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Gunther Faas, 1932-2011


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#1 Noose

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:17 AM

I heard today that one of the legends in slot racing, Gunther Faas, passed away yesterday. My condolences to his family.

I knew Gunther as a kid and enjoyed his company when he came to Nutley and when we went to all the raceways here in the East. His gears were the standard for a long time. I wish I had a picture of him from back then but I don't. I did find one from he Nats at Port Jeff.

RIP, Gunther...

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#2 TSR

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:24 AM

Gunther, Rest in Peace.

Gunther was the maker of Faas gears, the best there was in the early 1970s, the winner's choice. :(

#3 John Streisguth

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:34 AM

I still have some brass ones from the '70s, and a polymer from the '90s. Faas has been one the "names" in slot racing for a long time. Another legend passes on.
"Whatever..."

#4 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:35 AM

I met him many years ago and he was always so nice to people that just came up to introduce themselves to him. Rest in peace, Gunter.

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#5 MG Brown

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:36 AM

Posted Image

Thanks to Mr. Faas for his great products. R.I.P.

"I'm just here for the entertainment." George Carlin


#6 Steve Deiters

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:04 AM

Sad news indeed.

One of the manufacturers of the highest quality products in slot racing... ever. Took the application of spur gears up several levels for the time (and even now) in a era when very high horsepower, strong brakes, and lots of glue were the way things got done. All things that really load up on the power transmission link - pinion and spur gears.

#7 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:24 AM

I still have many Faas gears left in my collection from the early '80s. I believe they were fashioned from berylium copper. Much more resistant to abrasion than regular copper. It was a tremendous advance in gears and a tribute to Gunter Faas.

Rest in Peace.

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#8 TSR

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:25 AM

Every good car in the day had Faas gears, the very best.

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#9 NJ SpeedZone

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:06 AM

RIP, Gunther. You were a fixture in our world and always a pleasure to be with.

Jay K.
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#10 Jaz

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:58 AM

Sad news. I met Gunther back in the '60s at Glen Oaks. Always the gentleman. He will be missed.

My favorite Gunther story: At a race somewhere in the '90s, he ran an entire heat with his car on the fan in his pits. He was watching someone else's car! The place was in hysterics!!
Jeff Morris

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#11 JerseyJohn

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:28 PM

Joe,

If I'm not mistaken, that is Gunther on the left. He used to travel a lot with Wayne Belinski (seated with the striped pants ) and his father.

This is the Nutley track when it was in Belleville. Race director was Emmot.

I would say 1969-70?

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#12 Jaz

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:16 PM

Definitely not him.

Buncha Joiseyboys! LOL.
Jeff Morris

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#13 tonyp

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:33 PM

The geek on the left is Gene Bosinski, Wayne's father. Great guy. He worked for military at Picatinney? No ideas how to spell arsenal. He used to get the steel for our steel center section chassis soft so it was easy to cut and bend up and then oil harden it.

Gunther used to come with Big Jim and I believe Vic Cabrera.

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#14 Mark Wampler

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:43 PM

The Faas gears were the only thing we ran in the early '80s. A major game changer since Cox-Weldon-Tradeship. A great innovator to be remembered for a long time.

Regards and condolences to the family/friends of Mr. Faas.
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#15 Uncle Fred

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:47 PM

I am very sorry to hear of Gunther's passing. We raced together back in the '60s and then in the '90s at Port Jeff.
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#16 TSR

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:48 PM

That's Bob Emott on the mike. Indeed, Gene and Wayne Bosinski. 1969 likely.



#17 Noose

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:21 PM

Later, since it was in the new store.

Joe "Noose" Neumeister
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#18 tonyp

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:33 PM

The first gears Gunther made were steel and thinner than the ones most people remember. Lots of tracks had issues with them because they were so thin the track owners were afraid they would cut up the braid.

One of the things I remember about him was he had an Avanti. You did not see many of those.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#19 slotcarone

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:53 PM

One of slot racing's greats, for sure!!! I remember many races in the '60s with Gunther at Glenn Oaks and other places on Long Island.

RIP, Gunther.


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#20 Tex

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 09:03 AM

I didn't know Gunther but I used his gears. To the best of my limited knowledge, they were the first real "precision" gears.

RIP, Gunther.


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#21 Buzz-A-Rama

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:44 PM

Gunther Faas, RIP.

Gunther was a machinist first class. I visited his shop and saw the many custom aircraft parts he would make for the airline industry.

I was there when he was running off 8 tooth 64 pitch pinions on a machine that cost $100,000. Boy was I impressed!

Gunther and his son, Tyrone, spent many times racing at Buzz-A-Rama. He started to make gears after Sandy Gross came to my raceway to purchase all the 43 and 44 tooth 64 pitch Weldun spur gears that I had.

Sandy wanted to corner the market because the West Coast lads had developed the anglewinder chassis and Sandy and Howie Ursaner were the first to have them on the East Coast.

News travels fast in this industry. At that time, something new would be known here in a matter of hours. With the internet today its all a matter of moments now. Gunther would always give me samples to evaluate before he put them into production. He respected my opinion.

Gunther, Godspeed. It was my pleasure to know you and your son these many years.


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#22 flem1959

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:21 PM

Sad news.

 

Best wishes to his family and friends.

 

RIP.


Mike Fleming

#23 Gary Adams

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:47 PM

One of the great innovators from the history of our hobby. Faas gears were the standard by which all others were measured. My condolences to his family.

Straights are for fast cars. Turns are for fast drivers.


#24 Buzz-A-Rama

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:57 PM

Tony P.,

Not if you had 1/16" clearance. That clearance rule will haunt you forever. But it's what kept my tracks in great shape.

By the way, you were the only pro racer that I respected. You put you chassis in my showcase for me to sell.

You are a class act.


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#25 tonyp

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:00 PM

They were fun days... I miss them.. Thanks for the kind words.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#26 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:29 PM

Those were great days and you played a big part. RIP, Gunther.


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#27 wbugenis

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:10 PM

2ebtuzb.jpg


This is Gunther's biggest contribution in my opinion. He was the first to machine a commutator shell with 12 interior "dovetails" to mechanically bond the copper to the phenolic fill.

 

When I was working with "Viper", we searched from the East coast to the West coast and no broach maker or machine shop came up with the elegant solution Gunther did. He dedicated a 41mm capacity Traub automatic screw machine to making this tiny part - the big machine needed for the last step in the process - his "piece de resistance" that no one else thought of. Several hundred thousand were run and just about every racer has used them whether they know it or not. Today 24 dovetails are EDM'd in the best commutators but Gunther was the first.

In 1967, I had a 15-minute conversation with him in Roosevelt Raceway, Jackson Heights, New York and never forgot.

Bill Bugenis


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#28 Buzz-A-Rama

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:43 PM

William,

And he made the hubs I sold to you.

Is the track still operational at your school?
Buzz Perri

#29 wbugenis

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 06:30 PM

No, the track was donated to the school and I had to leave it behind when I retired in 2006. Don't know what happened to it. I have been using my copious free time making armatures on the RJR/Robert Root equipment.

Still have the hubs, though.
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#30 MSwiss

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:10 PM

This is Gunthers biggest contribution in my opinion. He was the first to machine a commutator shell with 12 interior "dovetails" to mechanically bond the copper to the phenolic fill. When I was working with "Viper", we searched from the East coast tio the West coast and no broach maker or machine shop came up with the elegant solution Gunther did. He dedicated a 41mm capacity Traub automatic screw machine to making this tiny part - the big machine needed for the last step in the process - his "piece de resistance" that no one else thought of. Several hundred thousand were run and just about every racer has used them whether they know it or not. Today 24 dovetails are EDM 'ed in the best commutators but Gunther was the first.
Bill Bugenis


Stu Koford was EDM'ing comms many years before Gunther was broaching them.

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#31 Ron Hershman

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:16 PM

Stu Koford was EDM'ing comms many years before Gunther was broaching them.


That would be correct... the "Fail Safe" comm that Pro Slot used and the shell was made by Gunther/Fass... came out in April/May 1993.

Stuart Koford's EDM'ed comm came out in 1987-88 I think.

I would have to do some digging to come out with the exact dates of the Koford EDM comm, but they are pretty close to what I have posted.

I remember at the Orlando Nats in 1991 "S" comms being used on Koford 27 arms by Craig Landry (what a mess that caused the USRA Prez at the time) in the Pro 27 race and that was three or four years after Stuart had started using the "S" comms on Open Gr 7 arms.

#32 wbugenis

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:44 AM

Sorry to have that so wrong... Gunther still made quite an impression on this 17-year-old kid.
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#33 MSwiss

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:36 AM

Not a big deal.

Gunther made nothing but quality stuff, including the broached comm, and was very instrumental in making "slot racing tick".

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#34 brucefl

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:26 AM

Gunther was amazing.

My father had recently passed away and he gave me my first slot car, a GP car with a 25 wind which I raced in a Glen Oakes GP race that was covered by Charlie Harris in Car Model magazine (I still have the article). I had such misfortune, even with Gunther and Big Jim Greenaway helping me in the pit as the article said (and jokingly Charlie said I got the tough lucksy award).

I'll never forget Gunther's kindness he made me (an eleven-year-old) feel like I had a father again at least while I was in his presence.

God bless him with everlasting life in heaven.

From that little boy,

Bruce
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#35 Cheater

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:40 AM

Great and heart-warming story, Bruce. Thanks for posting it.

Gregory Wells

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#36 Weedracer

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 12:33 PM

Sorry to resurrect such an old thread, but considering the subject matter, I thought it would be OK.

 

I spent lots of time with Gunther during the last 25 years or so of his life. He was a genuinely good man, and his wife was very gracious as well. As Gunther got a bit older, we travelled a bit together since he wasn't into long distance driving any more and it was during those long car rides that I really got to know him.

 

He was always cooking something up and I can't even remember how many experimental gears of his I tried. Some fabulous, others immediate disasters, but that was the secret of discovery for him... try anything, or so it seemed. 

 

I remember these solid aluminum gears he made for a while... a short while. They were a bit on the wide side and brilliantly finished to the point that they were like little jewels. No matter how meticulously you set them up, they just vanished within a few yards under power. Silver dust all over the inside of your body and him hassling you about your inability to set the lash correctly. I can still hear him.

 

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but the very first plated aluminum chassis I ever saw or heard of was an International 15 frame that he was working on with Dick Pelletier. It was too soft, the plating came off too easily, but seemed to be the seed for that sort of thing, at least on the east coast at that time. It was fast as hell though.

 

There was also a funny and even wild side to him that came out at a few private parties. Despite a conservative appearance, he knew how to have fun.

 

Lots of people have come and gone through my slot portal, but he's someone I really miss.


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#37 Cheater

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 12:43 PM

Charlie, thanks for adding your memories of Gunther.

 

Wish I could have know him, but I don't think we ever met unless he was at the '90 Nats in GA.


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#38 Dennis David

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 02:35 PM

I think any time we can add a new rememberance to one of our departed slot car friends it's a good thing.
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#39 Cheater

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 02:58 PM

History doesn't survive unless it gets written down somewhere.


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#40 Dennis David

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 03:26 PM

... and that we always remember those that come before us.
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#41 Bill from NH

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 08:32 PM

One of the last times I recall seeing Gunther was a warm-up race for the 1997 Nats.

 

That day, he walked around with an armful (eight-ten) of various Intl. 15 cars, including the famed "Faas aluminium" chassis. One of them had plastic rear hubs, but I recall him saying someone else had made them.


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Bill Fernald
 

Some people burn rubber. I burn oil.  :roflmao: 


#42 Courtney S

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 08:29 AM

I still have an aluminum I15 car i bought through Pelletier 1988 I think. It is still cool. I did not know Faas was involved.


Courtney Smith





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