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American Raceways 'Purple Mile' slot car track


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#51 Mike Patterson

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 07:59 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!

Brad, which track are you refering to, King, Emperor, or Sovereign? Or all three?


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#52 bradblohm

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 07:48 AM

Purple, brand new never assembled blue King, and something else I don't remember.  His store is a double, so that basement can hold a lot!

 

Going to start a new thread shortly, but I will be travelling over to Baltimore the weekend of Oct 22 for the slot car swap meet in White Marsh.  A friend from England who also always goes to the vintage race in Bordeaux is coming to visit his daughter.  I asked if he wanted to make a pilgrimage to Buzz-a-Rama in NYC and run some cars, and of course he does.  So, will start a thread about running vintage cars there on that Saturday.  I mention it here because I'll be working hard on Buzz to let me peek in that basement!  I'll bring all the pictures I have of him (when he had dark hair) and Bud Stordahl (of Detroit's Dyna-Rewind) and have some laughs!


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#53 Lenjet

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 09:40 PM

Hey Everybody,

 

There were 9 built and delivered. I know what happened to all of them including the two I have owned. The paneled side one we bought at Modelville in 1965 with the paneled sides

is long gone from water damage, it was number 3. The miracle that the original survived from Playland is still an amazing story. The bank actually measures 63 degrees.

 

The one in Milan(Italy) is still not located nor it's final resting spot determined. There are no more in existence. As far as the Emperor I would feel compelled to save it and preserve the history.

 

As you may know we have totally rebuilt the Aristocrat back to original and in fact Ray Lee will be running wings on it in October. I welcome you all to come and visit.

 

 

 

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#54 Lenjet

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 09:44 PM

Just to clarify, Buzzy does not have a Sovereign.  By the way I reproduced the Purple Mile in HO.

 

We have a very active HO racing series here.

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#55 Mike Patterson

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 09:54 PM

 OK. Brad says Buzzy has a Sovereign, Peter says he doesn't. Who's right? Brad, you need to get down there and take some photos. And I noticed you didn't mention the Emperor. I thought it was down there, too.

 

Peter, you say you know what happened to all the Sovereigns. What can you tell me about the one that was located at Tom Thumb East in Columbus, Ohio?


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#56 Lenjet

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 10:57 PM

To see how big this track is take a look at the shot we took setting it up.  Columbus Sovereign, the site of the ARCO

race met it's demise in Georgia.

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#57 Lenjet

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 11:04 PM

Buzzy has a King and the Emperor in the cellar. He took the Emperor down from his party room and put it the cellar.

He initially wanted a Sovereign but it would not fit. His AMRAC rep talked him into the Emperor and they had to send

extra people to install it.

 

This picture shows his "Bunny" races.

 

 

 

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#58 bradblohm

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 07:45 AM

Peter would know more than I, so I don't doubt him.  My conversations with Buzz were 5 and 10 years ago, a couple times in Chicago, and a couple times in his shop.  Good Lord does time fly!

 

I've been talking about a pilgrimage to Ashland, Mass. in the near future.  Got to make that happen!!!


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#59 Mike Patterson

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 09:04 PM

Peter, thank you for the info and photos! That might be the only known picture of the (only known) Emperor. IIRC, the catalog used an illustration of the track insted of a photograph.


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#60 old & gray

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 09:38 PM

Yes, thank you Peter. It's interesting to remember that the bank in the picture is the small bank.

 

The track track I raced on was in Connecticut.


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#61 MSwiss

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 09:43 PM

Peter, thank you for the info and photos! That might be the only known picture of the (only known) Emperor. IIRC, the catalog used an illustration of the track insted of a photograph.

 

post-4-1223595557.jpg

 

Here it is.

 

And It's not even accurate.

 

The cross-over, in the illustration, is "opposite" of the cross-over on the real track.


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#62 Jaz

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 08:22 AM

The ad says, "See reverse side for information". So turn it around and you'll see the crossovers the right way!

 

The pic Peter put up is exactly how I remember Buzzy's. The counter near the window, and the power supplies to the left. "1/16" clearance required!!!" as Buzzy would check your car before you rented time!


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#63 Mike Patterson

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:58 PM

One of the things I noticed in that photo of the Emperor, is how much that bank looks like an Engleman, especially the way the sidewall curves down to the straight. Other American tracks are much straighter, like the Sovereign that started this thread.


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#64 MSwiss

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 10:03 PM

The illustration of the Emperor makes it look way more massive/impressive.

IMO, it's either an exaggeration, or Buzzy's track isn't 220 ft.
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#65 old & gray

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 12:48 AM

The illustration of the Emperor makes it look way more massive/impressive.

IMO, it's either an exaggeration, or Buzzy's track isn't 220 ft.

 

IMO the illustration is an exaggeration. The illustration looks to be extended from the driver’s station to the bank and between the banks. The bank also looks to be narrow in the artist’s sketch.

 

The scale is difficult to gauge but the bank was wider than the bank on the blue king. The bank on the other end was over 180 degrees and very close to ninety degrees vertical. The track was a misshapen oval rather than a figure eight so I’m not sure where the 220 feet was measured.


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#66 Half Fast

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 04:07 PM

Who is the lady in the Emperor photo, Miss Buzz-a-rama? :)

 

Cheers

 

I have just been informed by a good friend (who is on temporary hiatus) that this lady is one of "Buzzy's Bunnies" who he hired to marshal the cars.

 

Looks like Buzz was a wild and crazy guy is his early years. :clapping:

 

More Cheers


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#67 Lenjet

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 05:18 PM

Yes indeed she was one of the "Playboy Bunnies" lots of offs and bending going on.

 

Tony is correct that Buzzy took out the crossovers and it was almost un-drivable.

 

Here is a photo with the crossovers removed and squiggles in their place.

 

Also this gives a better perspective on size. It was a big track.

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#68 Lenjet

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 05:24 PM

Everybody, another shot with more of the track and the bending I mentioned.

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#69 Mike Patterson

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:24 PM

Peter, keep those pictures coming! Great stuff!

 

I hope you don't mind me asking, but where did you get those photos, from Buzzy? Or someone else?

 

And a question about the Sovereign: are the finger banked turns one piece, or two? Have you ever measured the banking on them?


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#70 Mattb

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 10:14 PM

Amazing, there is only one guy looking at the bunny bending over!


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#71 Mike Patterson

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 10:02 PM

That picture in post #68 REALLY looks like an Engleman.

 

I'm going to speculate that AMCR had two track designers. Number One did all the iconic designs, from the Windsor to the Sovereign. Number Two did the Emperor and Aristocrat, which, AFAIK, were the last tracks produced by the company.

 

To me, the Emperor looks like AMCR's take on an Engleman, in a design that didn't infringe on any patents, if there were any.

 

I would love to see a shot of the Emperor taken from the other end of the track. And if it has some bending-over Bunnies in it, all the more better!  :D


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#72 Champion 507

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 10:47 PM

John C. Martin wrote in post #43

 

"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."

 

I Raced in Huntsville, AL from late 1964 till May, 1968. There were NO purple miles in that town. A place by the name of 3H, later renamed to 3J had a red, yellow and orange, but NO purple.

 

What Huntsville DID have was a Stan Engleman 220' and a Stan Engleman 130' (220's little brother)

 

Unless I missed it, I have never read a word about a Purple Mile in Tuscaloosa, AL. I saw it once in 1966 but it was closed when I was there. Probably left drool on the window as I looked in thru the glass. It was the only one I have ever seen. I have never run on one or even touched one.

 

So add that one to the count.


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#73 bronxcomet

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 03:11 AM

suprised you guys in the westchester area forgot about the purple monster in scarsdale,bill harliss and his group ran these 36d sidewinder gt 40s w/big *** weldun gears that really honked around that track.i think my early 26ds wound out halfway down the chute,not much brakes either.think it was the sister store to the track in yonkers where we first met lou delrozario.........................surfs up marty p!


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#74 nicky 65

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 06:32 AM

Just to ,put all this talk about Buzzys tracks to an end......................Buzzy has 1 Blue king set up.................1 Blue king apart and in the Basement.............and 1 Emperor apart and in the basement................and if anyone thinks they are getting in the basement .....HA HA HA .NO WAY JOSE....................Ive tried talking him into setting up the Emperor again.................to no avail.

Anyone looking to visit Buzzys .................its a must.............great place .................4 old American tracks in good shape.


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#75 bradblohm

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 08:27 AM

I am patient, and I am persistent...


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#76 chaparrAL

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 10:13 AM

 One of these was located in Griffith Indiana @ G&G Hobbies in far southeast Chicago suburbs. Time frame was 1968-72 and it was bycycle distance from home. This track was origionally from a Raceway in a downstate city like Kokomo or Muncie, I forgot which.

 I remember buying track time and taking my one good slot car, a 4.5 in WB Stock car with stock 26 D motor and on the second lap the motor threw a wire. It was geared for a Blue King. Lesson learned, kid.

 About 1971 a large event was staged . I learned some about business this weekend. I volunteered to refill the "pop" machine and did so I don't know how many times. I established a friendship with the Gradec's that remains to this day. Owner Rocky told me he lost  money on the race because he bought a wall full of stock and none of it moved. All the travelling circus racers came prepared and bought nothing.So he got stuck with a bunch of Thorpe/ Certus/ Mura  24 and 25 motors ,arms and setups. A big bunch. And we local racers at both G&G and A&E Raceway in Hammond {Blue King} raced Stock Cars with 26 D motors that cost $1 from REH. So Rocky was quite dismayed.

  Soon Slot car stuff gave way to RC. The Purple Mile was put in storage. Unlike slot cars, Radio controlled cars and planes were very good to them and Rocky bought a slightly newer but smaller building right around the corner. So with no room to keep them both the Purple Mile and an American Orange meet a sad fate. Just storing such a track must take up a good deal of space. Rocky had to do what he had to do. He is a smart man.  Because of this G&G is still in business to this day. Rocky is retired but my good buddy Larry, his son, carries on today.

Oh yes that race in 1971. It was won by Rick Davis.  I got to meet Jan Limpach!


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#77 chaparrAL

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 12:49 PM

Part two;

So 45 years later I am on my way to Modelville for the HO Nats. Peter is the greatest host . This place is the Zanadu of slot car racing. Both in 1/24 and HO. If you are ever in the area you MUST at least stop by. I got to run the Retro Can Am car that I raced @ the Checkpoint Cup on the Purple Mile. A happy moment. 

 I also got to run some laps on the Parma HO track that I raced on  Spring of 1972. More happy moments. 

Rumor is the HO Nats may be there again next year.  Here I go again!


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#78 tonyp

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 12:53 PM

Ran on the purple mile once at an ARCO race in Columbus Ohio.


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