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American Model Raceways track designs


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#101 don.siegel

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:37 PM

Here's some more Playland paper I picked up a couple years ago on eBay. This is actually three separate items, with a piece of stationery from the Modelcar Raceway, but also the "one price ticket" wheel and a discount book - I just put them all together to make it easier to scan!

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#102 John Stezelecki

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 08:00 PM

Don., That's really cool, Thanks,

Stez

#103 Bill from NH

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 08:11 PM

Stez, is the Ashland Sovereign coming from Odessa, TX? :)

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#104 John Stezelecki

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:04 AM

Bill,

What a guess!

#105 Bob Chaney

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 12:31 PM

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


Is there any chance that we will ever get some nice flat scans of these photos? Just askin'... Posted Image

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#106 flem1959

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:49 PM

We ran on an American Figure 8 and an Orange at Hobby Unfair in Indianapolis in the '60s and '70s.
We used run three laps in a row qualifying on the figure 8.
Tennessee would time us with a stopwatch.
Races were 25 lap heats, Crash and Burn.
The cars used to launch in the bank on the orange, fly all the way across the Figure 8, and hit the wall on the other side of the building.

I went to a race on an Orange in Evanston, IL, in 77.
Everybody was launching real bad, so I made a super-long diaplane for my car and I wound up TQ and winning the 27 race.
I think they called it 27 then, might have been Group 20.
My friend Richard took the diaplane off my car after the race and ran it on his car in the Pro race.
Mike Fleming

#107 DOCinCocoa

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 05:34 PM

Is there a pic of an American 220' C type track as I call it. It's shaped like the Englman at the Viper Pit, but was 220' in length and it may have been painted purple. I think that the track in North Royalton, OH, had this track back in the '60s. This was my favorite track of all I ever raced on.
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#108 ForestRaceway

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 08:31 PM

Speaking of postcards. Here is one of a place called Motor City Raceways, of St Clair Shores, Michigan. Does anyone know the history of this place? Very impressive setup from the photos. I got the postcard in a lot I purchased on eBay nine years ago. I'm from Australia and was probably born after it folded, so I obviously never went there.

Wade

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#109 Mr. Frank

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 07:05 AM

Cool-looking postcard...

Thanks for sharing.

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#110 Dominator

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 08:00 PM

The red track is an American Red-B. The difference between the American Red A & B was the B had a short straight (about 18") in the middle of the donut.

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#111 Daytonaman

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 10:57 PM

:) The large red track from C&M has been found. It is currently in storage in GA. Several straight sections have been taken out over the years reducing the length to 230 ft. The track is in good condition and I plan on restoring to original sometime in the future. Pictures can be found in the topic "large '60s track with ramps" in this forum.
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#112 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 07:25 PM

Speaking of postcards. Here is one of a place called Motor City Raceways, of St Clair Shores, Michigan. Does anyone know the history of this place? Very impressive setup from the photos.


A very impressive set-up to be sure! I'm surprised that nobody from the Detroit area remembers this place.

:huh:
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#113 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:50 AM

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.

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Have you made any modifications to the paradise in your basement? Do you host club racing nights? Any pics?

:unsure:
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#114 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:57 AM

Was the King track the most popular of these tracks by total installations? It seems to be the most widely mentioned these days.

:unsure:
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#115 Prof. Fate

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:17 PM

Hi,

I don't have numbers. My personal anecdotal observation with my '60s road trips is that overwhelmingly the "black" was the most common track with the orange right up there. I have seen more "modern" Kings than originals. And about an even split with the red and orange. The 220, I have personally only seen two.

Slot car racing is a three-legged stool, there is motor, chassis, and driver. Black and orange tracks favor handling and feed into driving. Kings are "perfect", in that you need all three legs to be front rank to win in a big field. But then as now, the cost of floor space is an issue and as all of them have eight lanes, the smaller tracks are more cost effective.

Fate
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#116 Rotorranch

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 01:00 PM

In the past 40 odd years, I have run on far more American red tracks than anything else, in various parts of the country.

Rotor

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#117 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 04:15 PM

Is that the one called the Imperial 150? The colour reproduction of the pics isn't that good.

:unsure:
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#118 Ron Hershman

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:04 PM

Yes, the "red" was the Imperial 150.

#119 stevphens

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:47 PM

Hi Ron!

I've noticed the American Raceways tracks have nicknames like "Blue King" or "Purple Mile". Or simply the "Orange" or the "Yellow".

My question is, did the American Aristocrat 135 (Hillclimb with red sides) have a nickname? Actually, it would be interesting to learn all the American track nicknames, at least the ones that had them? Nicknames, not names like "Regal" or "Monarch".

Thanks!
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#120 Ron Hershman

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 06:20 PM

The Hillclimb was known as the Aristocrat. No color was ever referred to it. I have only seen one Formica-covered Hillclimb and it has black Formica on it... NOT red like the promo pics. All the other Hillclimbs I have seen had the econo paneling sides.

The Figure 8 was green Formica and was known as the Queen. Never referred to as a "color". I am sure some called them "greens" but I have only seen one of those.

The 220' Emperior was yellow Formica... only three or five were made (reports conflict on this number) and they were never referred to as yellows.

The 80' Windsor track was referred to as the "yellow".

Queen green Figure 8 known as the Figure 8.

Monarch orange 100' known as the Orange.

Regal black 90' known as the "flat" Black.

Royal black 95' known as the "banked" Black.

Aristocrat red (according to the American promo pics) 135' known as the Hillclimb.

Imperial red 150' known as the Red.

King blue 155' known as the Blue.

Soverign purple 220' known as the Purple Mile.

Emperior yellow 220' known by few as the Yellow Mile.

The nicknames only refer to the color of the Formica on the tracks.

My guess if the tracks had the econo paneling sides... they would have referred to them as their "royalty" name.

I have only seen Windsors, Hillclimbs, and one King, and one Purple Mile with econo paneling sides.

I have never seen a Royal, Regal, Queen, Monarch, Red, Yellow Mile with econo paneling sides.

#121 stevphens

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 09:24 PM

Thanks for taking time to provide the info, Ron! Always enjoy hearing about the old American tracks. Reminds me of a special place in time...

I guess we've all seen the "Yellow", "Orange", "Black", "Red 150" and "Blue King".
I saw one green figure 8 in 1969. Cannot remember seeing a banked "Black" or " Hillclimb".
Fairly certain I never saw a "Purple Mile" or "Yellow 220", since there were so few. Understand there's a "Purple Mile" in Connecticut.
Seems like I read on Slotblog that at least one "Yellow 220" survived, but I can't remember where. (I'm at that age.)

Was the econo paneling the same color on all the tracks it was used on?
Rick Stevens

#122 Ron Hershman

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 09:48 PM

Rick,

The Purple Mile is in MA currently... here is a LINK to that thread... a very good read.

There is a Purple Mile pic with the econo sides on it in that thread.

The one 220' Yellow is in Brooklyn, NY, in storage. Buzzy owns it.

The econo paneling was the same on most I saw. I am sure it was a "stock" color or shade that was used in many a homes in that time period.

#123 Prof. Fate

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:55 PM

Hi,

Speaking of... I have meant to ask Greg what happened to the Purple Mile in Atlanta where I think we met and played in '91 or '92. That facility was very nice, nice people, clean, well lit, and lots of parts on the wall.

Fate
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#124 Rotorranch

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 02:18 PM

Rocky, that Purple got sold when Tim closed the shop. It went to Dalton, GA, I think, for a while, then vanished.

I tried to track it down several years ago when I was opening my shop. The closest I could get was it was either in North Georgia under a carport, and was firewood, or it was somewhere in storage in the Carolinas. The contact info I got at that time was inop (no longer in service).

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#125 Prof. Fate

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 02:00 PM

Hi,

Sigh. I think that at this point I know more stories of neat tracks that got trashed than saved.

Thanks, Jeff.

We were in Atlanta where my wife was giving a paper, and I found a sleezy all night diner with the best chicken fried steak ever... and near Atlanta this track. An expensive cab ride from where we were. But I have fond memories of the place.

Fate
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#126 Rotorranch

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:10 PM

Yeah, Rocky... I have had more than one offer through the years to just "haul that track out of here, and you can have it".

I hated to hear the Georgia Hobby Center Purple mile was probably toast. I keep hoping some day it might resurface.

I remember you coming in to the raceway to to play. I can't remember if Tom Moye showed up that night or not.

And I haven't got a clue where you ate, but I love chicken fried steak!

Rotor

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#127 Rick

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:27 PM

Another sad American track story for you. In the '90s I bought out a track from New York. I got a pretty nice Hillclimb that I was told was in storage for 20 some odd years before the new owner set it up and then sold it to me. It really didn't see much use on its life.

When I moved to under the bridge in Tarentum I did not have room for it, so sold it to a guy that was going to set it up in his own building as a fun track for him and his employees. He has a good plumbing bidness. Well, a while later I heard the track never got set up and was now in the alley behind the building tarped up. I think you can fill the blanks in after that... sad! As it was a real nice track in good condition...
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#128 stevphens

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 10:33 PM

Yeah, that's a shame, Rick.

The old American tracks are most interesting to me because they were the first commercial tracks I ever saw. And the brand I saw most often back in the day.
I've been looking at old Model Car and Track magazines recently, and was surprised to see how many commercial track builders advertised back in the '60s.

My question is: Have many of the "other" brand commercial tracks survived?

And does anyone have any idea the total number of American Raceway tracks built? Or the total number of all brands of commercial tracks built pre-1970? And about how many pre-1970 commercial tracks are still around, either in use or in storage?
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#129 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:01 PM

Who then were some of the other commercial track builders?

:unsure:
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#130 Prof. Fate

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:24 PM

Hi,

Jeff, first the food. Downtown back then was a small triangle island of concrete near the downtown convention area that was described by freeway on an off ramps. This diner was open all night. And I had gotten in LATE and was starving. From the hotel, it was clearly open and full of "people of the night". I was the token white guy!

But the food was stunning. The next morning I took my wife there for lunch after some presentation and she was wowed. But she also bonded with the owner. The owner complained that she worried about ME because I didn't seem to realize the bad nature of the area, AND I didn't eat my okra. My wife agreed that I scared her a lot because I did things like walk through bad neighborhoods smiling AND I never ate my okra.

Tom Moye was supposed to meet me there, but family issues came up. We had been friends for years. Anyway, he did show up the next day and I was happy to spend the time with him before his death.

I think I still have that set of cobalts the track sold me while I was there.

Fate
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#131 stevphens

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:32 PM

Who then were some of the other commercial track builders?


Miniature Grand Prix Racing Centers
International Raceway, Inc. (later acquired by Revell)
Slot Raceways of America
Model Raceways Associated
Trost
Strombecker Commercial Raceways
Custom Raceways Ltd,
Mila Miglia Inc. (fiberglass tracks)
H & H Manufacturing Co.

All the above were pre-1969.
Rick Stevens

#132 Rick

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:03 AM

I my box of misc. junk I had a couple of controller hookup plates. I can't remember the name on them but K & ? comes to mind?? That could be totally wrong. They had a polarity switch on the panels. Maybe Kit Henry found these in the stuff?

There was a Mila Miglia in Bulter, PA. in the '60s; Paul Meiers said it was a POS???
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#133 stevphens

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:22 AM

I ran on a fiberglass track in Long Beach, California in late 1971. Probably was a Mila Miglia? Don't remember much about it, but do remember I didn't like it.

My favorite track in that area was Ron Granlee's Blue King...

By the way, does anyone know what became of his flat track replica of Riverside?
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#134 stevphens

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:34 PM

Who then were some of the other commercial track builders?


Also pre-1970: Hi-Speed and All-Tech tracks (Stan Engleman - builder), according to "The History of Slot Racing" by John Ford.
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#135 Prof. Fate

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 03:02 PM

Hi,

There was a 275' Mila Miglia track in Ogden. It was done in fibreglass and the track surface was painted in "Sandtex" then often used as a coating for tarpaper roofing. Very abrasive, ate tires. But I don't know that this was standard to the brand or something the owners did.

Fate
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#136 stevphens

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 03:47 PM

Rocky, you have me wondering if the Long Beach track wasn't a fiberglass Mila Miglia? It had a slick surface. Does anyone know if Formica surface tracks were ever built?
Rick Stevens

#137 Rotorranch

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 04:08 PM

Jeff, first the food. Downtown back then was a small triangle island of concrete near the downtown convention area that was described by freeway on an off ramps. This diner was open all night. And I had gotten in LATE and was starving. From the hotel, it was clearly open and full of "people of the night". I was the token white guy!

But the food was stunning. The next morning I took my wife there for lunch after some presentation and she was wowed. But she also bonded with the owner. The owner complained that she worried about ME because I didn't seem to realize the bad nature of the area, AND I didn't eat my Okra. My wife agreed that I scared her a lot because I did things like walk through bad neighborhoods smiling AND I never ate my okra.


Rocky... I asked my wife, who has lived here all her life, and she didn't know. She asked her older brother, and he said it sounded like The Lucky Street Grille. Does that ring a bell?

All that was probably torn down for renovation before the Olympics in 1996.

Rotor

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#138 Champion 507

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 09:16 PM

Nashville, TN, had a Mila Miglia (240'?) for many years. Never raced on it as I lived in another town in '68-'69, maybe '70. Played on it many times. I saw where it sold on eBay about seven years ago. Never found out where it went or if it still exists.
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#139 Daytonaman

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 11:01 PM

The 330' pink Engleman style track I have in storage that originally came from Sacramento, CA, in 1966 has tags on the ends of each section that read "Slot Tracks Designers and Supplies" . The only '60s track manufacturers tracks that are still around today are American, Stan Engleman, All-Tech, and the one that I have. Does anyone know of any others?

John
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#140 Prof. Fate

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 01:07 PM

Hi,

Lucky Street Grill? Could be. If my wife were still alive I could ask her. It was fun place. Lots of dealers and pimps hanging around, there was a bank of pay phones outside. I always knew when a cop car was cruising by as the interesting folks would be suddenly pretending to make a phone cal as opposed to just hanging out.

But the food was terrific. Not usual for an all night choke and puke.

The Mille Miglia in Denver was cast like a modern HO tub track. Or I guess better described as "layed up". It looked like some of the photos I have seen show up of the smaller ones with that sort of "Englman" type layout, but just longer straights. And I am pretty sure that the surface was a "good idea at the time" by the brothers who owned the place. They were not the sharpest tools in the box.

Fate
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#141 stevphens

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 02:50 PM

Slotblog continues to keep me from my chores. Like Model Car & Track magazine did in my teens. Only Slotblog is worse, since someone is always there to talk with about the good old days...

Just found an ad in the November 1965 issue of Model Car & Track, in which Mila Miglia states (and I quote):
"Only Mila Miglia, with their long experience in miniature car components could provide such plus features as:
...textured roadways for greater tire traction"
etc.

So maybe someone at Mila Miglia wasn't the sharpest ax in the shed?

Reminds me of a raceway owner who used super glue to repair loose braid, and it seeped through the braid. So he decided to remove the excess super glue with some kind of abrasive stick which looked like an odd shaped eraser. After he cleaned the top surface of the braid, left behind was an abrasive dust that naturally became embedded in the track glue and rubber that had been laid down on the track surface. Needless to say, he sold a lot of tires in the following weeks...
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#142 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 03:02 PM

I guess the raceway owner wasn't so dumb after all!

:D
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#143 stevphens

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:27 PM

Do you suppose it was intentional? :shok:

I wonder if Mila Miglia sold tires? :blink:

Or maybe those brothers in Denver were sharper than they appeared to be? Probably would work as long as there were no other tracks in town...
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#144 S.O. Watt

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 07:28 PM

That's great spin doctoring, a euphemism for unsealed cheap arse particle board?

Just found an ad in the November 1965 issue of Model Car & Track, in which Mila Miglia states (and I quote):
"Only Mila Miglia, with their long experience in miniature car components could provide such plus features as:
... textured roadways for greater tire traction"
etc.


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#145 S.O. Watt

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 07:33 PM

I believe I ran on that track.... :o

The 330' pink Engleman style track I have in storage that originally came from Sacramento, CA, in 1966 has tags on the ends of each section that read "Slot Tracks Designers and Supplies" .

The only '60s track manufacturer's tracks that are still around today are American, Stan Engleman, All-Tech, and the one that I have. Does anyone know of any others?


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#146 Jim Brown

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 07:54 PM

Thanks for taking time to provide the info, Ron! Always enjoy hearing about the old American tracks. Reminds me of a special place in time...

I guess we've all seen the "Yellow", "Orange", "Black", "Red 150" and "Blue King".
I saw one green figure 8 in 1969. Cannot remember seeing a banked "Black" or " Hillclimb".
Fairly certain I never saw a "Purple Mile" or "Yellow 220", since there were so few. Understand there's a "Purple Mile" in Connecticut.
Seems like I read on Slotblog that at least one "Yellow 220" survived, but I can't remember where. (I'm at that age.)

Was the econo paneling the same color on all the tracks it was used on?


I raced at G&G Raceways in Houston, TX, among other tracks in TX. They had mirror images of the red Imperial, the yellow built exactly like American Tracks plus a green figure eight high banked at both ends. I always figured Gus built the green figure eight just for G&G raceway but I never saw another track like it in the '60s. Did American make a figure eight?

By the way I raced on the purple track at Bellaire also.
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#147 Prof. Fate

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 02:21 PM

Hi,

The guys with the 270 REQUIRED a tire tech every two heats. They sold a lot of tires. But I don't think it was the business plan. I so abused the rules of their program that it was clear they just didn't know basic anything.

Everyone in '71 was running 6 oz anglewinders with monster power like the "big boys" in California. And I won a lot of money with super light wire cars and they never believed me when I told them why.

One issue was that cars would commonly start bottoming out during the heat, even with tire changes.

Anyway, back to the track, in '65, we had a lot of HARD tires out there and the sandtex surface wasn't THAT bad an idea. In '64, presumably when they went into business, we commonly ran Veco model airplane "sponge" tires. My local track in Goldsboro, NC, back then, put together a "team" to hit local tracks and races. I remember our going crazy at this American black in Kinston, NC. Nothing was hooking up. Out of frustration, I threw on a set of stock Monogram mechanical rubber on my car, and THAT worked. For everyone else with supposedly better tires just had a skating rink.

Things were not so wonderful then when it came to tires and traction and track power.

Fate
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#148 stevphens

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 06:52 PM

They had mirror images of the Red Imperial, the Yellow built exactly like American Tracks plus a Green figure eight high banked at both ends. I always figured Gus built the Green figure eight just for G&G raceway but I never saw another track like it in the sixties. Did American make a figure eight?


American Raceways built a figure 8 with green Formica called the Queen. Seems like I read it was 66 feet and did not have high banks.
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#149 stevphens

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 07:11 PM

Found the following ad in the September 1965 issue of Model Car & Track:

"NEW! From Mila Miglia... Cheater slicks & hubs
Magnesium hubs & German formula sponge rubber tires."

So they did sell tires! "Cheater" tires... :laugh2:

I suppose Mila Miglia considered a track a one-time sale, but tire sales could go on and on... And on and on - especially if the track surface wore out tires in a hurry!
Rick Stevens

#150 Prof. Fate

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:27 PM

Hi,

There were a couple tracks in North Carolina in '65 that really hooked up with the MM slicks. Threaded axles!

Fate
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