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World's largest wooden slot car track?


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:28 AM

The Guiness Book of Records was invited to certify it as such, but declined to do so, as they seemingly don't differentiate between wooden tracks and plastic sectional tracks.
 
In any event, this is wild and it has been a bit tough to assemble the info for this post. The track was built by Ron Viggiani of Race Haven Hobbies in Brampton, Ontario. The info I relate here is based on posts Ron made at Slot Car Illustrated and a number of the pictures were snagged (with Alan Smith's permission) from there as well. Many of the images are from a Google Images story by Tony Nudo, an artist who seemingly also works on trade shows. There's also a couple of pics snagged from a Chevrolet Canada Facebook page.
 
The 2015 Pan Am Games are in progress in Toronto, Canada now, from July 10-26 (the same site will also host the Parapan Am Games August 7-15) and Chevrolet has erected a huge pavilion that features a six-lane 1/24 wooden slot car track that is reported to be 1,050 feet long! According to the builder, the track foorprint is 185' x 55' and it has 88 track sections of approximately 4' x 8'. 
 
The cars are powered by generators rotated by the bicycles seen in the pics. According to Ron, "The cars travel around the track at 4 volts and when they hit a straight section they get a speed boost if you are pedaling the bike hard enough to create additional wattage."

If I was in the Toronto area, I'd be making a beeline for the #Power of Play Chevrolet pavilion right now. Word is admission is free...

Ron's pics in this post show the track pieces under construction.

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7,600 feet of power taps for the track!

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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap





#2 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:30 AM

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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#3 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:32 AM

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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#4 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:33 AM

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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#5 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:39 AM

One wonders what will happen to the track after the Games are over? No one in their right mind would set it up permnently anywhere, but the sections could be recycled into a whole bunch of smaller tracks, I would think.

I'm contacting GM Media to see if they are willing to provide any additional info on this pavilion.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#6 Pappy

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:43 AM

Looks like a lot of money for nothing.

 

The track sections are so wide it would be hard to turn marshal if you had to reach all the way across all those lanes.


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#7 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:48 AM

The lighted sidewalls and 12 lane sections look great. 


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#8 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:52 AM

Butch, you're such a curmudgeon... PdL been giving you lessons? LOL...

This was built as a PR exercise and will almost certain be trashed when it comes down on July 26.

The track is only six lanes wide and loops back alongside the other "side" of the track. What you see as 12 lanes wide is two six-lane sections side by side.

The middle lanes that seem too close are actually the same lane. The cars never leave the lanes so having the same lane side by side is never an issue.

Here's a few more pics, courtesy of Ron and SCI.

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Gregory Wells

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#9 Half Fast

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:55 AM

Looks like a lot of money for nothing.

 
Yup, a silly but expensive idea, signifying nothing.
 
Cheers,

Bill Botjer

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#10 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 12:00 PM

I believe you guys have no idea what companies the size of GM, Microsoft, and others spend on trade shows and exhibits like this. My guess is that this pavilion was much cheaper than some of the PR exercises GM does...

Having 1/24 slot cars get this kind of exposure, even if it doesn't fit the traditional slot racing "mold", cannot be a bad thing for our "invisible" hobby, as far as I am concerned.
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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#11 SlowBeas

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 12:01 PM

I'd love to try it, but my ability to pedal a bicycle would peter-out before the car ever reached the first turn!

 

Still, it looks like a lot of fun and a very well-made track. At more than 1,000 feet, I'd really rather just use regular power and my own controller.  :D


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#12 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 12:08 PM

Yeah, wouldn't it be great to sneak in at night with a couple of power supplies to replace those bike gensets...

Wonder what Ron charged Chevrolet for building the track? The scuttlebutt is one track builder charges $100 a foot for a King, so at 1,050 feet, that would be a lot of money!

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#13 Steve Deiters

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 12:51 PM

This is great. Only good things could potentially come from this promotion and this track for commercial slot racing with routed tracks and slot racing in general. A 1960s hobby with a 21st century eco spin to it. I'm sure more than one older person who enters this pavilion will say, "I didn't know people still do this?" Coupled with a younger person saying "Hey, that looks like fun. What is it?" 

 

Hopefully parts of this track find a good home reassembled somewhere to expand the hobby after the games are over.

 

PS: It would be awesome to power the track up and take a spin with your weapon of choice - Retro, flexi, or wing car.


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#14 A. J. Hoyt

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 12:55 PM

More important than who built it and what will happen to it is... was it a PR firm or an individual internal to GM; who was it that successfully pitched this to GM for marketing purposes? That person is a friend to slot racing!

 

I can't say it will generate the interest in GM products that they hope it will but Cheater is right, the money that this cost was NOTHING to a company like GM.

 

With nearly all of the big 1:1 raceways in this country offering to rename their facility for a sum to promote a corporate interest (not to mention, naming the race for a sponsor), I hope this opens some commercial (heck, it is already commercial) slot car track owners' and premier slot racing event promoters to some new ideas for covering their cost of operation and opening up avenues of exposure for slot cars to the general populace!

 

I guess I am an "official authentic Stella Artois Gold-rimmed Glass" half full kind of guy!

 

Keep it in the slot (and keep the slot events going so we have a slot to keep it in),

 

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#15 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 01:05 PM

AJ,

 

As I said, I've reached out to GM Media Relations for more info, though I don't have high expectations that I will get a reply. One of the questions I asked was who came up with the idea. I'm betting it was one of GM's outside ad or PR agencies.

 

Based on some of the photos in the Tony Nudo story that I didn't bring over, I believe GM contracted with an exhibition company to produce this pavilion, with the track building contract being awarded to Ron at Race Haven Hobbbies. But that's just a WAG.


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#16 Half Fast

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 01:23 PM

The wooden track structure and surface does not look sturdy enough to endure day to day use over a number of years. Warping will probably occur.

 

Cheers,


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Bill Botjer

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#17 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 01:38 PM

So? It only has to last for sixteen days.

 

Why all the negative vibes regarding this track, Bill?


Gregory Wells

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#18 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 01:44 PM

I like the "Tron" effect of the lighting and the cosmetic look of the leveling legs.


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#19 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 01:48 PM

But the full track sides, going down to the floor, hide those track supports from view. Odd...

Gregory Wells

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#20 Cheater

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 01:54 PM

I've privately been informed that this concept first surfaced in the Chevy Trucks division back in 2000 as an idea to market a particular truck model.

After Ford's recent international coverage with the slot car track their CEO had built, as well as with a little nudging from Jay Leno, Chevy wanted to go next level.

The track is said to be scheduled for five appearances. The word is the track will more than likely end up in the hands of the display company Chevy hired and ultimately destroyed no differently than any of their other displays. It will more than likely not be saved. For them, it is just a prop.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#21 Big Durl

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 02:17 PM

On the other hand, I see this as a great way for some of us fat-@$$ slot racers to lose a few tons.  
 
Combines a slot car raceway with a gym. I like it. :heat:
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#22 Half Fast

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 02:25 PM

So? It only has to last for sixteen days.
 
Why all the negative vibes regarding this track, Bill?

 
The point about durability was in response to a post that said maybe the sections could be used to make a smaller track.
 
I guess I don't have much patience for "green" two-week publicity stunts when you are selling 600 HP Vettes (not that there's anything wrong with that!)
 
Bah humbug. :)

Bill Botjer

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The most dangerous form of ignorance is not knowing that you don't know anything!

 

 

 
 

#23 hiline2

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 02:29 PM

Hey! Get one of those small gas engine attachments they used to have for bicycles!!  :crazy:  :laugh2:  :wacko2:
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#24 MSwiss

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 02:29 PM

It would be interesting to see the layout/configuration, mostly to see how it double backs.
 
I agree with Scott and Matt.
 
Cool looking legs and lighting.
 
Before Greg's post #20, with the copper tape, I could have guessed it was destined for the dumpster.
 
Anyway, any promotion for slot racing is good promotion.
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#25 John Streisguth

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 02:37 PM

I agree with Steve... if a few people think it's cool and look further into it, or have flash backs to doing in their younger days and renew some interest, it's nothing but good.  At the very least, it's an interesting twist on slot cars.
 
FWIW, I think the Liberty Science Center in NJ, near where you take the ferry to the Statue of LIberty, at one time had something similar on a smaller scale that used solar power. By varying the amount of light to the solar cell, you could see the cars speed up or slow down, to understand how the power is created from sunlight.


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