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Where did you race as a kid?


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#326 MSwiss

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 02:55 PM

Laying in bed, sick, I was able to find this iconic picture.

It included the huge vertical Chicago Theatre sign, the Marshall Field's clock, and the "Smoking Man". LOL

The entrance to the raceway is out of frame, maybe another 20-30 ft., to the right, on Randolph.

This pic gives perspective of the jaunt racers had to make, down a medium long, 2nd floor hallway, past other businesses, down a flight of stairs, and around the corner, to hopefully find their car, after it launched in the bank, and out the open window, on a summer day.

Billboard_at_State_St_n_Randolph_in_Chicago_03.jpg
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Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
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#327 ThunderThumb

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 09:53 PM

ThunderThumb raceway on the Redondo Beach Pier Redondo Beach CA , Don's Raceway Downey CA , Rosecrans Raceway Compton CA , Speed Sport Long Beach Blvd and Imperial Hwy , I think it was Lynwood CA , Three G's raceway Los Angeles , like South Central LA , Bellflower Raceway Bellflower CA , all mentioned are all gone


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#328 MattD

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 08:32 AM

The summer of 65 was when I raced the most at the small track in  front of the local bowling alley.   Daisy Lanes and Daisy Raceway.  . A 10 minute ride from home on my bike.  Long forgotten, I have only found 2-3 guys that remember it well from being there so much.   Yesterday, I got this picture in the mail from the original track owners son, who is now retired and living in Fla, next door to his 94 year old father (one owner/partner).   I had inquired about pix from the other partner 8-10 years ago, but he had none and is now passed.    I assumed he forwarded my inquiry to Ted, the owner.   Turned out the son, now 67 is still slotting some and bought a car from me on Ebay, in his wife's name.   He remembered me and out of the blue decided to send me this picture and see if I had any memorabilia.   I did send him pix of my trophies with the raceways name on them and pix I took after the center closed and again after it caught fire 2 years ago.  He remembered the name of an older racer, Mr Hall,  that owned an electronics company and mentioned that he brought in a camera,  8mm, Betamax, not sure which, but he videoed racing and the place one nite.   This guys daughter was always with him, and she married another of the local guys.   Now I am on a quest to locate them and see if they have any of Mr Hall's stuff and maybe an old video.

 

This was the second track they installed

daisy 4).jpg

 

 

After the bowling center closed a few years ago, the slot track was in the front right, a 600 sq. ft. "L" shaped shop.   The building  caught fire shortly after and is now bulldozed waiting for a new fast food place, I guess.

 

daisy 3.jpg


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#329 don.siegel

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 08:49 AM

Thanks for the memories Matt. Funny to see that track - do you remember the manufacturer? I don't recognize it at all. 

 

I have the feeling that a lot of smaller companies made tracks and never put ads in any of the national publications. My local track in Chicago had an 8-lane formica surfaced track with a steep bank and the usual somewhat distorted figure 8 layout. I worked there, but never thought about asking who had made the track... and don't think I've heard of another one with the formica surface! 

 

Don 



#330 MSwiss

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 09:22 AM

I've probably posted this already in this thread, but I thought Motorama, in Forest Park, had Formica surfaced tracks.

I remember large yellow and red, 8 lane tracks, that sat along side each other.

While I very well may be thinking of the sides, I do recall how impressed I was by how smooth the yellow and red surfaces were, so I don't think I would have been that knocked out, if it was just the sides, and not the running surface, itself.

I did find this blurb, from the archives of their local paper.

It's from April of 65, about 3 -4 years before I ever got there.

I had heard from people over the years, that they had more than 2 track originally.

7340 MADISON ST. FOREST PARK Miniature Car Racing Opens Model car racing, the latest sport to sweep the country, has opened In Forest Park at Madison and Circle. Featuring 30 lanes of minature roadways, the Motorama Race Ways opened Saturday when Mayor Mohr (center left) peformed the ribbon-cutting ceremony. With the Mayor are Chief Elmer Schnurstein and Motorama manager Tom Pappas.

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Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
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Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#331 MattD

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 04:31 PM

Don that track and the track it replaced were both built by local craftsmen.     They  were built to specs for the space the shop had.  It was a "L" shaped  room and the long part of the "L" was probably only  12-15  feet wide and  probably 40 foot long,   The small side of the "L" was probably 16 wide and 26 long.    

 

I took these pictures about 2 weeks before it burned.

 

Short part of the L from the front door

 

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The original long part of the "L" was between the purple poles and the back wall on left.   There was a barber shop in the corner of the "L" and its back wall was at these poles back in 65.   

2081.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#332 ThunderThumb

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:10 PM

Thunder Thumb Raceway on the Redondo Beach Pier , thd Famous Speed Sport in Lynwood CA , Roescrans Raceway in Compton CA , sometimes Dons Raceway in Downey CA , Downey Archery Lanes in Downey CA , then Bellflower Raceway in Bellflower CA these were older probably original tracks from when slot cars were popular
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#333 Bill from NH

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 06:26 PM

I had an AMT Model Turnpike set in 1963, then later planned to build a wooden home track. Commercial slot car raceways came to Maine in 1967, so I never did build a home track. My first local raceway was the Lemans Raceway, Brunswick, ME. They started with a new Mr. Raceways Lemans track & added a used AMR "Orange" the following year. I think they installed a short drag strip too. The last I knew, that building was a new furniture store, still owned by the former raceway owner Jack Burch.


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#334 NHBandit

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 11:53 AM

Growing up on the New Hampshire seacoast I raced at the Hampton Beach Casino up on the second floor. Last I knew it was still there but badly neglected. Also a place in downtown Portsmouth NH that I can't remember the name of at the moment. Moved to Chicopee Mass in 1967 and raced at a place called Richie's Speed City. In the 90s there was a track in Pembroke NH where Rickie Craven's old racecar shop used to be also. It never really took off and now they race go-karts there. Big 8 lane commercial track. They offered it to me at one point for 1000 bucks but I had no place to put it. Probably ended up in the landfill..


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#335 Dave Buchholz

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 02:58 PM

For me, I grew up in suburbs of Buffalo NY. My home track was Grells Hobbies on Main St in Williamsville. Four tracks, American Red, orange, yellow and black. In the next burb over was Brighton Speedway in Tonawanda. Across town was in West Seneca, above a skating rink.

#336 Tim Neja

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:26 PM

1961 - 1963  Costa Mesa Hobby Shop and Raceway on 17th street

1963 - 1966  Miniature Freeways  on Newport Blvd

1995 - 1998  Uncle Jack's Track in Lake Forest and Buena Park Raceway with Chris Gallegos

2010 - Present  Buena Park Raceway--and The Cave in Yorba Linda   and Foster's Raceway in Santa Maria --  


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#337 gatormark

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 08:19 PM

Sad thing is tracks are going away as the old guard dies off. Kids today just don't seem to care about building things with theyre hands. I guess I should be thankfull my daughter is an athelete, she could be stuck on a phone playing some stupid game.
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#338 orangecrate

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 07:34 PM

I started out at Polk's hobby shop in ny city 1963. I raced in Brooklyn ny at champion raceway on ralph ave off of flatlands ave and at Thunderbird hobbies in the bensonhurst section of brooklyn ny.


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#339 Rich Joslin

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 09:32 PM

B.J.Baker's Bicycle Shop in Ashtabula Ohio.

Baker's had a 1/24 scale track upstairs where the "men" raced, at least according to my Dad. I was okay with that though because there was also a large HO track downstairs. To a little kid like me the track looked huge. We had a lot of fun and as it held our interest Dad bought us a home HO track. The starter track eventually grew into a nice track on a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood in the basement with buildings, landscaping etc. There were 4 or 5 kids in the neighborhood who joined in the fun on a regular basis. We had racing "teams" and spent hours and hours enjoying ourselves. Great memories.


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#340 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 06:18 PM


This pic gives perspective of the jaunt racers had to make, down a medium long, 2nd floor hallway, past other businesses, down a flight of stairs, and around the corner, to hopefully find their car, after it launched in the bank, and out the open window, on a summer day.

attachicon.gifBillboard_at_State_St_n_Randolph_in_Chicago_03.jpg

 

Did any cars ever survive such a launch?

 

:shok:


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#341 MSwiss

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 08:27 PM

I never witnessed one in person.

By the time I started going there, and eventually got hired, the track was gone.

I just heard stories of it from the GM, who became a good friend, and years later, from people coming into my raceway, who had raced there.

Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#342 Larry Coleman

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:13 PM

  I use to race at Aloma Model Raceways in Winter Park, Florida.  It was a large American Model Raceway facility that had a Yellow, Orange (my favorite), Red, and Flat Black track.  I think the Black track actually had the steering wheels and foot accelerators.  I raced there from late 1966 until it closed in late 1968.

 

   We actually had an official Champion of Chamblee Arco race there in Feb. of 1968 where our local hot shots beat Cukras and Cozine.  No, it wasn't me, I was only 14 at the time and was too afraid to even talk to the Pro's, much less race against them.  My last race of that era was however at an Arco race held at Stan's Hobbies in Tampa, Florida in 1969, I think I came in about 35th out of maybe a hundred or so.

 

   Does anyone remember any of these places or races?

 

Howdy fellow old guys and Jay,

I too raced at Aloma way back then. Also grew up in Maitland and I'm sure Jay and i knew each other, memory is lacking sometimes. Spent many hours at Aloma Model Raceway. Good times. Thanks to the internet old memories are somewhat easier to find. I do remember competing in an endurance race there and still have the car with a award I received for placing. Maybe Jay's memory of the endurance race with shed some light as to why i received this award. Cheers 

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#343 don.siegel

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:19 PM

Thanks for sharing your memories Larry. 

 

Any chance of seeing the bottom of that car? 

 

We like to see what folks ran back in the day... 

 

Don 



#344 Larry Coleman

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:33 PM

Here ya go Don. Very rough build with my early teenage skills. Built it myself with a solder gun my Dad bought me. Thanks

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#345 don.siegel

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:48 PM

Thanks Larry - I probably had the same soldering gun that my dad bought me, and my skills as a 15 year old were nothing to write home about! 

 

Do you still remember the wind on that motor? 

 

Don 



#346 tonyp

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:08 PM

We all probably had the same soldering iron when we started out.


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#347 Larry Coleman

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:18 PM

Don,

 

I remember doing my own winds with a buddy but the specifics escape me. In my garage box there are several old motors, cans, armatures and wire spools. 

 

Larry



#348 MattD

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:46 PM

I wonder how many soldering gun tips I burned up.    That thing never got hot enough for a kid that couldn't solder.  My dad was an electrician and he never soldered anything but wire.   That was all he ever taught me.    I know I used to keep that old Weller  turned on and never tinned or fluxed the tip.   

 

I have learned a bit since then, but still am not as good as most of you guys.


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#349 don.siegel

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:56 PM

Larry, 

 

I only remember one of mine, the most successful, but it's burned into my memory: 60 x 30, Versitec magnets, K&B Wildcat can... 

 

And the car it ran in, a plate chassis, must have been soldered with the Weller, since that was all I had at the time, so I guess I did learn something eventually. 

 

Don 



#350 Jay Guard

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 06:22 PM

Hi Larry:

Wow, what a coincidence meeting up here after all these years.  I think I do remember you (vaguely) from Maitland Elem. & Jr. High and maybe even Winter Park High (Class of '71), but I don't think we hung out in the same circles.  I lived in Dommerich Estates, where did you live?  I now live in Deland.

 

It's amazing but as you can see in the pictures below I have the exact same Aloma Model Raceways plague as you have.  It's quite possible we got them from the same race as I did run in several enduros, 24 hours as I recall.

 

Don S.:

You said you were interested in what we were running back then.  I started with Dynamic Chassis', and then moved on to using the gold colored Champion  brass wire chassis'.  I then started building my own wire chassis' when the angle winders came out, just copies of what I saw in the latest racing newspapers (Model Car Journal?).  The car/chassis in the picture below is what I built (age 15) for my very last race of that period, the Feb. 1969 mini-Arco race held at Stan's Hobby Shop in Tampa, FL  That car is kind of different as it is an all steel chassis with full plumber, is hard silver soldered together using an oxy-acetylene torch, then glass beaded, and finally nickel plated.  Topped off with one of my all time favorites, a Russkit Elfin which was the hot ticket at the time. Enjoy!

 

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IMG_2703.JPG

 

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