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Henry's Hobbies in Tempe, AZ


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#1 Mark Wampler

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 12:57 PM

This is where I got my start. Looking for any historical facts or memorabilia.
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#2 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 08:59 PM

Henry's Hobbies was just north of University on the west side of Mill Avenue in Tempe Az. there were two Revell tracks that were powered by power supplies, no batteries in the valley until many years later. Notable racers from the 1966 on era that went on to race in NCC and USRA races were Neil Kuhns, ASU student, Lonnie Johnson, Dave Portz, Steve Bankert, Andy Nakata, Reggie Vogt, Dennis, John & Henry Gonzales (no relation to me but friends), I recall Mark Wampler from way back. I made the trek out to Tempe on my bike until I either drove or went with other racers that drove. A pretty quiet and subdued environment compared to some of the other tracks in the valley back then.

 

Jesse Gonzales


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#3 Gary Pershall

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 10:11 PM

Not sure if I raced here but maybe. It was 1971. I remember the track I raced at had a bump in the straight. Could never run a decent lap on it. LOL


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#4 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 04:41 PM

I just noticed an error in my post, Henry's Hobbies was on the east side of Mill Avenue, not west. Sorry. One of their tracks was the same design that was used at 6the 1966 Western States race won by Joe DeHalle in CA. A very fast but under powered Revell track. They were well stocked with Champion of Chamblee parts.

 

Jesse Gonzales


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#5 Mark Wampler

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 01:59 AM

Thanks for sharing Gary and Jesse.  I rode my bike up Priest Road to Mill Ave.  I can't recall much at all, except I remember when the new Russkit red handle controller came out.  I got one soon as they showed up. 


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#6 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 02:17 AM

You remember the tracks crossing University? that is where Joe DeHalle and his wife were hit by a train on New Years 1971, killed in the Spitfire he won at the big race in CA in 1966. I've been trying to get him added to the list of Western States winners but am running into resistance from one SoCal guy in particular.

 

Did you ever ride south on Mill and go to Pete's Fish & Chips?

 

Jesse Gonzales



#7 Mark Wampler

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 10:05 AM

Oh yeah, sure Pete's Fish and Chips.  Well almost as good as Lazy Lou's.  Tempe beach, 15 cents gets you in all day.  Remember that Burger Chef drive in?  I worked there for 6 months shortly before we moved to California in '67.  One ($1) per hour.  THAT is an entry level job.  It paid for my slot car habit.

 

 

I should remember some of those racers, but no one comes to mind except the owners sons, the Henry brothers that attended Tempe High School. Henry's Hobbies was a family based, feel good track.  Wow, do I miss that kind of atmosphere.


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#8 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 04:38 PM

Lazy Lou's is back in Phoenix under the name of Knock Kneed Lobster, the Sullivan's sold the LL's name and recipes and moved to Arkansas then moved back and reopened after the non-compete ran out. Burger Chef, what can I say, it was great and I miss it. One of my racer buddies that kept me from going all nuts on a certain foreign know it all used to work at the one at 35th Ave & Peoria. Devin has passed and so has Burger Chef, sad.

 

Do you remember the salty Tempe water?

 

Jesse



#9 Roy Lievanos

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 05:48 PM

We used to follow USRA in the 80's and after Sunday's race locals took us to a restraunt where it was all you can eat beef ribs at a very reasonable price. Been long while and I forget the name.
We continued to go when we stopped racing slots to do BMX.
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#10 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 06:57 PM

Hi Roy, let me toss out some possible places close to ASCR (Al & Carla Boardman's track) where you might have gotten beef ribs.

 

Big Apple, Kay's diner (real close to the track), Sir Georges Buffet.

 

There was a steak restaurant about a mile north but can't recall the name.

 

Jesse Gonzales



#11 Roy Lievanos

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 12:05 AM

The big apple rings a bell.
Thanks Jesse.
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#12 Mark Wampler

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 09:40 AM

I think that's Johnson's Big Apple. on McDowell?


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#13 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 10:42 AM

All the Bill Johnson's Big Apple Restaurants are closed but back in the ASCR days the closest one would have been at 33rd Ave & Indian School Rd. the original location at roughly 36th St & Van Buren in now a parking lot. Lots of good days & food were had there.



#14 Mark Wampler

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 02:08 PM

Jesse, methinks you're a board member of the greater Phoenix Historical Society.

 

The original Big Apple was near my neighborhood before we moved to Tempe.  We were on the other side of the tracks.

A dusty dirt road in what was called "Lincoln acres".  There was a dog track and Kenny's gas station along 36th... I think

Cudahy,  stock yards.  The aroma at night time.  The original Lazy Lou's was close by too.  A big dirt parking lot with a rickety shack in the middle.

 

We grew up with Wallace and Ladmo


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#15 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 12:35 AM

If you lived on 36th St. just south of Jefferson (facing air research) you lived in the same area as my cousins. Mary and I ate at Knock Kneed today, I showed her where the big dirt lot and the rickety shack was. I used to stop at Martin's gas station at 40th St & Jefferson to tank up on water before making the last big push to Tempe & Henry's.. I watched Gold Dust Charlie which evolved into It's Wallace which further evolved to Wallace & Ladmo.

 

I was born and raised here and am a 5th generation Arizonan, don't let the SoCal guys know or I'll be discriminated against for being an Arizonan:-)

 

Jerry Johnson and I used to race at G&L raceway in west Phoenix, another long ride by bike. I was going to stick up for Jerry when some people went after him over some motor thing but he has ignored my PM's about carpooling to race at BPR. I've known Jerry since we were teens and he was never a cheater.

 

Oh, if you faced the dog track I got lost on your street when I was about 4 while visiting my cousins.

 

Jesse



#16 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 01:31 AM

I wonder how slot racing would have turned out for me, had I never moved to CA.   I knew of a track in Scottsdale where I was invited to  races.  Other than Henry's Hobbies, that's all I knew.  Coming to CA was a game changer.  I quickly advanced with tracks all over the place.  Pismo Raceways alone had 4 American Tracks.  Actually, my 1st exposure to slots was in Whittier Ca.while I attended a boarding school, so CA was to be the ultimate destination, but another 200 miles north of SoCal.  We would get the pro mags and read names, stats and race results from the big events.   Most of big names are still with us, but  Its sad to see more names added to the Eternal Podium.  Slots give us a reason to be kids again.  For me that's not changing anytime soon.


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#17 Roy Lievanos

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 03:00 AM

Another landmark that maybe you can help me reminisce, is that little old restraunt that we would stop at that was known for its cinnamon rolls. It was just past Blythe on the drive home. There was an old closed down gas station by it. Anyone ever stop there? Again been a long time since I have made Arizona trips.
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#18 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 07:40 PM

Roy, was it an old Union 76 station? the last time I went through there it looked abandoned. I you are looking for the 3-5lb cinnamon rolls there are a few places in AZ that you'll find them, Flagstaff for sure at Mary's cafe, maybe Wickenburg. There is one in Amarillo TX. I know the ones at Mary's are really good.

 

Jess Gonzales


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#19 Roy Lievanos

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:41 PM

It might have been a 76 station. I beleive there was a UGO sighting there. Like I said, been a while since we have made that trip.
Your Arizona stories brought much memories. I remember racing and it was 116 degrees. Some locals were launching water balloons with a big slingshot in the back
We went to a store and it was cool inside. I looked at the thermostat and it read 85 degrees inside. We were just not used to that.
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#20 Roy Lievanos

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:43 PM

UFO
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#21 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 06:35 PM

Roy, Mark, anyone,

 

I have a million stories about AZ racing that go back to about 1964  , including UFO sightings:-) would a new column regarding history and race tales be something that would interest any of the readers? If so I'll put some reading together.  If any of you raced at Mike's raceway I will have to be careful what I write as Junior Carlton raced there and some bad blood evolved out of that. I wish I knew what happened to Mike (Marquez) I miss racing with that group of guys too.

 

Jesse



#22 Bill from NH

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 07:08 PM

Jesse, I'd be interested in reading any of the AZ slot racing history. I never raced there or knew any of the AZ guys, but don't let that stop you. :)


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#23 chaparrAL

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 08:44 PM

Me  too !

Been here 20 years . 

Jerry Johnson and T J are good friends.


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#24 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 05:55 AM

Hi Al, I have tried to reach both of them to try and get a carpool set up as my spine won't allow me to make the 6 hour drive to LA any longer. I have a daughter in Pasadena that I'd love to drive over to see but instead have to fly, something I'm not going to do with a bunch of racing gear.

 

Jess


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#25 B.C.

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 10:05 AM

jesse--please continue to post. I raced at a barn in sunnyslope? on an American orange that rick summerlot? owned. as I recall

 

neil k ( at least I think he was there ) and several other "names" showed up the few midweek nites that I was able to run in may and june of 1973.

 

I had in laws in mesa and scottsdale in the mid 80's and would come down and run at ascr

 

and another place not far from there. then we were able to run at mike marquez's place where jerry Johnson and gary mayeda

 

would run along with a lot of very competitive wing car racers. as I recall mike had an engleman. always enjoyed being able to

 

run in any of the Arizona tracks.


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