rear tires to get ground clearance between the spur and the track. This was about 1969-ish. I'm pretty sure other clubs were already doing it, and the term had been heard at commercial tracks before that.


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#13 Bill from NH

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 09:18 AM

I'm familiar with the Col Neaton Steube build but not the Terry Schmid article,


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#14 dc-65x

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 12:26 PM

Great memories guys. Thanks for sharing them.

 

Below is the Terry Schmid article Bill. It is from the very next issue of Model Racing Journal. It is a low-quality photocopy, sorry. It’s one of the only issues I don’t have an original of.

 

Mike Steube and Terry Schmid were at Terry’s house the night before the race until the wee hours of the morning designing and building their anglewinders. They did a great job and with little sleep they finished first and second with them……….AND they didn’t have a fancy RGEO building jig, most likely just a Russkit Adjust-O-Jig that does nothing more than hold the axles in place.

 

I have nothing but respect and admiration for what they accomplished.

 

MCJ V1N11 p3.jpg

 

MCJ V1N11 p4.jpg

 

Fortunately, Steve Okeefe posted Col Neaton’s great construction article of Steube’s race winner. You can clearly see how it was constructed with the step by step photos.

 

Col’s beautiful build:

 

post-11-0-82264900-1363552007.jpg

 

post-11-0-93330400-1363552018.jpg

 

post-11-0-03906100-1363552035.jpg

 

Here’s the link to Steve’s thread of Col’s build with all the great pictures:

 

Mike Steube's First Anglewinder

Replica chassis construction and photography by Col Neaton


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#15 Larry Horner

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 02:36 PM

I've seen Gene's chassis before but only when I went back and read Steve's build thread did I realize the motor was a stressed member. Such a cool design that I'm sure would have made Colin Chapman proud!



#16 dc-65x

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Posted 28 November 2023 - 06:22 PM

That Husting's chassis is really something Larry. It's on my list to build an "inspired by" version.......but without all the extra solder.   :) 

 

To start this build I had to decide on what size Weldun gear to use. Mike Morrissey said a 52T was about the biggest that should be used:

 

MCJ V1N10 p5 - Copy (3).jpg

 

52T spur is 13/16” and using 7/8” tires there is 1/32” track clearance. 1968 USRA, ARCO and Car Model rules (excerpt shown below) all state that gear clearance is exempt from the rules otherwise 1/16” track clearance:

 

1968 cm rules.jpg

 

I’m starting with a 50T spur for 3/64” track clearance and a 13T pinion. That gives a 3.85:1 ratio which is right in the middle of what’s listed in the MCS race report tech chart.

 

I also decided to cut a notch in my axle tube like Terry did:

 

first aw chassis (2).JPG

 

I’m using the ubiquitous Russkit inline motor bracket like Terry did in his how-to article. I got out the rat tail files and elongated the holes into slots for a bit of gear adjustment:

 

first aw chassis (1).JPG

 

Between the slotted motor bracket and notched axle tube I hope to be able to go up or down a couple of teeth on gear sizes if needed.

 

I set my motor angle at 14 degrees, close to what I could measure from the Steube chassis pictures.

 

The 68 Mabuchi jig motor and bracket:

 

first aw chassis (3).JPG

 

Time for the hardest and most important part of the build, the left and right main rails.


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#17 dc-65x

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Posted 01 December 2023 - 08:54 PM

Terry Schmid said in his construction article that making the piano wire main rails was the hardest part of building the chassis. He wasn't kidding.  :shok:

 

I spend lots of hours getting everything lined up "korrectly" and the rails nice and tight around the motor:

 

first aw chassis (4).JPG

 

Time to start soldering:

 

first aw chassis (6).JPG


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#18 dc-65x

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Posted 02 December 2023 - 09:01 PM

My inspired by Steube/Schmid first generation anglewinder chassis is starting to take shape:

 

first aw chassis (1).JPG

 

first aw chassis (3).JPG

 

After the main rails the front and rear cross pieces that box in the motor are installed:

 

first aw chassis (7).JPG

 

The motor bracket and its first brace:

 

first aw chassis (2).JPG

 

Looking at the chassis design, I could use my 20-20 hindsight to "improve" things. But I really enjoy making these cars the way they were made (as best as I can) and seeing how they might have performed back in the day.

 

This is a fun project.  :D

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#19 dc-65x

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Posted 03 December 2023 - 08:25 PM

More progress. The inner brass rails ready to install:

 

first aw chassis (10).JPG

 

And installed:

 

first aw chassis (8).JPG

 

I also added another of the many braces the rear end gets. This one is to the middle of the axle tube:

 

first aw chassis (9).JPG

 

The outer brass rails are next.


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#20 dc-65x

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Posted 04 December 2023 - 08:40 PM

The last of the main rails are these outers and another rear axle brace:

 

first aw chassis (11).JPG

 

And installed:

 

first aw chassis (12).JPG

 

first aw chassis (13).JPG

 

Yet another rear axle brace:

 

first aw chassis (14).JPG

 


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#21 Pablo

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Posted 04 December 2023 - 08:59 PM

Absolutely beautiful  :yes3:  :smoking:


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#22 dc-65x

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 12:05 PM

Hi Pablo,

 

I'm really liking the Steube/Schmid first AW chassis the more I get into it. For one of my "inspired by" builds I find I am only making a few minor tweaks to their original designs. 

 

I'm still amazed they came up with these cars the night before the race and went on to finish first and second with them.


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#23 Larry Horner

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Posted 07 December 2023 - 07:07 PM

Rick, back to your post where you first bent the wire rails, are there any special tools you use or is that just pliers and hard work? One of those rails has what I count as 5 bends in it which had to have taken some time to get it right. Again, amazing that they built multiple copies of this design in a single night.



#24 dc-65x

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Posted 07 December 2023 - 07:47 PM

No special tools Larry, just pliers and as you said, ".........hard work". I did use brass rod for the initial attempts and once more or less successful, transfer the bend locations to piano wire. That was helpful but not necessarily fool proof. There's still a fool bending the piano wire.    :laugh2:

 

The forward L-brace on the motor bracket and a bit of reshaping of bracket itself:

 

DSCN3809.JPG

 

My center section is finished and cleaned up with a Scotch Brite pad:

 

DSCN3811.JPG

 

DSCN3815.JPG

 

The "floating pans" are next.


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#25 Pablo

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Posted 07 December 2023 - 09:10 PM

The bar just keeps going higher and I love it  :heart:  :heart:  :heart:  :heart:  :heart:


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