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How to start a low-cost Retro class?


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#1 mcrracer

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 10:32 PM

Is There a way to start up a "low cost" Retro class of racing at my track? All I have been seeing so far are chassis around $125 and up. Is there a lower cost alternative for chassis? My guys are all new, none can build their own chassis yet.

What are my options? So far we have a 55 foot oval. We are working on getting a mini orange or a mini Paperclip.

I like very much the idea of the Retro class. What are our simpler, low cost motor options?

Thanks.
Marlon Reed




#2 Bud Greene

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 10:54 PM

The Slick 7 Mini Brute is about as cheap as it gets.

#3 team burrito

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 12:27 AM

The simplest would be to start with the JK basic chassis (not the X25) and Retro Hawk motor. Stick with the Parma pink gears, JK tires, and some basic body choices. If you build your own car, it should be under a 100 dollars. Keep it simple and don't let things get out of hand.

Good luck and good night.
Russ Toy (not Troy)
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#4 macman

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 02:29 AM

Stamped steel chassis, Retro Hawk motor, Can-Am body...
Ben Kernan
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#5 John Streisguth

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 03:42 AM

The cheapest pre-built chassis (if it's still available) has been the JK X25R, which is a very good handling chassis. They used to retail for about $75-80, IIRC. 

The Retro Hawk motor is about as cheap as you can get. 

Pretty much everyone runs a Ti22 body, there's a few choices there. 

Limit the front wheels to non-ball bearing type, maybe require rear bushings instead of ball bearings (although there are sources for ball bearings cheaply, too). 

You will probably be around $125-$130, but the car would be competitive just about anywhere.
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#6 tonyp

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 06:07 AM

Limiting tire choice to one like JK, one size hub, treated and untreated, will probably be the biggest way to save money. tires are in most cases the biggest expense in Retro racing. The Retro Hawks last multiple races as do bodies and front tires and guys have run the same chassis for years... It's the rear tires which add up real quick...


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#7 Samiam

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 07:46 AM

Marion,

 

You have stated that you have an Oval right now. Are you planning on running Stock Cars?


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#8 Joe Mig

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:14 AM

If you have an oval I would start a stock car class using IRRA® rules and sell the guys the parts and have a build clinic and ust the JK stock car chassis kit. I think THIS is the one.

Get them building the chassis kits and have someone teach them how to solder with the proper equipment.
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#9 slotcarone

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:20 AM

There are usually some very good used Retro chassis available on the blog, too!!
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#10 macman

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:28 AM

While I love it, for some people, Retro just isn't their thing, they seem content to do stamped steel cars, &and have lots of them.
Ben Kernan
Formerly of SARN

Yes, I am a sarcastic, smart-azz, know-it-all old bastard of a genius. 
What is old is new again... Retro... Gotta love it !!!
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The Englelman: a truly superior design.
 

#11 JohnnySlotcar

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:35 AM

Marlon,

Give me a call. I think I can help you.

John (224) 805-1138.
John Austin

#12 wicked01

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 10:20 AM

The cheapest and most cost effective class would be Retro flexi and the IRRA® already has rules for this class. I just wish more series would run it. I guarantee more young people would run the class, and it's a whole lot cheaper on everyone.
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#13 team burrito

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 12:36 PM

Stamped steel chassis, Retro Hawk motor, Can-Am body...

 

While I love it, for some people, Retro just isn't their thing, they seem content to do stamped steel cars, &and have lots of them.

 

The cheapest and most cost effective class would be Retro flexi and the IRRA)r) already has rules for this class. I just wish more series would run it. I guarantee more young people would run the class, and it's a whole lot cheaper on everyone.

 
Building chassis is not everybody's thing, even though it's not the hardest thing to do. The best way to start Retro racing is with flexi chassis. The chassis is usually the most expensive component of the Retro car; everything else is relatively low cost, providing you do your own work.
 
JK offers the perfect ready-to-run Retro type cars; right now they have 4-1/2" old school NASCAR for under a 100 dollars or a rolling chassis for 64 dollars. They also carry 4" Retro cars with pre-painted Can-Am bodies, check their website.
 
Do not allow the current JK or Pro Slot chassis with the open motor box; these chassis are just too competitive for Retro racing and the tires are a lot smaller in scale. The older flexi chassis like the Champion Astro and JK Cheetah 7 are perfect for this application.

Keep it simple and keep it fun. That's the whole point, isn't it?
Russ Toy (not Troy)
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#14 John Streisguth

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 02:28 PM

True "retro" classes were designed for chassis builders, so by default it's a class where you either have to be able to build a chassis or have the money to buy one that someone slent a few hours working on.  I agree with the posts about using stamped steel "flexi" style chassis.  You can really create almost any type of car by just changing out the body.  If racing on a budget is the goal, that's probably the best bet.  Then every few months you can change out the body style and get some fresh enthusiasm.


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#15 mcrracer

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 03:40 PM

Yes we are planning on the NASCAR racing. Still feeling out and building a customer base. These are all brand new slotters. No experience whatsoever. Still deciding on a direction.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Marlon Reed

#16 team burrito

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 04:37 PM

This is where you want to start:

10675627_381675308656064_602455308035097
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Russ Toy (not Troy)
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#17 Tex

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:04 PM

Say what you will, but there's nothing "Retro" about a stamped steel chassis. I have no problem with people wanting to race flexis; but flexis ain't Retro. Well, maybe not. I guess it's how far back in slot racing history you want to go. Were there flexis 30 years ago? Would that be "Retro"?
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#18 John Streisguth

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 09:29 PM

There certainly were flexis 25 years ago...

 

Stamped steel chassis will take the abuse of newbies much better than brass and wire. 


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#19 Cap Henry

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 09:41 PM

To get Retro going better in our area we had a class built around the JK prebuilt x25R. The chassis sells for $80 I believe. Guys were also allowed to build their own. But it had to be built as a copy of the prebuilt cars. Non-ball bearing fronts, JK Retro Hawks, any IRRA® Can-Am body. Kids learned to fix their own cars with a lil help, some even try to build now.

Now a couple series come to the area so we have opened it up to Can-Am and RETRO 7-68. But it was a great starting point
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#20 idare2bdul

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 12:28 AM

It depends on your objective what path you should take. If you just want to have racers use flexi style chassis.  If you want to create builders, that's a different issue.  

 

People forget or ignore the fact that most racers built chassis in the '60s because over the counter chassis weren't competitive. We now ban over the counter chassis from most (all?) Retro classes because we have to protect the homebuilt chassis cars from the over the counter stamped steel cars.

 

It all depends on what you want, there isn't a right or wrong answer.

 

At HOB-Max in Durham and Frugals Raceway in Franklinton we are racing Flexi style chassis with Retro Coupe and Retro Stock Car bodies with Hawk 7 motors. Sometimes we race GTP bodies, same chassis rules and American balanced 16Ds.


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#21 Dan Ebert

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 09:20 AM

If you are looking for cheap and as close to a Retro feel as possible. Try a 4 inch FCR Chassis and use the Pro Slot FK motor. Running stocker bodies use the 4 -1/2 inch chassis. The car will be easier to tune and repair for new racers. Simple, cheap, and the speed won't be that far off. Why more don't try these as a stepping stone to Retro cars is beyond me. You set up the chassis for .810" tires with the offset oilites in the rear. Why make it any harder and expensive for new racers?

 

The FCR is an INLINE chassis so the tuning will copy the Retro build in many ways.


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#22 Jeff Bechtel

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 10:31 AM

The Parma "Flexi" chassis and ready to run car was released in 1984. So, it actually is 30 years old.
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#23 JimF

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 12:31 PM

Rant alert...   :shok:

 

Retro racing is not a beginner class. The cars do not stand up to wall hits and other abuse the way a stamped steel car will. Things will inevitably bend and break and then they'll have to be fixed. Who is going to do that? The sad fact is that many folks have been racing slot cars for years (years!...I tell ya) and they absolutely cannot solder a lick. When the inevitable damage happens to a Retro car, even a fairly robust one, the brass pans are often bent, the frame rail(s) may be bent and the alignment is almost surely out of whack. Cold, blobby solder joints are not going to go very far in fixing some of this stuff and fixing this stuff if not the way to break in new racers.

 

I love Retro and it is 95% of my slot car hobby but it is just not well-suited to inexperienced folks. Start with some of the RTR cars already suggested and work with the newbies on simple stuff like how to align their braid, keeping the gears meshed properly, reinforcing the bodies, soldering in the motors, keeping the guide set right.

 

The sad fact is that way too many commercial raceways will sell a RTR car to a family and and are so damn lazy that they do not tell them one blessed thing about how to drive it or maintain it. So... the ten-year-old goes out and bashes it into a wall a few times. They giggle and think it's fun until they break something and then they don't know what to do. If you start your racers slowly and with simple stuff, then educate them fully, you can build some long term hobbyists. Then... at some point Retro may be a viable option.

 

Oh, BTW... "go fast on the straights and let up for the turns"... is not exactly adequate driving training.

 

Rant off...


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#24 team burrito

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 08:41 PM

Wow! Why so grumpy, Jim?

 

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#25 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 09:04 PM

When I started flying model aircraft there was Cox product called the PT-19 (I think) that was a reasonable replica of the navy trainer of the same name. That model was sturdily built and the parts were held together by rubber bands. You crashed, the rubber bands came off, it came apart. You put the pieces back together, replaced the rubber bands, cranked it up, and off you went. You repeated the process until you stopped crashing.

 

When there's a PT-19 slot car you might be able to get somewhere.


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