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The American Aristocrat


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#1 CruzinBob

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:03 AM

Now I know there's quite a few LA racers who raced at Bellflower Bob's.

I am looking for any pics of ANY track (wonder how many were made) similar to the split-lane Hillclimb. It was the most spectacular commercial track I had ever seen when I walked in there from Mark's Raceway sometime in the late '80s.

When I moved to PHX strangely enuf I ran across another like it but about a bazillion feet longer ('94). This track wound up in a tow truck driver's barn in Casa Grande!

The very interesting thing I liked about this design is that with eight lanes, in two places four lanes split off and crossed over each other making an interior lane into an exterior lane, totally changing who you were driving next to. I never raced competitively on it but just loved the idea.

I would love to see any pics of this design, hear stories of racing on them, and related comments.
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#2 backintheslot

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:16 AM

Hmmm, must have been an Aristocat or Emperor track. Check out the American Model Raceway thread in the Slot Car History section. ;)

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#3 Keith Tanaka

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:18 AM

Bob, here's a photo of an American Aristocrat track. Was this track similar to Bellflower Bob's?

post-4-1223595541.jpg



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#4 CruzinBob

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:29 AM

Cool - you're on top of it! Thanx, man. Posted Image

Oh man, look at the half donut crossover, are they really stacked?! I donut (HA) remember that on B Bob's.

I gotta build one of those in a four-lane version. Oh yea, that's gonna be fun. Nice little 8 x 20.
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#5 Jeff Buyer

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 07:25 AM

hillclimbMP.jpg

Here's a pic of an original Hillclimb still in operation. I raced at Bellflower Raceway back in the late '80s - that's where the hardbody bug bit me - been hooked ever since.

#6 Ron Hershman

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 07:49 AM

Hear stories of racing on them and related comments.

The only track where the guy on black can "nerf" the guy on red after the first crossover and then again in the 90 before the second crossover/donut.

The first couple times I raced on one I didn't like because the 90 was so tough on blue as it was the inside lane. After a few races and lots of practice the "Hillclimb" became one on my favorite American tracks to race on.

Our "Hillclimb" was basically brand new when we got it in 1982. It came out of a small town and was only in operation for three months when it was new in the '60s.

We later had another one in the area that was very rough and had a catch "net" in the bank as a couple of the lanes you could not run full punch down the top straight into the bank.

Lee Richardson in Steger, IL, had one and we ran USRA wing car races on it a couple times... most guys didn't like racing on them.

The last American Hillclimb I ran on was in the '90s in Sandusky, OH, and that track had been rebuilt and was pretty nice.

Currently there is one in the South Bend, IN, area owned by Dave Geerhing and from what I hear he has rebuilt it to original specs and it is like brand new.

#7 tonyp

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:00 AM

We ran on one at BIR all the time, even ran Gp7s on it. Roy Crawley kept slots alive in Long Island by getting all these Hillclimbs set up in operation. They offer the most track for the footprint I believe.

I never ran on one, no pro worth his evilness would even look at one. Then one day Bob Emott said he was going to Big Larry's Raceway in LI and did I want to tag along. I took a ride out there. I brought a Gp27 car I had together. Up until then no one had run anything faster then a Womp. I glued up a lane, ran my car. No one ever ran a Womp on the track again and six months later the raceway was closed.

But that was the start of holding our USRA races on these tracks. We had a large number of them, maybe five that would be in the rotation.. We even had a big Speed & Sport race at BIR.

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#8 John Miller

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:59 AM

Currently there is one in the South Bend Indiana area owned by Dave Geerhing and from what I hear he has rebuilt it to original specs and it is like brand new.

Yep, this track does exist in SB. It's a beautiful track, too.

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#9 The Bugman

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 09:42 AM

Hey Cruzin Bob,well besides in Bellflower,there was a Hillclimb in Downtown Mammoth,Calif that was like the Bellflower one,,,,,except it had a clear plastic section leading in to the donut so you could look thru it to see where your car had come off under the bridge,
it was in the early 90's ,then the entire hobby shop was gone,i went there 2 times in one year when i'd go TROUT fishing in Mammoth and the June Lake loop.i took my Nascar Flexis and my friends and i would go to the shop in the evenings to race,,they disappeared without a trace,and i never found where the track went.
ahhh the good ol'days,,,, :laugh2: :laugh2:
no pictures were ever taken tho,,,sorry

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#10 CruzinBob

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:13 AM

Awesome fellas, just what I was looking for. And great pics! Love the stories. Wing cars, please! That would be a nightmare! This really shows how tough you East Coast crew are Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image What history.
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#11 Ron Hershman

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:59 AM

Wing cars, please! That would be a nightmare!

Racing wing cars on them wasn't too bad. I raced Intl 15s many times on them and 27s a couple times. The worse part was placement of turn marshals and with them moving around and standing up and down during a race was the tough part of being able to see your car at times.

#12 Cap Henry

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:00 AM

NCP Hobbies has one of these in Oak Harbor, OH. I believe it has been redecked, but very smooth. :wub:

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#13 Ron Hershman

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:20 AM

That is the track from Sandusky, OH. I thought it got lost in a fire or some rumor like that.

Good to know it's still around.

#14 Gator Bob

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:32 AM

That is why I thought my local track had a yellow Hillclimb, it was an economy version with yellow drivers panel and probably yellow trim at the top of the paneling vs the green shown here...

Jeff, thanks for posting the picture.
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#15 MSwiss

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:34 AM

Awesome fellas, just what I was looking for. And great pics! Love the stories. Wing cars, please! That would be a nightmare! This really shows how tough you East Coast crew are Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image What history.

We ran G7 cars on the one in Steger. It was challenging and the races were more carnage than on Kings, but back then, guys took the points series pretty serious, and made an effort to do well.

What I do remember, with the speed, combined with the crossovers, guys would "lose" their cars pretty regularly. In particular, Mark Lemke would lose his about three times a heat.

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#16 Ron Hershman

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:40 AM

That is why I thought my local track had a yellow Hillclimb, it was an economy version with yellow drivers panel and probably yellow trim at the top of the paneling vs the green shown here...

Ours was the same way, Bob... I can only recall the Hillclimbs having the yellow plastic trim at the top of the paneling.

In particular, Mark Lemke would lose his about three times a heat.

LOL, "Oh Nooooooooooo".

#17 Phil Hackett

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:01 PM

Racing wing cars on them weren't too bad. I raced Intl 15s many times on them and 27s a couple times. The worse part was placement of turn marshals and with them moving around and standing up and down during a race was the tough part of being able to see your car at times.

In SoCal we ran Bellflower Bob's track a couple times with wing cars and it had the same problems as you said.

The racing wasn't that bad because the SoCal racers at the time were racing on a wide variety of tracks and not just King tracks.
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Posted Image

#18 S.O. Watt

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:01 PM

The last original Hillclimb I ran on (27s) had the most wore out "T" slots I'd ever experienced, around '90ish in BFE, Oregon. Even running a fat blade on the guide didn't really help :blush: . But the design is still very popular, especially with the crossovers gone and a donut added Hasse style.

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#19 Phil Hackett

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:15 PM

BFE, Oregon... Funny, there's a town named that in every state... who'd guess?
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#20 CruzinBob

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:27 PM

The last original Hillclimb I ran on (27s) had the most wore out "T" slots I'd ever experienced, around '90ish in BFE, Oregon. Even running a fat blade on the guide didn't really help :blush: . But the design is still very popular, especially with the cross overs gone and a donut added Hasse style.

Are you saying the Aristocrat is the original Hillclimb design?
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#21 Phil Hackett

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:36 PM

Are you saying the Aristocrat is the original hillclimb design?

Yes. There might have been others before American Model Raceways built theirs but the Aristocrat is the standard.

I remember seeing the Bellflower track for the first time about 1972, when it still had the steering wheels and pedals. I never ran on it when it was like that. They were south of Artesia Blvd in those days. Later on they moved the location north towards "downtown" Bellflower. That's when the Blue King came out of storage and they whacked-off the "finger" to fit it in the building. Criminal.
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#22 Ron Hershman

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:37 PM

What is pictured above is THE original Hillclimb design. ;)

#23 Jerry Ward

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:40 PM

The only track where the guy on black can "nerf" the guy on red after the first crossover and then again in the 90 before the second crossover/donut.

The first couple times I raced on one I didn't like because the 90 was so tough on blue as it was the inside lane. After a few races and lots of practice the "Hillclimb" became one on my favorite American tracks to race on.

Our "Hillclimb" was basically brand new when we got it in 1982. It came out of a small town and was only in operation for three months when it was new in the '60s.

We later had another one in the area that was very rough and had a catch "net" in the bank as a couple of the lanes you could not run full punch down the top straight into the bank.

Lee Richardson in Steger, IL, had one and we ran USRA wing car races on it a couple times... most guys didn't like racing on them.

The last American Hillclimb I ran on was in the '90s in Sandusky, OH, and that track had been rebuilt and was pretty nice.

Currently there is one in the South Bend, IN, area owned by Dave Geerhing and from what I hear he has rebuilt it to original specs and it is like brand new.


Ron, that same track is still up and running at at John Speno's NCP Hobbies in Oak Harbor Ohio about 45 min from Sandusky and we race every Sunday in the winter. FIVE MIN ON, TWO OFF!! That track is a BLAST to run on.

Jerry :)
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#24 chaparrAL

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:42 PM

Oh man! That pic brought back the good ole days.

Racing G27 on that track at Lee's in Steger was a rude awakening after racing at Jerry's. It was brutal. :laugh2:
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#25 3gInOc

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:46 PM

I know this topic is a little old. Over four years actually. But I was doing some surfing and found this post online. This is for the original post. Here is a pic of the track a Bellflower Raceway. I'm the kid white and blue shirt putting the cars on the track. When I was 12 Bob hired me to work there. I worked there until I was 14 years old. Good memories.

 

Slot%20Car%20Track_zps3cvnduoo.jpg


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Manny R. Jimenez

Home track when I was 12. Bellflower Raceway, Bellflower California.

All grown up now, I live near Buena Park Raceway but never go there.

But I smile every time I drive by. The good ol days!






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