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Bob Emott, 1940-2014


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:04 AM

I have just learned some very sad news via Facebook.

 

Slotblog member and seminal figure from slot racing's past, Robert "Bob" Emott, Jr, has passed away. 

 

Bob was a fantastic racer, chassis builder, tire maker, and raceway owner. His impact on the competitive slot racing hobby would be impossible to overstate.

 

bob.jpg

 

RIP, Bob.


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Gregory Wells

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





#2 Cheater

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:11 AM

Here's a LINK to a thread over at SlotForum that PdL posted in 2008 when the LA Slot Car Museum purchased Bob's collection of chassis and other materials.
 
Here's a brief quote from that thread, to illustrate Bob's stature in the hobby:
 

Indeed, Bob Emott invented and perfected many of the advancements in slot car racing between 1966 and 1971, and was the inspiration for many top-notch chassis builders such as Tony P, Lee Gilbert, Pete von Ahrens, and others, as well as inflicting complete humiliation to the British and German pro contingents during his visit to Europe.


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


#3 Cheater

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:29 AM

Here's a picture of Bob, racing at the famous Nutley Raceway in NJ back in his heyday.

The caption for this photo reads, "... one of the best of all time racers, builder supreme, slot racing statesman, and great all around friend to all!"

bob2.jpg
photo: Fred Strauss


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Gregory Wells

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


#4 Noose

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:37 AM

This is so, so sad to hear. Bob was a friend and mentor to many in the slot racing world. His talents and imagination were special. We will miss him. 

 

In Retro East, we honor the racer who has the most points using his own built cars with the "Bob Emott" Constructor Award. This is even more special now.

 

Here is a picture of the one from last year.

2012 Retro East Winter Series Constructors Award.jpg


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#5 Chewy

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:40 AM

So sad to hear this.

 

I met Bob at Polk's Hobby in Manhattan, NY, when I was about twelve or thirteen. He was a great guy and a backbone to slot car racing.

 

Much later on he ran a  NASCAR series race at Elmsford Raceway that I raced in during the '90s. I spoke to him after this about slots a few times. He loved the Retro slots when he came to SpeedZone two years ago. I got to sit and talk with him then which was a great time remembering all the years gone by.

 

RIP, Bob, you are an icon.


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#6 Bill from NH

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:45 AM

Sad news. Bob, you will be missed.


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#7 tonyp

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:52 AM

Thanks for everything I know about chassis building. I am fortunate that you chose me to share all your secrets. You were the greatest and will be missed.
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#8 MSwiss

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:55 AM

How sad.

 

After seeing him race in his heyday at Hinsdale Racway in 1970, I was lucky enough to connect with him via Retro racing, having some great phone calls with him, and he even built a chassis for me that I'll keep forever.

 

Bob, we'll miss you.

 

Rest in peace.


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#9 Pappy

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:59 AM

Sad news indeed. I never had the honor of meeting Bob but I've heard numerous things about him. All good.

 

RIP.


Jim "Danger" Dunaway aka Butch
 
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#10 John Streisguth

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:05 AM

The passing of a legend. We at Retro East were fortunate enough to have him come out to a few races over the last few years. 

 

RIP, Bob


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#11 slotcarone

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:18 AM

One of slot racing's greatest ever. Bob's chassis building was a big inspiration for all of us older builders.

 

Rest In Peace, Bob.


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#12 Steve Deiters

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:36 AM

Very sad news. Bob Emott impacted the slot racing hobby and others in so many ways. 
 
- Top flight racer. 
- Early "Pro" racer.
- Early scratchbuilt chassis giant. 
- Slot racing journalist and publisher of a nationally distributed slot racing newspaper.
- Slot racing manufacturer of chassis parts with Jerry Brady-BEE Products for a short time.
- Embraced the world of 1/8 gas R/C cars early on adapting what were then airplane radios with a Russklit/Parma pistol grip handle since it made for a transition for the slot racing mindset to a "stick" control style radio easier. A standard of design that has continued to this day.
 
All the racers and slot racing hobbyists he touched along the way. Priceless.
 
Quite a legacy for any lifetime.
 
He and his family are in my thoughts today.

#13 old & gray

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:14 AM

I knew of Bob Emott from the race reports in magazines in the mid-'60s. The first time I met him was at Nutley when I needed someone with a hot iron to fix my car. A racer from my local track directed me to ask Bob for help.

 

A timid sixteen-year-old approached someone he considered a legend and asked “Mr Emott, could you solder this?” Bob turned from the work he was involved with and said “Mr. Emott? Kid, I’m called Bob, Emott, Hey You, and a few things I won’t repeat. But never Mr. Emott, he’s my father. Now what can I help you with?”
 
“Any man's death diminishes me…” with Bob’s passing we are all greatly diminished.


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#14 bwolfsohn

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:25 AM

So sad to hear the news... Bob was there when I started racing in 1964-65 at Polk's... One of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet...


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#15 Gator Bob

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:30 AM

Sad news. Sorry to hear you guys lost such a great friend and mentor.
 
We can take time to celebrate his life and great contributions to our hobby.
 
Rest in Peace, Robert Emott Jr.
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#16 John Gorski

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:35 AM

The Chassis God is going home...

Thanks for the fun times, Bob. Godspeed.

Emott1.jpg

1969 Emott two-rail and wide drop arm. Very Sano and creative.

TeamNutleyOriginalMembers2172008.jpg
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#17 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:06 AM

For many years Bob was my big brother and best friend. We did everything together. We worked at Polks Hobbies where I met him.

He built slot cars for me in mid-'60s and we raced side by side. I raced mostly his cars in '68-70 and his sidewinders were jewlery and unbeatable.

We traveled everywere together and had so much fun. When we went to the USGP at the Glen I remember pouring a soda over his head and running for my life. When we raced in Texas I gave him pills to keep him up for days building cars and then he fell asleep at the workbench and we could not wake him up to finish in time. We all showed up a half hour late and they voted to NOT let us race.

When he went to Vietnam I went to his house, packed up all of his slot car stuff, and sent it to him so he could put up a track and race there. He went to my mother's funeral and he mentored me in opening an R/C raceway in the '80s.

I still love you Bob and miss you. You were the best slot car builder of all time and a hell of a racer. It is an honor to be your friend forever.

 

   BOB'S INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

 

bobs international raceway.jpg


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#18 JerseyJohn

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:30 AM

Rest in peace, Slot Father, you will be missed but your legacy will live on forever!!!

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#19 Cap Henry

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:44 AM

Never got to meet Bob, but looked at enough photos to know he was truly a master at building slot cars.

Rest in peace, Mr. Emott.

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#20 Cheater

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:59 AM

We can take time to celebrate his life and great contributions to our hobby.


Absolutely! Please post your favorite Bob stories in this thread. Howie has already started the ball rolling...

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#21 Noose

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:59 AM

This is the last frame I raced before I stopped and it was built by Bob.

Top.jpg
 
Bottom.jpg
 
These are two frames Bob built in April and May of 2012. He never lost the touch, that's for sure.
 
Enot-1.jpg
 
Enot A-2.JPG
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#22 Uncle Fred

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:15 AM

Very sad news indeed. 

I first met Bob at Polk's and raced with him in the late '60s. I last saw him in 1995 at the Zepplin 500 where he had come by to see the Group 7 race. 

He will be missed...
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#23 TSR

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:15 AM

Returning from Europe this morning, I read the sad news.

Robert Emott was in my opinion, the greatest, most creative, most inventive slot car engineer, designer, builder of all time. He also happened to be the nicest, kindest, and gentlest of men, a rare combination of modesty and talent.

Bob, you deserve a top spot in the great Whallala if there is one.

Thank you for all you did to improve the hobby and make our little cars to handle the way they do today.
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#24 SlotStox#53

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:36 AM

Such sad news. Never got to meet Bob but have enjoyed reading all about his chassis building and racing immortalized here on the Blog.

Marvelled over his chassis designs and have many bookmarks for links to his cars and the lovely recreations dc-65x has built.

RIP, Chassis God, friend to many and a great human being...

#25 George Blaha

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:31 PM

Hey Bob,
 
Thanks for the manly style and grace that you gave freely to the slot car hobby. Having met you as a child and re-met you as an adult, it was a honor and I am shattered by your passing. See you on the other side. 
 
Shakey George Blaha
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#26 Mbloes

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:31 PM

Last year I sold one of those Team Nutley drop arms pictured above through the Blog to Philippe. I think it was listed for all of about five minutes before he snapped it up.
 
Moments later, a visibly (through the internet) distraught Bob wrote me to see if I had any more as he wanted to re-create one of his previous chassis - his Tottenham chassis, to be exact.
 
I had a used one and I felt so bad that I cleaned it up and sold it to him. He sent me a hand-addressed envelope with cash in it - very quaint.
 
Later, I saw some recent photos of him and I thought (this is terrible, I know), "He's not going to make it to make that chassis".
 
RIP, Bob.


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#27 JimF

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:16 PM

Bob also ran this race series and manufactured tires as well.

 

I think this race was the first time I met him. I traveled from N. Vermont to race in his series a few times just to race with with a different crowd that I normally ran with in the NECC at the time. He was always very nice to a visiting racer and helped me a lot with the various tracks.

 

At the time, I didn't know about his legendary past... I wish I had.

 

daf46b5e-71f1-40ab-8291-24bda73d662b_zps


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#28 Tex

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:17 PM

RIP, Bob; save us a spot at the driver's panel.


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#29 Keith Tanaka

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:42 PM

I never met Bob Emott, but I always admired his chassis design/building and his racing skills. He's a true icon in the world of slot car racing and will be greatly missed.

 

RIP, Bob.

 

Keith


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#30 redbackspyder

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:35 PM

Rest well, Bob, and please say hello to Pete Zimmerman and Oscar Morales for us...


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#31 Matt Bruce

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:51 PM

When you have the rare opportunity to meet and talk to the greats of slot racing, you begin to realize how much racers today owe everything that is slot racing to these men. Tony, Howie, Sandy, Roger, Katz, Gorski, Phillipe, Warmack, Cukras, Noose, Edsel, all these men I have had the pleasure to race with and call my friends. The Gods, who all have bowed to one man alone, Bob Emott.

 

I am thankful for have knowing Bob and getting to shake his hand whenever he came to the track. He was always full of questions, mind forever spinning with invention. He is and always will be the Greatest of The Greats.

 

I do believe Bob's legacy of not only what he meant to slot racing but also what he meant to those he taught to become slot greats will never die. What a absolute wonderful man, Hall of Fame inductee #1, hands down, the line starts with him.

Godspeed to the Best Ever.


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#32 TSR

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:24 PM

Two old warriors, Tony P and Robert, during a visit in New Jersey in 2008:

 

lascm-pictures-08-13-08.jpg

 

During this meeting and with Tony's help. the LASCM acquired Robert's collection of 1960s cars, that have since been restored and prized as what they are, a physical testimony of greatness.

Many years earlier, Robert gave me this example, the "backup" car at the Tottenham race where he handily defeated the best England could throw at him, then kindly showed them how to do it in a thorough article in Model Cars (UK).

 

Vintage-Chassis-Emott-1.jpg

 

Bob, Godspeed, and true enthusiasts will never forget your contribution to our lifetime little passion...
 


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#33 Half Fast

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:14 PM

As a fellow alumnus of Polk's Hobbies in Manhattan, I join in mourning his passing.

 

RIP, Bob E.


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#34 Flash24

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:25 PM

Bob race directing at "Nutley" (the Belleville location) A friend to all now lost to all, RIP.

 

Keep the great memories everyone!

 

Image 12.jpg


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#35 Larry Labounty

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:06 PM

Will always look back to the trips from CT to NJ to race at BIR even for a Saturday night Group 27 race. Then later on for 1/12 R/C racing . Always a great time racing with old friends.

 

Thank you for being there! Godspeed!

 

Larry



#36 Noose

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:08 PM

I just heard from Bob's niece Molly (his brother Dave's daughter) and I did ask her to let me know what arrangements are being made. I'll post them as soon as I hear or see them in the paper here.

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The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#37 Bryan Warmack

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:01 PM

I had the pleasure and honor of being at several events that Bob was at in the late '60s. I don't really remember too much about the races but I do remember the first time I saw one of Bob's cars. I thought my stuff and the West Coast stuff was pretty good but the minute I looked at one of Bob's chassis's I just thought... Oh my god!!... This guy is in another league altogether! I was just in awe and tried to equal Bob's unbelievable craftsmanship but never came close. I feel blessed to have a couple of old Emott chassis. 

 

A true gentleman. RIP, Bob.



#38 Gary Mayeda

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:26 PM

Bob Emott is a true legend in the slot car world. I never met him too but talked to him at one time. He may be gone but never forgotten! 

 

RIP, Bob.


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#39 Horsepower

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 04:35 AM

RIP, Mr. Emott. He was not very old by today's standards.


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#40 alainprost22

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 05:46 AM

We have lost a truly wonderful person, who just happened to be a master craftsman. 

 

I feel honored to have known Bob through many, many years of slot racing. From a first time meeting at Polk's, to a Team Russkit/Team Comet race, to a memorable roadtrip to Bob Kean's home, to attending many pro races, to "surprise" meeting him, at Newark Airport, to a last conversation at SpeedZone.

 

Life has come full circle.


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#41 Mike Jr

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:53 AM

Back in the '90s I remember Bob bringing a bag of tires to the old Speedzone that was located on Rt 130 in Hightstown, NJ. Owner Frank Graziano used to buy tires from Bob.      

Bob actually would race with us on occasion, too. But it wasn`t scratchbuilt stuff; was flexi chassis with NASCAR bodies on the oval.  

He was such a nice easy-going guy. Glad I did actually get to talk with him a bit back then about the chassis building, etc. We both wanted to build again but that was before Retro got started.  

Back then I never realized what an amazing craftsman he was. All I really did know is that he made really great tires.

Rest in Peace, Bob.
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#42 Gil Aubin

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 10:02 AM

RIP, my friend. 

I have told the story before, but my most fond memory of Bob was talking to him on the phone on Christmas Eve, 1968. We both had our respective TV sets tuned to the live, grainy broadcast as Apollo 8 circled the moon. Despite what was then an expensive long distance call, we were both so transfixed by what we were watching that we were both silent. He still remembered the call the last time I saw him, back in the BIR tire days.
 
You will be missed but never forgotten.
aka Casinoslotcars

#43 Dave Emott

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:21 PM

I have just read the warm sentiments expressed by all of you, Bob's wonderful friends in the slot car world, and thank you all. It was a Christmas in the late '50s when Bob brought our first slot car set, a Scalextric with two open-wheeled Grand Prix racers. We raced and raced, flipped them off and started again. Bob was hooked. The rest is history.

How Mother and Dad would have loved to see your comments. I am thrilled Bob created many memories with you and so thankful you expressed your recollections so freely. Know that you have lifted his family and dampened our sadness with your heartfelt expressions.

Thank you, thank you,

Dave Emott
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#44 George Kimber

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:46 PM

From the other side of the pond, here in the UK we were very surprised to hear of the passing of Bob. He was a true legend not only in the US but also in the UK and Germany, after visiting these shores and showing the Europeans at the Tottenham Raceway a very clean pair of heels.

So many people have praised this man, not only for ability to build and race slot cars, but also for his willingness to pass on his knowledge.

I have had the privilege to meet Howie and Tony over recent years. Sadly I did not get the chance to meet Bob.

On behalf of all the UK Slotracers I would like to pass on our condolences to Bob's family and friends.

May he Rest in Peace.

A true legend.

#45 Cheater

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:35 AM

Well-known German 1/24 racer Dieter Jens said this about Bob Emott at his website Jens Scale Racing:
 

Bob Emott - Mr. Nice Guy
 
A quick and popular slot racer
 
Bob Emott is my favorite driver of all American professionals. I've never met him but the stories about him speak for themselves. Kind, helpful, and always friendly. Moreover, very fast and in his time one of the best chassis engineers of all. He drove for several large slot racing companies, but later he was considered one of the most important "Independents", which means he worked for himself and used the materials which seemed to him to be best. He had not, as a former works driver, any specific parts he had to use. He used all of the best parts. Bob Emott visited the former editors of "Model Car" and gave an interesting interview.


Very nice comments, and written before Bob's passing. Hope someone pointed them out to Bob...


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


#46 Cheater

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:16 PM

Thanks to the kindness of Slotblog member Don Siegel, I have posted scans of the Model Cars (UK) magazine race report detailing the story of Bob's dominating success at the Tottenham Open race meeting in September 1969.

 

Click HERE to go to the thread.


Gregory Wells

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


#47 Cheater

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:40 AM

Bob's obituary, which appeared in the Daily Record on April 27, 2014.

 

bobe.jpg

 

Robert Walsh Emott, Jr. of Florham Park, New Jersey, died on April 21, 2014. He was 73.

 

Born on December 15, 1940, in Morristown, New Jersey, he served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, and thereafter served in Antarctica. He received Vietnam Campaign and Service Medals, Navy Unit Commendation, Antarctica Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.

 

Retired from his slot car business activities, he was an avid custom slot car designer, builder, and racer and was well-recognized and highly admired as an innovative pioneer in the slot car racing world and for his quiet, kind, always helpful demeanor.

 

Robert is survived by his two brothers, David and his wife Karen, of West Simsbury, Connecticut, and William, of Melbourne, Florida; as well as his nieces, nephews, and many cousins. He is also survived by his dear and long-time friend, Carole Francis, and her daughter Devon. He was predeceased by his parents Robert and Margaret (“Patty”) Emott, long time residents of Florham Park.

 

Arrangements were under the care of Burroughs, Kohr & Dangler Funeral Home, Madison, NJ. 


Gregory Wells

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


#48 Cheater

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:56 AM

I think it worth mentioning that Bob's obituary appeared in the April 27, 2014, Daily Record under the wrong name, Robert Walsh, with his last name being omitted.

 

Daily Record obituary

 

I've alerted the family to this error and mention this here for those of Bob's friends who wished to leave messages of condolences.


Gregory Wells

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


#49 brucefl

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 11:39 PM

Rest in peace, Bob.

 

I especially will miss you you became a big brother to me when you came to Glen Oaks Raceway in Queens, New York, and along with the other pros at the raceway built me a chassis and built me my first competitive car, perhaps saved my life. My father had recently passed away and my family was falling apart, my brother was addicted to drugs, and I had to escape to the raceway to survive. All the love I felt being a fatherless eleven-year-old kept me on track. It was a special honor that you made feel worthy to receive your sought-after talents that were usually reserved for other pros.

 

Your gentlemanly way and kind words and encouragement were part of why I went on to a successful life. I was inspired from your immaculate chassis building and strived to emulate that in my life, from the chassis I built to the high school electronics labs where my immaculate wiring solder joints got me high grades, now to a dental career where I've strived to acquire a level of care that is considered top notch.

 

I hope as you're walking through the pearly gates the you receive the finally trophy that you so earned in inspiring me and so many others. God bless you, Bob Emott. Enjoy racing on that blue King in the sky.


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#50 Uncle Fred

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 01:54 PM

Nicely said, Bruce...


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