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Southern African 1/32 tracks


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#1 gascarnut

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 08:28 PM

An old slot racing friend now living in New Zealand scanned a bunch of his old photos and sent me a CD a while back. Here are some of the club tracks we ran on back in the day and some that are still in operation:

The first one was in Bulawayo in what was still called Rhodesia in those days, now the chaos known as Zimbabwe; it was unique amongst the tracks we ran as it had 5 lanes:

Bulawayo1001.jpg

This one was a 6-laner in Cape Town, still in operation as far as I know, built in the mid-1970's:

Cambridge2001.jpg

This next one started life as a commercial track in Johannesburg, then was bought by a club that took out the banking and re-surfaced it. I still hold the all-time 3minute heat record on the banked version, as I was the last to set the record before they changed it!

Dunnottar2.jpgDunnottar1.jpg

This was the track at Ecurie Elite, the club in Durban that could possibly lay claim to being the oldest slot car club in continuous operation, since it was established in 1963 and is still going strong:

EEMRCC1001.jpg

A very fast 4-laner, it was later repainted a striking orange that caused much comment and jollity:

eemrcc2.jpg

Later on, Ecurie Elite built a small king-type track that is still in use today:

EEMRCC.jpg

They still had some of the orange paint left for the legs!

Next up, the original track of the East London Slot car Club. It had a downhill section that was a car-killer:

ELSCC2001.jpg

In later years, after a change of venue, the rack was completely rebuilt according to almost the same design:

ELSCC.jpg

This next one has a long history:

NMCC1001.jpg

Originally built in Pretoria in the mid-1960's, this was the track of the Pretoria Atoms Club, which operated until 1975. I was one of the last members before it closed down. The track was taken to one of the gold-mining towns by one of the members and then later sold to a new club starting up in Newcastle, one of the coalmining towns in Natal. It was operated there for years before being replaced by a newer track (of which I do not have a photo right now).

This photo shows a track with probably the most moves and the most owners of all SA club tracks.

RouesVolantestrackKlerksdorp.jpg

Originally built by the members of Roues Volantes Slot Car Club in about 1966, it was moved by them to three different venues before it was lost totally for about 5 years. We finally found it and it lived along the wall of my garage for a year while we looked for premises. Once we found a spot, the track was resurfaced to the grey color in the photo, then moved twice more before being sold to the current owners. A very tight and technical circuit that gave the home club drivers an enormous home track advantage.

This one was also situated out on the Gold fields and has to be my least favorite track of all - long straights joined by sets of turns all the same radius. Also the scene of a total melt-down on my part resulting in verbal abuse of a turn marshall that nearly got me banned for life!

Stilfontein.jpg

And finally, the tracks of my home club from 1975 till 1989 when I stopped racing:

We started with a small 4-laner that we dis-assembled to build a bigger one that re-used a lot of the parts of the old one:

PMCC4001.jpg

PMCC3001.jpg

I won my one and only SA Championship event on this track, which is why I used it as the basis for my new home track.

This track was destroyed by a fire in our clubhouse in 1981, after which we used the re-found Roues Volantes track for some years in two different venues. Shortly after I retired, the club built a new 6-lane track that they still use:

PMCC1.jpg

PMCC2.jpg

I hope this is of some interest to you all.
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Dennis Samson
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#2 Tex

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 08:58 PM

Great historical stuff, Dennis! I REALLY love the elevation changes.... ANYthing that makes a driver do something with his trigger finger besides just full throttle.
Richard L. Hofer

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#3 68Caddy

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 09:01 PM

Dennis,

Now wonder you are such a great racer.

Nesta
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Nesta Szabo

In this bright future you can't forget your past.
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#4 munter

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:59 AM

Loved the tracks and the fashion
Thanks
John

ps It would be interesting to know the whereabouts of your friend here in NZ
We have had many folk arrive from Zimbabwe in recent years

John Warren
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#5 Zippity

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 03:45 AM

Dennis,

If your friend is living in the Greater Wellington area, get him to come down to our Raceway :)

#6 idare2bdul

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 04:51 AM

Those guys built tracks that required you to actually drive.
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#7 don.siegel

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 05:17 AM

Great look at some period club tracks Dennis, thanks for posting these. Not to mention the styles, as John points out...

Ah, for those days when we still had hair...

Don

#8 911GT3

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 08:29 AM

Dennis,

Thank you for sharing the pictures and giving a history lesson.

Eric
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#9 gascarnut

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:41 AM

Dennis,

If your friend is living in the Greater Wellington area, get him to come down to our Raceway :)


He is in Auckland, and has had contact with the clubs up there, but only to get rid of whatever slot car stuff he still had left. He quit racing before he left SA for NZ.

Dennis Samson
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#10 tonyp

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 04:02 PM

Wow, that is a whole different side of slot car racing. Those are some really nice tracks and some look like a killer to drive. Was the whole club thing a race for fun, show off your workmanship and new bits and pieces, or a new car every week to try and go faster type of racing?

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#11 Russell Sheldon

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 02:33 AM

Thanks for posting the pictures, Dennis!

Although there were a couple of commercial raceway ventures in South Africa, the 1/32 scale clubs have always been the mainstay of slot racing there, especially at a national level. The South African Model Car Association (SAMCA) was formed in the early 1960s and is responsible for technical standards and national championship racing to this day. Some of the clubs now race 1/24 scale classes as well.

Tony, slot racing in South Africa has always been extremely competitive. From the late 1970s until the mid-1990s, we raced a rather unique class at national level -- 1/32 ‘wing cars’! This is the car that I raced in 1982, which I used to finish second overall in the SA National Championship:-

SAMCA_Russell_1983.jpg

The sidewinder chassis has a spring steel centre section, cut using a Dremel, and stainless steel sidepans. The motor is a shortened InPHinity can (13UO-size) with soft polymer cobalt magnets and a turned down Mura 'B' endbell. I can't recall exactly but the armature was probably a 1O1, wound by Pro Slot. The body is a Betta Ferrari 312P 'Silhoutte'.

This was my 1983 chassis; by then I had learned the folly of building full sidewinders, especially in 1/32 scale! Again, the spring steel centre section was cut by hand. The InPHinity can has been 'vented' quite considerably. There was obviously no real improvement over my 1982 car, since I again finished second in the championship!

SAMCA_Russell_1982_Top.jpg

With kind regards,

Russell

Russell Sheldon
Cape Town, South Africa

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#12 Tim Neja

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:53 PM

MAN--- I love those "drivers" tracks!! Lot's of turns and mostly FLAT!! That's real racing without the need for massive horsepower but a great handling chassis!! Very cool--thanks Dennis.
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#13 redbackspyder

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:30 PM

Thanks for the great photos, Dennis. These are tracks that have to be driven. Today you would get half the guys staying home because if they can not get to a punch bowl, they just pack it in. 

Great variety, great-looking, and can you imagine if we had some of those today.

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#14 TG Racing

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:28 AM

Great pics! They just make me want to build a track. 

We have two tracks like those (commercial/home) in the Ohio Scale Racing League. One is a mini Hillclimb and the other is flat roadcourse (Butch Dunaway). 

Wish we had more racing like that.
Thom Greene

#15 gascarnut

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

Wow, this one got dug up from way back!

 

Since the time I posted these photos, the PMCC track (the last one in the original thread) has been modified and re-painted:

 

PMCC3.JPG

 

It is apparently a lot faster now, and the visibility has been improved.

 


Dennis Samson
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#16 Keith Baxter

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:30 PM

Sorry I do not know how to upload photos. But here is one i found of the original Equip Veloice track that was made from Scalextric. 

 

The photos ^ that are purported to be Ecurie elite I think are actually those of Equip Veloice. Equip Veloice was the club that had the six lane track and then changed to the four lane in the picture.

 

My father, Frank Baxter was the inaugural chairman of Ecurie Elite and his brother Mike Baxter was the chairman of Equip Veloice. 

 

Equip Veloice was located in the basement of this this block of flats in Vause Road. My grandmother Doris Baxter used stay in no 3. Just as a bit of trivia, Gordon Murray was a member of this club before emigrating and starting his career in F1. https://goo.gl/maps/JSPGL9z5J742

 

Ecurie Elite was formed in this building in Silver avenue. club was formed by Frank Baxter and Clive Munnery. Clive Munnery used to stay in Bishop road. the club used run between Bishop and Silver avenue. https://goo.gl/maps/sHhQDHBmjqz

 

I will look for more photos and upload once i figure how to upload.

 

 

https://scontent.fgc...273&oe=595E3F76


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#17 don.siegel

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 04:25 AM

Great photo Keith - that's the original Scalextric track, isn't it? 

 

Don 



#18 Keith Baxter

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 05:19 AM

Great photo Keith - that's the original Scalextric track, isn't it? 

 

Don 

Yes Don, It was the original Equip Veloice track before the six lane track was built. I will ask my auntie Bobbie Baxter (late Mike Baxters wife) for pictures of the six lane and the one indicated above. 

 

I am scratching through boxes of old photos to find the Ecurie Elite track. I do have them somewhere as I saw them when we did renovations last year. I can remember the track as clear as yesterday. Ecurie Elite started with a Scalextric track. shortly after setting it up the Scalextric track was stolen. A new track was built and the texture of this track was surfaced to look like the Scalextric track. I can remember my father, Frank Neville Baxter and Clive Percy John Munnery  playing around with sample products. This track coating proved problematic and when Equip Veloice pulled down the six lane track and build the one in the photos here, Ecurie Elite redid their track and painted it grey. The rails were originally aluminium and this caused power drop issues. A copper tape was then gemken'd over the aluminum.

 

Keith



#19 Keith Baxter

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 05:31 PM

I will update here soon. The history of how the two clubs Equip Veloice  and Ecurie Elite evolved and the input Mike Baxter had in SAMCA. 

 

In 1986 Mike Baxter was traveling to an event in "Transvaal" when he met with an accident just outside Ladysmith Natal. They did not make the meet. His wife Bobbie Baxter lost an eye in that accident. Bobbie is alive and well today and will be celebrating her 80th next year, but before that she is going to share all the photos in her possession.

 

I will put up a link to the photos but for record purposes, all are free to use and share.

 

Keith 



#20 Mattb

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 06:38 PM

Keith thanks for your efforts.   slot car history is always of interest to all of us.  Not enough was captured on film back in the 60's.


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#21 Tom Eatherly

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 07:13 PM

After looking at these great tracks in SA, now I know why Dennis configured his home track the way it is. His "Pebblestone Raceway" is a hoot to race on with the Proxy cars he gets from time to time. Slot racing at it's finest.


Tom Eatherly

#22 iti20090

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:33 AM

Hi Keith

 

Following this aspect of the thread with interest and you can clarify for me as I visited the Vause road Equip track as a twelve year old and always had the sensation that the circuit was similar to or indeed the same as when I ultimately later raced on the Ecurie Kenyon Howden location some years later. I was around at Ecurie Kenyon Howden when we epoxy filled the then unused outer two lanes and completed the transition to four lane orange track.

 

Am I right in my understanding the the Equip Vause road track was later installed in the Ecurie Kenyon Howden facility? The earlier thread pics are definitely of the Ecurie Kenyon Howden facility.

 

Sorry, I am also battling to load the pic so best I can do is a link.... ;-)

 

http://s189.photobuc...html?sort=3&o=0

 

As an aside, this track was relocated inland and eventually burned after suffering terminal damage.

 

Kind regards

Dave

 

 

The photos ^ that are purported to be Ecurie elite I think are actually those of Equip Veloice. Equip Veloice was the club that had the six lane track and then changed to the four lane in the picture.

 

My father, Frank Baxter was the inaugural chairman of Ecurie Elite and his brother Mike Baxter was the chairman of Equip Veloice. 

 

Equip Veloice was located in the basement of this this block of flats in Vause Road. My grandmother Doris Baxter used stay in no 3. Just as a bit of trivia, Gordon Murray was a member of this club before emigrating and starting his career in F1. https://goo.gl/maps/JSPGL9z5J742

 

 


Dave Greer

#23 Keith Baxter

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 01:33 AM

Hi Dave, you are correct. 

 

The club Equip Veloice was formed after my mother bought me a Scalextric set for Christmas in 1961. It first started as each member setting up a track each week at home. 

 

The track that I posted is the first track and clubhouse under the block of flats (Cullingworth) in Vause road. The membership split after some disagreement and Ecurie Elite was borne in Silver avenue. Mike Baxter and my gran Doris Baxter ( Doris Baxter is lady on the left of my photograph) remained at Equip Veloice and my father Frank Baxter and my mothers brother Clive Munnery  ( Clive Munnery is the gentleman third from left) started Ecurie Elite.

 

When Ecurie Elite closed down most of the members joined the Kenyon Houden road club. I think, if my memory is correct the club then was called Montpeller at that time. When Equip Veloice closed down that track in your picture went to Kenyon Houden road and the name of the club changed to Ecurie Elite. I am not sure which club closed first or if the Equip track was moved to Silver avenue and then Kenyon road. I am not sure if any of our family was involved after the accident in 1968. I will revert after consultation with Auntie Bobbie. Bobbie Baxter has an album of photos of the tracks.

 

To the best of my memory is what I can recall.

 

Keith



#24 Tom Eatherly

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 10:39 AM

Would also like to mention that 6 lane "Ecurie Elite" flat King track and the PMCC track in post #15 would be a blast to run on.

Those tracks look awesome.


Tom Eatherly





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