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What was the long track in Manchester, CT?


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#1 Durf

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 12:36 PM

Alright guys ! I need some help filling in a memory . In the late 60's - early 70's there was a Bowling alley on Center St . in Manchester Ct . That had 3 1/24 scale and 1 HO track in the basement . They used to run a Sat. morning race program every week on the long track . I am trying to identify the track and it's exact layout . I can only remember parts of it and cannot find any pictures of one like it . Here's what I know .
It was a clockwise rotation track .
It had a long main straight , maybe 30 feet or more .
The straight was slightly crowned and was the highest point of the track .
At the end of the straight there was a right hand downhill spiral turn like what you have on a King.
I don't really remember well what came next but I think it may have been a pair of "fingers " .
At the end of whatever happened on the far side of the track you passed back under the straight .
After passing under the straight you went through an uphill , left hand spiral turn (basically the mirror image of the turn at the end of the main straight)and back onto the main straight
End of lap 1.

Sound familiar to anyone ? Does anyone remember just what it did on the back side ? Anybody have a name ? diagram ? photo ?

Thanks everyone for any help you can provide .
Durf Hyson




#2 Larry Labounty

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:54 PM

I rember the tracks N ot sure of the names or builder. I don't think they where done by any of the major track builders. From what I recall the control panels where very different from the rest. I think you could only use a phone plug.

 

Larry



#3 Durf

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:11 PM

That seems correct. I was using an MRRC Enduro then and had a jack on it. The two tracks in the hilliard hall on Main St in East Hartford had RCAs also.

So the real question is... do you remember the configuration of the "back" side of thetrack.. I can't remember what the track did between where you wound down off the main straight and where you went through the pass under that put you into the uphill spiral that lead to the front straight.

It appears this track was at least unusual , if not unique , with the spiral turn at each end of the main straight.

Thanks,

Durf


Durf Hyson

#4 Gil Aubin

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 08:50 PM

I only visited there once, no memories whatsoever, but I did frequet the Cue Room in East Hartford and the second floor Hartford track quite often. Also Bloomfield Family Hobby Center, then Hobbytown out on the Berlin Turnpike, the shop in Wolcott and finally C&C in Coventry.


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#5 Bill from NH

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 09:07 PM

Gil, how about the big track that was in Forestville? Any idea what it was? I was there only once but I recall winning concours with Tony P. being the judge. :)

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#6 Robert Blaschke

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 10:02 AM

Hi,
I grew up in Forestville CT.
The Track in Forestville you are talking about around '68- '70 was the second track in town run buy a guy named Sherm.
The track was located on Pine Street next to the Western Auto store.

Shortly after it opened Art Norton of Norton Oil bought the track for his two sons Jeff and Gary.
The phone number is still written on the wall in my old bedroom (Raceway's 582-9863).

I spent a lot of time there since my dad bowled on Art Norton's pro duckpin team and played in a kids band with the Norton kids.

The raceway had to tracks the one on the left had wood paneling sides and may have been a hillclimb.
Not many people raced on this track.

The track you are talking about had yellow sides with a very steep bank at the end of the back straight.
The first races I ran there was with a stock Riggen angle winder with a Pactra controller.

At one point Gary sold tropical fish across from the parts counter in the front of the store.

There was also an Aurora Tub track at the raceway at one point.

Shem's first raceway in Forestville had a track similar to a Queen without the esses with an HO drag stip down the middle.
HO drags were huge on Friday nites.
There was also a 4' x 8' Aurora HO lock -n- joiner track in the back of the store.

I also recall going to a slot car track in Berlin on the Berlin Turnpike a couple of times.
The guys there were FAST!

Good memory's for sure but the details are not all that clear.
Turned 53 yesterday so you know what I'm talking about.

Happy Holidaze!
Robert

#7 Gil Aubin

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 03:02 PM

The track was an All-Tech 220 - basically an Engleman with the traditional steep bank and a very sharp dead man-turn. Think of Elmsford through a mirror. I am pretty sure that HobbyTown was owned by Burt Smith and located on the Berlin Turnpike. He sold the operation to Sherm Rancourt who eventually moved it to Forestville. I think when Art bought out the shop they renamed it to Hobby World, and yes I do remember the tropical fish in the showroom. I have a photo somewhere of Mitch Keil doing a hand-stand on the hood of my car in that parking lot. Wow, you guys are waking up old brain cells LOL.
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#8 Larry Labounty

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 07:47 PM

DIdn,t the Manchester track have esses in the middle of back striaght away? GIll when we had the Yankee usra races in Taunton wasn't that a ALL-Tech as Forrestville ? I only was at Forrestville a hand full of times before Sherm close.What I reminder most was meeting Jack Wiggens down there. My first commerical track was the Bloomfield track in front of the bowling alley.As a kid with a home set that was a cool candy store! :D Larry

#9 Gil Aubin

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 08:54 AM

Hey Larry - yup, the Taunton Track was an All-Tech 220, complete with the old narrow lane spacing. I actually saw a Group 27 car nerf another group 27 car while passing on the straight lol. Are you thinking of Jack Wiggett? Yep, another real character of the day along with Bob (wrong lane) Schlain. I still have a trophy from the Bllomfield Family Hobby Center. Now that I have had some time to think it over, the orginal Hobby Town was in the Plaza on the Berlin Turnpike near Rt. 72 and run by Burt (maybe Bert?) Smith. He moved to the Berlin Turnpike and eventually sold out to Sherm Rancourt. The operation eventually moved to Forestville and was bought out by the Nortons. I don't remember much about them, but I do remember they had some unusual ideas about racing - including wanting to install bleachers so spectators (at a cost of 50 cents each) could sit to watch the race. Funny how I can remember stupid little things from 40 years ago but can't remember where I parked my car. :)
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#10 tonyp

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:03 AM

"Bob (wrong lane) Schlain"

LOL. That is a name out of the past..

"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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#11 John Streisguth

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:12 AM

There's an Altech 220 at Trains and Lanes in Easton PA. Too bad it's not maintained very well.
"Whatever..."

#12 Gil Aubin

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:25 PM

"Bob (wrong lane) Schlain"

LOL. That is a name out of the past..


I have more :) I wound up as an usher at his wedding! He and his wife were members of the SCA - Society for Chronological Anachronisms (sp?) - many people were dressed im midievel garb. Unusual to say the least :rolleyes:

We had much cooler nicknames back then.

"Wrong Lane" Schlain
Wigget the Spigot
Pumpkin Man
Ernie Semi-Provetti (I think it was Mark Calchera who called him "Slow-vetti")
Walt Debris Labree
Dirt Man

Ah, when men were men and nick-names were insulting lol.
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#13 tonyp

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:44 PM

LOL..

"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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#14 Larry Labounty

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 07:33 PM

Gill. You are correct it was Wigget an he sure was a character. I still talk to Ray about how much I enjoyed racing that track in Taunton.Was the Forrestville track in Berlin ? I wish I had know more about the tracks in the area. I didn't know about C@C till you came down to the track that was open in Enfield for a short period. No one could pin somebody a nick name faster than Ernie. But I,m sure Tony gave him plenty of help ! It must have been a 70's thing Larry

#15 Bill from NH

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 08:45 PM

Gil, didn't Bob Schlain also run in some of the first CASRA races? I seem to remember a goofy-looking CT guy with unkempt dark hair & glasses who always had something to say, in the early days of "A-Prod." :)

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#16 Gil Aubin

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:10 PM

Not sure about CASRA but he was a regular in the NECC for a while. Basically a nice guy but a little on the upper end of the goofy meter (much like most of us back then).
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#17 Gil Aubin

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 04:45 PM

Just thought of another nick-name:

Langley Big-Time Cannonball Smith... The only person I ever met who raced slot-cars and performed in the Roller Derby :)
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#18 tonyp

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 04:50 PM

I remember a lot that can not be posted up here. LOL...

Mark "Chopper" Lambright

Buster "Sweet Thing" Cerillo

Paul "The Dick" Gelman

"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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#19 Bill from NH

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 07:19 PM

I recall Paul Gelman & his "Great Race Products." I might still have some of his parts. 2 or 3 yr. ago, I read he was managing Elmsford for Lou. :)

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How old should a highway be before you tell it, that it has been adopted?


#20 Gil Aubin

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:06 AM

I recall Paul Gelman & his "Great Race Products." I might still have some of his parts. 2 or 3 yr. ago, I read he was managing Elmsford for Lou. :)


Not any more :laugh2:
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#21 tonyp

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:10 AM

Great race products known as GRP or as his team would say Green Rubber Penis...

"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
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#22 Bill from NH

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:13 AM

A couple days ago I happened to look at the Stamford site. Any idea when Lou closed it down? The last time I was in Elmsford was 1978. Alot can happen since then. :)

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#23 slotcarone

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:58 PM

:D I think about 2 years ago although that probably means like 5 or 6 in reality!!!

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#24 Horseshoe

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:38 PM

I am trying to remember, as I grew up off of West Center Street and went there all the time Jim Halfpenny owned it; hope I spelled last name correctly.

 

Yes, there were three tracks. The third track you are referring to was off to the right sort of in separate area behind his office area. The small track was next to the pool tables with the large one to the right of it. Bowling alleys were on other side.

 

Remember a lot about but not sure about if the track set off by itself is the one you are referring to.







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