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Husting dragster resurfaces after 52 years...


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#1 TSR

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:47 PM

The LASCM's latest acquisition: a "lost" marvel, one of Gene Husting's most famous 1965 dragsters, the "Hustler," featured in period magazines such as Car Model and Rod & Custom.
 
Came without motor internals, gears, and rear wheels, but fortunately the LASCM has the original parts from... the Gene Husting dragsters box donated by his estate.
 
This is a fabulous car, of which the light alloy body was painted by none other than Bob Kovacs, famous for his "Kustoms by Kovacs" paint schemes on any kind of products, from toys to refrigerators. In fact in direct competition with world's famous Kenny "von Dutch" Howard for the craziest 1960s paint jobs...
 
It was missing most of its body screws but I just happened to have a good supply of perfect nickel-plated 2-56 jobs matching the remaining originals... 

post-22-0-72046700-1509038528.jpg

post-22-0-55526400-1509038472.jpg

post-22-0-23688200-1509038491.jpg

post-22-0-02767900-1509038510.jpg

post-22-0-80116100-1509038554.jpg

The car was modified several times by Gene, constantly looking to improve its 1.2-second 1/4-mile pass. The picture above proves it to be the real thing. Unusually (and thankfully), the magnesium chassis plates are painted, saving the car from the usual ugly surface corrosion.
 
Lovely machine that made its mark before Husting introduced the anglewinder concept in 1/24 scale professional racing in America.
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#2 Don Weaver

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:57 PM

What a beautiful automobile!!!   :good:


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#3 SlotStox#53

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 01:11 PM

Oh Wow! :heart: Truly an amazing dragster!!
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#4 Mark Mattei

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 01:51 PM

Glad to see a thing of beauty is being saved. Good going.

 

Mark.


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#5 Lone Wolf

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:25 PM

Fantastic.

 

It's in the right place. 

 

Congratulations

 

I know you said you have parts but if you need any vintage jewelers screws or anything else here for the car let me know.

 

These are period correct parts for building rails, etc.

 

DSC01946.JPG

 

DSC01947.JPG

 

Everything shown here came out of J & J raceway in Cali where big drag meets were held back in the day.

 

Joe


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Joe Lupo


#6 Steve Deiters

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:29 PM

These brutes were something else. If they ever launched they would have probably killed somebody! I think 36 volts was the standard "fuel" of the day. 

 

Made me think of two other slot drag racers of note from that era. Bob Braverman and Ray Ramsey...



#7 TSR

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:40 PM

Joe, this is very kind of you! Thank you.

Fortunately I have kept much hardware from my own racing days, with screws and nuts as tiny as used for Swiss watches assembly (need a microscope and steady fingers for assembly) to standard 0-80, 2-56, etc., in a vast array of metals, configurations, and heads. The car uses mostly 2-56 stuff and I have already assembled the loose body back on the chassis with the very same K&B brass, round-head, 2-56 screws Gene used.

There are several sets of original rear wheels and tires inside Gene's box, which was donated to the LASCM by the family after Gene's passing. There are also correct armatures, gears, magnet plates, brushes, bearings, and gears. It will just be a matter of selecting the right bits and bolting it back to the car. The articles in Car Model and Rod & Custom actually tell us which parts to use!  :)

Gene's box: 
 

P1160377.JPG

P1160379.JPG

Steve, Bob Braverman was one of the best drag racers and of course designed the Russkit production dragster. Ramsey and plenty of others were stars, but Husting got the most press in part because he and Braverman wrote the stories! Since he was also winning, hard to argue.


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#8 Lone Wolf

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:58 PM

You're very welcome.

 

That friggin' box is to die for.   :heart:  :heart:  :heart:  :heart:  :heart:

 

Love the contorted exhaust and the "deadly saw tooth spur" on that fantastic hand-painted masterpiece.

 

At 36 volts it was a good thing that OSHA wasn't there. Lots of body protection would have been mandatory due to flying parts.  :)


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#9 TSR

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 05:35 PM

We are not sure of who was the artist who painted the box. It looks like his knowledge of 3-dimensional perspective was slightly off the mark, but we love it just the same... 


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#10 Mbloes

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 07:26 PM

Or maybe the chassis is just twisted...
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#11 Gator Bob

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 12:42 PM

A truly remarkable machine!

 

Bubble top padlock dragsters could make a comeback. 


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Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#12 boxerdog

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 01:08 PM

Now if we could get a 36v battery setup operational somewhere...


David Cummerow

#13 Half Fast

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 01:13 PM

Fabulous 50-year old technology that still looks state of the art today! I'm glad to see it preserved. :good:

 

Cheers,


Bill Botjer

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#14 SlotStox#53

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 01:25 PM

Now if we could get a 36v battery setup operational somewhere...


Would love to see what our modern built vintage hardware dragsters could do on the oldskool 36 volts.  :D


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#15 Gator Bob

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:05 PM

We get them going pretty good a 14-16 volts. At 36 we would need parachutes... and gear guards.

 

So now, I'll be on the look-out at the dollar stores for some useless bubble blister packed item... just for the 'right bubble."


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                            Bob Israelite

#16 Gator Bob

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:11 PM

Dokk, please show the car some due respect and put some rear wheels on it. I figure Scott might have something that fits.

 

Although... it does look cool with-out wheels and imagining the rears are on there but shrouded.


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                            Bob Israelite

#17 Cheater

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:16 PM

We get them going pretty good a 14-16 volts. At 36 we would need parachutes... and gear guards.


You'd need scatter shields around the motors, too!
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#18 Bill from NH

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:21 PM

And faceshields for the racers. :laugh2:  Actually, well-placed panes of Lexan would make a good catch fence.

Bill Fernald
 

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#19 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 03:44 PM

I love this dragster. I love this box. Gene Husting and Bob Braverman were very important to me when i was starting to slot race. 


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#20 TSR

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 05:41 PM

Howie only built one "rail" dragster when he was a young gun, and fortunately it survived and will be restored to full glory when time allows...

1967-ursaner-rail-1.jpg

1967-ursaner-rail-2.jpg

"Ve Have Vays to Make Zem Talk!"   :big_boss:


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#21 Ben Morrow

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 06:01 PM

Truly amazing sight to see!
 
Beutiful car and Love that box paint, pretty cool for the period!...
 
Thanks for posting a true jewel of the past! :)
 
See, "old guys do rule.:sun_bespectacled:
 
Ben



#22 BillB

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 06:34 PM

From an article in Rod & Custom March 1965, another of Gene Husting's dragsters, perhaps an earlier version.

Ghusting.png
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#23 TSR

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 04:58 PM

Bill, thanks!

From what I know about Gene's dragsters, he built a total of three similar cars. The "Hustler" was apparently the last one built.

I have rounded some of the parts to revive it: correct Husting wound armature, flanged ball bearings, Weldun pinion gear, a pair of rear tires on Russkit Lola T70 setscrew wheels.

I also on track for a set of ground magnet plates and the proper motor ends with brush array.

That thing will be functional like most of the cars that will be on display at the LASCM.

#24 dc-65x

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 07:17 PM

That Husting's rail is a national treasure... or it should be! :wub:

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#25 BillB

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 08:31 PM

An amazing dragster from years past... look forward to seeing its completion!
Bill Bilancio

#26 TSR

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 09:21 PM

That Husting's rail is a national treasure... or it should be!


Rick, It is and it will be treated as such. :)
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#27 MSwiss

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 09:39 PM

What thickness is the magnesium on the side rails?

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#28 Gator Bob

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 10:52 AM

The coolest of the cool vintage magazine drag cars.  

Gene was a total DC-Punk.

 

Now what am I missing on how he did gear ratio changes on this car?


Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#29 TSR

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:36 AM

What thickness is the magnesium on the side rails?

 
Mike, I measured it at 0.088" (I thought they were 0.093", but they are sightly thinner). So the 2-56 threads are marginal, but none shows through the rails, the drilling was right on center.
 

Now what am I missing on how he did gear ratio changes on this car?

 
Bob, just as in any gearbox on a full-size racing car, and all have fixed shafts, ratios are changed by adding one tooth on one side, while suppressing one to the other. This is what you can see on a TSRF slot car, where you need to change both the pinion and the spur to go up or down in ratio, but that is not a difficult process and you never have to worry about gear mesh, it is always perfect.

In the case of this drag-racing car, the motor components are permanently set in place, during construction. You can use either 48 or 64-pitch gears, if they are machined per SAE standards, you will always have a perfect mesh.

#30 Gator Bob

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 08:25 PM

I understand the principle but does it work out in practice?
 
These would be typical of the Weldun 64p gears of the day.

So, does using gear sets in the chart below does it always work out dimensionally providing a proper mesh? 

Weldun 64p gear.JPG
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Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#31 don.siegel

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 06:17 AM

Bob, 
 
Gene and Bob Braverman were already explaining this principle in all their dragster articles at the time, so yes, I assume it worked! They did show the two concepts of adjustable and fixed gear ratios, but obviously recommended the latter, espeicially for the higher-end cars. 
 
The gear ratios used for these torque monsters were more like in the 2:1 to 3:1 range, with the latter being used for the high-revving motors on 36v. 
 
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#32 dc-65x

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 10:53 AM

Here is my recent example of the above gearing truism:
 

Based on Rodney's test, I decided to change the gearing from 10/45 (4.5:1) to 9/46 (5.1:1). The total tooth count of the gear sets remains the same at 55 teeth so the center to center distance between them is virtually the same... no need to unsolder the motor (the old gear set is on the bottom):
 
Howie%20Build.jpg
 
The new 46t spur gear is only .748" in diameter so there are no track clearance problems with the .875" tires.


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#33 Dallas Racer

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 11:43 AM

I understand the principle but does it work out in practice?
 
These would be typical of the Weldun 64p gears of the day.

So, does using gear sets in the chart below does it always work out dimensionally providing a proper mesh? 

attachicon.gifWeldun 64p gear.JPG

 

I was thinking the same thing. I don't think it does work out.


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#34 TSR

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 12:07 PM

I understand the principle but does it work out in practice?


Bob, first, the gears in question must be machined to standard SAE specs, meaning that precision machining a must. In the case of the Weldun gears, no problem there as they were the finest made in the day, and this well before CNC machining made things a lot easier.

Now, it works only if there is a direct exchange of the number of teeth on the driving pinion, to the exact same number of teeth on the driven spur gear.

 

You can exchange any number of teeth on each, and the mesh will be as perfect as originally set up, regardless, as long as the exchange is even on each side.

 

Example: if you start with an 11-tooth pinion driving a 48-tooth spur gear, you can switch to a 14-tooth pinion and a 45-tooth spur gear. The mesh will be identical.

Interestingly, on an anglewinder using even old Cox gears from the 1960s (as on many 1968 through 1972 pro-racing cars), as long as you used genuine Cox steel and/or brass pinions, the result was the same. We used to switch 7, 8, and 9t pinions with 34, 33, and 32t gears without moving the motor and it worked perfectly.


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#35 hiline2

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 08:24 PM

First question: I know I had seen/heard the use of parachutes for braking back then but any other ideas? Especially at 36v! I can see the one car surviving but the other one seems thinner in design and wondered how it survived the stop?

 

Also, I've always been a fan of Weldun in the '60s to now 64p or nuttin'! There are current 64p pinions( or small spur gears) made for R/C cars that will fit 1/8" motor shafts will their mesh be good with the Weldun reds? ( I know, try it and see but thought I'd ask.)


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#36 SlotStox#53

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 08:43 PM

The modern R/C pinions mesh superbly with the Weldun spurs.  :) Silky smooth.


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#37 TSR

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 10:04 PM

Weldun pinions and gears were simply the best in the 1960s, and the ones made today are no better.

 

As far as parachutes, there never was a need because model car drag strips then and now collected the cars at the end of their runs with neoprene foam sheets. Some drag strips had permanent "dynamic braking," just like on a standard slot track, about six to eight feet to help slow down the cars.

 

Better that disk brakes and no damage.



#38 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 10:34 PM

We used the idea of 'parachute' to be a bed sheet in the shutdown area wadded up to keep the car from bouncing off the wall. The gear guards helped to keep it out of the mesh. Dynamic braking was not used on our early (1962-68) Midwest strip.

 

Voltage: we used batteries wired in series for class power.  Street: 12v (13.2v); Gas: 18v (12 +6/20vdc); Fuel: 24v( 2x13.2= 26.5;  Top Fuel:  36v (3x13.2/40vdc). Some motors let lots of smoke out...


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#39 Gator Bob

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 10:45 AM

What I see:

 

- Some track owners think shorting the braid in the shutdown will damage motors and only offer more glue. Why... don't know.  :dash2:

 

- With fixed axle to motor shaft the total tooth count is low as in anglewinders the ratio spread is wide and limited.

- With the high tooth count big tire drag cars the ratio range choice seems workable.


Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#40 Bob Appelle

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 11:50 AM

In Metro Detroit I remember parachutes being at the end of the drag strip at some tracks.


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#41 Dave Crevie

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 01:21 PM

In the mid-'60s real parachutes were used at the end of the shutdown to catch errant dragsters. Government surplus silk 'chutes were a dime a dozen, and most of the tracks I went to, both local and West Coast, used them. At 36 volts, very few of the top fuelers could stop in the space provided.

 

Incidently, I knew who Gene Husting was, but I don't remember seeing that car. The one I remember used the complete padlock motor, severely trimmed down, with rails set at the width of the lams and cut out in a very ornate manner, looking something like the inside of a watch.



#42 TSR

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 02:48 PM

Dave,

 

Gene built many dragsters. The one I show on the opening post is from 1965. A year later, Gene did away with cosmetics and got serious about pure function. This is when he produced his record-holding model, which fortunately has survived. I restored it for Gene about 12 years ago as well as devising a replacement body for his very first anglewinder chassis that also has survived. Both are now part of the LASCM museum collection.

Here is his last dragster, which held the ET record on a slot car drag strip for 21 years:

1967-husting-record-rail-9.jpg

1967-husting-record-rail-2.jpg

MVC-013S (2).JPG

1967-husting-record-rail-7.jpg

It is likely one similar to this that you have seen. But Gene built others for different classes, like "Altered Coupe." All the surviving examples will be on display at the museum and eventually will be shown on the museum's website.

As far as parachutes, considering that air molecules do not shrink to the 1/24 scale for racer convenience, they would have had very little effect on slowing the car. An entire bed sheet would have, but it would have been difficult to fit it inside a tube at the back of the car.
 


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#43 MSwiss

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 03:15 PM

Not to take anything away from Gene, but in the 21 years he held the ET record, was there much, if any, 36v drag racing going around?


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#44 Gator Bob

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 03:47 PM

Dokk, 

 

You know the talk isn't about chutes on the car. Big nylon parachutes to run in to shut down..

 

BTW - Is that a circular magnet from an Ahearn or GM wiper motor?

 

Parachutes would be better than glue.

39.6 volts would be outstanding. I think most of the good rails in the R&R proxy could blow a .93 away at that number, even with no glue, no bars and vintage rubber.


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#45 SlotStox#53

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 04:03 PM

Even more original vintage dragster goodness.  :heart:

 

I just wanna find a set of those Speedway front wheels...



#46 Gator Bob

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 04:07 PM

Dokk,

 

Any chance you could get a weight on Gene's rails?


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#47 hiline2

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 08:27 AM

39.6 volts would be outstanding. I think most of the good rails in the R&R proxy could blow a .93 away at that number, even with no glue, no bars and vintage rubber.

 

So! lets all dedicate '1" rail padlock' to try this! Maybe lots of smoke but, dang, consider the fun!!


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#48 hiline2

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 08:28 AM

Dokk (or any others),

 

Did Gene make his own rear wheels? Just looking at the one above it seems custom?

 

Also, I'm luving this posting!!


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#49 boxerdog

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 08:33 AM

After all the usual fun is over, I have no problem jumping in if anyone else wants to race at 36v. 


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#50 SlotStox#53

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 01:35 PM

After all the usual fun is over, I have no problem jumping in if anyone else wants to race at 36v. 


Not to deviate from Genes phenomenal cars & contribution but the team's cars would be ready for 36V :D





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