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What & where were the SoCal raceways?


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#26 Grammy Winner

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 01:12 AM

We actually still have a club track in La Mesa; I believe it is the original track from Spring Valley.

Check out the Club forum/ San Diego track. Bunch of really nice guys and great Flexi racing on Hillclimb sans donut. We are trying to get some D3 racing going.

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#27 obnoxious001

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 02:23 PM

Hi Keith,

I got my very short start in the late '60s at a track in Temple City. Now it's a parking lot. Can't remember the name of the track. Barry Obler, Greg Gilbert, and others would know more about it than I remember. I went there a few times then did my time in the Army. A few years later when I returned to Temple City the track was gone.

I just found this thread today.

Ray, you didn't come in there while I was working at TC? Greg Gilbert and Brian Johnson both were local "kids" there when I had a job there around 1970. I recall helping both of them learn.

That's also where I met Gil Gunderson and Bob Stefan of Team Boola; they would come in for some of our weekly races, which consisted of Open or Group 20, with occasional "special" races with scratchbuilt stock cars, F1s, or 1/32s.

I have always had a strong memory of the first Dynamic McLaren coupe body that I bought and brush-painted flourescent yellow. It didn't take me long to figure out that I needed an airbrush, and actually used the track's airbrush and painted bodies right behind the sales counter.

I haven't seen mention of Rosecrans Raceway. I recall Pops would never let anyone apply any glue to his white surface track.

There were so many raceways, we used to drive to many of them to check them out. We used to race regularly at Circle T in North Hollywood, but also explored Speed and Sport, the track on Redondo Pier was cool (fresh shrimp or fish and chips were a bonus on the pier), there was a track in Chino with an "underpass" under the bridge that would launch your car quite neatly if you didn't have the correct brake and punch points. It's too bad that college and the real world took me away from all that until a friend got me to go to Uncle Kals Underground Raceway (RIP) in Monrovia a few years back.
Barry Obler

#28 flarimer

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 12:25 AM

A couple more that come to my mind (as hazy as that may be...)

Bob's Hobbies on 4th street in Long Beach - where I first met and raced with Mike Morrissey, Ron Quintana, and Len Vucci.

Another on Anaheim in Long Beach - forgive me for not remembering the name, I should as I grew up around the corner from it - where I came of age racing with Morrissey, Quintana, Vucci, and first put my hands on a Duer controller and later a Russkit controller. And where I first encountered John and Terry Schmidt.

Plus Paramount Raceways (which I believe later morphed into Checkpoint), first met Bill, Billy, and Mike Stuebe there.

Bellflower (I loved the long uphill straight and let us not forget the middle-of-the-race "oil slicks" that Quintana used to love suprising us with...). First met Rick Durkee there.

J&J's in North Long Beach. Where is Jim Gallager these days, anybody know? And where I met up with Pete Z, John C, Lee "Jet" Hines (let us not forget the famous MGB races post-event, anybody remember Pete Z and his Volvo? Anybody remember what happened to it? And let's not forget Pete's Fiat 600 that took us to the SF Valley, SLOWLY...)

Then there were a series of tracks in Orange county that we (Ron Q, Len V, Mike M, and me) used to travel to and race at.

Santa Ana Raceways and their 28-hour enduros. Dave Grant (and that Dodge with the broken motor mounts), Brian (worm) Womack, Doug Henline, and others whose names I've forgotten

Checkered Flag on Hawthorne in RDB, Western, Revell on La Cienega where I think one of the first R&C races was held.

Good grief, what a nostalgia trip.

Be seeing some of you this weekend. Been a long time coming.
Fred Larimer
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#29 Keith Tanaka

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 09:53 PM

J&J's in North Long Beach. Where is Jim Gallager these days, anybody know? And where I met up with Pete Z, John C, Lee "Jet" Hines (let us not forget the famous MGB races post event, anybody remember Pete Z and his Volvo? Anybody remember what happened to it? And let's not forget Pete's Fiat 600 that took us to the SF Valley, SLOWLY...)

Fred,

Cukras and Zimmerman were talking last weekend about how much fun they remember having "racing to the track and back home". Cukras and Steube talked about the same thing recently. Pete mentioned how insane Anderson was driving his Volvo back then. I remember riding with Lee Hines after he returned from Europe following the F1 races. I think he drove his MGB pretending he was an F1 racer!

I'll bet the racing to and from the track was more exciting than the slot car race!

Keith :rolleyes:
Team Rolling Hills circa '66-'68

#30 flarimer

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 01:15 AM

Keith - yea, it was pretty much fun back then. Things were a lot simpler when we were younger and braver (ahem, less grown-up maybe...)
Of course, that was before Lenny shoe-horned a small-block Chevy in his Bugeye. Kinda made the runs to the on-ramps and off-ramps a moot point...

And, I had forgotten about my first impression of Western. If any of you have ventured into the Fry's off the 91 freeway in Anaheim, it reminds me of there. I remember arriving in tow of MM and RQ and walking into the place. I was awestruck. It was SO big. I was so unprepared. Boy, did my eyes get opened. Jim Savage - another name from the past. His dad "Doc", was one of the owners of the track on Anaheim in LB.

Anybody remember Jim Kirby? How about B.G. Denithorne (sp?) *whew*. Somewhere I have the R&C magazines from the first year of their races. Gene Husting. Al Hall. Donnie Diekman (hope I got the spelling right - cousin of John Cukras if I got it right), Ron Bietzel. Russ (from Paramount speedways I think it was).

Guess we need to spend some time sitting around in a circle reminiscing with PdL (hey, would that mean we were in a caucus?) and filling in the blanks on names, places, and events. Probably would be good to do that as we are generally not all that good at keeping history alive for our followers...
Fred Larimer
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#31 Tim Neja

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 09:53 AM

Miniature Freeways in Huntington Beach, near the Orange County Fairgrounds. Owned by a retired music teacher, had homebuilt tracks in two different locations. Freeway construction killed the first one, his weird rules killed the second.

That was the track I raced at, Foamy. Actually it was in Costa Mesa - I rode my bike down to it from my house! Our only claim to fame was winning the 24-hour enduro race Ted held there against all the "factory" teams of the day. Riggen, Associated, Champion, etc!!

The track was owned by Ted Schultz, indeed, a retired musician. He did not like the "sponsored" racers of the day, and kept making weird rules to discourage them from racing there. I only raced there from 1963 to '65 - went to high school in '66 and found "girls" more interesting than slots and the freeway coming through the area killed Miniature Freeways!

Tim
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#32 Keith Tanaka

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 11:58 AM

I plan on taking some video during the convention. In particular I want to capture some of stories being told by the old pros. Their stories are growing more dramatic as time goes by. As with fishing stories, the size of the fish seems to grow larger with time!

Fortunately, some of the old pros can still remember (at least in their own mind!) some of these stories. Since I'm not a historian, I won't question the accuracy of their stories (tales?) :laugh2:

I'm looking forward to the convention. It will be fun to see the old pros/racers and meet some of those Slotbloggers for the first time!

Keith :rolleyes:
Team Rolling Hills circa '66-'68

#33 Roger U

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 12:28 PM

Fred,

I'm glad to see you mention "Doc" Savage's track on Anaheim, in Long Beach. I've asked a few people about it and they didn't seem to remember the place, and I was beginning to wonder if I was remembering correctly. :huh: :D

Western Raceway certainly was a big place for those days (early '60s). They had a figure 8, a drag strip and, I believe, three road courses.

That would be a very interesting session, getting a bunch of us "old" guys together to discuss, and debate, those early days.

Hope you can make it to the convention. :)
Roger Uusitalo

#34 Darkron9

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 12:07 AM

A bit late on this thread...

During the '60s,

Checkered Flag Raceway, Inglewood, CA, on Arbor Vitae near the San Diego Freeway. High Winders club where I met John Skeels.

Revell Raceway, Westchester. Saw John Skeels here, too. Also met Chris Chan and Glen Toma here. BTW, I remember meeting a "Doc" Savage working here.

Turnpike Raceway, Westchester.

Jem Raceway, Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA.

During the '70s,

Monaco Minis on Manchester Blvd, Buena Park. Met Chris Burlew, Foamy, and Frank Pretzman here.

Pop's Raceway in Compton. Met Pop as well as the rest of the USRA regulars. Mike Boemker, Neal McCurdy, Big Jim, and many others.

Circle T Raceway. Saw the biggest turnout of Womp Womp racers ever here.

During the '80s,

Westminster Raceway on Magnolia near the 405. Met Gil Gundersen, Boola Bob Steffin, and Johnny Johnson. Got recruited into Team Boola.

Monaco Raceway (with the homemade Englemann clone) Met Dale Yamashita, Frank Corea, Mel, Mickey, and many others here.

Charlies Raceway in Hawaiian Gardens on Lincoln.

Valley Raceway in Rosemead.

Redline (or was it Redland?) Raceway in Redlands.

There are other places that are just dim memories for me.
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#35 lordairgtar

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 10:19 PM

Sylmar! God, I remember that place.

A couple of years after the big quake hit, I arrived from Milwaukee in my $25 dollar 1964 Buick Le Sabre (my slot car equipment cost more than the car did) and found this place still functioning in a quake-damaged strip mall. Building girders pointing to the sky and a stairway to nowhere.

Inside was a couple of tracks including the wildest road course I had ever seen. The ceiling being held up by post jacks and timbers. I remember it being kind of dark in there.
Gregory W. Kluck
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#36 Foamy

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 11:59 AM

That was the track I raced at, Foamy. Actually it was in Costa Mesa.

The HB location was at Magnolia and Adams.
Dennis Hill
 
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preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason."

#37 Jerry Gustin

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 02:12 AM

Started with Pittman 705/706s on a figure-eight in late/early 1964 on Francisquito Blvd. in Baldwin Park, also a track on San Bernadino Rd. in Baldwing Park (homemade road course - Pittman 65s and 85s with mag frames and drop arms).

I managed Competition Raceways in Covina, CA, in 1964/65 where the 1965 Rod & Custom Magazine drag race was held. Racers from J&J and Western Model Raceway attended (some great magwinder builders just after the Hustings/Braverman era were there including Dave Bettger, a J&J regular, and Frank Varanelli, Chuck Blaney, and Manuel Maldonado). At the same time there was Fast Wheels on Arrow Hiway in Covina and John's Raceway on Hacienda Blvd in West Covina. American black and American orange, four-lane surveyed level 1/4 and 1/2 mile drag strips.

1968 to 1978 I ran three different 1/1 scale dragsters - two Jr. Fuelers and to the end of all the good SoCal dragstrips and finally a Top Alcohol car. Helped John C and Pete Z get their Jr. Fuel car going - they were very competitive very quickly. John figured out the tuneup very quickly and Pete had no fear in the drivers seat.

Early '80s raced at Monaco in Hawaiian Gardens, USRA races whereever they raced in that period including a lot of NorCal USRA races (my all time favorite was the 220 Engleman in Clovis for the 1984 Nats.) I think Foamy raced on it in most if not all its locations. It later moved to San Jose (where is that track now?). I could drive the orange lane until I ran out of money for track time. I remember the East Coast guys introducing us to the perimeter frames at that race and they started appearing like magic the next week. I gave John Skeels twelve feet of .062" by 3-1/8 spring steel from McMaster-Carr and in three months and many Dremel disks later it was all chassis. That guy could cut steel.

1998 discovered Buena Park Raceway ten blocks from my house in Anaheim and started drag racing until move to CO in 2005 where I am now racing on a Hasse King and Tri-Oval.

Great thread, Keith.
1984/1985 SoCal USRA Pres

#38 JimF

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:05 PM

I just stumbled upon this thread.

Some history on Ray's Chequered Flag.......Inglewood off Arbor Vitae

The owner was Ray Wallace who was at one point or another a 1/1 racer mostly of scca production type cars. He had some connection with Mecom and also with Shelby but I'm unsure as to what the connections were. Ray had a Team Mecom sticker on his car which was a wicked Mini Cooper "S" Ken Miles was an occasional visitor as he and Ray had some history but I never met Miles at the track.

The track was the only "flat" track in So Cal at the time and some turns were even negative camber by a tiny bit. I've somewhat forgotten the layout but the driver's panels were divided into two 4 man stations because there was no straight section long enough for a normal driver's panel. there were a fair number of major races there including one that was called the "Western States Championships" I think that may have been the first time that title was used. (second time was a year later @ Speed and Sport on the Riverside track) Interestingly, I won concours and took second in the Amateur main and the Concours trophy was bigger than the second place trophy for the race.

Others:

International Hobbies in Gardena (maybe ?) I want to say it was on Artesia, had a Drag Strip, Big Banked fig. 8 and a small landscaped track of some sort. This track was diagonally across the street from one of the first Karate Studios I ever heard of. The studio was owned by some guy named Chuck. (yep that Chuck)

Republic Raceway in Hermosa Beach: Had two Big Englemans back to back. Drew a fair number of pretty good racers from time to time (John Skeels, Gage Enoch among others) Owner's name was John something. He made a run at some political office and went into debt and eventually lost both the election and the raceway.
Jim Fowler

#39 Darkron9

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:30 PM

I just stumbled upon this thread.

Some history on Ray's Chequered Flag.......Inglewood off Arbor Vitae

The owner was Ray Wallace who was at one point or another a 1/1 racer mostly of scca production type cars. He had some connection with Mecom and also with Shelby but I'm unsure as to what the connections were. Ray had a Team Mecom sticker on his car which was a wicked Mini Cooper "S" Ken Miles was an occasional visitor as he and Ray had some history but I never met Miles at the track.

The track was the only "flat" track in So Cal at the time and some turns were even negative camber by a tiny bit. I've somewhat forgotten the layout but the driver's panels were divided into two 4 man stations because there was no straight section long enough for a normal driver's panel. there were a fair number of major races there including one that was called the "Western States Championships" I think that may have been the first time that title was used. (second time was a year later @ Speed and Sport on the Riverside track) Interestingly, I won concours and took second in the Amateur main and the Concours trophy was bigger than the second place trophy for the race.

Others:

International Hobbies in Gardena (maybe ?) I want to say it was on Artesia, had a Drag Strip, Big Banked fig. 8 and a small landscaped track of some sort. This track was diagonally across the street from one of the first Karate Studios I ever heard of. The studio was owned by some guy named Chuck. (yep that Chuck)

Republic Raceway in Hermosa Beach: Had two Big Englemans back to back. Drew a fair number of pretty good racers from time to time (John Skeels, Gage Enoch among others) Owner's name was John something. He made a run at some political office and went into debt and eventually lost both the election and the raceway.


Hello Jim,

It was great meeting you this afternoon at BP. It is bad enough that you are faster than me on the flat track, but I also had the opportunity to watch you figure out how to go even faster!! :o

Thanks for more information on the flat track at Ray's Chequered Flag in Inglewood.

Later on, Revell Raceways Westchester and Jem Raceways on Manchester in downtown Inglewood also had flat tracks, but these were those very odd Revell tracks with the humps over the bridges and dips under the bridges. I remember those features adding a challenge to the turn marshals during the race.

Ron
"What happened?"
"He was leaning to the left so I gave him a right..."

-Tim Thomerson from the movie "War Wolves"

Ron Kiyomura - Otoko wa tsurai yo

#40 Jay Mendoza

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 10:57 PM

I was there at Rolling Hills for the Car Model last race in 1967 and remember Glenn Toma's Gurney Eagle, it was really nice. I also remember seeing Doug Henline win, years later I bought one of his racing Go Kart chassis. Today, I have a Tony Extreem Kart with Douglas rims, made by Henline, the legend lives on.

Gene Husting was there too, many years later I ran into him while managing the Tekin race team at R/C Hobbies in Costa Mesa, the indoor dirt track, how time flies! Keth Tanaka sticks in my mind too, he was the fast Japanese guy who always smiled and would take time to talk with us kids, we liked him as he was not so cagey as most. I think it was he who showed us how to sand down our tires, and other tuning tweeks he used.

Back to the race: Us kids had to stay clear, but we stood on chairs and got a decent view over and around all the adults, man were those cars fast! It was the first real pro event we had ever seen and it made a lasting impression, we wanted to do it too!

R/C car racing really owes almost everything to slot cars, as that is where all the guys who went big into it started. in 1978 I was working in Santa Ana, on Edinger and Grand, and in the alley out back the Associated guys would test drive their first electric cars. We all laughed, but within a few years it was no joke anymore, it became a huge industry which I ultimately decame employed in for over 15 years.

#41 Tim Neja

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 12:18 AM

I raced for Gene and Roger at Associated from 1978 until 1994--fully sponsored in 1/12 scale and 1/10 scale on road racing--"those funny little electric cars"!! It was a great time to be in RC--N/C for anything and actually had expenses picked up by them. Travel/hotel/food etc. A lot of fun until the 90's "battery wars" wore me out!! I wish the 1/12 and 1/10 scale pan cars would make a comeback. They'd be relatively inexpensive to race--Lipos and brushless motors could make them ballistic, and good ole Green rubber tires were cheap!!
FWIW
Tim
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#42 Keith Tanaka

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 09:12 AM

I was there at Rolling Hills for the Car Model last race in 1967 and remember Glenn Toma's Gurney Eagle, it was really nice. I also remember seeing Doug Henline win, years later I bought one of his racing Go Kart chassis. Today, I have a Tony Extreem Kart with Douglas rims, made by Henline, the legend lives on.

Gene Husting was there too, many years later I ran into him while managing the Tekin race team at R/C Hobbies in Costa Mesa, the indoor dirt track, how time flies! Keth Tanaka sticks in my mind too, he was the fast Japanese guy who always smiled and would take time to talk with us kids, we liked him as he was not so cagey as most. I think it was he who showed us how to sand down our tires, and other tuning tweeks he used.

Back to the race: Us kids had to stay clear, but we stood on chairs and got a decent view over and around all the adults, man were those cars fast! It was the first real pro event we had ever seen and it made a lasting impression, we wanted to do it too!

R/C car racing really owes almost everything to slot cars, as that is where all the guys who went big into it started. in 1978 I was working in Santa Ana, on Edinger and Grand, and in the alley out back the Associated guys would test drive their first electric cars. We all laughed, but within a few years it was no joke anymore, it became a huge industry which I ultimately decame employed in for over 15 years.

Hi Jay, welcome to Slotblog!
Do you live in SoCal? If you haven't been by BPR, come see one of our D3 races. Our next F1/Can Am race is on Sat. Oct. 11th. Hope to see you and talk about old racing days.

Keith :rolleyes:
Team Rolling Hills circa '66-'68

#43 montegofreak1369

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 12:37 AM

My "back in the day" was a lot later than most everyone else (I didn't start until '83), so here goes:
From May to July '83:
Bellflower Raceway (on the Hillclimb)
Rosecrans (ran a couple of times, still have one of his business stickers)

My second stint, from the fall of '86 until sometime in '90:
Bellflower, albeit briefly
Charlie's Model Raceway, Hawaiian Gardens, on Carson near Norwalk
So Cal Raceway,(Chuck Vaughn), Lincoln & Moody, Cypress (helped move the track from Redline in San Bernardino)
So Cal's second location,(Richard Tarvin, Cliff Johnson), Lincoln & Brookhurst, Anaheim
Mark's Raceway, Lakewood south of Rosecrans, Bellflower
Phelan Raceway, Phelan
High Desert Hobbies, Victorville
There was a track in Chula Vista as well as one in Escondido, can't remember their names offhand
And of course
The Mighty Val (Rosemead) 1983-1991 R.I.P.
John Mortensen

#44 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 02:11 AM

All of those and more John! I loved to race at Charlies and we would vote to run the charger on "KILL" (50 amp boost) and never burned a motor!
Downey Archery Lanes
Yucca Valley Raceway - Did a 4 hr. enduro there
Lances Raceway in Riverside - 1 night every week
Redline raceway- Met Big Jim there- 1 night a week
Go Faster Raceway in Lancaster - I Won my first USRA race there in I-15 (I beat the track owner of Redline raceway with a cut up Parma MonoRail)
Hemet raceway- 2nd in a Team 4 hr. enduro
Wild Willies in Montclair- Met Gil "Boola" Gunderson and Bob Steffen every week in the early 80's for I-15 and GP20's 2 nights a week!
And MY home track Lemans Raceway in Hesperia

Back in the 60's we had a local track in Victorville.. can't remember the name.
When ever we went back to San Diego I would take my cars and race at a place I walked to from our old house on LLoyd St. It was downhill and was a easy 1 mi. + walk but coming back dragging that box!
My Aunt lived in Gardena so when we visited her I would get dropped off at whatever track where close a get picked up later. Christmas 65? 66? we where there and I got my first slot track, a revell James Bond track and wore out the cars that weekend! I got to race at a slot track in Littlerock Arkansas when I went back to my Uncles there. I got my first Champion 507 there.

Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

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If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#45 Patrick M.

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 06:46 PM

Hi Keith,

I got my very short start in the late '60s at a track in Temple City. Now it's a parking lot. Can't remember the name of the track. Barry Obler, Greg Gilbert, and others would know more about it than I remember. I went there a few times then did my time in the Army. A few years later when I returned to Temple City the track was gone.

The only Temple City track that I recall in the late sixties was on Temple City Blvd. just south of Las Tunas.... the tracks were relocated from Arcadia Grand Prix (owners Hank and Charlie) about 4-5 miles east on Live Oak Ave..... not sure what the name of the new TC location was, but it was owned by Bill ?, one of the regulars from AGP. Other regulars from AGP included Bruce Peters and Gary Van Bogard, both later members of the MESAC club in Inglewood. I recall racing at Don Thompsons Hobby Raceways on Las Tunas in TC, AGP, Valley Raceways and taking the occassional trek to J&J or Checkpoint, not to mention the Boys Club in Pasadena in the later '70's.....
Patrick McDonald

#46 montegofreak1369

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 11:44 PM

All of those and more John! I loved to race at Charlies and we would vote to run the charger on "KILL" (50 amp boost) and never burned a motor!
Downey Archery Lanes
Yucca Valley Raceway - Did a 4 hr. enduro there
Lances Raceway in Riverside - 1 night every week
Redline raceway- Met Big Jim there- 1 night a week
Go Faster Raceway in Lancaster - I Won my first USRA race there in I-15 (I beat the track owner of Redline raceway with a cut up Parma MonoRail)
Hemet raceway- 2nd in a Team 4 hr. enduro
Wild Willies in Montclair- Met Gil "Boola" Gunderson and Bob Steffen every week in the early 80's for I-15 and GP20's 2 nights a week!
And MY home track Lemans Raceway in Hesperia

Back in the 60's we had a local track in Victorville.. can't remember the name.
When ever we went back to San Diego I would take my cars and race at a place I walked to from our old house on LLoyd St. It was downhill and was a easy 1 mi. + walk but coming back dragging that box!
My Aunt lived in Gardena so when we visited her I would get dropped off at whatever track where close a get picked up later. Christmas we where there and I got my first slot track, a revell James Bond track and wore out the cars that weekend! I got to race at a slot track in Littlerock Arkansas when I went back to my Uncles there. I got my first Champion 507 there.



I only recognize two of those places, Redline and Downey. I used to ride my bike from Whittier to Earle's Hobbies in the late 70's/early 80's so I'd stop at Downey Archery Lanes to check things out there, never did buy anything though (d'oh!). By the time I did start racing
in May of '83, Downey had closed, the bowling equipment had been removed, and the place had been converted into medical office space
(like we need more of that). Also, Bellflower had converted from their 'stubby finger' King to the hillclimb.

The only connection I had with Redline was when Chuck Vaughn, Dave Sowers and I moved his Hasse King to Chuck's place in Cypress.

My first USRA race was at Charlie's, my results were not as good as yours. I traded Charlie Margiota some N scale stuff for a boxstock,
I think I had all of five minutes practice on it when I raced (I actually had a 15 in '83, was even invited to race at Pop's last USRA race
but I wisely declined). Charlie moved up here a while back, haven't seen him in about ten years or so. .

Also, when Bob Fernandez took over Bellflower from Les in'83-'84 I helped resurface the hillclimb (may explain the demise of the place).

I also helped marshal at The Val at times between '84 and '86, so I was never completely out of it.

I also remember there being a figure 8 track at an arcade on Grand Ave. in Covina, for some reason I keep thinking it was Bob Fernandez
running the place.
John Mortensen

#47 Mini-Mtrs

Mini-Mtrs

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:34 PM

Please, lets not forget little International Mini-Motors Raceways, on Paramount Blvd, at Rosevelt St. in South Gate( Hollydale), about half way between Check Point and Dons ? It was started by two engineers, Jerry something, and Bill someone, in early 64. They built a 1/32 track, about 80', with six lanes, and a small figure eight. The little building wasn'nt big enough for much more. Little did they know, 1/32 was'nt going to be very popular. In spite of the little tracks drawbacks, it being within the stomping grounds of some of the top racers of the day, many of them raced there in its early days. I'll always remember the night Team Russkit showed up for the weekly open race. They completly dominated. And then they showed us thier cars and and answered all our questions. They really opened our eyes as to how to build light, quick "race cars".
The little track changed owners twice , myself being the last one, before the doors closed for the last time in early 68.
I would like to hear from some of the , then kids, that made Mini-Motors one of thier hang-outs during my ownership, between 66 and 68. At 70 years old my memory has failed me as to most of thier names, except George who worked for me after school, and his friend Bob Moore. Two of the older guys was Phil, the chemist, from Texas, and Les my friend at the time, whom I regretfully have lost contact with after I relocated to Wisconsin. If anyone out there knows any of these guys, or any others that might remember me I would appreciate your assistance to help us to conect.
JOHNNY VANEK
Johnny Vanek

#48 MrWeiler

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:32 AM

Just remembered there was a place just down the road from Magic Mountain called Hurricane Hobbies. Lasted about 2 years as I recall...
"TANSTAAFL" (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.)
Robert Anson Heinlein

"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."
Alexis de Tocqueville

"In practice, socialism didn't work. But socialism could never have worked because it is based on false premises about human psychology and society, and gross ignorance of human economy."
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Mike Brannian

#49 HarV Wallbanger III

HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:21 AM

Maybe one of you San Diego guys remember the name of the raceway down off Morena Blvd. behind the old Jack in the Box next to to old Safeway just off Clairemont Dr. in the mid 60's. Those were the days when we would come back down to SD from the High Desert to visit friends and I would walk down Lloyd St. to it and back up the hill with my huge slot car box when done about 1965/66?.

Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#50 Patrick M.

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 01:24 PM

Speaking of SD, there was a raceway near Lemon Grove, a large shop with 3 American tracks. It was in a large strip mall, but I don't recall the name of the shop or the street. Spent a few afternoons there in '65 or so, on frequent visits to relatives. Always took my slot car box along.... nothing like a day of playing toy cars, followed by my aunts real deal messican cookin'.... ;)
Patrick McDonald





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