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Where did you race as a kid?


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#51 Durf

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 12:54 PM

I may be able to add a little to Gil's recollections of the Cue Room . I was (and still am) an HO racer born and raised in East Hartford . I got into slot car racing during the Christmas season of 1962 hanging out at Woolworth's on Main St. and playing on their demo Atlas set . After Christmas I went to work on a couple of snowy Friday nights cleaning off cars and made enough to buy myself one . My family moved that summer to a different part of town where I met a bunch of other guys with HO sets .We had a club and raced at at least 3 different guy's houses starting in the summer of 1964 . I became aware of the Cue Room that fall because it was about a good 5 iron from where I went to church and because even at 10 A.M. on a Sunday there would be a crowd of kids there , some even milling about outside . It would still be a year or more before I ever went there . My first 1/24th car was a Monogram Lotus 38 . That has to fix the time as late '65 or somewhere in '66 as the real car debuted in May of '65 . You could call and make a reservation for time or go down and sign in to get a turn . Gil is right . You got whatever lane on whichever track came open when your name came up .The timer control panel was in the front left hand corner of the building behind a couple of glass display cases and the register . There was usually a small mob around the counter looking at the new cars , parts , and motors . Lots of Cox and Champion stuff as I recall .
By the time I started going there there were 2 tracks in the back third or so of the building . They were behind a wall that partitioned the room and connected through a pair of shutter style cafe doors . Looking at the other thread I think the two tracks might have been a Windsor on the left and a Royal on the right . Early on it was always a mob scene and there were very few "racers" and lots of kids just fooling around . Lots of crashing contests and other such pursuits . There was even one guy who used to buy time on the bigger track to drag race people on the straight . Later he got into wheelie cars ...
I went there on occasion for a number of years , evolving through the La Cucaracha (sp ?) era into the inline style parallel brass tube scratch built type chassis with Dynamic "handling body" McLaren M6 and Ford Mirage shells . By this time the Cue Room was nearly deserted and it was unusual to see more then maybe 6 or 8 lanes out of the 16 available in use . I didn't really care because we still had the HO club and there was an Aurora Tub track at Manchester Hobbies on West Center St that held races on Saturdays . This was around 1970 . While racing HO stuff on West Center St I found out there was a big large scale commercial raceway on East Center St under ther bowling alley . I started going there and never went back to the Cue Room . The Cue Room lasted until somewhere into the 70's . Once the pool and slot car "fads" had run their course the place got seedier and seedier . It's reputation became such that I believe most kid's parents would no longer have their kids going there . If memory serves me right there were a few gambling and drug busts there . It just faded away and then was gone .
I continued to race large scale cars in Manchester through the end of High School although , by then , the costs (mostly motor prices) had driven me out of any chance of being competitive . There was one guy who won every week I can remember (was that you Gil ????) . I remember him because he had a little sort of rack in his box with a number of motors indexed by wind and pinion count . He gave me a few of his blow-ups and I cobbled them into one . One of the last races I ran there I came within 1 corner of beating him only to be nerfed off by the son of the guy who loaned me the car I was racing . Such is life !

Thanks,
Durf
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#52 don.siegel

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 05:29 PM

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


Ernie,

If you still can't find anything, I'll take a look in my magazines. This was a pretty big deal at the time, and there were a few articles in period model car and trade magazines.

Don

#53 CruzinBob

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 10:32 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


Randy,

My sis and family lived in Santa Clara and I moved there from Eureka, CA in '66. I had raced at a raceway in Eureka, had some stuff and after awhile found a raceway on El Camino Real, either in Santa Clara or Sunnyvale (?). I only went there a few times and wound up giving all my slot stuff to my nephew when we moved to Chico, CA in '67.
Bob Scott
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#54 Alchemist

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 10:48 PM

Hi Don,

Thank you for offering to look thru your magazines. I sent you PM!!

Ernie
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#55 Vannerlee

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 11:57 PM

Well,

I am not sure I am allowed to post in this thread. I never raced as a kid. A late bloomer. I started with a bunch of young engineers at work racing 1/32 plastic cars on basement floors in 1958/1959/1960 not really sure. I was active in the boom years but my job required a lot of travel. The Hoffman box was always in the trunk of the company car. I spent most of my time in the Detroit area and spent the evenings fussing with toy cars or finding a different track in the Detroit area. I never did enjoy the Groove, they were 10 deep waiting for a lane. I did enjoy some of the 200+ foot monsters that were in the area. I got off the roadwork job in '64 and took advantage of all the Tom Thumb types in the Dayton area. We had a lot of local racing. Crash went the boom. Started again when the track in Centerville opened. Never raced much on the Hassie King Bill had but loved running Whomps on the American Black. I think I won the Whomp race when Bill had the Nats in 83, Maybe 2nd, age takes its toll, did finish well. Another dry spell and I found a slot drag racing track in the area. T/R Motorplex as it is currently called. I retired in 1997 and drag raced from coast to coast in some of the larger Drag races. Conned the wife into several extensive vacations and she dropped me off at the track in the am and some times, if she remembered, picked me up after the race in the evening. Drag raced for many years until Rick got a road course. The new G11 King is a ball with our flexie class. I still play with the 1/32 toys on the T/R 6 lane plastic track. Stopped the drag stuff several years ago.Its been a very fun hobby for close if not over 50 years. You will only take the "controller out of my cold dead hands" LOL
Lee
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#56 MrWeiler

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 04:26 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.


Do you remember a place in Groton in about 66-67? I used to bring my cars from CA when I visited relatives in the summer. There was an HO track in New London during the same time...
"TANSTAAFL" (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.)
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#57 don.siegel

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 06:12 AM

Ernie - remind me in a week or so, after the work rush is over, in case I forget!

Lee; thanks for sharing those memories. I'm sure you're not the only one to have started this as a young adult - see Ecurie Martini! Were you racing Scalex or Strombecker cars, or both? Interesting to hear about the 10-deep lines at The Groove too...

Don

#58 Vannerlee

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:53 AM

Don,
They were Strombeckers. The Groove also limited the length of time you could rent a lane in order to give the customers some time on the track. The locals sure could make their lead sleds fly.
Lee
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#59 Dennis David

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 04:11 PM

I visited the San Francisco Model Car Raceway but it seemed to have gone in the blink of an eye. :mellow: I also remember going to Fleishhacker Pool, the largest swimming pool in the United States at the time. It had saltwater if I remember correctly. Life seemed simpler back then ...

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Dennis David
    
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#60 Mopower71

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 04:52 PM

First track I ever went to was in Hopewell Junction, NY in the early 70's. I was a little guy in cub scouts, and we went there. I don't remember much of the place. We all had rental cars, and I only remember seeing my car a few times. Mike K might know the name of the place, it was located where Geeks Place is now, on 376, across the street from the Hopewell Inn.
Then in the late 70' I got into it down in Fishkill, NY at Raceworld. I think I spent every weekend there with my friend. Mom would drop us off and come back later for us. They had a King track, and one that was reverse of a king and with no finger. I remember my Monogram 40 Ford P/u coming off in the bank turns. Lost some door handles and mirror's in that turn.
I remember them always having boxes of cars from the 60's for sale, all around $15, every week I would give them $2 until it was mine. That's how I got my 40 Ford, Revel Ferari, The corvette body for it. A Lola/Mustang kit.
The guy that ran it for the owner was big into Midgets,he use to race them in his younger days and his wife was the announcer at the track. He had quite a few there slot car midgets. I wonder what ever happened to all his stuff?
I tried my hand at the late model races, but on my budget I couldn't compete. First one I ran was a Hard body 55 Chevy with an extended womp chassis. That car would smoke the motor most times. The next one I scratch built, and had a Merc Marauder body on it, with a 26D called a Banshi.
The car was quick, but I still couldn't compete with the guys down there.
Norman Johns
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#61 don.siegel

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 05:42 PM

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

There you go Frank, it was pretty easy to find after all; this was in my index, but I think there are also a few articles in the period trade magazines that will be a little harder to track down.

I didn't move to SF until 1978 and it was long gone by then...

Don

#62 Jeff Buyer

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 09:12 PM

I first raced at Ace Raceway on Paramount Blvd. in Lakewood, CA. My best friend and I loved running on their figure eight track. I also raced at Checkpoint where I used to watch Bill Steube rewind arms - that was a real treat.

JB

#63 Alchemist

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:39 PM

Hi Don,

I really value your assistance - Thank you very much for posting that article on the San Francisco Raceway!!!!!

Ernie
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#64 68Caddy

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:59 PM

For some reason I lost the pic on the early post but here it is? :laugh2:

Posted Image

Man I sure got ugly. :laugh2:


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.

#65 CruzinBob

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 01:55 AM

:
Posted Image

Man I sure got ugly...


Nesta, Nesta...you are as cute as ever! IT'S YOUR HAIR THAT GOT UGLY :unsure: :laugh2: :shok:
Bob Scott
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#66 Neckcheese

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 06:31 PM

In 1968 me and a friend started club racing in Herning (Denmark), but unfortunately I have no pictures of the track (which was a mirror copy of the track shown below). But in 1969 we moved to the track in Silkeborg - a 6-lane 50 meter track with banking etc. a great track and probably the best track I have driven on (memory can seduce you):

Posted Image

Posted Image

The pictures are from early 1970's - the track was closed in the late 70's and does not exist anymore :-(

Niels :-)

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www.racecars.dk - my Picasa Photos


#67 68Caddy

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:56 AM

Niels way cool pic's, did you guys travel international when you guys where young, and do you have more pic's, have to say love the
hair dues. ;)
Cruzin B. I'm still ugly but my mom loves me. :laugh2:

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.

#68 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 01:21 AM

When I was about 3 my dad and uncle use to race at a track in or around New London, CT. I do not remember the name, but it was a hobby shop with planes lining the ceiling. I remember them having 2-3 tracks. When we moved to South Elgin, Il we use togo to a track over around Aurora, IL. For some reason HO tracks in our basement replaced going to the commercial tracks, I am glad to be enjoying going to the track with my son these days.
Matt Sheldon

#69 Rusty Pinion

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 01:27 AM

I mostly raced at Olympic Raceway in Atlanta, Minature Grand Prix on Glenwood rd, East Atlanta Hobby and Decatur SPeedway in Decatur. I also hit every track in the Atlanta area at least once in those days.

Olympic had American tracks....An Orange....a Regal and a Imperial plus a dragstrip. Ray Gardner and Bob Cozine were in there all the time with Team Champion.

Min. Grand Prix had an Oval and a flat roadcouse.

Decatur Speedway had 3 Tracks at the time of unknown origin with really long straights.

East Atlanta had a shortened Windsor to fit the small building.

Milton Bradley had a raceway with about 5 or 6 tracks at Toco Hills shopping center.
They were formica with copper tape if I remember correctly. Bob Rule worked there at the time.

Where's my time machine ?? I wanna go back!
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#70 Neckcheese

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 03:13 AM

Niels way cool pic's, did you guys travel international when you guys where young, and do you have more pic's, have to say love the
hair dues. ;)
Cruzin B. I'm still ugly but my mom loves me. :laugh2:

Nesta


Nesta, there are some more pictures on my Picasa pages: PICASA

and more to come on My WEBSITE

We were very young then (with more hair then :D ) and depending on others for transportation, but we did a couple of trips to Kiel, Germany in 1970 and 1971 and I was also attending the Euro Champs in Uden, Holland in 1974.

Last year I was racing at the 5 liter Race in Neumünster, Germany - that was 38 years since I last raced in Germany.

Niels, DK

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www.racecars.dk - my Picasa Photos


#71 brnursebmt

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:29 AM

Hawk's Hobbies in downtown Gadsden, Alabama. Had an original American red, with humps, an orange, and a black. It was 1975 and I was all of 14 years old. Learned to race with some of the great racers of Alabama. Thom McGuire, Wally Tankersley, and Bill Bowers to name a few. Thom is still one of the greatest chassis builders I ever knew. I wish I could get him interested in retro. My brother had raced slots when he was a kid. He took me down to the track and bought me a Riggen RTR and a Parma "Tiger" controller. He also sprung for a bottle of "Tiger Milk". Those were good days.

Bobby
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#72 Duffy

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 01:49 PM

I gotta ask: anyone remember the track in Santa Rosa, California?

Opened around '64 I think, just across College & Mendocino as I remember; and later moved out past Montgomery Village, over the local teen nightclub--can't for the life of me recall the track's name, and my foggy memory thinks the club was "The Spot" but can't trust that.

It was great on weekends, running cars upstairs & listening to The Knickerbockers, Beau Brummels, & Love whanging away below; and once we were treated to Them, who managed about twenty minutes before packing up in disgust.

Just part of what moved me from a budding career as a racer to a failed life as a musician. Ah well.

Duffy
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#73 Phil Irvin

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 04:36 PM

Did any one race in El Paso TX. other than me? I raced there from 65 to 72 when the last track closed. :unsure:

OLPHRT
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#74 MrWeiler

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:14 AM

Also in SoCal, there was Circle T in North Hollywood. After Elmsford and Buzz-a-rama, Circle T was the 3rd longest running track in the US---I think. After Circle T closed the tracks and fixtures were sold and moved to Santa Paula CA where the new owner operated a raceway for 3-4 years.
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#75 Sverny

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 02:15 PM

I am now 56. I used to live in the Santa Ana Canyon Area of Anaheim (before there was a 91 frwy). Back in the 60's I rode my bike over 5 miles one way all the way to Knappers hobby hut on tustin ave just past katella. I still have my cox hand controller and my sidewinder car to this day and I remember not-so-smart kids hooking up their controllers wrong and frying the wires all the time. The track was 8 lanes, 4 turns, with a major back straight-away. I loved going there to get my racing fix. I was always jelous of the older kids who would have the bucks to buy and solder-up custom brass car frames that almost dragged on the ground. I wish knappers was still there. I also visited hobby city.
Scott Van Tine

#76 CruzinBob

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 03:47 PM

...After Circle T closed the tracks and fixtures were sold and moved to Santa Paula CA where the new owner operated a raceway for 3-4 years.


I don't know when Circle T closed but when I got back into slots in late '88, I went to Racemasters (Russ Miller) in Santa Paulicide (as Russ fondly calls it). He was in biz till about a year after we opened FlashTrax in Oxnard ('93).

Russ still has the tracks in storage and keeps ranting that he will open again :) We email infrequently and he just told me about his visit to PCH's SoCal USRA race last Sat.

Also - Don - Thank you for posting the article on Playland. While doing my mobile track thang around the SF Bay Area in late 90's, I randomly heard folks talk about it. Then several years ago while visiting my sis, who lives 40 miles into the Sierras from Sacto, I ran across a fella who had bought all the tracks when they closed. He said they opened but it was such a huge project and the book had busted, they didn't last long and went the way most do...forgotten and abandoned...
Bob Scott
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Men can heal the lustful. Angels can heal the malicious. Only God can heal the proud. - St. John Climacus

#77 Marty Stanley

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 07:20 PM

This Saturday was a very intersting one indeed.

As I stated earlier, I raced at Edison Raceways at both of their locations. The 'hired hand' at both of these locations was a fellow by the name of John Becker. John was a pretty cool guy, wore an "Abe Lincoln" style beard - no mustache, no goatee - and was there to help and also harrass all of us racers. John also liked to drive cool 1:1 cars as he drove an Austin Healey all the time.

Like I said, I last raced there in 1967 as Uncle Sam decided they wanted me, so I wound up in the U.S. Air Force and my duty stations were all outside of the continental United States.

When I returned from the Air Force, there were no slot car raceways remaining open at home, so I couldn't come and look up my old friends at the raceway. I had lost contact with everyone.

Earlier I stated that one of John Becker's 'duties' was harrassment of the racers and he did a fantastic job at that task. I remember one day when I showed up for an 'Indy Car' race that he took one look at my car, picked it up for all to see and made the comment, "Marty's car is setup to run 1/16 of an inch UNDER the tracks surface." Hey, I learned early on that you need to build your cars at the edge of the rules and it worked well.

Earlier this year I was up in Thomasville, Georgia at The Viper Pit. Aaron Scott, owner of The Viper Pit also does performance tuning on lots of high end cars - Dodge Vipers are his forte, hence the name. Aaron and I got to talking and he asked me where I started racing at. I told him Edison Raceways. Aaron said, "Hey, one of my customers used to work there." He found John Becker's phone number and we called him.

John Beckeer had moved to Florida, not too far from the new place to play in central Florida, ASR Indoormotorsports. On my way down to ASR, I gave John a call and he came over. After about 43 years, we got back together had a chance to talk about what, where, when, how and such of life in those 43 years. It was a great visit with a guy from my first slot car racing experience.

As I've heard over and over - it's a small, small world. Yes it is!
Marty Stanley
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#78 Michael Rigsby

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 06:25 AM

In the early 60's, I found the local slot car track in Vero Beach, FL where I lived. This was the second location of the track and was close to the mall where my mom did her grocery shopping, so it was convenient to let me off to do my slot car thing. I raced at this track until it closed, and for the life of me don't remember what track layout it was. After this track closed, I found a track to the south in Fort Pierce, FL that was one of the early hillclimb tracks. They wouldn't let you run sponge rubber tires on the track, but rather you had to run a tire/wheel that looked more like a
skateboard wheel. I ran at this track for a year or so till it closed and found a track setup in Satellite Beach, FL that had three tracks in it. It had a Sebring look alike track, an oval, and a somewhat copy of a Daytona track. I ran at this place for a few years and travelled to some other race tracks around mid and south Florida doing some more serious racing, then went off to college and the military.

I didn't pick up the hobby again till I found Bill Pinch's facility that he had in Cocoa Beach, where I think he had a modified American Yellow and an American Black. I race at Bill's place there till he closed, and a year or so later he opened up another facility in Rockledge, FL where I lived. This new place was only about a mile from my house and he had a very nice Hasse custom built track. Bill was an excellent chassis fabricator and got me into wing racing which I focused on for a long time till family life called and I had to spend more time with the kids and their pursuits.

Michael Rigsby
"... a good and wholesome thing is a little harmless fun in this world; it tones a body up and keeps him human and prevents him from souring." - Mark Twain

#79 endbelldrive

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 02:10 AM

I am now 56. I used to live in the Santa Ana Canyon Area of Anaheim (before there was a 91 frwy). Back in the 60's I rode my bike over 5 miles one way all the way to Knappers hobby hut on tustin ave just past katella. I still have my cox hand controller and my sidewinder car to this day and I remember not-so-smart kids hooking up their controllers wrong and frying the wires all the time. The track was 8 lanes, 4 turns, with a major back straight-away. I loved going there to get my racing fix. I was always jelous of the older kids who would have the bucks to buy and solder-up custom brass car frames that almost dragged on the ground. I wish knappers was still there. I also visited hobby city.

First of all...Welcome, Scott. :) Knapper's was mentioned awhile back in this thread: What & where were the SoCal raceways Where did you race back in the day?
Bob Suzuki

#80 Gil Aubin

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 06:02 PM

Been too busy to post or even read lately, just getting back to what passes for reality. Durf, if there was a guy who won all the time it was not me. If there was a guy who was organized and meticulous, it was not me. If there was a guy who actually remember what winds and what pinions he had, it wasn't me. For years at the Berlin track my nickname was Avis, as I came in second place something like 8-9 straight weeks.

Mike, I think I visited the track in New London once, an Engleman (or maybe All-tech?) 220, correct?
aka Casinoslotcars

#81 NSwanberg

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 04:32 AM

Apache Raceway in Wayne Michigan in two different locations first on Wayne Road and then on Michigan Avenue. Not sure what year it closed - 1968? In the basement location they had a huge C-track, you might call it an Engleman? They took four sections from a figure 8 track and extended it to 252 feet I believe. Wonder if anybody else would remember. I was just a kid then. I wonder what happened to Goldie?

Wayne Hobby Center on Michigan Avenue in Wayne Michigan is now the US-12 Bar. Not sure what year the tracks were all gone but 1975 might be right. The hobby shop stayed open for many years after the tracks were gone. They even sold slot cars though hey had no tracks.

Malibu Raceway on Inkster Road and Avondale in Inkster Michigan owned at the end by one Bruce Carver, Moose, who was influential in my becoming a stationary steam engineer. Closed in 1972??

The Groove Raceway in Royal Oak. What a hoot hearing the race director say "Boards out" which announced the end of practice and then hearing all the cars go thunk thunk thunk as they ran into the 2x4 laying across the track going on to the straight. I thought it was an American Red but Rick Davis recently informed me that it was a custom built track. It had tape instead of braid. I saw a guy roll the tape up into his car one night. Rich Adee, races at TSS and Slot Car Crossing, he posts here and now has most of that track in his basement. How cool is that?

Tiny Tim's in Royal Oak stayed open with a track into the late 70s.

White Circle Raceway home the famous White Circle silicon coated sponge rubber tire closed around 1974 I think.

These were places I spent my time. Anybody else remember them?


Remember the Steube bar!
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#82 The Groove

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 03:41 PM

Hey Nelson
I raced at all of those places except THE GROOVE and that is the track I now own. There is a picture of the track here under , america model raceway track design in this section of slot car history. So I have a picture of the groove full size (but not together) . So you need to find some people with pictures of those old tracks? You can do it your the only one I know that still has the old yearbook... good luck

Rich Attee
Rich Attee, THE GROOVE-PSC race team

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#83 K. L. VanAtta

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 04:28 PM

Nelson,

Don't forget racing up at Hobbies, Inc. in Flint. We weren't quite so young any more but, it served as the only racing in the mid '70s save for Tom McGary's basement track. Didn't you come up to Stapleton's from time to time? I remember "Moose"; he raced in a few HOPRA races that the Westland racers brought him to. I remember Jerry Matthews, Jerry Mathews' sister, and Nancy "Track" from Tiny Tim's. That was a long time ago!

Be good,

Keith
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#84 Pat McGee

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 09:03 AM

Hi, all. Let's add another S.E. Michigander to the thread. I got my first HO track as 7 year old, always seemed to have a home track on the bedroom floor. As a latch-key kid, my Dad and I discovered Stapleton's in Waterford around 1966, and I literally grew up in the shop, he paid dearly for their "baby-sitting". They had a couple of custom tracks and a drag strip early, put in a king, a figure 8, and an Aurora tubby in the late '60's. Tom McGarry used to run me home to White Lake after the Thursday night races. Around 1970, there was a falling out of racers as Chick and Wilma didn't want to adopt rules to allow open type cars, glue, etc (their classes and rules were kinda strange.....), I lost interest, and had just gotten my license and '63 Impala SS, so, slots got set aside. I don't even remember how I discovered HOPRA, but I wound up taking a Riggen I had to a race in Flint, got hooked up with Keith, AJ, Dave Pratt, Merill, all the Westland and Flint guys (Hi, Doug!), and the bug bit again. Went all over the midwest racing toy cars. Favorite track ever? Westland's Pipewrench. Always did well on Chauncey's little track in Saginaw, I remember most everyone hating it, scenery and all. Stapleton's burned down in the early '70's.
What's all this brouhaha?

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#85 marc

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:46 AM

Hi, all. Let's add another S.E. Michigander to the thread. I got my first HO track as 7 year old, always seemed to have a home track on the bedroom floor. As a latch-key kid, my Dad and I discovered Stapleton's in Waterford around 1966, and I literally grew up in the shop, he paid dearly for their "baby-sitting". They had a couple of custom tracks and a drag strip early, put in a king, a figure 8, and an Aurora tubby in the late '60's. Tom McGarry used to run me home to White Lake after the Thursday night races. Around 1970, there was a falling out of racers as Chick and Wilma didn't want to adopt rules to allow open type cars, glue, etc (their classes and rules were kinda strange.....), I lost interest, and had just gotten my license and '63 Impala SS, so, slots got set aside. I don't even remember how I discovered HOPRA, but I wound up taking a Riggen I had to a race in Flint, got hooked up with Keith, AJ, Dave Pratt, Merill, all the Westland and Flint guys (Hi, Doug!), and the bug bit again. Went all over the midwest racing toy cars. Favorite track ever? Westland's Pipewrench. Always did well on Chauncey's little track in Saginaw, I remember most everyone hating it, scenery and all. Stapleton's burned down in the early '70's.


Marc Ronhock

#86 marc

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:05 AM

Wow were all clones in diffrent parts of the country ! for me it was the new england area a place in westboro ma i believe it was hobby town ? i think its still there [although i don't live in that area any more] there was a hot spot in north attleboro one track in warwick ri
don't remember the names then sam's in mansfield and tex barrys coney island in swanse ma.. man that was a long time ago
i mostly raced during the winter months summer held other interests for me. like every where else things changed mosty the vietnam war most of the gang got split up during the 67 thru 70 years and the tracks closed down.

anyways after millitary service things had change for me a new location moved to fla. ended up with 1:1 dragracing
for many years. Then while searching for hobby shops that carried 1/32 home race sets and cars last september 2009
i found there were accual commerical tracks around 4 of them with in driveing range well here i am back into my second childhood i've got womps, flexis and 1/24 scale cars to race and i'm haveing a ball..
Marc Ronhock

#87 JimR

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:52 AM

Lee's on Hempstead Tpke in Levittown, LI.
Three American tracks: Black, Orange, and Red.
Never ran the Black because there weren't any banks.
Never ran the Red because the rental fee was a bit too much (like maybe a whole dollar? Can't remember)
Did all my car wrecking on the Orange.
Jim Regan

#88 don.siegel

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 01:38 PM

Interesting story Jim!

If I remember right, the "standard" rental fee was a buck an hour, and a fancy one would have been $1.50 - that would be my guess for your American Red.

I worked in our local hobby shop after school for about a year, and for the life of me I can't remember how much track time was - but I do remmeber that I was paid $1.25 an hour.

Don

#89 team burrito

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 02:24 PM

My home track was Edda & Jerry's in the city, back around 1968 or 69. The bug didn't bite me until almost all the tracks in the Bay Area were gone. That's where I met Gene Fong, Hippo Krat, Keiji, Owl Chump, the Aguirre & Ng brothers & Spiderman. That's was also where "team burrito" was born. The only other tracks were Oakland Speedway, Family Hobby in San Leandro & Mission Speedway in Hayward. I quit racing slots in 1971; that was when the Zodiac killer was at large & I was riding the buses at night. :blush:
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#90 marc

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:05 PM

just a question ???? can any of you still drive these things realy fast ??? i've already destroyed two cars
an a round 30 bodys ! last time out my car was on the floor and i was still racing to bad i wasn't racing "that" white car because i was kicking butt.. --- but i'm getting better i still have a track champion trophy from 1966 but it can't drive
the cars either..
Marc Ronhock

#91 BackAgain

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:01 PM

Hey Stoo....called in a Hornsby on my last visit to Oz...that is quite a set-up there....love the track.
My first slot car experience was at a commercial raceway in the Piccadilly Arcade in Merrylands. I think it may have been an old Monarch....that was back in the 60's
Heading your way in a week or so....unfortunately, not going to be there long enough to do any racing....although I am going to try and catch-up with Steve out at Luddenham and hopefully visit the park he is involved with out there....

Nesta....Stoo is short for Stewart....Stoo will have to explain the 23 part.....shortening people's names is like a tradition in Australia....and if it can't be shortened...like Fred, then often their initials are used.....
Paul Tisdale
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#92 team burrito

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:34 PM

I didn't move to SF until 1978 and it was long gone by then (Playland)...

I've lived in the City all my life & NEVER went to Playland Raceway once!
I caught the bug way too late & Playland was demolished in 1972.
Russ Toy (not Troy)
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#93 Jeff Bechtel

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:42 PM

I've lived in the City all my life & NEVER went to Playland Raceway once!
I caught the bug way too late & Playland was demolished in 1972.



St. Louis , Mo. Airport Raceway ( actually worked there as a 13 yr old kid). Grand Prix Raceway in St. Ann. Bonneville Raceway in Florissant. Mid America Model Raceway also in St. Ann

#94 48 Pitch

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:38 PM

I was about 9 or 10 years old (I think) and lived in Vista California (North San Diego County) and I cought my dad working on this little car in the equipment rental shop he and my mom owned, I think he wanted to have some fun playing with the new Slot Car thing himself before getting the kid involved, but of course the qwestions started flying and he had to take me over to the track and show me what is was all about.
I'm sure it was the first commercial 1/24th track in Vista and it was Bud's (something) Bud's Racing, or Bud's Slot Racing, or Bud's Raceway. As you can see I don't remember exactly, but Bud (the owner) was a retired school bus driver. The track was on Citrus and Broadway as I remember and was basically a Blue King layout but I din't remember it having any banked turns, I think maybe even the big left hander at the end of the main streight was flat, but I could be wrong. I had a Cox Chaparral 1/24th scale with the mag chassis and big sidewinder motor (wish I still had it) and a Revell 1/32 scale Sting Ray with the SP-500 motor (I think).
An interesting thing was when you got some track time Bud would hand you a pool ball with a 1/4" RCA phone plug (like a mono head phone plug) sticking out of it and the color of the ball matched your lane color so you would go stick this in a receptical in your lane and that would activate the power to that lane, Pretty cool.

So that track lasted a little while, I don't remember how long but not long and another 2 tracks opened and closed in Vista and it was over for Vista anyway, till Gary opened a track (Lamans Raceway) in the late 80's early 90's.

Those were the days,

Jeff
Jeff Bates

#95 48 Pitch

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:19 AM


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


Guy Spaulding! I remember you, I bought one of your brass & wire Aggressor chassis in 1984 at Mini Motorsports in Escondido, CA. They hosted the USRA winter series that year. I got 8th place novice.
I remember Cbreeze Manufacturing had some drivers running there copper clad circuit board chassis and doing verry well with them. I may still have some pictures I took from that race and I think I got a shot of you and some other racers sitting outside during a break.
Hope your still getting in some racing.
I'm racing at Downforce Hobbies in Arizona now, we have fun, I even have a dragester now.

Jeff
Jeff Bates

#96 Paul Stafford

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 09:38 PM

Wow, so many places to remember just in michigan. Tiny Tim's in Royal Oak was my first commercial track, then to S.R.S hobbies in chesterfield, mi. I still have my first trophy from there! Then to Family hobbies in westland, larry's place up in flint, Fantom raceway out in saugetuck, Trackside in roseville and madison heights. Thats about all the locals.... many more out of state...... What great memories....

#97 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 10:10 PM

Guy Spaulding! I remember you, I bought one of your brass & wire Aggressor chassis in 1984 at Mini Motorsports in Escondido, CA. They hosted the USRA winter series that year. I got 8th place novice.
I remember Cbreeze Manufacturing had some drivers running there copper clad circuit board chassis and doing verry well with them. I may still have some pictures I took from that race and I think I got a shot of you and some other racers sitting outside during a break.
Hope your still getting in some racing.
I'm racing at Downforce Hobbies in Arizona now, we have fun, I even have a dragester now.

Jeff


Gr8 to hear from you, Jeff!
The Cbreeze chassis was banned at some tracks, unless they owned a vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the fragments that remained if one was T-Boned in the straight. The guy who ran Cbreeze made a living as a graphics designer. They made graphics that were applied to high-end and custom rack-mounted scientific equipment, AV and communication equipment. He and I were working on possibly producing a paint-less body, by applying his color graphics on clear Poly, then vacuum forming. But, the idea never left the drawing board. Coincidentally, I volunteered to enter a Cbreeze chassis (instead of my own) in the 84 Nats. Made the main.
PCB chassis.JPG

Mini Motorsports was a very different, but fun track to drive. As I recall, it had no significant straightaway to speak of. But it had a very long, gradual sweeper that we lined up on to drive the track. Very smooth, and very on-of-a-kind. Oh, and they only alowed spray glue for the entire event. Might as well run a G27 in the G7 class.

I'm racing USRA in North Carolina. Again, gr8 to hear from you!

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#98 Fast Freddie

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 10:15 PM

Charleroi, Pa.during the late 1960's. I believe we had an American Red or Orange (it's been along time), a Figure-8 and a small Oval. Had alot of fun racing my Cox hardbody Chappy that I quickly converted to a light body Cheetah. I then did a home dewind, balance and epoxy on that massive Cox 250. I then added some Mille Miglia tires and went racing. Wone 4 in a row before the motor expired and I got drafted. So much for slot cars untill I retired in 86. It's still fun and I'm 63.
Fred Younkin

#99 fxgeorge

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 11:06 AM

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.


Was Scott's the place next to the railroad tracks in the Irvington District? My Dad and I visited a few times, and I know Mike Stahl came from that raceway. I think it had a mega-oval that went all the way around the walls above the floor, had nets to catch cars WHEN they fell off.

My home track was not too far away, A Street Raceway in Hayward, Calif. Still have box plaques. I couldn't make it to weekday racing because of being a school night, so my main race program was enduros on the weekend. A Street did 4 and 6 hour enduros with two man teams. I was 12-14 years old during those years, and my enduro partner was Ellis Jones who lived nearby in Richmond. I was the builder, usually a Russkit FT16 with the brass plates that came with it, brass tube inline chassis with .032" piano wire inside for stiffness. Generally we ran Choti bodies because we were at the raceway which raced SLOTCARS, not MODEL CARS. This was probably the birthplace of wing car racing. Towards the end of my early slot car career in 1968, the anglewinders started and spoilers and side dams were sprouting from the Choti bodies. I would dye my bodies in Rit clothing dye, usually red. It was nearly opaque, but you could kinda see through it.

My favorite memory from racing at A Street, I can still remember Russ Aguirre's racing style. Hand in pocket, other hand gently leaning on the track, almost looked like somebody should poke him to make sure he was awake....but of course, like his brother he was incredibly fast!
George Russell

#100 Gus Kelley

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 01:47 AM

Hey George! I remember that place with the huge oval. That track as I remember was over three-hundred maybe four hundred feet per lap. Also wasn't there a like sized road course? As a ten year old kid, I remember being able to walk under it. I also kinda remember the choti - thingie cars with side-dams running there. Also I've to A-Street numerous times. My mom had friends there in Fremont and we visited them every month or two. The one gentle-man whose name escapes me owned two liquor stores and a pool-hall. And yes Russ did drive in a position like you state. Gus in Sacto.
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