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What & where were the SoCal raceways?


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#51 MrWeiler

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:38 AM

In 64 or 65 (I think) or I stopped by a track in Palm Springs and ran my car for an hour. As I remember the track was an Engleman or something similar. The next time I was in PS about a year later the place was gone. Anyone else ever run there?
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#52 Jeff Easterly

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:49 PM

Well..... ^_^

I remember being "intoduced" to slot cars by my half-sister's 1st high-school boyfriend, Darrel... He & a guy named "Louie" ( & Louie's younger brother) raced on a home-built 6-lane flat road course that was in the mini-mall at Chapman & Euclid Aves. in Fullerton, called Joe's Hobby shop... Weekly races, running 196 Pittmans in F1/Indy cars, w/ Tiny's fronts & cut German rears... probably late '65 - early '66... The shop closed, & a few yrs. later another fella w/ the same first name bought the shop ( how convenient, eh? ) & installed one of Cox's elongated figure-8 track's, w/ the usual timers for 10 & 25 cents... The owner's wife made us clean tires outside, the oil-of-wintergreen based tire clearner made her sick! :rolleyes: ... I walked the three blocks, & ran my Cucaracha & MRC controller, a LOT !!!

Big "A" in Anaheim had two location... the "older" location, at Ball Rd. & Brookhurst St. ( the track was REALLY well-worn, by then...), & then the "new" location, at Cresent Ave. & Euclid, both in Anaheim... Wells Garvin bought that 220' Classic track, & moved it to the 2nd location, w/ his son Bill... The "before" & "after" on THAT track, after the move, was amazing, really well-restored, given it's age... Wells & Bill had someone build the double-banked "team track", w/ the two separate driver's panels, & it WAS a unique track... This is the era that everyone bought Mabuchi 16BB motors, or Mura .030" A-cans, Mura "unmeltable" endbells & hardware ( 16D-sized brushes... little did WE know! ), Mura one-piece shims & 88X magnets or Champion DZ's & one-piece shim, & your favorite "flavor" Checkpoint, Zimmerman, Mura, Lenz, or Thorp armature, & assembled your own grenade! :laugh2: ... I vividly remember that '69 USRA NASCAR stocker race, on the 220" Classic ... Everyone ran a Dynamic "handling-body" Dodge Charger! LOL! :laugh2:

Jim Kirkbride was offered a distributorship for Riggen tires about that time, & my Dad bought-out his interest in Gran Prix Racing Tires, in Garden Grove, CA... My Dad would go see the guy in Garden Grove ( long before it was invaded <_< ) & buy product... Then, he'd stop-by a few different raceways, on his way home from his superindentant job in the construction trade, to take orders & deliver product... I'd get lucky, & go along, if the weekend had shops needing tires & axles ( mostly 5/8" x 7/8" w/ 1/8" axle oranges... remember ?... :laugh2: ) ... I got to visit, beside The Big "A"...

Hobby City - Anaheim
Monaco Miniatures - Buena Park
Santa Ana Raceway
Brea Raceway
Speed & Sport - Paramount
Don's Raceway - Downey

& a raceway that made me need to type-up this post....

Checkered Flag Raceway, in Westminster.....

Mike Reedy ran Checkered Flag, & that's where I first saw ( albeit a reversed..) King track.... Met Steve Bogut there, helping Mike behind the counter...

I remember a HUGE track, on Main St. & Pacific Coast Hwy, in down-town Huntington Beach, around '64 or '65... three home-built tracks, two road courses, & a swoopy fast track, for "the pro guys"... I was told it closed due to locals complaing about too many bicycles left by the front door, blocking the sidewalk, & the electric motors causing TVI ( television interference) to local TV reception... Big facility, at least to a 8-yr. old kid! LOL!

I re-entered slots in '88-'89, after asking about HO stuff at Paramount Hobbies... They said, "Go to Bellflower Raceway & talk to Bob... He'll bring you up-to-date."

<_<

Been actively involved, building & experimenting, ever since....

Those are my most-vivid memories... I'd watch the '68 thru '74 SoCal USRA races, & watch "the legends" race each other, & now I get to run D3 cars against some of the same fellas...

Life is good.... :good:

Everyone take care... & good racing... :yahoo:


Jeff Easterly :dance3:

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Power is coming on... NOW!!!

#53 S.O. Watt

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 07:22 PM

ahhh, Big A and stockers! I remember that race as it pre-dated hydroplanes doing "Blow Overs"! I still have a chassis from that race and a virgin unpainted Torino handling body (the "other" one that was raced that day, I think). I ran a Reeteez 24 if I remember right. I should donate that one to the museum.........

Mike's Checkered Flag track was awesome. I ran on it before and after its make over. It was a bit faster than the one Don's had like it, as Don's always was a power supply track. Mike changed his track from an anemic power supply track to the west coast's 1st big power track. Again, if I remember right, I co-held the lap record there for a awhile with the local hot finger- Rob Speight (SP?) Team Reeteezs main man.

The track was only sort of similar to a King and I really liked rac'n on those two examples. The righthanded bank, into the better banked (faster!) deadman, steeper finger, then into a long sweeping flat left that ran under the bridge and tightened up into a donut. Then them really kewl fast esses and a flat lead-on, almost like an Orange but faster and a bit stretched out. The banked end was plenty fast (slightly shorter and tighter than a King in that turn sequence) but those tracks had some lumps and bumps mixed in there. But the other end-the flat end, was pure driv'n heaven and a good car and driver were deadly fast. I believe them to have been 165'

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#54 Mark H

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 02:18 AM

was there ever a track in Glendora, San Dimas?

when i first moved to Glendora like 17 years ago as a small child i can remember me and my dad looking through the glass at a track that looked like it had just closed in a strip mall, all i can remember was that there was a bank right at the entrance and the counter was just to left. the legs of the track was wraped with checkered flag plastic, the track was blue, and the track hours posted on the door had a go kart on the paper? was this a real track or am i crazy :unsure:
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#55 Old pink can guy

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 06:31 PM

do any of you remember Avalon model raceway in carson ca on avalon blvd just south of carson st. Riggen was just down the street a few blocks at 120th st. the track was simuilar to the one under the pier in Redondo Beach but ran the oppiset direction. Also close to the Big A track in Anaheim that had the double control panel. If oscar has a picture of the redondo track I she would like to see a picture. thanks gentelman!
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#56 Jesus Villarreal

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 05:29 PM

My intro to slots in 1964 was at a place(memory is dull) called L&M's Raceway(???) just west of Crenshaw on Florence Ave. Memory is fuzzy on exactly where it was, but I remember being there just trying out my new car on the small track when some "Pros" came for a race, it was unbeleivable how fast these guys were on the "big boys" track. I'll never forget that day!!

jesus
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#57 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 10:07 PM

LeMans Raceway in La Mesa.
YMCA in downtown San Diego.
There were raceways in El Cajon, Spring Valley, and Clairemont. I forget the names but I remember big fat Ben in Spring Valley.
In the late '80s Chula Vista had a track.
Gary Cleverly had a raceway in North County circa 1990.
Every single one of them vanished without a trace :dash2:


I'm really late finding these threads, but better late than never!

The biggest track I saw in El Cajon, as just a block away from my house in a strip mall, next to Big Bear grocery store, on the corner of 1st and Main. The place was called the Road Runner, and started with 4 tracks, an Engleman 180, An american yellow, American Black and this weird squashed figure-8 with a hump bridge. Later, they put the black in storage, except for the straights they used to lengthen 2 of the straights in the figure-8. The Engleman was flat, except the main bank. They used to run 4-man teams of little-red-wagons (Dodge pickup/vans) with a switch in the top of the bed for polarity. They'd line up in opposite directions, every-other lane and chase a ping-pong ball around the flat part of the track. "Slot-car Soccer"

A second, rather private track was a 4-lane home made layout at the venerable Mikes Model Shop, near downtown EC, on Main Street, near magnolia.

A third track was there and gone before the road-runner. Must have been like '61. It was in an old furniture store, next to the El Cajon Theater, right before El Cajon Blvd started. It had a couple of custom tracks. One was "L" shaped that went across the front of the store, then down one side. Where it turned, it had a tight, super-high-banked donut that where the bottom lane was 2 feet high, and the top lane was 6 feet. Only the fastest Pittman cars could successfully make a pass around the track.

LeMans Raceway in La Mesa? Wasnt that right on the El Cajon city limits in Fletcher Hills? It was a Strombecker Franchise, with a banked oval with humps in the back straight. We raced a hard-body NASCAR series there. I ran classic 260 26D motors. The fastest ran 16d Champion motors.

So very many more memories from my come-back years in the 80's. Running So-Cal USRA series Grp15, Grp27, & semi-Pro classes. Racing my Aggressor chassis against fiberglass, printed circuit card chassis at Mini-Motorsports in Escondido. Challenging Foamy's undefeated RC motor powered "Blade-runner" at Valley Raceway in Rosemead with my experimental twin propeller wonder. Teaming up with Jon Torey Anderson for some gr8 times and many wins.

Hey, I remember the Bellflower Hillclimb had the optional over/under 4-lane switches. Does anyone have a photo of the track layout? Guys hear doubt such a layout existed.

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#58 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 08:15 PM

Just scored a personal find. Plaques from 1965. Each one is labled E.C. Road Runner. Most are for Jr. Stock, Jr. Open. Some are for Jr Daytona, and most of the rest are for regular Stock, Open, Unfendered, and Daytona. but one of them is from "LE MANS MINIATURE". I must presume it is from the track in La Mesa. I found that location on the corner of Severin Dr & Amaya Dr. Can anyone suggest the best way to clean up these plaques?

Guy

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#59 MrWeiler

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 03:23 AM

Hobby City - Anaheim
Monaco Miniatures - Buena Park
Santa Ana Raceway
Brea Raceway
Speed & Sport - Paramount
Don's Raceway - Downey
& a raceway that made me need to type-up this post....
Checkered Flag Raceway, in Westminster.....


Brea was the only one of these I never went to....Went to a big F-1 race at Don's to donate my money to the podium finishers. I think it was Doug Henline that won that race...I think.
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#60 68Caddy

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:39 PM

I just want to add this one from Downtown San Diego YMCA. ;)

Posted Image

Happy New Year to all of you guys and to Joe Chevy, do you remember this place? :)

Nesta
- Gabriel
Nesta Szabo

In this bright future you can't forget your past.
BMW (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

United we stand and divided we fall, the Legends are complete.
I'm racing the best here at BP but Father time is much better then all of us united.
Not a snob in this hobby, after all it will be gone, if we keep on going like we do, and I have nothing to prove so I keep on posting because I have nothing to gain.
It's our duty to remember the past so we can have a future.

Pistol Pete you will always be in my memory.

#61 Glenn Gordon

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 02:28 AM

I was born in 61' so I didn't race in So Cal until the mid 80's when we would drive from Phoenix to race with the SoCal USRA group. I remember a spray glue only track in Westminster (spelling) Valley Raceway, Redline and Monaco in Buena Park. I met a lot of good guys racing back then, Mel Forrest, Frank Corea, Johnny Johnson, Gil Gunderson, Torre Anderson, Frank Baldozier, Guy Spalding, Dale Yamashita, Big Jim Greenemeyer, Team Sonic guys but forgot their names, Paul Geddes and Phil? We had a nice Hasse built King in Phoenix at ASCR that hosted the 1984 USRA Western states where I net all of the big dog hot shoes of the mid 80's. It was a lot of fun. Racing HO scale in AZ now. Glenn
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#62 Gus Kelley

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 05:42 AM

Hey Nesta ! I was gonna mention that raceway. I ran a USRA series race there back in early-mid '70s. I thought I remembered a "Y" associated with the raceway. Isn't that area re-developed into a "Nite-Club' area now? Gus in Sacto
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#63 Jeff Buyer

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 08:28 AM

I was first introduced to slot cars at Ace Raceway on Paramount Blvd.. in Lakewood. They had a figure eight and a small road course.

Nobody has mentioned Classic Speedway in Mar Vista, just outside of Marina Del Ray. It's now a laundromat called Classic Speedwash - the "Y" in the original sign was turned upside down to make an "H" and a funky "S" was added. I believe that was Revell's factory shop. Mr. Bell had a pic of the building; maybe he could post it.

#64 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 01:45 PM

I was born in 61' so I didn't race in So Cal until the mid 80's when we would drive from Phoenix to race with the SoCal USRA group. I remember a spray glue only track in Westminster (spelling) Valley Raceway, Redline and Monaco in Buena Park. I met a lot of good guys racing back then, Mel Forrest, Frank Corea, Johnny Johnson, Gil Gunderson, Torre Anderson, Frank Baldozier, Guy Spalding, Dale Yamashita, Big Jim Greenemeyer, Team Sonic guys but forgot their names, Paul Geddes and Phil? We had a nice Hasse built King in Phoenix at ASCR that hosted the 1984 USRA Western states where I net all of the big dog hot shoes of the mid 80's. It was a lot of fun. Racing HO scale in AZ now. Glenn


Glenn!

Hey! :D

I remember racing ASCR on the SoCal USRA tour, and especially remember a local class you guys ran on the oval, using a brass wire USAC Midget roll cage that mounts on a Womp, built by an older gentleman and his son. Fondly, I still have one, mounted to a polished brass Womp chassis in my showcase.

Gr8 to hear from you!

Guy

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#65 Glenn Gordon

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 06:50 PM

Guy, the man that built the Womp car midgets was named Shorty. He passed away about 10+ years ago. I have not heard or seen his son Donnie for about 20 years now so I don't know what is going on with him . Glenn

#66 Patrick M.

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 07:27 PM

I remember the midget cars , but sadly never, cared enough to buy one. Drop me a line, Glenn.... lightzpro@cox.net
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#67 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:43 PM

Shorty also made a scratch-built USAC Sprint. I loved the way he made the headers and oil coolers, and every copy was the same. I remember the track sold the Womp cage for about the same price as a new Womp. Very nice workmanship and well worth the price. :)
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#68 MrWeiler

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 06:13 AM

Gil Gunderson, Torre Anderson, Dale Yamashita, Big Jim Greenemeyer, Team Sonic guys but forgot their names, Paul Geddes and Phil?


Gil moved South, Torre races D3 at Buena Park, Big Jim passed away, Sonic Guys are John Geddes and Phil Hackett.
"TANSTAAFL" (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.)
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"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

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David Horowitz

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#69 Calvin A

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 04:31 PM

What a wonderful place for my first post. Reading the names of raceways from my era (the sixties) brought back many memories. Being automobile challenged at the time, many of the raceways mentioned were only visited once or twice a year. My bicycle allowed me to reach Revell Raceway in Westchester and Circle "T" Raceway in North Hollywood, on a weekend day. My Friday night racing, however, had to be closer to home.

I lived off the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles at the time and my home track was Bernie's Raceway A Go-Go. Race time was also spent at Beverly Hills Raceway on Robertson Boulevard just south of Wilshire Boulevard. Bernie's started out as an outdoor track on the Pan Pacific Auditorium grounds next to the parking lot off Beverly Boulevard. It later moved indoors to a large shop on Melrose Avenue, close to Fairfax High School, where a new custom track and the "A Go-Go" were added. Great times, great friends, great owner!
Calvin 'Cal' Abernathy, from "Raceway A Go-Go '65" to "Rosecrans '83"

#70 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 04:39 PM

I only remember one night I was on the front track by myself and in walks a stranger. It was Parnelli Jones! Since Vels/Parnelli Jones dealership was down the road, I guess he decided to see what these slot cars were all about. He actually sat down next to me while I took some laps. Too bad I was so shy in those days. I didn't say a word to him. He did seem to be very interested in how my car handled. Maybe he picked up an idea or two by watching slot cars!

Keith :rolleyes:


Wow! Great story! if only you'd said something and let him do a few laps with your car.

:shok:
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#71 Jack Gesler

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:04 PM

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:


Hi Keith,

Just discovered this site.

Racing back from events was crazy. Dave Grant with is '57 Plymouth would lean it over far enough to spark the rims. Pete Zimmerman showed up with a MGB GT. The most fun was seeing how fast (90+?) you could take the "Pacific Esses"/ The Pacific off ramp south on the 405. The corners were banked like a slot car track. Lee Hines and I heading to Lagua Seca in his BMW for the Can Am, passed many cars on blind turns on the Coast Hwy (I would count the cars ahead and tell him when) On the way back we drafted a Ferrari for an hour on the 5 at 100+.

The Track in the garage in Orange off of Tustin was "OMARC" Orange Minature Auro Racing Club. It was a fun tight track that we built in Cy Palmers garage.

Somewhere I have a large box of negatives and prints from Mike Morrissey's Model Racing Journal. I processed the photos for Mike. I would pick up the film on Sunday nights, process and print what he wanted, and return the next day.

The toughest track was J&J "Galligers". If you could even make the main in a weekly race, you had made it. (I only made the main once and I will never forgit it,) The best part of "Galligers" was after the race to go to Russells for Hamburgers and Pie.

The amount of innovation in slot cars every week was amazing. I think Stube first showed up with a sidewinder, and within two weeks everyone had converted to sidewinders. For one 24 hour at Santa Ana Raceway, the car Brian Warmack, Jon Anderson, and I raced had a hinged weight that rubbed on the front axle, providing front brakes. It allowed Warmack to more aggressively wind and time the motors. The front track had a fast long straight with a tight left at the end. Only tried once because of the track power, and we ended up mid pack with motor problems.

Keith....... Ask Warmack about the time they WON a SCCA rally in the Volvo on the way to Las Vegas for the Can Am race.
The rear axle was so out of line it crabbed about 6".

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#72 S.O. Watt

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 10:54 PM

Jack!

I remember you! Glad you found the site. Those were some really crazy times back then.

I remember John and Bryan at Laguna CanAm in the rain when Cannon won, I don't think they do, though!

Tom Hansen
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#73 Jack Gesler

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:28 AM

Jack!

I remember you! Glad you found the site. Those were some really crazy times back then.

I remember John and Bryan at Laguna CanAm in the rain when Cannon won, I don't think they do, though!



Hi Tom...

They should.... But Anderson is moving a little slower now...

That race was unforgettable.
The parking was flooded and "Laguna" was truely a lake. I still have the Autoweek issue from that race that I stole from Charlie Hayes.
Some of the memories from that race. We went to the Downtown Dealerships where they were working on the cars. At the Mclaren garage at 10:00pm the night before the race, the cars were still stripped down. Bruce Mclaren himself had the brake pedal out of his car and was re-painting it! He stopped and talked to us for a few minutes. Bruce was trully hands on. On the rear crossmember on Denny's car was a blue Dymo label stating "PISS OFF HARRY LEGS',,,, I had never heard the expression, and they would not tell us who "Harry Legs" was.
I don't remember whose car we took but we had trouble getting it out ot the mud.
On the way in we went to Porgy Brothers Smorgy resturant in Montery, None of us had more than $10 to spare. It was all you can eat, and had a huge selection, Bryan and John filled their jacket pockets with handfulls of greasy fried chicken on the way out.

It is hard to believe that you guys are still in the sport... I saw pictures from the recent races... Did Lee Hines (Model Glider legend) get shorter?
Now all we need is a few like yourself, Morrissey, the Steubes, Terry Schmidt, Rick Durkee, Doug Henline, Zimmerman,and a couple of others added.
(And have Gene Hustings (?) reporting......)
That would be just like 45 years ago....

Jack

Ps: I now need a 1/32 McLaren to race with you guys....
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#74 Keith Tanaka

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 02:05 AM

It is hard to believe that you guys are still in the sport... I saw pictures from the recent races... Did Lee Hines (Model Glider legend) get shorter?
Now all we need is a few like yourself, Morrissey, the Steubes, Terry Schmidt, Rick Durkee, Doug Henline, Zimmerman,and a couple of others added.
(And have Gene Hustings (?) reporting......)
That would be just like 45 years ago....

Jack

Ps: I now need a 1/32 McLaren to race with you guys....

Hi Jack, we're having a 1/32 enduro on April 30th on the BPR Flat track. This enduro will be for the narrow 2 1/4" wide bodies for Retro32. Some of the oldtimers will be in this race (Anderson, Warmack, Cukras and Fred Hood will be on one of the eight teams).

If you haven't been down to Buena Park Raceway to see the D3 retro races, we're having our monthly F1 and Can Am race on the King track this Saturday. Track opens at 8 am. F1 tech opens at 9:30 am. Can Am race to follow the F1 race. Go to this website for the complete D3 retro race schedule for 2011: SoCal D3 website

KeithPosted Image
Team Rolling Hills circa '66-'68

#75 speedcity

speedcity

    Rookie Keyboard Racer

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  • Location:Kansas City

Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:50 PM

Like a few others I missed the heydays of the 60's but still got a chance to experience some of the tracks before they went away.

My first experience with real slot cars (not an AFX layout on my living room floor) was at the Downey Archery Lanes. My mom used to go to the laundromat that was across the parking lot from it and I had no idea what it was. One day (about 8 or 9 years old) I got bored with pushing HotWheels around on the laundromat floor and I walked over to that big, strange building that said "Family Fun" on the side. I walked in to the side door by the oval and was looking at the back side of the big banked turn. I had no idea what I was looking at, but as I walked around it, and someone was running a car, I caught on pretty quickly and was hooked!

Over the next few weeks I saved my money up and got a Womp and Cox controller and spent many, many hours on that oval. Eventually I tried the road course where the really good guys played but the esses were just too hard (in my defense the lighting wasn't very good).

Over time I eventually ran at Hobby City on their HUGE track and the hillclimb at Bellflower Raceway.

After some time off I came back to slots in my early 20's and raced at Mark's on Lakewood Blvd between Rosecrans and Compton Blvd. I met some good guys there that really helped me with my Box Stock 15 program. Anyone remember Ed Swanson? He probably gave me the most insights.

Anyhow, after working at SARN in the early 90's I came back to SoCal and opened Speed City in Cypress.

We had a pretty good 2 year run but so many raceways opened around the same time that we couldn't all survive.

I've been looking around the forums and it's good to see so many familiar names. These days I'm painting bodies and running in a g10 wing class with my son in the midwest.
Scott Enns
Speed City





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