Sorry to report that my beloved nephew Charles David Hardy (known as Dave to all of his friends) passed away on Sunday, July 31.
Dave had been racing 1/24 Hardbody cars for the past few years at both The Race Place in Farmingdale, NJ, and at NJ Speedzone in Mt. Holly, NJ, along with his dad Chuck. Dave was known for building and painting a variety of race bodies for himself and others, building and racing all types of cars, including the TV Batmobile, muscle cars and '40s-'50s era hot rods. Dave started out in the slot car hobby in HO back in the '70s, and I can remember buying him TycoPro cars from Toys "R" Us as gifts. Then in the '90s when I bought my son Christian his first HO slot car set (a four-lane Tyco), the three of us raced often in my basement.
My fondest memories of that era are when we used to race AFX magnatraction vans. Back then you would find NOS AFX cars for only $8, and I think the dragsters were about $15. We would race those vans as hard as we could, nerfing each other until we cracked the bodies, and laughing until tears were rolling down our cheeks - we had a ball! The three of us also used to go to Englishtown Flea Market on weekends and look for any used HO slot cars that were cheap, so we typically bought runners, about $3 back then. We did score a few finds, too. The one I really remember was the biggest box of HO parts that you could ever imagine. In it was a gem for me, bringing me back to my time of racing HO in the early '70'\s when I was a teenager: a mint in the package Cobra ScratchMite chassis! I remember getting mine from an Auto World catalog when they were new, and I begged Dave to sell it to me, and not to open the package. I still had my chassis, showed it to Dave, so he wanted to build a car like mine! Oh well...
Dave (and Chuck) were also known for their good sense of humor, real fun guys to race with. I am glad that I was able to spend a season racing with Dave and Chuck again, and Dave will be missed by our NJ Hardbody Racing groups.
May our thoughts and prayers go out to his dad - Chuck, mom - Barbara, and his daughter - Dominique, as well as the rest of his extended family. My thanks go out to all of the NJ racers who helped Dave as even with his illnesses and handicaps, he pressed on and I know that he really enjoyed racing hardbody cars with all of us.