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Rodney's Oakland Speedway cars and memories - Part 6


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 10:44 AM

This installment features Rodney's prized period blue and orange Associated Nissan that resembled a real car without "air control":

 

Rick,
 
The year was 1973, and we were getting near the end of the road for Oakland Speedway.  The cars people were racing looked less and less like real race cars.  Many people lost interest in 1/24th scale slot cars due to the non-scale direction the hobby was taking.  It came to a point were you could not buy a Can Am body that resembled a real car.  Wedge bodies and big side dams and spoilers were all the rage.  The paint jobs had no resemblance to any liveries of real cars.  More and more tire glue was being used.  Take a look at the race lineup pictures from 1973.  The third B&W photo is from 1972.  The track's sweeping bank turn always has to be on the window side of the building.  Also, racers were purchasing pro built chassis if not whole pro cars to race.  Scratch building your own chassis went the way of the dinosaurs.  The costs of 1/24 scale slot car racing was way out of hand.  We covered this era of Oakland Speedway with the Oakland Speedway collection previously.
 
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My last gasp effort to build a 1/24th scale slot car that resembled a real car and could hang with the air control cars resulted in the blue and orange Associated Nissan featured here.
 
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To make up for the lack of "air control," a more sophisticated chassis was needed.  I came up with a brass pan chassis with center pivot rear suspension and independent front suspension.  The car is also close to a full sidewinder.  The brass pan would lower the center of gravity, and the suspensions would allow for chassis flex.  The front body mounts are located at the front corners.  I wanted the downforce of the nose of the body to push down on the front of the pan chassis. 
 
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A C-can motor and a 25 single armature are used.  The original motor can rusted out, so the motor was replaced some time later.  The end bell heat sinks were also added later.
 
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The Associated Nissan has a rear wing/spoiler similar to a 1972 Lola T310.  The functional air box is made out of balsa wood.
 
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The car handles like a modern flexi chassis.  The car has very neutral handling.  Typically, cars of this era over-steered when pushed.  With over-steering cars, racers would add more traction glue.  This car does not need much track glue to handle well and was as fast as the "air control" cars of the day.  Lap time shown is with clutching for the bank on the Blue King.
 
Pan car7.jpg
 
Well, we are getting to the end of Oakland Speedway.  What kept the raceway open the last couple of years was selling after school snacks to the middle school kids and selling HO cars and parts.  My attention to slot cars turned to HO racing.  I ran in the Nor Cal HO racing circuit in the mid 1970s.  Oakland Speedway closed in 1974 and the tracks moved to Pleasant Hill.  The Pleasant Hill Raceway did not last long.
 
End of an era.............
 
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Thanks Rodney for sharing! :)


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#2 don.siegel

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 05:05 AM

Amen, great story, altho kind of sad with the end of the raceway. 

 

And I love Rodney's car: from the bottom it looks like a Riggen on steroids! 

 

Don 



#3 havlicek

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 06:16 AM

Cool (and unusual) car!  Jeepers, it has actual front wheels and tires to boot!   ;)

 

-john


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#4 don.siegel

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 08:09 AM

Yep, there were still front wheels and tires, but only o-rings if I remember right. 

 

I raced in Seattle in 74-75, but I don't remember there being these full-length wings - was that normal already in 73? 

 

Don 







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