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Routed vs Tomy plastic track


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#1 Sluggo

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:17 AM

First off I'd like to say I've never had a chance to run on a custom routed track because no one around where I live has one. I have a four-lane Tomy track that I like pretty well but am considering going the routed route.

I understand why custom routed tracks cost so much more than snap track (all handmade, custom work) but are they really that much better? Most of the HO routed tracks I have seen pictures of could probably have been assembled with snap track. Simple back and forth, left right kind of layouts usually with at least one "wiggle" section in it. No "racing line" lane spacing on any of the corners, very few cool sweeping, organic-looking corners. Pretty straight ahead layouts. I guess I'd say that IMO they don't usually look much more realistic (as far as layout design) than plastic track does.

Again. Why are routed tracks considered better? What are their advantages?

If I were to do a routed track I'd like one with a free flowing, natural layout that would not only look more like an actual road course but would drive like one as well. I would like it to have a natural rythm and flow. I'd also like at least a few corners that replicated actual racing lines, where the cars all tuck closer together into the "groove". The way I'd do that so the cars wouldn't actually ever touch or bump is I'd have the lane spacing a bit wider than normal to begin with. If they had an extra 1/2" or so spacing on the straights that way they could "tuck in" on the corners and still not touch.

Thoughts?
Randy Pepprock




#2 Mark C.

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:07 AM

Hey Randy,

I'm sure a lot of others will give you a more in-depth idea of why, but I have ran on both and O simply believe its a matter of if you plan to go "crazy" into the hobby and race on the best possible surface, power, and layouts... routed tracks are the ONLY way to go in the way of hosting "regional", "national", or "world" events... but of course we are talking about being a raceway or taking this to a "professional" level.

Routed tracks eliminate many of the problems with the snap-together Toys R Us $19.95 specials, there are no "click" clack sounds when the cars go across each snap-together section, the power is much more "steady" and smooth than a snap-together track, and the routed tracks don't move and usually come with a fancy digital lap counter system such as TrackMate with a 22 volt adjustable power supply, just to name a few of the bells and whistles that people get for the track.

It's not a matter of routed tracks looking special. IMO its simply racing on the best possible surface and crisp, smooth power. The rails are one continuous rail on each side of the lane around the entire track so no start stop-start, stop-push the car... trying to get the lane cleaned off or making sure each snap section is fit snuggly.

Two tracks built exactly the same... one routed and the other a Tomy type track.

The lap times come down drastically when you eliminate all the problems from the Tomy/AFX/Riggen/Autoworld type tracks.
Mark Craven

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#3 Joe Mig

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:18 AM

Hi there Mr Sluggo.

I have been playing with HO scale slot cars on plastic track for the last 40 years or so and I do have a small four-lane layout in my house and it is plenty of fun for the kids and me. It works fine and has no dead spots and we have plenty of fun on it .

I do have a friend and by the name of Dom and he has races at his house on his routed track and it is the best one I have ever got to run on. He had a plastic layout on the same table and there is no comparison between the two - the routed one is the best and the plastic one did the job until he broke the bank and did the routed track.

Both were top notch with no expense spared.

So I guess it comes down to price verse quality as they both work but the routed track is the best.

Dom's track,can you say smooooooth
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My track
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Yes, there is a big difference with size between the two, Dom's is gigantic and mine is a 3 by 7 foot layout.
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#4 John Streisguth

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:50 AM

Randy:

The main reason you do not see tracks like you describe is two reasons:

1) for races held by HOPRA, UFHORA (the main national organizations for current production HO slot cars), there is a rule where no "trick track sections" are allowed, i.e. squeeze tracks, criss-crosses, etc. This obviously pertains to sectional track, but the idea is that everyone is racing the track and not being concerned with being nerfed out at these special sections. You also never see banked turns on a National Championship track, at least none that I have ever seen.

2) Most of the routed tracks are built on standard "sections", which are then pieced together. Most of the time they are done on CNC controlled machines. This keeps the cost down to a reasonable level, sometimes not very much more than the sectional route if you were buying all the track at retail pricing. What you describe would require a lot of hand routing, which is very time consuming since you have to route three very small grooves for each lane. Sure it can be done, but most people would balk at the price to pay someone to do it. If that's what you want, you'll probably need to learn to do it yourself unless you have a lot of money to spend.
And that's probably the main reason you do not see tracks like that. But you'll notice some 1/32 routed home tracks here on the blog that do look that way, which are easier since you only have one slot to rout and the routing bits are bigger and less fragile.
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#5 John Streisguth

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:59 AM

But as Mark and Joe have mentioned, they are much smoother, and more importantly have nearly zero problems with the continuity of electricity that sectional tracks have. The HO track I used to have was based on TYCO track, and all the rails were set at equal distance form the track surface and then glued in place (so that the powerful poly magnets would not pull them up...which can happen!), the ends of the rails were tinned with solder, the sections were epoxied together, and then the rails were all soldered and I used a fixture and a fine file to smooth out the joints and make sure the rails were within about .002" level. I probably had about 500 hours into building it, and it was as close as you could get without laying continuous rail in (which people used to do with sectional track before the routed tracks became readily available).

As always, time vs money.

Also keep in mind some routed tracks use thicker rails which increases the downforce in magnet cars. For older AFX type cars that seems to be OK, but for current high down-force cars, in my opinion it's too much of a good thing.


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#6 kuni123456

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:00 AM

Randy,

I have a large six lane Tomy HO slot car track. The track is built on three wood sections for a total length of 24 feet by 6 feet. The lap length is around 91 foot and the total plastic sections number around 500 pieces. I think that a routed track is much easier to maintain than a plastic track. The plastic track has corrosion between joints, broken plastic sections, and is much harder on pick up shoes compared to a routed track. I would say that the only advantage of the plastic track is the lower cost compared to a routed track. I have had this track since 1995 and have moved the track for large races. I believe that having a plastic track is good for the local club, but hard on the track owner.

John K. Wakamatsu
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#7 kuni123456

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:05 AM

Randy,

I forgot to tell you that I have had many NEO and Unlimited HO races on my track without any rail problems. I have raced on some routed tracks which had some rail problems, but these were solved by regluing the rail. The biggest problem for my track is corrosion between the sections which causes low voltage surges. I also have to work on the track before each race because our SCHOR club likes to run NEO HO slot cars. I also like to run Unlimited HO slot cars on my track.

John K. Wakamatsu
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#8 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 11:43 AM

" corrosion between the sections"

This is the biggest problem with sectional track. Many years ago I got to race on many of Dale Bucks wood tracks and am spoiled! Sound is another problem with plastics as well and after running on a wood track were you get to hear the motors rev and so smooth.... The plastics drum so bad and the faster the cars the louder they get.

I had raced on plastics for many years and had a lot of great races but when you get the chance to run on wood it's just another level up. I got a new HO track a couple of months ago and was going to build a home track. It's just not the same so now I will sell my new Giant Rwy and most of my Ho's. I'm planning to build a 1/32 wood track now.

Barney Poynor
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Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

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#9 John Streisguth

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:47 PM

Yup, that's why mine was 100% soldered connections. In 3 years racing, I never had one single problem. It was a lot of time up front, but there's nothing worse that getting set for a race (or being in the middle of one) and having problems with track sections not getting power.
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#10 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 04:41 PM

My old 2 lane track had soldered connections as well and it cures that problem of contacts. I also epoxied the sections and sanded them to make them smooth. But the tracks still acted like a sounding board and was still loud. That was a lot of work but back in the 70's that was all that we had and it was great.

Then in the early 80's the Puma tracks came out and they were ok with braid but the rail tracks Dale built were super and built like a piece of furniture and beautiful but cost was high also!

Barney Poynor
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Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#11 John Streisguth

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 08:11 PM

Yeah, I remember the first Bucktrax. One was run on at the '95 UFHORA nats, at a place in York, PA. Since they were fairly standard, it was great if you had one to run on, you came to a race pretty well dialed in. I could never get the most out of my car on them.

I remember some people took the rails out of sectional track, glued the sections together, and then laid continuous rail in. Man, is that a LOT of work....
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#12 Glenn Gordon

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 12:51 AM

John, do you remember which Bucktrack layout that was you raced on?

My track is a continuous railed Tomy layout that was built by a guy name Gene Belgarde from San Diego. It is back filled with epoxy and glued together also so the the track does not change due to heat and cold,continuous railed and epoxy painted and it has great traction. I have had four 8 Hour endurance races since 2007 and is a great track to race on. It is very bullet proof but the summers AZ have caused some small issues that I fixed by filling with epoxy , the track is in my garage so it gets very hot. Glenn

#13 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 02:30 AM

He most likely raced a Scorpion track design. I think the first one was built for Brian Lowe in Washington but it has been sold now. Your track sounds nice Glenn!

Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#14 John Streisguth

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 07:28 AM

They were the standard 6 lane tracks. One was at a small shop in York, PA (95 UFHORA Nats) the other was in Connecticut at the 96 HOPRA Nats. I don't recall if was part of the shop owned by Todd Duda or was owned by Dan DeCosmo.

There was also a very nice 21st Century track at the 96 Nats. I took 5th in R/O, just missed the move-up to the main thanks to some of the rails being a little low, and letting my pick-up shoes wear just a bit too much to handle the low height. Oh well.
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#15 John Streisguth

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 07:31 AM

To the original poster: did you get the information you were looking for? That's what happens...thread drift!

:rolleyes:


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#16 The Bugman

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:22 AM

He most likely raced a Scorpion track design. I think the first one was built for Brian Lowe in Washington but it has been sold now. Your track sounds nice Glenn!


that track i9s back with the SCHOR group,Eddie Torrez bought it a couple years ago from B.Lowe,and Gary Morgan brought to Eddie from Washinton to Alta Loma Calif,we've(SCHOR)has been racing on it over the past 2 years.
and Glenn Gordons track is awesome too,we used to race on it when it was in San Diego at the home of Dennis Tate,,,,,
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#17 Glenn Gordon

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:53 PM

Here is a pic of "The Glenn" now located in Goodyear, AZ . It is the home of the annual "8 Hours at the Glenn".

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#18 chaparrAL

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 04:39 PM

Love that Welcome to Riverside sign!
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#19 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 04:58 PM

Hey Glenn did you race USRA back in the 80's in Phoenix? Beautiful track!

Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#20 Glenn Gordon

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:12 PM

Yes I did, Ii was my first BIG 1/24 scale race and I was 1 of 2 AZ drivers to make the a main in Gr 20 but finished dead last after tearing the body off. Gary Mayeda built my car for me it was a Team Trinity chassis kit that worked well. The track was the newly built Hasse King that was at ASCR. I remember racing with you and your first gen cut gr15 ceramic magnets. Did you buy that company from Guy Spalding or start your own? I couldn't remember. I am sure you remember Micheal Singleton he now lives in Mich and I do see him once or twice a year. If you are into HO's you should come out for next years enduro race. Take care, Glenn

Hey Glenn did you race USRA back in the 80's in Phoenix? Beautiful track!



#21 Glenn Gordon

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:14 PM

Thanks Al about the sign. It IS ORIGINAL! It was a gift from family members who gave it to me after one of their tenants left behind after moving out in Riverside CA. The Tenant was employed by RIR. Sorry about the bed frame in front of it. Glenn

#22 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:40 PM

I thought you were one and the same but I'm getting old and my ....... Dang! I forgot what I was going to say!:laugh2:

Good to hear from you. Michael Singleton....Wow!, say hello for me next time you talk to him. He, Henry, my son and I drove to the 85' Nats at PA"s track and had a BLAST! Ask him about the little town in Texas we stopped to have breakfast in and what Henry did.... that was funny!

No I started Front Line Products my self, Guy had another company. I'm busy with Team CORT now so HO's are out for now but maybe in the future....? I'm building a 1/32 home track as we have been having fun at Dennis Samson's home track of late.
Check this post out and videos also on post #8

Racing at The Stone

Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#23 kuni123456

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 08:36 PM

I have owned a Tomy plastic track since 1995 that is 24 foot by 5 1/2 foot. The track has a total lap length of 91 foot per lap and has six lanes. The track has more than 500 pieces of track and I believe that a routed track is much easier to take care of compared to any plastic track. I solder my track together, but realized that the solder connections still break. I replaced almost every section of track because new track is better than old track. The only advantage of a plastic track is the lower cost compared to a routed track and a plastic track is usually lighter than a routed track.
John K. Wakamatsu

#24 Race O' Rama

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 02:47 AM

I can tell you from personal experience, as I have raced on plastic track, routered wooden wiz track and PVC Bucktrax Scorpions and I prefer the Bucktrax because then I can lower chassis, the cars seem faster as the surface is real smooth. Just a couple of thoughts.

#25 Rich McMahon

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 11:06 PM

Good answers.
I've raced on all kinds of track and the routed is much smoother, all types of cars run soooo much smoother.

#26 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:55 AM

Hey Glen here is the HO track I got on loan from Rick Jockem. If you ever get out give me a ring.

 

El Rancho en Debto Raceway

 

El Rancho En Debto Raceway 7.jpg

 


Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#27 A. J. Hoyt

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:34 AM

Barney, that looks like an old Aurora tub track with smooth routed track inset and an LCD lap counter display. The track "modernizes" pretty well! I almost looks like one could make that a six lane track! THAT would be a hoot and a one-of-a-kind variation on "the standard".

 

If the cars are coming at us, then you are running it the opposite way than we did back in the day at Muskegon, MI, IIRC. We went through the "keyhole", then up the straight around the "inclined turn" (not really a bank) and back down.

 

To answer the first post, the "clickety clack" sectional track just does not lend itself to racing the slower or faster classes unless you absolutely lock the sections down (to keep them from shifting in any way) and epoxy fill the seams between the sections. Also, it is best to pop out all the rail and replace it with continuous rail. If your time is worth $5 an hour, it would be cheaper to just break down and buy a routed track.

 

With a smooth surface and continuous rail, even T-jets are a blast to race! And it is real racing, side by side all the way around the track! You don't have to go fast to race - you just need two well matched cars and a smooth track!

 

Our "middle pack" has become as fast as the "front runners" here in CO at the FRHO. We typically see 15 racers with the top 10 separated by 10 laps at the end. One extra deslot can cost you 3 or 4 finishing places. That's real competitive!

 

Keep it in the slot,

 

AJ


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#28 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:54 PM

Yes AJ we run it backwards but it does have switches but I think it flows better running CW. Remember also cars are a lot faster than when it was designed in the 60's now. We had our first race and it was fun running FRAY cars. This is a older Scott Dunlap track and I had to do a lot of work to get rails down to run FRAY Jets as they were high. Say Merry Christmas to all the Rocky Mountain guys for me. 


Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#29 Sluggo

Sluggo

    Backmarker

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 12:03 PM

I never did get my routed track ($) but have started on my latest HO layout.

 

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Randy Pepprock

#30 Tudo

Tudo

    Rookie Keyboard Racer

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 05:20 PM

Can you tell me where to buy a track like Doms?


Tom Pilitowski

#31 Tim Neja

Tim Neja

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 08:08 PM

Viper Racing!! Dan Cronin is the BEST to deal with!! He makes great quality tracks and you can't go wrong!!  Google Viper racing and find Dan~!!~


She's real fine, my 409!!!

#32 John Miller

John Miller

    This space for rent

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 09:40 PM

It looks like Max Trax.

"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

ProSlot.png
 
 


#33 John Miller

John Miller

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 09:43 PM

Another good source for HO info is at a blog called: Planet of Speed.

"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

ProSlot.png
 
 


#34 Don Weaver

Don Weaver

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 11:58 AM

I have a Scorpion for sale in excellent condition.  Almost like new with power supply/software, etc.  PM me for more info.....

 

Don Weaver


Don Weaver
The supply of government exceeds demand.
L.H. Lapham
 
If the brain-eating amoeba invades Washington
it will starve to death...

 

How do you spell "leverage"?

........R-A-N-S-O-M






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