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Where did you race as a kid?


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#1 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 01:54 PM

Where did you race as a kid? Have those tracks all disappeared?

My home track was upstairs in the hobby department of Cowan's Hardware on the south side of Dundas Street in downtown London, Ontario. This one may have opened in 1964 and if not then 1965. I was also familiar with the track at Dundas Hobbies(?) on the south side of Dundas Street near Lyall Street in east London and the track in the miniature golf emporium on the northwest corner of Oxford Street and Adelaide Street.

There was also the track at Seven Mile Hobbies on the north side of Seven Mile Road just west of the Southfield expressway in Detroit which I got to see once or twice a year.

These tracks are all long since gone, as are the shops themselves. Does anybody else remember these places? If not, which do you remember from your old neighbourhood(s)?

:huh:
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#2 Victor Poulin

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 02:29 PM

As a young child, mine was at the Hampton Beach board walk. Im from the NH. seacoast area, and only live minutes from the beach.
This would have been around 1964 or so. The track there was the first track I ever played on. Notice I didnt say race? :laugh2: The track lasted for many years, and didnt close down until the late 70s. The problem with that track was that it was in disrepair most all of those years. It was an american red, and could have been such a great track to race on, had they taken better care of it. Id give anything to have that track today !! The sad part is, it wound up on the landfill years later. Do you know how many times I tried to buy that track from the owners? Only to hear, Not for sale !!! What a shame. Well anyways, I did run on that track alot as a child, and those are still some of my fondest memories. Now everytime I see an american red, It brings me right back to those days of old.
Some day my dream is to find one, and restore it back to its original beauty. Hey, you gotta dream :rolleyes:

Vic
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#3 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 02:50 PM

The sad part is, it wound up on the landfill years later. Do you know how many times I tried to buy that track from the owners? Only to hear, Not for sale !!!


What a bunch of jerks!

:angry:
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#4 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 02:58 PM

Aurora, Illinois far west suburb of Chicago. Rail racing track was in the basement of Richards Brothers Hobby Shop on River Street downtown. We built the first slot track in the basement of a small hobby and bicycle shop across downtown on Broadway at the Aurora Cycle and Hobby in 1960.
The 'Big Wheel' was the first franchise (Revell?)raceway that came to Aurora in about 1965 when I got drafted. We had seven storefront raceways in the 1960-1966 era in Aurora alone. I also raced at the Miniature Grand Prix Raceway of Wheaton, IL., which was there from 1960-67. I restored THAT track in 1992 for my first Raceway. Also raced in many raceways around the SW Chicago suburbs. Glenwood Club (1/32) in Lombard in late 1960's.
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Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#5 Victor Poulin

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 03:48 PM

Aurora, Illinois far west suburb of Chicago. Rail racing track was in the basement of Richards Brothers Hobby Shop on River Street downtown. We built the first slot track in the basement of a small hobby and bicycle shop across downtown on Broadway at the Aurora Cycle and Hobby in 1960.
The 'Big Wheel' was the first franchise (Revell?)raceway that came to Aurora in about 1965 when I got drafted. We had seven storefront raceways in the 1960-1966 era in Aurora alone. I also raced at the Miniature Grand Prix Raceway of Wheaton, IL., which was there from 1960-67. I restored THAT track in 1992 for my first Raceway. Also raced in many raceways around the SW Chicago suburbs. Glenwood Club (1/32) in Lombard in late 1960's.


Larry,
Just wondering, Do you still own that track? Sometimes when you put hart+sole into something like that, It has a value much more than money can buy. :)
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#6 Kim Lander

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:11 PM

I started the slotcar hobby here in Macon Ga. in 1964, it was a large place with four tracks, they were all Americans ...The red, an Orange, a black and a yellow, and some where along there I seem to remember a purole track but not sure of make. The place had a general hobby shop in pne corner a pit area, a lounge (with TV) a snack bar and a HUGE parts counter. It was slotcar heaven so to speak.A number of years (and I cant remember) it closed down, and the Orange track was moved to another location for another stint of racing. We had other tracks in Ga. also, Indian Sorings Ga, Atlanta and other , had loads of fun going to other tracks, and I always took my slotbox on vacation to Florida cause like here in Ga. they were loaded with tracks.We now have several here in Ga. and the one I race at now is in Warner Robins Ga. just south of Macon. If ya`ll ever get to Ga. or any other southern state just look up one of the tracks and visit...you will surely find that southern hospitality still exsists.
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#7 Mopar Rob

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:20 PM

I restored THAT track in 1992 for my first Raceway.



I would say that you made it usable for racing and there is nothing wrong with that. Removing the esses and adding another drivers panel in albiet a better location don't fit my definition of "restored"

BTW:

You can leave me all the Miniture Grand Prix memorabilia in your will. I will even be happy to store it for you until that time.
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#8 68Caddy

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 09:20 PM

I have to say I started out racing in the family room when I was a kid? :laugh2:

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That's the way it was back then? I ran into a commercial raceway in Goteborg in Sweden and I can't remember the name of it but it was gone very soon, that's the way it goes sometimes but it was on the floor for hours and I loved it every day, I sure miss that Revell track with it's Vette and the Ferrari. ;)

And now I'm up to it to my neck and still loving it.

Nesta
- Gabriel
Nesta Szabo

In this bright future you can't forget your past.
BMW (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

United we stand and divided we fall, the Legends are complete.
I'm racing the best here at BP but Father time is much better then all of us united.
Not a snob in this hobby, after all it will be gone, if we keep on going like we do, and I have nothing to prove so I keep on posting because I have nothing to gain.
It's our duty to remember the past so we can have a future.

Pistol Pete you will always be in my memory.

#9 TSR

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 09:22 PM

You should have gone to Uppsala, the raceway is still there... :)

#10 68Caddy

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 09:37 PM

Yes Philippe, I was 13 years old at that time and the distance is like San Diego to San Francisco?
My old man would have beaten the dust out of my pants if he could catch me? :laugh2:
For you that don't know Sweden is about the same size as Cali.

Nesta
- Gabriel
Nesta Szabo

In this bright future you can't forget your past.
BMW (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

United we stand and divided we fall, the Legends are complete.
I'm racing the best here at BP but Father time is much better then all of us united.
Not a snob in this hobby, after all it will be gone, if we keep on going like we do, and I have nothing to prove so I keep on posting because I have nothing to gain.
It's our duty to remember the past so we can have a future.

Pistol Pete you will always be in my memory.

#11 stoo23

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 09:55 PM

Hi,..even though this refers to Australia, Sydney specifically,..I figured it 'Worth a Mention' as such, as unbelievably, I am Now racing again regularly, at THE Very same track I Started racing when a young teenager !!!

The track being now and for some years known as "Hornsby Slot Cars", which is situated in James Lane, Waitara, a suburb on the Northern outskirts of Sydney.

It has now been there and running continuously for I think 46 or 47 years, (It was one of the First in Sydney), with the Original Tracks, (an Extremely challenging 10 lane Flat Road course and a fast and dangerous 8 lane Banked circuit), built by a Lovely guy called Kevin Thurston, (a Cabinet maker by Trade, so the Tracks Were Very well made !!!) :)

I purchased my First 1/24th scale slot car there and I guess never looked back. It was their Club Racing that got me into scratch-building and re-winding motors etc and I eventually used to work there on Sundays, as Kevin and his Wife Marge, picked me up on the way, as they drove Right past My house!

It no longer has the KT tracks, it has had 2 x Johnson tracks for about the last 20 years and after ALL these years that little 110' road course is Still Challenging !!

It was where I also met Mark Fox, Wayne Bramble, Lindsay Byron, Charles Rickards, (one of the ensuing Owners) and in Fact Many of the guys who I am Currently Racing with!

In a strange kind of synchronisity, both Fox and myself just 'Happened' to turn up at the track, 'Out of the Blue' as it were, on the same day, after about 20 years, only to find, Wayne Bramble as the current Manager,!!

We all met there when we were about 16 or 17 in pretty much our very first Real Race!

In another strange coincidence, the New Owner of HSC, is James Colefax, who used to race with Mark Fox, my racing 'buddy' waaay back at Rushcutters Bay,.,...ahh but That's another story,..lol

The Strange thing is, Most of the other companies that occupied the other buildings in James lane, Still Do,..so it's in some ways, a bit of a 'Time Warp' going there!,..Occasionally smells of Oil of Wintergreen as well !!!,..ROFL

:)
Stewart Amos

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#12 68Caddy

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 10:41 PM

stoo23
Great story and I love to here it, and I still remember the smell of Wintergreen. :laugh2: Sure smell good to me and I'm happy that you guys are having a great history from back then and that you guys are still at it. ;)

I have to say I had a lot of fun on Aussie slot website because I always felt home there, and you guys just say it the way it is. :laugh2:

Nesta

PS Please tell me how you came up with that name?
- Gabriel
Nesta Szabo

In this bright future you can't forget your past.
BMW (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

United we stand and divided we fall, the Legends are complete.
I'm racing the best here at BP but Father time is much better then all of us united.
Not a snob in this hobby, after all it will be gone, if we keep on going like we do, and I have nothing to prove so I keep on posting because I have nothing to gain.
It's our duty to remember the past so we can have a future.

Pistol Pete you will always be in my memory.

#13 J&B Bear

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 01:27 AM

I raced HO on a huge layout at my house from 1960-66. And also raced HO`s at a place called Cross`s Hobbyshop. They had an Aurora Tubtrack. Then at age 13 a 1/24th track opened in Fremont Oh. where I live and I was able to ride my bike to it. It was named "Phil`s". No Phil`s Hobbies, or Phil`s Raceway. Just plain Phil`s.
It was a custom 8 lane track I believe the guy made to be honest that had a bank as tall as I was(and it wasn`t tall because I was short with a name like Bear I wasn`t a small pup even then) it had a trap door you had to go thru if your car did come off in the bank. And a hill coming off the bridge after the doughnut. I`ll never forget 8 cars coming over the bridge all with drop arms and guides that never left the slot and all eight pulling wheelies and not settling down for about 4-6'
Plus it didn`t have braid. It had copper tape. We had MRC or Cox type thumb controllers that you used a phono jack plugin to hookup. And the coolest part was all the lanes had it`s own polarity switch so you had to make sure it was switched the way you needed it on every lane change. That`s about all I remember. I was young and now I`m old....er. He moved to Bowling Green Ohio in 69` and I was back to HO.
Raced Open HO thru to 1988. Then back to 1/24th on an 85' 4 lane custom track my friend and I built on the first level of his Ranch House. He had a very understanding wife. In 1992 we opened J&B Raceways in Toledo Oh.. Didn`t work out as far as partners after 6 months so I bought him out but he`s still one of my best Buds and arch rival on the track. Closed Toledo in 1994 and have been in Fremont since then till now in the same building, 1/2 mile outside the City limits on Rt. 6 that runs right to Cedar Point in Sandusky about 30 minutes away.

So I guess I`ve been slot racing nye on to 49 years since I was 7 years old in one form or another. End of Bioagraphy....LOL

Might have bored you abit but I had a great time going down memory lane as I was typing this.

Race on!
Bear
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#14 Mark Wampler

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 01:32 AM

Henry's Hobbies, Tempe, AZ '65-66. :)
You can quote me.

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#15 68Caddy

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 01:39 AM

Bear
Great story and I'm glad to have a chance to read it and I have to say we are all having the passion for this little cars. ;)

Nesta
- Gabriel
Nesta Szabo

In this bright future you can't forget your past.
BMW (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

United we stand and divided we fall, the Legends are complete.
I'm racing the best here at BP but Father time is much better then all of us united.
Not a snob in this hobby, after all it will be gone, if we keep on going like we do, and I have nothing to prove so I keep on posting because I have nothing to gain.
It's our duty to remember the past so we can have a future.

Pistol Pete you will always be in my memory.

#16 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:12 AM

Restored is a purist word, I suppose. I like the idea of making something all it could be within reason. Changing the wiring to multi-tap and battery power was also not a restoration of the 'one tap an 4 amp power supply'; as would eliminating the pre-glue chalkboard paint in favor of epoxy enamel. As far as I know, The LAST Miniature Grand Prix franchise track met a dumpster fate when I could not afford the storage locker bills ten years ago. The 4 ft fiberglass logos and lapcounter/PA consoles are safe in storage yet. My dad never left any thing stock in our house - it was always fixed to be better than new.

OH, I have the control box that was the interface between the AMF steering wheels and a t-slot track in storage, also...anyone have a wiring diagram?

Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#17 Mr. Frank

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 08:44 AM

AKRON OHIO; We had many tracks in our area in the early 60's. 2 of them on kenmore blvd, witch I lived within walking distance, or I could ride my bike to 2 more about 4-5 miles away witch was a long way when you were 8 years old to be on a bike. But I LOVED any thing that had motors and wheels. The one track was called RACE ARENA had an AMERICAN ORANGE [ i think ] and figure 8 with a live intersection. [ that was cooool ] remember many crashes on that track and broken cars. The other one was 5 houses down from ours, across a main drag ,it was in the basement of a ma & pa's soda fountain store. It was a costom build track that was 6 lanes with lots and lots of power. Remember going there and walking in the store and smelling burnt motors up stairs, but the track was down stairs. THAT SMELL REALY TRAVELED. Raced H O s the whole time with my brothers and still racin today plus I now own a shop for over 10 years with my better half. RT 93 RACEWAYS in akron ohio. I guess racin slots are just in my blood. LOVED IT THEN and LOVE IT MORE TODAY. Mr. FRANK
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#18 Prof. Fate

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 12:14 PM

Hi

I couldn't possibly list the tracks I raced as a kid. Besides the usual stories starting with a rail track in 59, in 65, we drove all over the US and every stop, I got to hit whatever track was local. Too much fun.

Fate
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#19 4laneron

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 01:46 PM

Tom Thumb Springfield, Oregon
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#20 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 02:22 PM

RoadRunner, El Cajon; & Le Mans, La Mesa - California

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#21 markdshark

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:10 PM

I started out with a Strombecker, at "Detroit Model Raceway", in the mid 60's. Oddly enough, the raceway was located on Van Dyke, and Eldon.

Later, I switched to "Sebring Raceway", on E. Seven Mile Rd. On occasion, I would hop a bus and go to the legendary "Groove".

In the 70's, I ran at Bob Smolinski's "White Circle Raceway".

After that, I migrated to R/C. In the past couple of years, I picked up a couple of used flexi's and would occasionally go to a track and rent some time, but never raced.

However, a few of us "oldtimers" have recently built some Retro Racers, and have started hanging out at TSS Hobbies, in Belleville, MI.
Mark Parus
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#22 Eastern Assassin

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 10:23 PM

:blink: 1963 64 65 66 Garfield Grand Prix Outwater ln. Garfield NJ, Nutley NJ, used to be a track in Secaucus NJ at the Acme shopping center, Bellville NJ. I think the track in garfield had American hillclimb.
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#23 don.siegel

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 06:16 AM

As a kid I mostly raced on a very local track on the south side of Chicago, Joe's hobby shop on E. 71st street. They were a neighborhood hobby shop that installed a 4-lane Stombecker track and a home-made dragstrip, and then all of a sudden moved to new premises next door and installed a high-speed 8-lane formica track! We had weekly races, but never with huge amounts of racers, mostly young teems and a few older guys.

I occasonally went to the track in downtown Chicago above the Walgreen's on Randolph street, and out to Tri-State raceway near the Indiana border - the only big raceway I went to at the time, with four tracks, including an Engleman (or similar) and an American Red.

Don

#24 Ed Miller

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 09:01 AM

From 1966-1969 we use to race at a place called "Town Toy" ,it was located in Pottstown ,Pa. :rolleyes: They had 3 nice tracks ,don't know the names of the tracks but there was a very large banked turned track ,a flat track ,and a King. They also had snack bar and a very large selection of cars and parts.We use to have alot of fun and we use to fund our slot car racing with our TRAPPING money for our furs. :laugh2: The building is still standing ,I wonder what happened to those tracks? :shok:
Also " Town Toy" and "Stahl's Raceway use to run a racing series together this I found out 2 yrs ago while racing @ Stahl's which is the oldest track in its original location in the USA.

Ed
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#25 Marty Stanley

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 09:09 AM

The first place I became a 'regular' at was Edison Raceways - the original location on Plainfield Avenue in Edison, NJ. They later moved closer to my home and that was my 'home' raceway.

I also spent a lot of time in "Mini Wheels" down in Highland Park, NJ. The owner was Tag Powell.

Both of them are long gone.
Marty Stanley
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#26 Steve Deiters

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 10:41 AM

Didn't Tag Powell market a line of slot car products under the brand name of "Mini Wheels"? I seem to remember a line of tires and wheels. Anything else?

#27 gascarnut

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 01:32 PM

I grew up in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa.

The first commercial track there opened in mid-1964, with a track that was built by the owners. It was 30 minutes ride on my bicycle to get there, and about 20 minutes home (there was this loooooong uphill section on the way to the track ;) ).

The raceway survived until the late 1970's, mostly as a result of expanding into Radio Control and converting from being purely a Raceway into being a full-service Hobby Store. When they moved from their original store into a new Mall store, they sold the track, and a local club bought it, and restored it. These are the photos of the restored track:

Dunnottar_1.jpg

When the track was in the store, it had a black chalkboard paint surface. The drivers' panels were on the right of the picture, along the kinked straight section. The track had one of those cool old "pin-ball clicker" lap counters mounted on a pole right above the bridge section. Take a look at that bridge section - it was monstrously steep. There was a catch basket hung on the wall behind the uphill for the cars that did not have enough brakes - I think we all had at least one car go into the basket at some point.

Dunnottar_2.jpg

When the club restored the track, they took out the big banked turn that used to be at the end of the main straightaway - at the bottom of this photo. In the 1960's nothing we had for cars would punch the bank, but eventually our 1/32 scale wing cars would punch it on pretty much all the lanes.

The track was replaced by a new one around 1985 as I recall, and I think this track was donated to a local Air Force base, but whether it was ever put to any use I'm not sure.

Dennis Samson
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#28 slowjim

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:07 PM

Scott's Family Raceway, Fremont, California, 1962 to 1964. Located in an old warehouse next to the Fiberfab kit-car company, and down the street from a pickle factory, with huge open-topped vats that added to the smell of burnt end-bells and 3-in-1 oil. Other racers there were John Chotia and Todd Radke.
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#29 tonyp

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:22 PM

Sebring sport Center in Irvington NJ was my home track and where I started racing. After about 6 months I started to work there until it closed 18 months later. Then on to Nutley raceway..., Clementon, and then BIR until I stopped racing.

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#30 MrWeiler

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 05:47 PM

There were lots of places but these were the closest and since I went by bicycle where I went most often.

(1) An American tracks franchise next to the 5 freeway in Tustin

Then I moved to the San Fernando valley

(2) Race-a-rama on Devonshire in Chatsworth--then when they closed.
(3) Trackside raceway at the intersection of Roscoe and Tampa in Reseda.
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#31 The Bugman

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 12:52 PM

as a kid ? ? ?,,,lol,im still a kid,just a few years bigger now,and alot more $$$$$ nowadays too,and my home track is Buena Park Raceway,alot of us 50+y.o kids race there these days,lol :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:
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#32 Randy Tragni

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 01:13 AM

I had a COX BRM and a Dynamic Chassis Red Ball Express Indy Car. I started racing my pals at RPM Raceway in San Jose, CA. It was behind Kiddie World on Stevens Creek. I raced there twice before they closed down. If I remember correctly they had 4 tracks.
Next, I moved on to Rex's Pit Stop in Santa Clara, then to Checkered Flag in Santa Clara. Checkered Flag had a pair of mirror image tracks.
Anyone remember these places?
Randy

#33 chaparrAL

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 02:22 AM

In So Chicago suburbs ,NW Indiana mid 60 s , Dildines on Calumet Ave in Hammond was first, Then Illiana in Lansing and the track at state line on Ridge road i think was Georges and it had an American Orange and Black.About 67 a track opened in Hammond on Kennedy Ave,about a mile from my childhood home. A&E raceway first had a couple sub par tracks, But when the track used for the ARCO race became available they got it making it one fine raceway with a King track and a Aurora tub HO track.Met Bill Metros there.Also in bicycle range was G&G in Griffith with an American Black and an Aurora tub.Dr Gamma raced there too. Also about that time,read in Car Model about Carl Dreher s HO club in East Gary. So a good guy that was from my neighborhood ,Steve Medanic [ MADD Bodies]and I started racing HO s with them. This lead to my first entry in the first year Car Model Indiana HOPRA 1969 finished forth. On vacation i visited Speed &Sport and Pismo Beach but had my HO cars, :blink: :laugh2:
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#34 chaparrAL

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 02:29 AM

A&E's King track wound up in Hartford MI and was well worn last i heard in Sawgutuck.
Al Thurman
"Everything you love, everything meaningful with depth and history, all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated, mishandled, watered down, cheapened, repackaged, marketed, and sold to people you hate." Von Dutch [Kenneth R. Howard] 1929-1992
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#35 don.siegel

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:01 AM

ChaparrAL - do you remember a place called, I think, Tri-State Raceways, somewhere near the Chicago-Indiana-?? state line?

Don

#36 chaparrAL

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 09:46 PM

Don . I remember the name but never made it there. It must have been in north Hammond out of me and my friends bike range at that time. Otherwise we would have been all over it . Dr Gamma may know about it.
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"Everything you love, everything meaningful with depth and history, all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated, mishandled, watered down, cheapened, repackaged, marketed, and sold to people you hate." Von Dutch [Kenneth R. Howard] 1929-1992
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"Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?" - Jack Kerouac 1927-1969
"Hold my stones". Keith Stone
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#37 hiline2

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:05 PM

There were 3 tracks I recall in the St Louis area,. I went to GRand Prix Raceways off of St Charles rRock road, it was biggest and most commercial grade. 3 Tracks an American Lemans, Sebring and small one (cant recall type).
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#38 Dr. Gamma

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 07:34 PM

Hey Mr. Don and Al, TRI CITY RACEWAYS, Riverdale, Ill. It was on Indiana Ave, about 146th or 147th in Chicago street numbers. BIGGGGG place, had a western style to building, and tracks were named like Bonanza, Wrangler. Had 4 nice tracks. Its the Elks CLUB now!!! The Bonanza was 220 feet in lenght. Thats when I got glasses, could not see the flat turns at the bottom of the BIG banked turn. Destroyed my first QUICK scratch built car on banking there, when I hit a Cox Dan Gurney 121 Ford Sock car that was SIDEWAYS on banking. My poor little #88 purple Pacesetter-Eagle was in pieces all over track and floor. A guy named Ernie ran and owned the place. Just found the remains of that chassis in my parts collection a few weeks back!!!! Tony at Illiana was the best back then, he was the first owner that banned me from racing after a small run in with little rich kid, greg steverson!!! Rocky, Bee, and Larry at G/G were the BEST!!! I stop in and see Larry when I go back to Chicago!!! Bought all my scenic stuff and trees from him for my HO track out here!!!!

Robert Kickenapp, AKA RRB (Road Race Bob or when I fell down, I became Road Rash Bob)

 

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#39 chaparrAL

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 09:40 PM

146th and Indiana Ave was a long long way from Hessville!
Al Thurman
"Everything you love, everything meaningful with depth and history, all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated, mishandled, watered down, cheapened, repackaged, marketed, and sold to people you hate." Von Dutch [Kenneth R. Howard] 1929-1992
."If there is, in fact, a Heaven and a Hell, all we know for sure is that Hell will be a viciously overcrowded version of Pheonix." Dr Hunter S Thompson 1937-2005
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"Hold my stones". Keith Stone
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#40 don.siegel

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 05:02 AM

It was even a long way from the South Side of Chicago where I lived, but luckily there was Dave and his Corvair who could drive us kids over there...

Thanks for the details on the address and tracks Dr. Gamma! I only went to Tri-State a couple times but was very impressed by all the big tracks, and I didn't remember about the names at all. The one race I entered there, for newcomers/beginners, was on the American Red track, not the big Bonanza. I won it with a brass strip chassis under a Lotus 40 and my own 16D rewind...

There was also a guy named Al, a thin black guy about 30, who raced at both tracks, Tri-State and my home track in South Shore. He always had very fast cars, with 26D motors, and when we asked him what he had done to the motors, he always answered: "Strictly stock guys..."!

Don

#41 Jaz

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 06:26 AM

During the 60's, here on Long Island, it seemed as though almost every town had a slotcar center with multiple tracks. As far as I can remember, there must have been at least 30+ places to race. Everything from small custom club stuff to large comercial raceways. One of the biggest was in Hicksville, under an Agway. They had 7 tracks where you'd rent time and you got a 'ball' and you plugged into any lane available on any track. I remmeber Levittown had Hobbytrack with twin mirror imaged Englemans. 16 lanes tigether on the straights going either left or right at the banks. Aurora in Hempstead had a huge place - you got a chubbie when you walked in there. They had 5 or 6 tracks upstairs and a huge 300' monster downstairs. My local track - Worldwide in E. Williston had a King and a 185' Engleman. Then there was EMMRA - a 475' monster. I got to race there a few times and would go to see the big races held there.

There were just too many to list....also I can't remember either....duh!

After the crash of '68, all that was left were Glen Oaks, Crawleys and Buzzy's in Brooklyn. Oh yeah, can't forget Nutley's original location. By that time it was all and only G7 racing.
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#42 Gil Aubin

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 11:04 AM

The Cue Room in East Hartford, Connecticut. They had a small American track (Yellow maybe) in the back. We kids would line up outside on Saturday mornings waiting fro them to open, it was not unuasual to wait 4 hours for track time if you did not get there early. No organized races, just open track time.

Bloomfield Family Hobby Center in Bloomfield, CT. Part of an AMF complex, huge place. Then downtown Hartford on the second floor, don't remember the name only that it was a dump. Hobbytown Raceway in Berlin, CT for my first exposure to Open Racing - then the Raceway in Wolcott (don't remember the name) Finally C&C in Coventry, CT where regular monthly races featured racers like Joel (then known as Monty) Montague, Steve Bogut, Jan Limpach, Mich Keil, Russ Boyington, Tony P, Ernie Provetti, Ed Sohl, Rick Boltizar, Big Jim Greenaway, Tom Loudon, Fred daFlash Strauss. I think that raceway kept open style racing alive in this part of the country for several years.
aka Casinoslotcars

#43 don.siegel

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 11:31 AM

Gil,

What year did you go to the Cue Room? Just curious because I've heard of places that busy, but never really saw any when I was young...

Don

#44 Gil Aubin

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 12:33 PM

Wow, trying to get those brain cells working. I'm guessing I was 12, so that would have been around 1964? I remember my first car was a 1/32 Strombecker Cheetah if that helps identify the time period. Eventually got into the Classic line and at one time had a Viper, Manta Ray, Asp (my favorite), Astro V, Stinger.

Starting to remember more things - not only was there no racing, you did not get lane choices, you were given a lane based on your order in line or on the reservations sheet. Also remember that you paid for time and bought parts up fron, the track was in the back out of view, I remember lots of behaviour that would not have been acceptable had someone been watching. I also remember going there in the later years and literally having to wipe the dust off the track before you could run on it once the fad passed.
aka Casinoslotcars

#45 don.siegel

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 12:58 PM

Sorry Gil, terrible thing asking for one to think on Christmas eve (well, it is here in Paris anyway...) - I'm certainly hoping my in-laws don't expect me to converse or anything - let's just go straight for the duck and foie gras...

Anyway, to answer your question, the Strombecker Cheetah would be at least 1965, maybe 1966, and the Classic cars were mostly in 1966, although the earliest ones came out in 1965 and the last in 1967...

I had always figured the height of the commercial boom was 1966 (and maybe it was), but according to some sales figures I found in a trade magazine for the industry as a whole, the top year was already 1965 - and of course the boom spread unevenly all over the country...

Don

#46 Jerry Ward

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 01:30 PM

1965 at Sandusky Model Raceway in Sandusky Ohio. The owner name was Ray Ozman has a summer home here and is in his home in Flordia for the winter .He built 2 nice tracks a small orange type track and a Big Grand stand with a big bank remember watching him build it. They had copper brade on them. This guy could do just about anything! Still see him in the summer at a car show in Huron Ohio. Asked his wife last time if she had any pictures of the place and she dose. Told me to stop by one day and I could go through them. Dose anyone on the blog ever remember going there? I ended up working for him and it was great. He had it all slot cars,hobby shop ,mini bikes ,snowmobiles had a blast there I was 14 them.The tracks ended up in his fire place what he told me. :laugh2: Jerry
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#47 Tim Tompkins

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 02:32 PM

I raced at home with my brothers. We had a couple of HO sets put together. We wore out a lot of cars before we moved to another town. In 1964 we moved close to a new place on Forbes Street in Riverside Rhode Island. The raceway was owned by Tat White. It was in the basement and was huge, it seemed. I remember it was what I know now to be an orange but it had no esses. I spent the summer pleading with the neighbors to let me mow lawns, wash cars ect. for track time dollars. At the raceway we had a concourse event and I won the show so I got to choose my lane. people had to keep track of the laps with pencil an paper. I learned to rewind motors and balance arms with razor blades and a file. My first car was a Cox Ford GT then I built a couple of my own. Drop arms as far back as possible of course. The switch from hard body to lexan showed me back then the rule of weight is power. I returned a couple of times to this hobby but always the track closed. I have now opened my own and hope to pass the fun down for another generation to enjoy. Tim

#48 Russkid

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 01:04 PM

Parma Model Raceway, Tom Thumb, and various other tracks
in the Clevelnd area circa 1970.
At Parma, they first had a figure 8 for the main track, then
the Parma King.
Bob Fischer
"Remember the Arco"

#49 Roho21

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 03:56 PM

I started on 212ft oval in Hickory, NC. We ran scratchbuilt, hadrbody cars with Mura Group 12 motors. I enjoyed it for the most part, but the top racers there would not help you. I was 8 years old when I started and raced there for 6 years and you could not get a good answer from anyone about how to properly set up or repair your car, sure I figured some things out but didn't have a mentor, so to speak. In 1986, I finally got hooked up with a club track that is still going today and I still race there a few times a year. Now that I am a track owner and run a touring series, I promised myself never to let ANYONE feel the way I did back then. I think those kind of problems are part (not all) of why slotracing has suffered.
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Roger Holtsclaw


#50 Alchemist

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:38 AM

I raced at the San Francisco Model Car Raceway located at Ocean Beach right on the "Great Highway" back in the 60's. I can't seem to find any info on the internet about this location. Would anyone know of a link that has photos of the place please?

Thank you.

Ernie
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