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American Model Raceways track designs


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 06:45 PM

Thanks to Ron Hershman for posting these photos to Slotblog and for allowing us to create this reference.

queen66.jpg
The Queen 66

yellow.jpg
The Windsor 80

black.jpg
The Regal 90

royal95.jpg
The Royal 95

monarch100.jpg
The Monarch 100

aristocrat135.jpg
The Aristocrat 135

the_150.jpg
The Imperial 150

king155.jpg
The King 155

sov220.jpg
The Sovereign 220

emperor220.jpg
The Emperor 220

I can't read all of the design names and lengths, and am hoping Ron can supply the missing info. If so, I will update this post.

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#2 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 08:25 PM

Greg,

Most if not all of those pictures came from my stash of documents from our early days. One of our Ohio racers asked if he could make high quality digital scans of them. Just as soon as I can get them from the "vault" :D and he can scan them I will forward them to you. I hope to scan both sides so all the data is available.

I believe I also have Mila Miglia, Revell, and Strombecker. Would you be interested in them also?

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#3 Ron Hershman

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 10:27 PM

Mike is correct... these are color copies of 1992 or so vintage when Mike's dad was kind enough to loan them to Ken MacDowell to be copied. I made/paid for a extra set at the time for my own stash.

The Emperor 220 pic came from somewhere else over the years. I do have a complete set of originals I found the other night looking for some stuff.

#4 idare2bdul

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 10:33 PM

Out of all those track designs I would never have guessed the King track would have become the standard over time. I remembered some in the picture but not all.
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#5 Rick

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 10:46 PM

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#6 Mark Wampler

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 01:04 AM

I can't figure out why humps down the straight was to anyone's advantage. A real signature trait among American Tracks. The Monarch is my favorite.
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#7 Cheater

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 05:34 AM

Most if not all of those pictures came from my stash of documents from our early days. One of our Ohio racers asked if he could make high quality digital scans of them. Just as soon as I can get them from the "vault" :D and he can scan them I will forward them to you. I hope to scan both sides so all the data is available.

I believe I also have Mila Miglia, Revell, and Strombecker. Would you be interested in them also?


Absolutely, Mike.

I think a reference thread with as many of the '60s track designs as we can collect will be of continuing interest to a great many people.

Gregory Wells

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#8 Marty Stanley

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:36 AM

I can't figure out why humps down the straight was to anyone's advantage. A real signature trait among American Tracks. The Monarch is my favorite.


Mark,

I don't think the humps were put there for anyone's advantage - perhaps more of a disadvantage.

To me good racetrack design is very similar to good golf course design. If it were simple, it would not be a challenge and a lot of folks would not enjoy their time and come back, just to try to conquer the features that the designer put in to keep them from running flat out. The "Esses" and the humps or fall away straightaway are all little things that must be overcome. Elevation changes to do make a track interesting to drive, be it in 1/24 or 12 inches to the foot. I remember going up to Watkins Glen to watch the Can-Am cars - mostly to watch Mark Donohue's Lola - negotiate the fall away straight leading into the hard right turn. It was exciting.

Recently I've started to race at a facility in Holly Hill, FL - The Race Place. The track is rather unique and it has a road course that can be added or deleted from the track by means of some 'switching blocks'. The photo below shows most of the track:

Posted Image

Talk about a feature-filled short section of track! This seems to have it all. There are so many "blip and brake" sections in this road course that it really takes some time to learn. As you enter the "infield" you are greeted with a sharp left hander that leads into a punchable banked turn. That sure does provide you with a false sense of security! You can not slow down quick enough for the quick left hander that leads into the fall away straight away. If you take it easy through the banked turn, then you can set up for the fall away and then the sweeping "Esses". There are all sorts of places to make up time and also lose control of the car at the same time. The fall away straight that leads into the hard right hander is very reminiscent of what I saw in Watkins Glen many years ago. It is a track that offers you a challenge and is simply fun to drive.

Someday I'm going to get to Mike Swiss's place. I've read about his flat track and it looks like a driver's track!

Of all those listed by Cheater, just give me the 90 foot "Black" track - the one that is flat - except for the humps. My favorite track of all time.
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#9 Tex

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 01:41 PM

That track looks like an attempt (and a good one!) to recreate Daytona. You can see that it can be configured as a tri-oval or include the infield. Even the entrance to the infield section is just past the S/F kink as at the real Daytona track.

And best of all... NO STINKIN' CHICANE!!! LOL! :lol:
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#10 MG Brown

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 02:18 PM

That track looks like an attempt (and a good one!) to recreate Daytona.


Imagine that - being located so close to Daytona Beach and all.
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#11 Rick

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 02:39 PM

From my recollection, the Windsor was 80 feet, I owned one with plain stamping on the bottom of the track sections, and the Regal was 90.

I don't think American made a poor track design in any of them. They fine tuned the red with the King. The purple was just too long, you could gear for the straight or the back half, but not both. The "eclair" was unique too, with two risers instead of an inclined plane.

The esses on the Windsor were tough, more difficult than the orange.

I have had the pleasure of owning an American yellow Windsor, a Hillclimb, A blue King.

I have never seen a Figure 8 or The 220 Emperor, but have the rest.

Was it 1990 Atlanta where they ran Eurosport on a Regal? I remember it being raced clockwise, up the straight towards the donut.
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#12 Ron Hershman

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 03:26 PM

I have raced or ran on all of the designs except for the Emperor.

We had a 90' Windsor with 90 stamped on the bottom and we also had a 135' Orange with 135 stamped on the bottom. Weird for sure.

Yes, 1990 Nats we ran Euro Sports on the flat black Regal track going down the donut. I think Jon Laster won 1/32 and Gugu won 1/24 or maybe it was vice versa. LOL.

#13 Phil Irvin

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 05:12 PM

That track looks like an attempt (and a good one!) to recreate Daytona. You can see that it can be configured as a tri-oval or include the infield. Even the entrance to the infield section is just past the S/F kink as at the real Daytona track.

And best of all... NO STINKIN' CHICANE!!! LOL! :lol:


It is a direct/correct copy of the Daytona Speedway. ;) I have raced there many times :wub: . Greg can even only change the inner 4 lanes to run the infield. That middle kink in the short straight :blink: can be a killer.

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#14 Mr Dynamic

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:03 PM

Thanks, Ron, for posting those pictures! At Bellflower Raceway in CA they had an Aristocrat Track. I really enjoyed that until 1994.

Would you let us know what was the first track at Tom Thumb? (I remember it as being orange?)

Thanks again!

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#15 Ron Hershman

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:09 PM

If you're referring to Tom Thumb in Columbus, OH... they started with an American orange and yellow.

#16 Bob Campbell

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:07 PM

Does anyone have pictures of an American orange? I started on one of these and still like the layout!

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#17 Ron Hershman

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:50 PM

Fifth picture down from the top.

#18 Mark Wampler

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 09:05 PM

Mark,

I don't think the humps were put there for anyone's advantage - perhaps more of a disadvantage.

The "Esses" and the humps or fall away straightaway are all little things that must be overcome.


The 'esses' were fun to negotiate and you can't punch the bank on the Monarch. Coming out of the bank has to be handled with care too as you can easily do yourself a wall blast at the base of the donut :blink:

I miss the Monarch. Black was a favorite lane. I did the fast time and most laps on black. One disadvantage is the little picket fence at the top of the donut. If you swung out too far you could catch a couple of those pickets and deslot yourself. Better to replace that section with plexiglass.
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#19 Mark Wampler

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 09:19 PM

One other thing that was nice were those comfy stools. Got really spoiled. The wall was right behind the driver's stations. Just kick back, relax and turn some laps. :)
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#20 Ron Hershman

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 09:27 PM

The 'esses' were fun to negotiate and you can't punch the bank on the Monarch. Coming out of the bank has to be handled with care too as you can easily do yourself a wall blast at the base of the donut :blink:


What class of car were you running that launched in the bank on a orange???

#21 Mark Wampler

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 10:30 PM

What class of car was you running that launched in the bank on a Orange???


Its how you came out of the bank. Now I can't remember how it was done, but you had to back off pretty fast. The bank was more of a blip and brake for the donut. Of course we were running old stuff. Today, it would be more negotiable. Last we were running some strange stuff. We took the womps to a whole new level. We're taking 1/24 scale champion chassis, some scratch built and shortening the wheelbase to womp specs, but running angle winders with some air control. Running some 15's and a few old NCC 20's, a couple of parallel wound Thorps. Some real hatchet jobs overall. The only rule we had far as motors was a maximum 2.2 amp draw, free wheeling. The American Power packs without batteries just couldn't take the hammering. Ah those were the days.
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#22 Marty Stanley

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 11:17 PM

One other thing that was nice were those comfy stools. Got really spoiled. The wall was right behind the driver's stations. Just kick back, relax and turn some laps. :)


Mark,

I must agree with you on the stools. Having the racers sit during the race kept everyone out of each other's view. By sitting, everyone had to be back from the track as their knees were hitting the edge of the track while seated.

And the wall behind the driver's stand was just so comfy, especially for those endurance races.

Whatever happened to the stools anyhow?
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#23 Ron Hershman

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 11:54 PM

Its how you came out of the bank. Now I can't remember how it was done, but you had to back off pretty fast. The bank was more of a blip and brake for the donut. Of course we were running old stuff. Today, it would be more negotiable. Last we were running some strange stuff. We took the womps to a whole new level. We're taking 1/24 scale champion chassis, some scratch built and shortening the wheelbase to womp specs, but running angle winders with some air control. Running some 15's and a few old NCC 20's, a couple of parallel wound Thorps. Some real hatchet jobs overall. The only rule we had far as motors was a maximum 2.2 amp draw, free wheeling. The American Power packs without batteries just couldn't take the hammering. Ah those were the days.


We raced a lot of 16D Flexis with the Parma Fiero and Vette GTP bodies then. It was wide open through the bank a blip or coast and turn ( depending on what lane you were on ) through the deadman/90 or more a 75 or something, the drive the donut up to the esses, go deep into the first s then drive it through.

With Wing cars, it was punched yellow, purple, and black from the top turn to the donut which was a quick blip and get through the esses as fast as you could without falling off. Red was the trickiest in the deadman and donut.

We had a net in the bank... not for launching cars, but for cars getting nerfed in the bank.

#24 Bob Campbell

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:09 AM

WE had a net in the bank..not for launching cars, but for cars getting nerfed in the bank.


I remember the bank being steeper on our orange. We had some group 7 cars launch in the bank now and then but it was mainly caused from nerfs.

At the end of the bank, in the corner was a pop machine that we used to have cars land on top of. When open cars started using steel center sections we had a few cars fly off and stick into the sheet rock!

Fun times!

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#25 Mark Wampler

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:34 AM

Yeah, the track in Pismo Beach with the Monarch closed down in '88. So, from my recollection, we didn't get into the mega fast machines. The fastest we got into were the Koford feather can 15's before the 12's became popular. We also had a net. Nerfing was just too easy with the tight clearance between lanes. It seems to me that to run real fast wing cars, you could only run four lanes instead of 8. Anyway to upgrade to batteries and the replace the old American lap counter, etc, it was not very practical at the time. It would be perfect for scale racing w/ Falcons and PS mini motors.

Far as the stools, those went out with the American Tracks and the 60's sad to say! :(
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#26 vsrn

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 05:26 AM

Has anyone ever heard of an Emperor 220 that was built?

Supposedly, only six of the Sovereign 220s were built, and I've never heard of any place having an "Emperor", and it isn't in the "official" manual that I have...

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#27 Ron Hershman

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 07:18 AM

Buzzy's in New York and one was set-up in Colorado for awhile. The story is... only four were ever built.

#28 Prof. Fate

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 10:32 AM

Hi,

Never saw that 220! Sniff.

I have done most of my racing on the Black and the orange tracks. Very popular all through the "dark ages".

A common mod on the black was putting in two straight sections to make a finger out of the middle turn. I have seen the black run either direction, both have problems. One direction, people commonly come off missing the lap counter and being reslotted on the straight, the other direction, the lap counter is in the brake zone.

I once put a kid in the hospital because of the hump on an orange. He thought it would be cool to put his head on the track to watch the cars coming towards him. We kept chasing him off and he started getting sneaky about coming back.

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#29 Ron Hershman

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:10 PM

Stitches, concussion, or eyepatch??? :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:
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#30 zforce

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 08:12 PM

Buzzy's in New York and one was set-up in Colorado for awhile. The story is... only four were ever built.


In 1975 or '76 I traveled, in a van, with Joel Montegue, Steve Bogut, and a couple of other racers from Joel's Race Place in Greenbelt, MD, to a race at Buzz-A-Rama (Buzzy's).

I raced I15 on the Emperior 220 track. It was the first time I had ever seen a track with crossovers. Don't remember much about the race except I'm sure I didn't do well. Fun track though.
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#31 Bob Campbell

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 11:34 PM

I once put a kid in the hospital because of the hump on an orange. He thought it would be cool to put his head on the track to watch the cars comeing towards him. We kept chasing him off and he started getting sneakey about coming back.


Hey Rocky,

That was to funny reading about the kid and the hump! :rofl:

The orange we had here in Colorado Springs had the same hump and the same problem with kids sticking their heads in the way!
I don't remember anyone going to the hospital but I do remember Gertrude (track owner) getting out the band-aids! :laugh2:

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#32 Jerk

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 10:20 AM

I raced on a Sovereign 220. It was called a "Purple Mile"...
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#33 Prof. Fate

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 11:10 AM

Hi,

42 stiches and a broken cheek bone.

And a lawsuit for me and the track! Got dismissed out of hand.

Bob, ran that track and the black in C-Springs as well when I lived in Denver. One of the most tedious things I remember, how ever, was the drive at 55, after your nerves have been doing 3 second laps!

Did you ever run the replica orange up in Northglenn?

During the dark ages when the folks with bits didn't do mail order, friends in Denver like Steve Burkey would buy and order bits for me from that track. It was my "local" track...

Fate
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#34 Ed Endres

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 04:35 PM

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the pictures. We had in the early '90s a track up in Eaton, CO.
They had an orange Monarch, that was my favorite track. NASCAR body, Parma 1 or 2 frame, pink endbell Parma motor, 9/31 gears, and best of all Limpach tires. That setup really worked on that track.

They also had a King and a Hillclimb.

I raced on most of the tracks in Denver, too. It was so much fun to have that many tracks within an hour's or so drive. I feel for the guys coming up from the Springs, that drive always sucks.

Later,

Ed Endres

#35 Ken K

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:56 PM

Thanks for posting the pics of the American track designs, I have been looking for these for a long time. I used to race at a place called Hank's Raceway in Milwaukee. They owned a Monarch and later added a blue King. Those tracks lasted forever; they were still running into the late 1990s.

The Monarch they had looked a bit different than the photos. It had an orange infield (not green) and I think the outside of the track was wood grain not yellow/orange. The King had a blue infield as well. Does this seem familiar to anyone else?

I also remembered the main bank turn on the blue King as being higher than the banks on the modern Kings.

One last question: does anyone know of a place where they are still running a vintage track?
Ken Korducki

#36 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 11:08 PM

Yep, I do. I still have an American blue King. Raced everyday. Follow the link in my signature to see some pictures.

As far as the bank being higher on the older tracks... I was told, I believe by Steve Olgivie, that because the new tracks don't have "bottoms" in them like the old tracks they don't have the strength to hold the surface at such a steep angle.

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#37 tonyp

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:38 AM

Ken,

I remember Hank's. We wee there for a big race. Hank would turn on the power to start the heat and then go sell a bicycle. LOL.

Mike, I can not wait till the R4 to run on a real King track again. When a 4.73 World record was actually a World record as all the tracks were built the same (shameless plug, LOL). R4 will be like going home again. I never raced on any King that wasn't original until I went to Keystone last year.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#38 Ken K

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:28 PM

Mike,

I checked out your site. The track looks great. Did you rebuild it at some point?
Ken Korducki

#39 Ken K

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:31 PM

Tony,

Yeah, Hank was diversified, he even sold mini-bikes at one time, but hey it helped keep the place open.
Ken Korducki

#40 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:59 PM

Tony,

I am honored that you plan on attending. We actually raced together before, I believe, at Joe Huttons place in Cincy. We will do our best to make you feel like you are "home".

I am also looking forward to the R4. See you then.

Mike McMasters
TTlogo300.jpg
460 Wilson Rd
Columbus, OH 43204
(614) 274-5150
Home of the ORIGINAL American blue King


#41 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:02 PM

I checked out your site. The track looks great. Did you rebuild it at some point?


Thanks, Ken. We did put a new top on it in '93. The current braid has been down less than a year. And we didn't change anything on the track. All the original contours are still there. It is a King that you have to drive... not just punch.

Mike McMasters
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460 Wilson Rd
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Home of the ORIGINAL American blue King


#42 tonyp

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 10:20 AM

Mike, I'll be there.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Noose Painted Bodies
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American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
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2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
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#43 Rick

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 11:21 AM

It's as fun a track as you will find. Truly a great race track...
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#44 Rob Voska

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:58 PM

Anyone have any more / better pictures of an Aristocrat 135?

#45 Dooner

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 09:09 PM

Tony,

Years ago I walked into a raceway in South New Jersey that had an Aristocrat on the first floor on the left as you walked in the building just past the parts counter. As you walked in straight ahead was another track with a very steep bank that looked like it was climbing the wall. Upstairs was an R/C track. The owner's son was not very friendly.

Do you remember that raceway or have pics?
Tom Backes

#46 MrWeiler

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 05:47 AM

Stitches, concussion, or eyepatch??? :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:


Mike Greeley was standing at the end of the straight on the big track at Circle-T in North Hollywood, CA, when a car launched over the bank (G27 I think) and hit him dead square in the face - he went to the hospital.
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#47 The Groove

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 09:24 AM

groove1a.jpg

Hope this picture of my American red Imperial comes up. I modified it to fit in my basement and it's a blast to drive. Also note the Strombecker raceway lap counter works, but we use the Trackmate for racing.

Rich

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#48 Dooner

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 12:04 PM

Picture looks great. Beautiful job of redoing a classic track, Rich. Also nice job of utilizing your space.

I used to have a 1965 American King. Don't know where it is today.
Tom Backes

#49 Tex

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 02:11 PM

I'm extremely jealous, Rich! Looks great!
Richard L. Hofer

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#50 mwjsone/page

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 05:58 PM

I see some talk over a hump/bump in the main straight. Is this a common problem on one set track design? Black, red, orange, King?
Or was it just some of the older tracks were built into can this be adjusted out?
Steven Page





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