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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. :)
Alright, who cut the cheese?

#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.
KimLander

#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

Old 'Phhtt' Racer from Sydney, Australia
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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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race directing around Chicago-land

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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.
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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
1/24/48-2/18/16
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