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Rodney's Oakland Speedway cars and memories - Part 1


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 10:47 AM

My friend Rodney started racing slot cars in the "dawn of slot car time" (early 1960s). He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and raced at many of its commercial tracks. One of his favorites was the Oakland Speedway. This ongoing thread will be dedicated to that raceway and Rodney's cars and memories of it.

 

Take over, Rodney.  :D

 

My first 1/24 car is this Cox Cheetah. It has a Ram endbell assembly, slightly hotter armature, and taller gearing. AJ's silicones are used along with smaller Cox fronts. 

 

cox cheetah.jpg

 

Check out the current day lap time at Eddie's Slot Car World on the Motherlode track. It also drives nice on the King.

 

cox cheetah2.jpg

 

The car was built for the Oakland Speedway Telegraph upstairs track. In the track picture below, the right side of the photo shows parts of the upstairs track. The dimly-lit main straight and the return straight from the dogleg turn are shown. 

 

Oakland1.jpg

 

This ten-lane monster track was a dogleg oval. The track was not well lit, so the Cheetah has headlights. The track was so big. The main straight was 90 feet long! The controller panels were located at one end of the oval. You would see the cars travel down the straightaway from the controller panel. The car would fade away into darkness until you hit the middle sections of the straight that seemed to be lit with a couple of 40-watt light bulbs. 

 

Then the car would disappear again, continuing down the long straight reaching the monster bank turn. Luckily, the bank turn was lit. The drivers would instinctively clutch for the bank turn. If your timing was right, the car would continue down the other straight that had the dogleg. If your timing was off, your car would de-slot and fall off the steep track and hopefully end up in one of the catch nets. If your car missed the nets, there was a chance your car would end up on the parts counters located on the floor below. 

 

The return straight was lit in the middle were the dogleg was. The driver would let up for the dogleg and continue down the straight until you reached the controller panel starting area.  ou would stop your car for a while in front of you and catch your breath, knowing you survived another lap on the Oakland Speedway upstairs track. 

 

The downstairs track is a story for another day.


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#2 SlotStox#53

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 12:14 PM

I'm gonna enjoy this thread!

Love the modified Cheetah and that track...  :shok: what a behemoth!

Would love to pound some laps on a circuit that big.  :D



#3 dc-65x

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 04:37 PM

Would love to pound some laps on a circuit that big. 

 
Yes indeed. This is a case of "they don't make them like that anymore"!!!


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#4 don.siegel

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 05:06 PM

Even at the time, they didn't make a heck of a lot like that! 

 

I was looking at the Bay area tracks in the local Model Car Racing News and they all pretty much looked like giants... no wonder Thingies were popular! Does Rodney have any stories Choti-wise? 

 

Don 



#5 Bill from NH

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 05:12 PM

I bet it was a ton of fun running on that ten-lane monster. :)


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#6 SlotStox#53

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 06:02 PM

We need some big tracks again like this one and some of those raced on in the Rod & Custom 1966 series.  :D

Look forward to seeing and hearing about Rodney's other cars and that downstairs track.



#7 MSwiss

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 10:48 AM

Now on a regular computer, I think I get it.

 

The picture is showing both the downstairs and upstairs at the same time.

 

Very impressive and absolutely insane.


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#8 dc-65x

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 11:55 AM

Speaking of "insane," check out that bank turn on the lower track! :shok:


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#9 Don Weaver

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 12:42 PM

More than an American Red. Didn't think that was possible...


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#10 Big Durl

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 08:33 PM

Jeez, slot car tracks today are so friggin' boring.   King, Hillclimb, Engleman, blah blah blah.  Big crazy honkers like this, and Purple Miles and quirky tracks make racing so much more interesting.  Oh, how I wish I could've been here for Oakland Speedway and Playland.  Ah, well.

 

Saw Rodney and Ron Steege today at Eddie's, who was running his Mare Island 600 race.  Rodney and Ron were talking about that old Playland track, as it turns out.  As an aside, Rick, I got a chance to see Rodney and Ron's "fleet" of waaay cool dirt track outlaws seen about 3:50 into this video:  

 

 

 

Thought I was gonna DIE! 

Sorry for the thread drift, but I thought you might like to see this stuff.

 

Durl


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#11 Half Fast

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 02:04 PM

Wow! :shok:

 

I would love to see more photos of those Oakland tracks!

 

Cheers


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