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Best track styles


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#1 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 11:13 AM

What track style and type are best for:

 

Fun

Profit from rentals

Profit from parties

Profit from weekly/monthly race entries

 

Smaller tracks cost less rent per square foot.

Grandstands and Hillclimbs work well for parties and rentals. They are also fun and normally are great for racing.

Drag strips can do well. But you have to promote drags. Just having a drag strip won't work. It will turn into a dust collecting shelf.

 

Commercial raceways can benefit from data and knowledge. What was true 25 years ago may still work. But maybe things change? If you knew that ovals made less money than figure eight tracks would that help? If you knew King Track raceways are more profitable than raceways with an Orange track, but the tracks that had Orange tracks stayed open twice as long. Would that help you with your business plan? 

 

Commercial raceways don't have much to go on when you try to compile industry knowledge that is timely and accurate. Yes, some folks will share knowledge that is helpful and correct. Then the trick can be to get the new business owner to use the knowledge. Does anyone here think a news letter or raceway assoc. can be set up to share knowledge and concepts worth testing? 


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#2 kvanpelt

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 11:31 AM

I vote for the small bullring with 3.75 lane spacing and quirky turns that looks like a real dirt race track and cars that are so finely detailed they are the most realistic looking cars on the planet. :diablo:


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#3 kvanpelt

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 11:32 AM

Sorry Scott, I couldn't help myself! :crazy:


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#4 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 11:43 AM

6 lane 90' Hillclimb

6 lane Figure Eight

1/8 mile drag strip

 

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90' Orange

1/4 mile drag strip

 

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155' King Track

110' Orange 

1/4 mile drag track

 

----------------------

 

110' LTD

110' Orange

1/8 drag strip

 

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135' Grandstand

 

--------------------

 

Just food for though. What combo makes more money per square foot while the shop is paying the rent without a problem. 


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#5 Tim Neja

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 11:51 AM

ANY TRACK BUT A KING!!!  :)


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#6 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 12:09 PM

We have notices that many profitable retail shops (other than raceways) that tend to be located in strip centers are around 20' wide give or take 2'. King Tracks require more than a 20' wide shop in most cases. 


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#7 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 12:09 PM

ANY TRACK BUT A KING!!!   :)

 

Ditto that IMO.  Inefficient use of floor space.  Needs too many marshals, and newbies spend more time walking to retrieve their come-offs than driving.

 

A small to medium-sized shop would be well served with a drag strip (1/8, 1000-ft, or 1/4 depending on shop configuration), a small oval, and a Hillclimb/Grandstand road course.


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#8 CoastalAngler1

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 12:22 PM

How about ANY track?  There are only 2 commercial slot car tracks in Florida counting The Raceway.biz, and The Race Place in Daytona...P-1 Slot Car Raceway in Winter Garden is run as a slotclub but has an Oglivie hillclimb and partners with the USRA MYSERIES folks.  One commercial drag strip in Orlando, Crosstown Drags, and a couple club drag strips (East Orlando and Miami) is all that I know of above the radar.

 

How can real data be derived from consumers chatting here on Slotblog?

I wonder if population density is a factor?   

What is a slot car?

 

My favorite track to date is the flat track at BPR...


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#9 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 12:25 PM

Clubs are great. Let's add clubs to the idea chat. 


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#10 JimF

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 01:04 PM

OK......Fat Headed Opinions to follow...........

 

I think too many raceway owners (or potentials) get caught up in things that don't matter much (like King tracks and FAST cars......stuff like that) Any potential raceway is going to develop a local clientele that will race on what you have and not know any different. The traveling racer that takes three trips to get all his s*** in the door is of little use to most tracks.

 

I think that two smallish tracks (under 130') and a strip is all one needs. I also think that small hillclimbs or especially a small kingleman and of course the classic orange, black and yellow designs are all good. Not a fan of ovals but that's just me. Two different shorter tracks that are both raceable, will give you all you need. Heck a 120-130 kingleman is a great venue for some really good racing of any sort and a shorter one (say....100-110) can be great as well. One of the keys for smaller tracks is don't plop fast cars on 'em. If'n it were me.....I'd do a small kingleman and maybe a black. If the black took up too much space, I'd consider a yellow with the esses.

 

Keep your eye on the local market that you develop yourself and don't worry about the traveling fatheads (like me). If the facility is organized and clean, well managed and the racing is good......we'll come anyway.


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#11 Rick

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 01:28 PM

Ovals are real revenue makers. Don't have to be 100 footer either.......works well for racing and/or fun and parties.......


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#12 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 01:30 PM

Ovals are real revenue makers. Don't have to be 100 footer either.......works well for racing and/or fun and parties.......

Most fun I have ever had slot car racing was on a 75' tri oval at Lucky Bob's


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#13 JimF

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 01:40 PM

Most fun I have ever had slot car racing was on a 75' tri oval at Lucky Bob's

 

I raced ovals a fair bit when lived in the East and I liked 'em too. The reason that I'm not a fan in a commercial sense is how fast the cars get around. The sub 2 sec laps are (IMO) just too quick for many of the more entry level racers. OTH, if one could take the sub 2.0 sec laps that are the norm on most ovals, and translate that into say 2.5-3.5 second laps, I think that's a good way to go.


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#14 MSwiss

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 02:02 PM

As far car speeds go, the Volteq adjustable power supplies have been a life saver for me.

While crazy valuable for birthday parties, I also plan to use it extensively on the drag strip.

While the 28.8V will be explored, running drag races at 6 volts, or lower, will also be experimented with, to make the races more realistic.
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#15 Dennis David

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 04:06 PM

I can imaging a tri-oval may be fun but since I have never run on one I don't really know. I've always been partial to road courses so for me I would like:

 

6 lane MTT (Without Squiggles)

6 lane Tri-Oval (Banked) 

1/8 Dragstrip (Run at a lower voltage)


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#16 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 07:01 PM

I remember way back we raced on an "oval". Someone had taken parts of a hill clime i think, and put them together to make a oval of sorts. It was great fun. I guess my point is the people and the environment matter more than the track.


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#17 Dominator

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 07:49 PM

I have always believed you need two tracks. One for rentals that is not too technical (110-120 feet) like a orange or Windsor. This should allow for some "speed" but include some driving. Limit this track to your birthday parties/rental cars.


The second track should be for your racers or those with thier own cars. This should be something similar to a flat track but with some banking (like an older style king) only I would flatten the bank out to 5-7 degrees and change the round donut to a triangle shape one similar to that of an UK Black. Track would be 150-170 feet long so most cars would stay above 4 seconds a lap.

If you have the room a drag strip is a must!
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#18 Dennis David

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 08:25 PM

Dominic that would be nice as well. A "mostly" flat track like this?

 

 

post-4-0-43611100-1320365386.jpg

 


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#19 Dominator

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 09:13 PM

Absolute Dennis
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#20 slotbaker

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 10:01 PM

Dennis, that's a dead ringer for our track at Hornsby.

trk1a.jpg

I love it, but I know many don't.


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#21 JimF

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 10:31 PM

Those are two very cool tracks pictured above. The one Dennis posted is (I think) called a UK Black, and is just slightly different than the one Steve pictured. Both are great as is the original Black which has a simple round donut. I think pairing one of those with say a Kingleman or an Orange would be awesome. There was a track somwhat similar to the UK shown above during the time I lived back east and raced in the NECC. I think it may have been at one of the locations of "Redline" raceway, but it didn't last very long. I loved that track but......alas.


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#22 Rich Goucher

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 10:31 PM

I think more than the types of  tracks, a business owner needs to be creative with pricing/deals for when summer comes and the winter crowd vanishes.

If you do a $25/month track time with your own car/controller there needs to be a limit. Otherwise you become cheap day care for parents that work or just want their kids out of their hair. Complimentary sideline sales are huge, like a fair inventory of R/C parts(tires, bodies, ability to repair, etc.) or skateboard stuff. If anyone besides the track owner is making money fixing /building cars or painting bodies, the track owner should demand a fair cut or sell them through the speedway.Most deliveries of finished product are at the track, anyway.


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#23 Tony A.

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 03:48 AM

At Mobile Raceways in Australia we have two flat tracks,a Blue King and a drag strip that runs down the centre of the building.The King track is the least popular of the three tracks.I believe that the ideal setup would be to have a dedicated party/kids track such as a figure 8 or something similar,a kingleman/engleman,a flat track such as the UK Black or similar versions such as at MR or Hornsby and a track with magnetic braid for 1/32 cars


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#24 Zippity

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 04:39 AM

Is there a best?



#25 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 12:30 PM

If a one track location is done to keep the rent reasonable an orange without eases sounds good. Has anyone seen or heard of a laundromat with a slot track? Or a slot shop with laundry machines?
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#26 nod11don

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 01:53 PM

orange is the most fun i have had racing :laugh2:


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#27 Dennis David

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 07:32 PM

Tony,

 

Where in Australia is this track?


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#28 Tony A.

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 07:36 AM

Hi Dennis,Mobile Raceways is in the State of Victoria in the suburb of Dandenong which is 30klms south east of Melbourne. Hornsby is a suburb of Sydney and the flat track is very similar to the one of the flat tracks at MR.In fact if you look at the track for the World Flat Track Titles it is a dead ringer for the Flat Black track at MR.


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#29 Rick

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 10:46 AM

There is no "best" track. It more depends what your intentions are for getting into a slot business. If it's purely a business for profit, probably not a good choice. If your intentions are to have a raceway, then get a track that will fit your agenda. They do provide a good tax shelter if done properly and you have another income source to hedge taxes from. Many do it purely for the love of their hobby and a break even bottom line is reward enough. pick your poison.................


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#30 Dan Ebert

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 11:18 AM

Orange, King or King Cobra all 3 of those, races can be ran with 3 marshals and minimal track calls.   Tri Ovals are the same good racing don't need a ton of marshals.  Rentals and parties doesn't matter what you have.   But for a weekly racing program unless you are getting a huge turnout year round stay away from tracks that will need 4 or more marshals just to run a race that you aren't tracking every deslot.   I have been doing this for over 25 years and was a raceway owner for 5.   If I was to reopen a track tomorrow my first choices would be a good Tri Oval and a nice layout sized  similar to a Orange.   In certain regions Ovals are a must have.


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#31 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 11:25 AM

Rick,

 

    You have said in the past that a nonprofit format would be good. If this idea was paired with a basic business plan and labeled "style one" The nonprofit approach.

 

Then a club basic business plan and a for profit floor plan could be outlined. If the vast knowledge of the slot car elders like you could be condensed into a one or more page guide to "How to best open a raceway" then maybe the next person to "have a vision while in a sweat lodge about a raceway" could have a tool to help them have greater understanding that "winging it" is your choice. But here is condensed knowledge that you get use. 

 

   Subway sandwich shops have floor plans, sign designs, counters that will work well and ovens that meet the needs of the restaurant operator.  


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#32 James Grandi

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 02:10 PM

Personal opinion from my Racer perspective, I love a drivers king track. Preferably a pinched one, but even a 155 ft. King that is flatter in style would have me plenty happy to come play. I am not a fan of punchbowls.

After that, my favorite would have to be a track that combines 2 different elements, like the sovereign at MVH. I realize this is an incredibly rare piece but the concept of having a track design which has high speed driving ( the first 2/3 of that track ) coupled with a very tricky section ( under bridge-square donut-lead on for this track ) makes for one hell of a fun challenge.

That being said, if I owned a commercial raceway and had to have a business mindset, I'd make sure I had something fairly fast and fun for new racers or rentals, birthday parties etc. Personal pick on that would probably be an orange like I raced on at Danbury in CT
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#33 Gator Bob

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 03:23 PM

Drivers track. 

 .

.Don't stare at it too long .. the lanes start to move. :D

.

DSCF0037.jpg


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#34 John C Martin

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 03:50 PM

If a one track location is done to keep the rent reasonable an orange without eases sounds good. Has anyone seen or heard of a laundromat with a slot track? Or a slot shop with laundry machines?

back in the mid 70s there was a small over under figure 8 set up in the back of a laundry mat in west Nashville .. First I know of to return after the bubble burst ..

#35 Pappy

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 08:35 PM

Has anyone seen or heard of a laundromat with a slot track? Or a slot shop with laundry machines?

I know a guy in the laundromat business, you'd have way to many roaches and bed bugs in your motor.  :shok:

 

I still say the best combo would be a slot car raceway / whorehouse combo. Name it  "Slots & Sluts", where you can get 15 minutes on Red and/or 15 minutes on Rose.  :D


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#36 Gator Bob

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 08:48 PM

If it's a squeeze track, you could start on white and end up on black. :shok:

 

JC .. good thing you got your stuff packed up and ran out of the Laundromat before 'the bubble burst'  :o

 

This is the closest I've seen to a Slot track and a Laundry combo. Rick T. knew how to find it....  :clapping:

 

 

 

Black%20427%20Cobra%20sports%20car%20Cap


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#37 Gator Bob

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 08:50 PM

 Best track style

 

A drag strip that has full braking without glue.


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#38 Dennis David

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 06:17 PM

A slot car track with laundry machines ... No. But I've seen a lot of slot car racers that could use a wash. ;-)
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#39 Mayberryman

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 07:24 PM

In the Virginia, Maryland, Pa area today, If I were to open a slot car track I would definitely have an oval and either an 18th mile or 1,000' drag strip.  there are a couple of basic reasons for this, first the footprint needed would not be as large especially if you had a cover for the drag strip where it could double as pit space for big oval races.  Second, depending on what classes you run on the oval you can run your business and keep parts in to keep people racing without having too many different types of parts that become peg warmers.  I once had a fairly light hearted discussion with an owner who had had a track in more than one location and he laughed and said, want to see my profit?  Just look on the wall at all of the parts that I can no longer sell.  The drag strip can be run with mostly dial up racing or on special nights you can have perhaps three brackets and run them heads up.  I did see one drag strip that had one night where they had a "Street Outlaws" complete with top ten board and on that particular race night there were call outs for either a 10th place on the board or a move up race.  If you want to see a great slot drag program go to Super Slots in Charles City Virginia and look at their Tuesday and Saturday night programs.  If you want to see GREAT OVAL racing go to Winchester, Va.  Hagerstown, Md., Dover, Pa along with several other tracks in this area and see great oval racing with no turn marshals and people racing miniature dirt track works of art, many that are five to eight years old.  One of the best compliments I have gotten lately was at a Dash For The Cash at Scale Speed Raceway in Dover Pa.  I finished third in the Wing Sprint Car Class and the man who ran second walked up to me and said, you know that car is one of my old cars and is about eight years old.  You just gave that car the best run it has had in three years.


Spencer Wilkinson

#40 Dennis David

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 09:35 PM

That's cool.

Dennis David
    
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#41 Dave Crevie

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 04:12 PM

All I can add is what I remember from the '60s. When the Cobra and King Cobra tracks came out with their

high bank, they attracted the crowds. The older flat tracks began to fizzle out. And so did  the scale looking

cars. Low lap times became the only objective, and the cars began to look less and less like real cars. The

drag racers had already gone down that road, the unlimited dragsters having no visual likeness to the real

slingshot dragsters they were supposed to represent. And I have to admit that I was in the thick of that. Now

I prefer scale cars on a flat track, with bodies that look as much like the real car as is practical with vac formed

Lexan. I run hardbody, and model dirt cars since the wheels were hanging out of the body on the real ones

just as they are with the model bodies mounted on FCR chassis. 

 

Mike; If you are thinking about a scale drag car class, think about using a frame like the K&B you just bought

powered with Falcon or Hawk 7 motors like we do with the "Bombers". They look cool and you can see them

as they run down the strip,



#42 macman

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 11:30 AM

Flat tracks are too hard to learn for beginners!!! My ideal raceway would be a 1/4 mile drag strip, a pinched oval and an original orange. I would pick the original orange over a hill-climb because the orange is much easier to marshal. Also I would pick the pinched oval over a tri-oval for the narrower footprint. I think this could fit into a 100x30 space in a strip-mall with adequate space for pits and birthday parties. 


Ben Kernan
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#43 Bob Chaney

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 12:47 PM

Several mentions for the Orange in this thread, but how many are actually still in service?  I have only seen pictures of two, one in use, one being refurbed (now for sale, I believe), and one "modern" build (w/o esses).  The original American Orange Monarch is a great track. Lots of folks cut their teeth on it, and remember it fondly; but potential track owners in the last 20 years or so have just not stepped up and selected it over the King model. Were I to feel compelled to open a shop (a compulsion I worked out in the 80's), I would refurb an existing Orange (or build a replica, with better lane spacing ..keep the esses). That and a dragstrip would be the store.

 

Dump the King, Long Live the Monarch!


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Ô¿Ô bob chaney :: slot car hobbyist

.. how's it going? too early to tell, too late to do anything about it :: Q>
.. it will always be easier to create penalties for violation, than reason for conscience

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#44 macman

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 12:59 PM

I picked the original Orange over a modern imitation, because none of the new builds drive like the original. Most builders do not do the esses right, if they do them at all, & few do the little kick at the end of the back straight right.


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 !!!
"May all your inlines be Retro, my son."
The Englelman: a truly superior design.
 

#45 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 06:20 PM

A new Orange would only start at around 9,000.00 (90').  You can make that back the first month in business.   


Scott Salzberg
PCH Parts Express

#46 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 12:46 PM

Do you folks think a 55' Oval track in Southern CA would attract any racers? We were thinking of maybe getting one for parties (next year or sooner). The asking price for the used track is 3000.   


Scott Salzberg
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#47 Samiam

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 07:24 PM

Do you have a local 1:1 short track? If so,you have a good chance of attracting both the racers and the fans. Just mimic what they run in 1:24th.


Sam Levitch
 
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Support your local raceway, or you won't have one.
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Support your "Local Racer."
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#48 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 10:59 AM

We do have the local place about 4-5 miles down the road at the fairgrounds.  They race sprint cars and other cool cars. Ventura Speedway and a Go Cart racing track are both at the Ventura Fairgrounds. The Ventura (city) area is a hot spot for race car, hot rod, custom car building. After the races the local Carrows is the meeting place for some competitors. 


Scott Salzberg
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