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American Raceways 'Purple Mile' slot car track


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#1 Maximo

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:06 AM

Slot car folks,

 

Does anyone know how many "Purple Mile" slot car tracks were produced?

 

I only know of one that still exists for sure in New England that was moved there from Texas, but I ran across the enclosed photo that shows one that is not standard criteria as there are banks at the end of some of the shorter straights.

 

Is this an existing track and where is it?

 

-maximo

 

9de574e0774b3460c077498da9ee2a06--slot-car-racing-slot-cars.jpg


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#2 MSwiss

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:28 AM

Both Fingers were banked on the Purple Mile, but they do seem more so, in that pic.

post-130-054726300 1285041217.jpg
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#3 Richard G With

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:52 AM

Modelville in Ashland, MA, has what they claim to be the only operational Sovereign. It has the deluxe Formica sides, but I think it may have originally had the economy plywood walls? 
 
They also have a HO track modeled after the Sovereign configuration.
 
Of the very few made, one was cut down to fit the space and was the site of the infamous Coca-Cola race in Springfield Ohio in 1972.
 
Modelville Hobby - Ashland
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#4 Bill from NH

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:31 PM

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the black and white photo is the Sovereign at the original Modelville Hobby at Framingham, MA. It had plywood walls rather than Formica walls, plexiglass in the banked turn at the end of the straight, and the wooden fence coming out of the wall was painted dark red.

The track shown in the background is an American Windsor. An American orange used to be back corner that shows being fenced off to sell hobby supplies and model kits.

This photo would be from about 1974-75. Max, where did you find it? The Framingham location on Waverly St. closed in the 1976-77 timeframe. This was my home raceway from 1969-75.

The Sovereign track was sold to a Rhode Island racer. Before it was ever set up down there, it was destroyed by a leaky barn roof where it was stored.
 
The fencing, also in back of the Windsor, definitely tells me this was the original Modelville Hobby raceway in Framingham, at the former First National Supermarket building. I worked there part-time during the winter of 1973.
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#5 MSwiss

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:39 PM

The photo is in this THREAD.

You posted right after the post with picture.
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#6 Cheater

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:45 PM

The track is the OP clearly has plywood sides, as can be discerned by the narrow top edges. The Formica sides has top edges nearlt twice as wide.

 

Notice also the metal post stools at the drivers panel; these seem to have been a feature at most of the original AMRC franchise track operations as best I can recall.


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#7 MSwiss

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 02:06 PM

I get a lot of racers that like to sit.
 
Some have to, due to age, like Bernard, but kids like to, also, at birthday parties.
 
You know they really want to win, after sitting in a few five-lap races, if they start standing. LOL.
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#8 Mike Patterson

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:45 PM

I think the lighting is what makes the banking look steeper in the first photo.

 

There was a Sovereign at Tom Thumb East in Columbus. I ran on it with my MPC Dyn-O-Charger.


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#9 Maximo

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:04 PM

Mike, examine the track has it comes away from that turn. It shows the steep angle of that bank.
 
It is obvious to my untrained eye though, but I'm old and can't say for sure!
 
-maXimo

9de574e0774b3460c077498da9ee2a06--slot-car-racing-slot-cars.jpg
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#10 Mike Patterson

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:50 AM

David, also note the the pictures are taken from differing viewpoints. The B&W photo appears to be taken from a standing position in line with the main straight. The catalog shot was taken from a higher position, probably a stepladder, and shows most of the outside wall of the straight. The donut IS different, though. It appears that the inside wall coming out from under the bridge turns, and extends up the short straight. In the catalog photo, that wall terminates much sooner.

 

AMCR tracks were built in jigs, and some pieces/parts were used in different designs. To my eye, the only piece that is particular to the Sovereign is the bank. It runs into a King deadman, then to a Windsor (Yellow) bank, followed by another King deadman, then another Windsor bank, and into a King 90. The donut is a King item, with the addition of two short straights. The bridge and lead-on both appear to be King track items, as well. Anybody else ever notice this?


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#11 MSwiss

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:57 AM

Those are not King Deadman's on the Purple Mile.

They are 180 degrees.

The King's were much less.

That said, American tracks were somewhat module.

An example would be Jerry Kulich's first raceway, Fun Island, had an American Red with the 8ft. straightaway's removed after the Deadman and after the Finger, and it made a narrow, approximately 135 foot track.

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#12 Dominator

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:08 AM

Here's a few things about the sovereign currently at Modelville. The high bank has a lot of banking. I have never measured it but would guess it to be around 75 degrees. The two deadman turns are flat and very smooth. The amount of speed you can carry through these turns can be surprising. The two finger turns have approximately 35 degrees of bank and you usually only have to blip black and purple. They are as fast as any modern king track finger. The 90 has a few degrees of banking. The eclair/donut is completely flat leading up to the lead on. I believe the side wall did not carry across the bridge to allow the drivers on black and purple to view their cars easier as they came across the bridge. As it is now you lose site of your car on black exiting the turn before the bridge.

It still has the original mdf just with new paint when Gary Gerding resurrected this icon 7 or 8 years ago.
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#13 MSwiss

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:34 AM

Dom,

 

Maybe 60 degrees on the big bank.

Google 75 degrees. It's almost vertical.

 

angle.jpg


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#14 grooverunner

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:12 PM

Mike,

 

I believe Peter told me the big bank was 70 degrees when I first when there 5 or 6 years ago. It's close to vertical.

 

Ken


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#15 MSwiss

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:46 PM

No doubt it's quite banked.

 

75 just sounded high from when I raced on one.

 

I assume during a track call they slide down.


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#16 Jeff Bechtel

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:01 PM

As comparison, the Alltech tracks were advertised as having a 60 degree bank on them.



#17 Half Fast

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:05 PM

There is also a very abrupt transition from the straight to the bank, I'm surprised it doesn't disrupt the car entering the bank.

 

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#18 Bill from NH

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 05:08 PM

It is obvious to my untrained eye though, but I'm old and can't say for sure!

 

Max,  Dick Cafarelli, the original owner of this Sovereign, used to say that the bank at the end of the straight wasn't a stock AMR bank, but steeper. I do not think the banking in the fingers had been modified. 


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#19 MSwiss

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:09 PM

A good thread on the Purple Mile, when Peter Lentros got his;

http://slotblog.net/...ves-in-ashland/

A post from that thread, from Peter Lentros;
"Hey everybody, first of all the bank is 65 degrees and the length is 63 feet. It looks like 23 feet wide."

post-4-019373000 1285025198.jpg
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#20 Half Fast

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 12:53 PM

What happened to the Purple mile that was at East Northport (Long Island) NY?

 

Cheers


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#21 Dominator

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 12:58 PM

Thanks for posting the link Mike to the original thread on the purple mile.

65 or 70 degrees is probably more accurate for the bank.
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#22 Mike Patterson

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:43 PM

Someone needs to get one of these:

 

Picture 1.png

 

and go measure that puppy! Main bank, deadmen, fingers. This is important knowlege that must be made available to the masses. Or at least to me! :D


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#23 Maximo

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:34 PM

To the masses...

 

We should document every aspect of all slot car tracks produced back in the day. Knowledge then becomes indisputable and very informative.

 

-Maximo


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#24 Milkman

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:46 AM

Hi Maximo,

 

To answer your question, I believe only six or seven Sovereign tracks were built. The one pictured in your post looks like it was taken at Modelville in Framingham, MA, owned by Dick Caferelli. This was the "econo" version. In the late '60s and the '70s I raced/ran on this track almost weekly. Too bad only one of these originals is left.


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#25 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:03 AM

There was an original Purple Mile set up in a raceway in Sarnia Ontario in the mid-'90s. It was a bit rough, a missing section of the the bank was crudely replaced and it did not work that well. I visited that store only once and do not know how long they stayed open or where the track went.

 

In the early '90s we built a Purple Mile style track for a store in New Jersey. It was bigger than 220, I think around 235. King-style donut and a footprint of 60' by 24'. It barely fit in our 64' X 40' shop.


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#26 Maximo

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:19 AM

Thanks to everyone for all of the history and data. I want to visit the Ashland location before my final breath!
 
-maXimo
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#27 Cheater

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:20 AM

To answer your question, I believe only six or seven Sovereign tracks were built.


That number seems a bit small to me, but I dunno.

I raced on a Sovereign in the '60s at Harding Mall Grand Prix in Nashville. Closed '68 or so and supposedly the track went into storage where it got wet...

The GA Hobbby Center in the '88-91 timeframe. Track was in Douglasville, GA, before I believe. Sold to someone and it got wet also.

I visited Modelville after they got their Purple up again, although I don't think I took a lap on it. Research has shown, this was the Playland Purple Mile in CA, that ended up in Ft. Worth, which is where Peter Lentros acquired it.

So that's three I know of. I supposes it's possible the Nashville and GA Hobby tracks were the same, but I don't think so.
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#28 John Streisguth

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:52 AM

There was an original Purple Mile set up in a raceway in Sarnia Ontario in the mid-'90s. It was a bit rough, a missing section of the the bank was crudely replaced and it did not work that well. I visited that store only once and do not know how long they stayed open or where the track went.

 

In the early '90s we built a Purple Mile style track for a store in New Jersey. It was bigger than 220, I think around 235. King-style donut and a footprint of 60' by 24'. It barely fit in our 64' X 40' shop.

 

I ran some laps on that one in NJ. IIRC correctly it was in a small industrial park at the Randolph/Roxbury border. I remember it was a nice track, but it was pretty boring to run on with my B/S 15s due to a combination of the banking in the turns, glued too much, and low power. I don't think the place it was located in was in operation very long


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#29 Phil Hackett

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 03:41 PM

The original Sovereign 220 was over $10,000 for the deluxe version (Formica and thick siding) in 196X... that would be the same as $70,000 today. I don't believe there were that many 220s sold...


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#30 Mike Patterson

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:50 PM

Too bad only one of these originals is left.


I try to keep track this stuff, and apparently this is true. I know of only five King tracks still in existence, and they had a smaller footprint than a Sovereign, and would fit into (relatively) smaller shops.
 
There's always the chance that someone stashed one away years ago, and It's just waiting to be discovered, but whether that happens in our lifetimes remains to be seen.
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#31 macman

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 04:52 PM

To all of you who don't remember, or were not in the hobby at the time, Mike Swiss won the '90 Nats at Ga. Hobby on an original Purple Mile, so he knows what he is talking about. I was an eyewitness, along with a few others...
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#32 Phil Hackett

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 05:06 PM

I was there. It was a great Nats all around. The hot wings cart across the highway was the place to eat!
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#33 Bill from NH

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 07:10 PM

There's always the chance that someone stashed one away years ago, and It's just waiting to be discovered, but whether that happens in our lifetimes remains to be seen.

 

The Ashland Sovereign was stored away in Odessa, TX. I'd be very doubtful there's another one somewhere. Those things are kind of hard to hide. :)


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#34 old & gray

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:48 PM

I try to keep track this stuff, and apparently this is true. I know of only 5 King tracks still in existence, and they had a smaller footprint than a Sovereign, and would fit into (relatively) smaller shops.

 

There's always the chance that someone stashed one away years ago, and It's just waiting to be discovered, but whether that happens in our lifetimes remains to be seen.

 

 

 

The Ashland Sovereign was stored away in Odessa, TX. I'd be very doubtful there's another one somewhere. Those things are kind of hard to hide. :)

 

If the rumor is correct there are tracks stored in a basement in Brooklyn.


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#35 Bill from NH

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 10:14 PM

Does Buzzy have a Sovereign? I've never been there, but who has seen them other than Buzzy?

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#36 MSwiss

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 10:39 PM

I seem to recall talk of some sort of large American Raceways track stored in his basement.

I'm not sure if it was a Purple Mile, or the Emperor.

If anyone might know, it would be Bill Bugenis.

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#37 MSwiss

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 10:54 PM

Buzzy/220 ft. Emperor talk in the below link;

American Emperor track

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#38 Cheater

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:50 AM

I was an eyewitness, along with a few others...


Ray Gardner and I occupied the purple race director's stand for this event, although I had to get some sleep on Friday so was not there that day. Ray did the same thing, but I don't recall which day he took off. Back then, the Nats tracks usually stayed open nearly 24 hours a day.

One very clear memory is running Open qualifying, having never race directed before in my life. I also remember the fierce and intense Mike Swiss growling "Nice job" to me after it was over. A highlight of my early days in slot racing... LOL!
 

I was there. It was a great Nats all around. The hot wings cart across the highway was the place to eat!


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#39 macman

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 05:50 PM

Buzzy had an Emperor...


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#40 Cheater

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 06:13 PM

Has, as far as I know. In the fabled basement....


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


#41 tonyp

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:25 PM

Buzzy put esses in his Emperor which were pretty much undrivable with the pro cars of the day. They ran a Car Model F1 race on it that almost no one showed up for and that was the last time any serious were run on it that I know of.


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#42 Mike Patterson

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 09:37 PM

According to my sources, Buzzy also has a King in his basement/storage.


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#43 John C Martin

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 09:18 AM

We had a purple mile on Dickerson rd. In Nashville. Mr. Hill cut it down to resemble a king for more space and less turn marshals. I believe it came out of Huntsville Ala.

#44 Russell

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 11:24 AM

That number seems a bit small to me, but I dunno.I raced on a Sovereign in the '60s at Harding Mall Grand Prix in Nashville. Closed '68 or so and supposedly the track went into storage where it got wet...The GA Hobbby Center in the '88-91 timeframe. Track was in Douglasville, GA, before I believe. Sold to someone and it got wet also.I visited Modelville after they got their Purple up again, although I don't think I took a lap on it. Research has shown, this was the Playland Purple Mile in CA, that ended up in Ft. Worth, which is where Peter Lentros acquired it.So that's three I know of. I supposes it's possible the Nashville and GA Hobby tracks were the same, but I don't think so.


I want to say around the '85-'87? Not there long, It was in Douglasville Ga on hwy5. I was just an early teen then and that's where I started racing. I tried to trace it down and came to same research that it was destroyed by water under an open shed. I hate hearing about tracks being destroyed. I know my mom has old pics of me racing at that track, just have to find/get them.
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#45 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 11:50 AM

Yes Russell I ran on it some when Tim had it in Douglasville too. I sure was glad he moved it to Kinwood. after the move it was only abour 10 miles from my house.


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#46 Half Fast

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 12:41 PM

In addition to every model of slot car track ever built, I am reliably informed that Buzzy's basement also contains the lost treasure of King Tut and Jimmy Hoffa's body :shok:

 

Cheers


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#47 Justin A. Porter

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 01:37 PM

I have to wonder how many conversations Pete Lentros at Modelville and Buzzy have had regarding that Emperor. I mean, if ANY shop in the country were going to have it...


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#48 MSwiss

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 02:26 PM

I have to wonder how many conversations Pete Lentros at Modelville and Buzzy have had regarding that Emperor. I mean, if ANY shop in the country were going to have it...

I almost posted the exact same thing, but I've never been out there, so I don't know how much more room he has.

 

One very clear memory is running Open qualifying, having never race directed before in my life. I also remember the fierce and intense Mike Swiss growling "Nice job" to me after it was over. A highlight of my early days in slot racing... LOL!

You see, I use to hang on your every word, even back then.


Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#49 bradblohm

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 03:29 PM

Buzz told me he has one, and some day he'll show me what's in that basement!  I'll kick Hoffa and Tut's treasure to the side because I'm only interested in the slot car stuff!


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#50 Phil Hackett

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 04:27 PM

In addition to every model of slot car track ever built, I am reliably informed that Buzzy's basement also contains the lost treasure of King Tut and Jimmy Hoffa's body :shok:

 

Cheers

 

You're leaving out Emilia Earhart, Glen Miller and D.B. Cooper....


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