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How to start a low-cost Retro class?


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#26 JimF

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 10:06 PM

Wow! Why so grumpy, Jim?

 
That... wasn't grumpy!
 
Seriously, it's a shame how many folks get into the slot car retail business because they think it's easy. Those folks fail. They fail partially because of the factors that set me off on that rant. Just saw this very thing this last Friday in one of our fine NorCal emporiums. To succeed in this type of a business, you have to nurture the beginner customer rather than take their money and not do the follow up.
 
BTW... none of that rant was directed at our OP here. He hasn't gotten started yet. He has an opportunity to start up slowly, keeping it simple, and to make sure his customers are properly informed. Kudos to him for doing at least some basic research before just leaping into the fire. Basic retail skills are much the same no matter what your business. If you take proper care of your customers, you have a fighting chance.
 
If not... you'd better have a short lease.


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Jim Fowler




#27 Randy Tragni

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 11:01 PM

Build a cigar car. It uses a Turboflex chassis and your choice of Retro F1 bodies. They handle about as good as a well-built Retro F1 chassis but cost almost nothing to build. Motor choice is yours so you can use whatever you have (I use Hawk 6 or Hawk 7 depending on how much power I want to put down).

 

Here's an example of mine...

 

cigar_car.jpg

 

cigar_down.jpg

 

Randy


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#28 MSwiss

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 09:48 AM

Even though I'm a Retro guy, I agree with Jim.

It's really not a beginner class, or makes much sense on a 55 ft. oval.

The other consideration is,unless you are using used parts, building a car up from scratch is always more expensive than buying an RTR.

Back to Jim, I disagree that so many racers don't know how to solder.

IMO, there is very little technique or talent required to solder adequately.

I think it's more a case of not investing in the right equipment.

Most new guys think they can get away with that $25,700°, Radio Shack iron and rosin flux,vs. a 1000°+ iron and strong acid flux.

It's not the same as buying a $7 set of wrenches from Harbor Freight that will still tighten a nut 99% as well as a Craftsman, or better, set of wrenches.

Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#29 JimF

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 10:36 AM

Back to Jim, I disagree that so many racers don't know how to solder.

IMO, there is very little technique or talent required to solder adequately.

I think it's more a case of not investing in the right equipment.

Most new guys think they can get away with that $25,700°, Radio Shack iron and rosin flux,vs. a 1000°+ iron and strong acid flux.


It's not the same as buying a $7 set of wrenches from Harbor Freight that will still tighten a nut 99% as well as a Craftsman, or better, set of wrenches.

 

Can't disagree with ya there. That's just another expense to deal with and skill set that the beginner would have to learn.


Jim Fowler

#30 MSwiss

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 10:44 AM

I just think the skill set part is overrated.

When I was 14, as soon as I bought an Unger, some Staybrite, and a Dremel, with cutting discs, I was a pretty solid chassis builder.

Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

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Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#31 Danny Zona

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:18 AM

My buddy who started back was going to buy a cheaper solder iron. Who doesn't want a deal? I told him noooooo to the cheap iron and explained why. He bought a good one.
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Test, test, test and go test some more.
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#32 mcrracer

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:54 AM

The "OP" has owned 10 raceways in several different cities over the past 30 years. He has also owned a total of 15 businesses over the past 40 years. Not new at this. Thanks for all of the suggestions. They all will be carefully considered.


Marlon Reed

#33 team burrito

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 08:26 PM

Build a cigar car. It uses a Turboflex chassis and your choice of Retro F1 bodies. They handle about as good as a well-built Retro F1 chassis but cost almost nothing to build. Motor choice is yours so you can use whatever you have (I use Hawk 6 or Hawk 7 depending on how much power I want to put down).

 

Randy

 

that's ain't retro & never will be.


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#34 John Streisguth

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 10:15 PM

Well Marlon, I hope you got something of value from all of this. Many opinions, the right one is yours.


"Whatever..."

#35 team burrito

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 02:02 AM

Back to Jim, I disagree that so many racers don't know how to solder.  IMO, there is very little technique or talent required to solder adequately.

 
It takes more than technique & talent to build a chassis, it takes dedication & not a lot of people are dedicated to that skill level. However, if they try to build their own chassis, eventually they will become better at it.
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Russ Toy (not Troy)
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#36 Randy Tragni

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:15 PM

Russ, I disagree. The retro part can be all about the body and the looks. I don't think most really care what chassis is hidden under the skin. I also believe that most people don't really know how nor want to build a finicky and hard to set up brass chassis if it could be avoided. I also think they would rather work with something more familiar to them. Besides, the obsolete Turbo flex chassis is truly retro now.

What people want is close racing (aka the popularity of FCR before Parma and certain track owners killed it). The Turboflex becomes a great equalizer that anyone can simply build and is easy to set up. It lets the driver shine and eliminates the need to buy a chassis from one of the few individuals that understand the nuances of scratch brass chassis builds.


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#37 team burrito

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 01:33 AM

If that was true, any idiot can slap a body on a flexi & call it retro. The idea of retro slot racing is to recreate that era from the 60's & that starts with the scratch-built chassis. The size of the tires matters too, because the flexi's uses much smaller tires for maximum performance.  Back then, the max width was 3", front tires were 3/4" dia, rear tires were 7/8" dia & 1/16" clearance, front to rear.  Racing back then was a blast & I'm glad retro racing is as strong as it is today.

 

To the newbies, yeah it's easier to race a flexi & that's fine for them.  But, retro slot racing was created by a bunch of old pro slot racers who wanted to return to real scale racing, not the slammed cars of today.  Speed isn't everything & we at NorCal have learned that lesson.  Retro is not for beginners, but if you make something from a pile of brass & wire and it works, there's something magical about it.  It's called a spark of imagination.


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#38 abarthmike

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 04:05 AM

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.

 

When I started flying I started with a sturdy combat aircraft, built myself. Didn't have Cox where I lived.  :)  But with aircraft I was in control of any crashes and the built it oneself did add to the reserved beginning. Just looked and the propeller marks from my fingers seemed to have "aged"

 

I don't know what the answer to the OP is but something that is robust and cheap with cheap bits to replace the broken bits. Sadly "modern" philosophy derived from video games has no sensitivity for consequences? So the reckless/cavalier attitude to crashes needs time to be "appreciated"?. How to achieve this if everything is ready made and "it is only money" attitude prevails is beyond me.


Mike Rust

#39 jimht

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 09:10 AM

Why bother with "low-cost", Marlon?

The tightwads will always find a way and everyone else will spend according to their ability.

 

The only Retro rule set could you come up with to make it any cheaper would involve banning the buying of assembled chassis, and how could that be enforced?


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#40 George Blaha

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:53 PM

Hey ya awl,

 

IRRAtm Retro goes from real cheapies to real cheapies plus. In every class you can run the car with choices you make as to power plant, wheels , tires, bearings and chassis construction. Purchase a rear axel motor bracket, pinion and crown gear, guide, steel guide tongue, some1/16" piano wire, a clear plastic body from the IRRA lists, and solder a strong simple chassis so you can have fun driving hard with 10 to 30 like minded people. You choose to spend as much or as little as the rules allow. You chose the components and you get the enjoyment. See that it CAN be made this way and be reasonably competitive. I like the IRRAtm Retro Stock Car Class because the tire tread rules limit to 3 inches to allow for narrower tracks and to ease up on bent axles, rims, chassis, et al and egos. Also the idea of central motor location allows for the SIMILAR type of chassis for/on ALL types of tracks. So if you really enjoy this IRRA type of retro racing  you will be able to travel to another track that applies IRRAtm Rules and be reasonably competitive and meet other IRRA type slot racers on a fair basis. Look at me and my buddies, we are mid-pack racers and enjoy IRRAtm mid-pack finishing at many different raceways!

 

Shakey George Blaha

 

The Retro Stock Car Promoter

 

Enjoy SLOT CAR RACING NOW, it is later than you think.


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#41 Samiam

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 06:26 PM

When the IRRA was first conceived they did include a Flexi class. Designed to be an entry level class to bolster the entries. It was dropped when attendance at IRRA events became standing room only. If you want to get new racers started  with a Retro flavored car I would start there. Not sure if the rules are still posted.

 

Nope,just checked. Anyone know where to dig them up?


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#42 Tim Neja

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 07:32 PM

There seems to be a disconnect in this thread--it's saying "Low cost" retro!  Not necessarily "newbie"!!  The best way to be low cost is to learn to build the chassis yourself!  And yes--that's what retro was started as--a "builders" class for racing.  I'd never built a chassis in my life when Jeff Easterly handed me his F-1  car and told be to "copy" it!!  I bought the parts--went home and started bending and soldering!! It didn't look too good--but it got around the track okay!! You can build your OWN car for about $125 complete RTR!! Get yourself the Steube building video--and start building!!  It's not that hard-- and it's a lot of fun!!  


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She's real fine, my 409!!!

#43 Duffy

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 08:30 PM

I was not aware the Mike Steube DVD was still available. In earlier discussions, guys have asked about it and got responses ranging from vague to out-of-print. Anybody know a proper source? Seems like we oughta be able to save some newbies some repetitive tailchasing.

 

Sam, IRRA™'s rulebook no longer includes the Flexi event. I believe it was dropped two years ago.


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#44 Samiam

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 08:41 PM

 

 

Sam, IRRA™'s rulebook no longer includes the Flexi event. I believe it was dropped two years ago.

Nothing ever disappears from the Inter-Web. It must be out there somewhere.


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#45 Hermit #1

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 08:45 PM

I believe this link shows how to obtain the Mike Steube DVD.


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#46 Samiam

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 08:58 PM

 My guys are all new, none can build their own chassis yet.

Tim,

Key word: Yet.

With your good advise they should be building by seasons end. I still have my fathers Weller gun I used to solder my first cars 40+ years ago. We all started somewhere. Retro has revived the scratchbuilder in many of us. I think the class has been a huge boost for the entire slot racing hobby. I hope he gets this group of newbees racin' and burnin' fingers.


Sam Levitch
 
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#47 Gator Bob

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 11:29 PM

Evil Flexi Rules.jpg


Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#48 Duffy

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 06:17 AM

Thanks to Dave & G'Bob for doin' my homework!


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#49 John Streisguth

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 08:02 AM

Wow, you guys are still hammering at this one!  :dash2: :laugh2:


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"Whatever..."

#50 Danny Zona

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 09:37 AM

attachicon.gifEvil Flexi Rules.jpg


The evil flow

attachicon.gifEvil Flexi Rules.jpg

attachicon.gifEvil Flexi Rules.jpg


The Evil flexi rules are not the same as the original IRRA retro flexi rules. They were tweked to cordinate with our flexi My Series rules.
Test, test, test and go test some more.
You're never fast enough!!! 💯

Luck is the residue of design.

It's not about being right, it's getting it right.

Kelly Racing.





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