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John Skeels, ?-2015


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#1 cookandbottlewasher

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 11:37 PM

Received a phone call today from Mrs. Skeels she wanted everyone to know that John passed on Sept 2, 2015. I am sure those of you who knew him will want to send well wishes to his family.

 

Rest In Peace, John.


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#2 idare2bdul

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 02:27 AM

John was one of the finest chassis builders I knew. Watching him hand cut a steel perimeter chassis with a Dremel and seeing no flaws was impressive. Racing against him at Rosecrans was one of my best slot racing memories. Those that knew him probably think of him as slot racing's answer to Keith Richards. He was a devoted husband and as good a friend as you could have.


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#3 Craig

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 08:37 AM

RIP, John. So sorry to hear this news. 

 

I've known John for a great many years and I'm proud to call him my friend!


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#4 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 07:09 PM

RIP, John... Thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends.

 

I had a GP27 chassis he built for me before I stopped racing 27s after the Detroit Nats.


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#5 MrWeiler

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:27 AM

I first met John when I restarted G27 and G- in 1978 or '79 racing for Revtech.

 

My first time back racing was at Rosecrans. Some start huh? First time on any track with a modern car at Rosecrans. I did well in G27 learning the track, then we started G7. Decided to run a 25 arm to make it easy to drive. I qualified in the Semi Main next to John (old style rotation, you race next to the same guys all night). I just needed fourth for the Main move-up.

 

Race starts and John has a problem and drops 20 laps. I'm trading places between third and fourth at a steady pace. John is driving like a wildman, making up time fast. I am cruseing, letting him pass on the straight whenever he catches me to avoid damage.

 

We get to the last heat, I'm in fourth and John is about 2-1/2 laps behind me. i start the last heat on purple, John is on black lane. We start and I get in traffic and John makes up the half lap right now. Crap! He's gonna get me now! I speed up some and here he comes again... by me on the short straight and now on the same lap with about 40 seconds left. I hit traffic again, and here he comes!

 

John tries to pass me going into the second hairpin and I tap him with a fender and zip! His car disappears into the rathole at the end of the carpet on the outside of the turn and falls under the track! John starts jumping up and down like he was on a pogo stick with his face red, yelling, "TRACK-TRACK-TRACK MY CAR IS UNDER THE TRACK!" Pops finally hits the power button after I gained back three laps. Someone retrieves Johns car which now resembles a 10-inch diameter dust bunny. Power on and John slams the car down but he can't catch me in the time left and I get the move-up.

 

After he calmed down he came over and asked, "You were letting me by all night, why did you nerf me?" i said all those other laps didn't count. "You tried to take the move-up by passing me on the outside of a corner rather than wait for a straight? I love my Mom but I would nerf her too if she tried to take a move-up from me with an outside pass. What do you think I am... a chump?" John laughed so hard I thought he was gonna choke.

 

Right then we were buddies. Whenever he arrived at a track where i was he would make a point of coming over for a talk. I last saw John at BP playing with a drag car a few years ago. I will miss seeing him...


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#6 Cheater

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 03:15 AM

Hate it that John was never a poster here at Slotblog. I'll bet he had a lot of info and stories he could have shared.
 
There's a member whose name is Joshua Skeels in Carson, CA. Any relation?
 
Can't locate an obit via search. If anyone sees one, please let me know.
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#7 JimF

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 02:53 AM

Sorry to hear this news. I first met John about '66-7 or so. I was just starting and raced at a track that was local to me (Republic Raceway in Hermosa Beach). John raced there from time to time and he and another higher level racer named Gage Enoch took an interest in me. One Saturday, both of them sat down with me and suggested that I build my own cars and together, they showed me how to build a scratch chassis for a Tyco. I did very well with that car and some others that followed and John would always ask how I was doing with my building.

 

A few years later, while I was working at Ray's Chequered Flag in Inglewood, John stopped in and showed me some recent stuff he had built. He gave me a suggestion for a chassis that I followed and managed to TQ (Amateur) at the Western States #2 which was held on the Riverside track at Speed and Sport. After qualifying, he came up and congratulated me on how well I did and never once referenced the fact that he had told me what to build for the race.

 

I have no idea whether the current love I have for scratchbuilding would be anywhere close to what it is had John Skeels not given me the guidance almost fifty years ago. He was a very much a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. 


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#8 Craig

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 09:10 AM

Hate it that John was never a poster here at Slotblog. I'll bet he had a lot of info and stories he could have shared.

 

Believe me, John could tell a story. Whether it was fabricated or the real deal he would have you from the get go. 


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#9 Phil Hackett

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 09:41 AM

The man led a very interesting life no matter. I'll miss his periodic visits to the shop.
 
RIP, John Skeels.
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#10 Gary Mayeda

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 11:45 PM

Very bad news. John was one-of-a-kind. Chassis looked like they were EDM. Many good times with him and Stork.

RIP, John.
 
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#11 skeelsnikki

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 02:11 AM

There's a member whose name is Joshua Skeels in Carson, CA. Any relation?


Yes, Joshua Skeels is one of his boys.
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#12 Bob Crane

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 05:57 AM

Very Bad news. John was one of a kind. Chassis looked like they were EDM. Many good times with him and Stork. RIP John
 
Gary Mayeda

 

Yes John will be missed..I first met John in 1969 At Thunder Thumb Raceway,At King Harbor Redondo Beach, Ca I worked at the track run by the city parks and rec. department. We ran a12 hr induro race. Johns team won big.Good times over 45 years of racing. John and I teamed up racing socal usra. after Billy Steube retired racing in 1975. We raced as team mates in the 1980s and 90s.John had many stores to tell about his life experiances. We won a turkey day endro at Monico raceway.Beating out Dale Yamashta, as John Ran a great heat on RED Lane. John RIP

 

STORK


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#13 skeelsnikki

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 01:19 PM

Hate it that John was never a poster here at Slotblog. I'll bet he had a lot of info and stories he could have shared.
 
There's a member whose name is Joshua Skeels in Carson, CA. Any relation?
 
Can't locate an obit via search. If anyone sees one, please let me know.

 

Yes Joshua Skeels is one of his boys. He doesn't get on here anymore. Maybe I can talk him onto it. There wasn't a obit written for John has we did everything in a manner we thought he would like.


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#14 jskeels22

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 03:27 PM

Hate it that John was never a poster here at Slotblog. I'll bet he had a lot of info and stories he could have shared.
 
There's a member whose name is Joshua Skeels in Carson, CA. Any relation?
 
Can't locate an obit via search. If anyone sees one, please let me know.


Yep, John was my father.
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#15 hjames

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 02:06 AM

John befriended me at Rosecrans Raceway in ,I think 1976. I enjoyed racing with him talking about boats and his hotrod torino.
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