Jump to content




Photo

Pablo "State of the Slot Car Union" address for 2018


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Pablo

Pablo

    Builder

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,178 posts
  • Joined: 20-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Johnson Bayou, Mississippi Gulf Coast

Posted 30 January 2018 - 09:47 PM

Many good things are happening:

-vintage drop arms, custom cut pans, and specialty hand-built motors are available

-the internet (example, Slotblog.net) continues to be a wealth of information, comraderie, and friendship

-many professionally owned and well managed raceways serve as examples

 

The future of slot cars has never been brighter :sun_bespectacled:

 


  • Pappy, Ramcatlarry, Dominator and 8 others like this
Paul Wolcott




#2 Pontes1

Pontes1

    Backmarker

  • Full Member
  • PipPip
  • 50 posts
  • Joined: 08-November 13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portugal

Posted 31 January 2018 - 06:42 AM

I Would SAY  " Let slot cars be great again "  Or " SLOTCARS FIRST  "  :) :) 

:D  :D  :D

 


  • NSwanberg and mike1972chev like this
Fernando Pontes

#3 gotboostedvr6

gotboostedvr6

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,356 posts
  • Joined: 19-July 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mt. Laurel

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:39 AM

You guys are absolutely wrong and this vintage craze the older hobbyist are on is going to do nothing but harm the hobby.

Guys who travel in the Vintage circles do not typically spend money purchasing parts at race tracks. I've personally seen guys show up with two or three boxes full of cars that are older than I am. They plug in their solder iron and fidget with their cars for an hour or two then only purchase 15 minutes of track time. At what point during that, or simular subsequent visits did he help the racetrack?

These same guys typically do not race in weekly or monthly events.

Those who work for a living are being quickly overwhelmed by those who vote for a living.

Thomas Jefferson: "Paper is poverty. It is only the ghost of money, and not money itself."
-David Parrotta


#4 Samiam

Samiam

    Posting Leader

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,630 posts
  • Joined: 18-January 12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Long Island, NY

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:42 AM

David,

 

If you're lucky that will be YOU in 30 years. 


  • Pappy, Horsepower, Pete L. and 3 others like this
Sam Levitch
 
"If you have integrity, nothing else matters, and if you do not have integrity, nothing else matters."
     Robert Mueller, special counsel (2013)

#5 mike1972chev

mike1972chev

    Mid-Pack Racer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 192 posts
  • Joined: 02-April 17
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indy

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:07 AM

I have good faith in the continuation in slot cars for the following.......

 

#1 Many of you good folks willing to share and help out with advise in building and tuning.

 

#2 Many of you good folks manufacturing and  re manufacturing motors,bodies,custom paint work, wheels,drop arms,bat pans,controllers,heat sinks,com coolers ,decals,ETC......  Many doing so in a "cottage industry" setting .   I applaud you all !    :clapping:(You KNOW who you are !!!    :)  )

#3 They are WAAAAAY more affordable to build and race opposed to their 1/1 counterparts,and STILL as fun to build  race...... For ALL ages.  :)

 

#4 Slot cars are STILL cool   :dirol:    They are AWESOME looking cars just like the 1/1 cars.  ;)


  • Pete L. and Samiam like this

Michael J. Boruff


#6 gotboostedvr6

gotboostedvr6

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,356 posts
  • Joined: 19-July 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mt. Laurel

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:31 AM

Your absolutely correct.  Especially more so now that I am at a much greater risk of having more brain tumers in the future.

 

The worst thing for any hobby is Attrition. Check the age of the guys at the drivers panel during your next race.


  • Pete L. likes this

Those who work for a living are being quickly overwhelmed by those who vote for a living.

Thomas Jefferson: "Paper is poverty. It is only the ghost of money, and not money itself."
-David Parrotta


#7 havlicek

havlicek

    OCD Rewinder

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,790 posts
  • Joined: 20-August 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NY

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:42 AM

You guys are absolutely wrong and this vintage craze the older hobbyist are on is going to do nothing but harm the hobby.

Guys who travel in the Vintage circles do not typically spend money purchasing parts at race tracks. I've personally seen guys show up with two or three boxes full of cars that are older than I am. They plug in their solder iron and fidget with their cars for an hour or two then only purchase 15 minutes of track time. At what point during that, or simular subsequent visits did he help the racetrack?

These same guys typically do not race in weekly or monthly events.

 

 

I would respectfully disagree with this based purely on logic.  Whether or not the "vintage crowd" races weekly or spends big money to buy dozens of inexpensive motors looking for "cherries" is completely besides the point.  If suddenly all the vintage people disappeared, there would be that much less money (*whatever it is), interest and shared knowledge going into the hobby.  

*Money.  Certainly some money is spent by these folks, both online and even (GASP!) at tracks.  Whatever that amount is, can the hobby afford to lose any amount?  BTW, there is a small crossover with modern parts, and those can be purchased locally.  Even better from a retail POV, are ideas like Steve Okeefe's "vintage style", where modern parts are substituted out of necessity for old scarce parts.

*Interest.  There is bound to be at least "some" interest generated by the old coots who still want to build 'em and run 'em like they did back in the good old days.  ANY amount of interest generated must be better than none.

*Shared knowledge.  The vintage people come from a time when the entire car (*including the motor) needed to be understood and worked-on.  The basic physics involved have not changed, and there are some who DO build and race still.  Take a Tony P for example.  The guy is a walking encyclopedia of how to build and run winning race cars.  He continues to positively affect the way people think about and build slot cars.  I can't count the number of times over the years that I've picked-up information about motors just from browsing his posts.  When he talks about motors, he's one of the very few I ALWAYS listen to and take notes on.

-----------------------------

The vintage thing may not be as big here as it is in Europe, but ANY segment of slot racing at this point is inarguably important.


  • Pappy, Steve Okeefe, Pete L. and 7 others like this
John Havlicek

#8 gotboostedvr6

gotboostedvr6

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,356 posts
  • Joined: 19-July 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mt. Laurel

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:55 AM

When I'm not so busy I'll do my best to respond to all of your points but for now we will just have to agree to disagree.
  • havlicek likes this

Those who work for a living are being quickly overwhelmed by those who vote for a living.

Thomas Jefferson: "Paper is poverty. It is only the ghost of money, and not money itself."
-David Parrotta


#9 Gary Pershall

Gary Pershall

    Mid-Pack Racer

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Joined: 27-August 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Yukon, OK

Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:35 AM

David, I'm not sure what point you are trying to make by equating all us old racers to being bad for the sport, but I'll leave it at that as you have a right to your opinion.

 

Personally as an older racer I have spent my fair share at raceways , thanks Dallas Slot Cars and Mike Swiss, and some at mail order getting back into this sport after 10-15 years off. The people I have met have been great in helping share their knowledge in getting me up to speed on current technology and techniques. And no I don't just take roots at the track and putter around. I drive 400 miles round trip for a race weekend and spend my fair share at the track and local economy.

 

Slotblog has also been instrumental in helping me get back into the sport. The amount of knowledge here is tremendous.

 

In closing "power to the OLD slots people" LOL


  • Steve Okeefe, Samiam, Richard G With and 1 other like this

#10 havlicek

havlicek

    OCD Rewinder

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,790 posts
  • Joined: 20-August 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NY

Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:39 AM

When I'm not so busy I'll do my best to respond to all of your points but for now we will just have to agree to disagree.

 

 

No matter what David, it's all good...because both you and I are "here", in different ways though!  What I mean is, I make arms and motors for BOTH the vintage folks as well as for the "modern" ones, even though the biggest segment of "modern" racing is probably the one that emulates the vintage one!  :D


  • Steve Okeefe, NSwanberg, boxerdog and 2 others like this
John Havlicek

#11 Lone Wolf

Lone Wolf

    Posting Leader

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,209 posts
  • Joined: 03-March 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York

Posted 31 January 2018 - 12:36 PM

Hell, I'm just going to sit down for the whole address and make a mad face  :crazy:


  • Steve Okeefe and havlicek like this

Joe Lupo


#12 Jaeger Team

Jaeger Team

    Backmarker

  • Full Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Joined: 27-January 17
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Palermo, Italy

Posted 31 January 2018 - 02:18 PM

Fact: slot car racing, for better or for worse, is inextricably linked to our generation of baby boomers.


Maurizio Salerno

#13 Horsepower

Horsepower

    **Numb Thumbs**

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,187 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 31 January 2018 - 02:39 PM

You guys are absolutely wrong and this vintage craze the older hobbyist are on is going to do nothing but harm the hobby.

Guys who travel in the Vintage circles do not typically spend money purchasing parts at race tracks. I've personally seen guys show up with two or three boxes full of cars that are older than I am. They plug in their solder iron and fidget with their cars for an hour or two then only purchase 15 minutes of track time. At what point during that, or simular subsequent visits did he help the racetrack?

These same guys typically do not race in weekly or monthly events.

The same was said in 1972 about 1/32nd scale home racing clubs, but look who's still around! All racing is GOOD racing and good FOR slot racing.


  • Pappy, Steve Okeefe and Samiam like this
Gary Stelter

#14 olescratch

olescratch

    olescratch

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 723 posts
  • Joined: 19-July 13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ravenna, OH

Posted 31 January 2018 - 04:08 PM

WOW! I thought this was going to be about the State of Slots, not the state of old folks!  BTW, most of the people standing at the stations being "older" may be the result of people finding something to do other than face-plant on social media!  Gotta be the 1st time I've ever heard of not wanting the presence of older people involved in a "hobby"!!!


John Stewart

#15 Pablo

Pablo

    Builder

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,178 posts
  • Joined: 20-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Johnson Bayou, Mississippi Gulf Coast

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:05 PM

You guys are absolutely wrong and this vintage craze the older hobbyist are on is going to do nothing but harm the hobby.

 

Boy you sure showed your man butt lint balls when you posted that.

At that point, only my original post, and a post by Fernando Pontes, had been made.

 

What did we say that was "wrong" in your opinion?

The title isn't labeled "vintage", and Fernando's post didn't reference "vintage" in any way.

 

I mentioned vintage drop arms, that's all. You took that one word from my verbage and used it as a means of showing us your ignorance.

I could have hidden your post, but I didn't, as a means of letting as many readers as possible enjoy your ignorance :hi:

 

Next time you feel a stirring in your rear end, I suggest pooping in your own back yard, not in my sandbox :laugh2:

 

enhanced-buzz-25252-1299185107-25.jpg


  • Pete L. and olescratch like this
Paul Wolcott

#16 Don Weaver

Don Weaver

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,242 posts
  • Joined: 26-October 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lexington. SC

Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:18 PM

47​ ​entries at last weekend's Checkpoint Cup can-am Retr0 race.  How many at this year's USRA Division 1 GP7 race....or last year's?  I think there were 10 for the big GP7 race last weekend in Tennessee.  You think 10 entries in one of the premier wing car races of the year are going to keep the slot car hobby viable?

 

We need ALL​ the racers we can get.....                        

 

Don Weaver


  • Pablo, Half Fast and mike1972chev like this

Don Weaver

​A slot car racer who never grew up!

 

The supply of government exceeds demand.
L.H. Lapham
 
If the brain-eating amoeba invades Washington
it will starve to death...


#17 Dennis David

Dennis David

    Posting Leader

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,362 posts
  • Joined: 05-April 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 31 January 2018 - 10:16 PM

Taking a worldwide view slot car racing has never been more diverse. As far as overall numbers go we'll never match the Golden Years but that world no longer exists.
  • Pappy, Pablo, grooverunner and 1 other like this

Dennis David
    
curb-line2.jpg
 
gph_sm.jpg
   


#18 mike1972chev

mike1972chev

    Mid-Pack Racer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 192 posts
  • Joined: 02-April 17
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indy

Posted 01 February 2018 - 06:30 AM

I think Dennis has a great point with just one word: "DIVERSE". Seems to be A LOT of different configuration of cars running in the slot car world these days. (Makes it hard to decide on what type of a car to build some days????  :unknw: )

 

 My experience here LOCALLY has been  a very DIM one. A local track close to me,(that shall remain nameless )does ONE race with a manufactured,stamped steel production  chassis and a sealed motor ONLY!(Not really interesting to me.)  No other races or open track time available on the road coarse,but they DO have a drag strip.  This is probably due to limited interest and participation at his track,operating cost to keep track open MORE days than just one, I don't fully know here?  I think they might have even closed the doors now? :( 

 

I have seen many subjects on here about the ability to affordably own a slot car track and keep it open.Seems not an easy thing to do. 

 

If I TRULY wanted to race the cars I wanted to race,I would literally be travelling hundreds to thousands of miles to do so.So it would be an occasional thing for me to do. I AM interested in trying out a proxy race of some sorts for sure !  ;)  


Michael J. Boruff


#19 havlicek

havlicek

    OCD Rewinder

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,790 posts
  • Joined: 20-August 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NY

Posted 01 February 2018 - 07:37 AM

     I think it's important to remember that different opinions on "what's good for slots" don't make one iota difference regarding the future of slots, so getting even a little riled about David's thoughts seems off-base.  After all...he's "here", I'm "here", we're all "here"...and THAT DOES make a difference.  Who cares about opinions?


  • mike1972chev likes this
John Havlicek

#20 Dominator

Dominator

    Posting Leader

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,045 posts
  • Joined: 19-September 07
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 February 2018 - 08:33 AM

Any class of racing can be successful if promoted at the local level and if there is interest.

Pablo I love where you're going with this.


  • grooverunner likes this

A motor is only as fast as the chassis it's in.
 
Dominic Luongo

Like Dominator Custom Chassis on Facebook

 

NERR photos from 2012-April 2016
NERR photos from 2016 to now


#21 old & gray

old & gray

    On The Lead Lap

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 481 posts
  • Joined: 15-April 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:CT

Posted 01 February 2018 - 10:27 AM

Any class of racing can be successful if promoted at the local level and if there is interest.

Pablo I love where you're going with this.

 

BINGO.

If you want to have a successful series, and I am defining successful by the number of entries, the easiest way is to use the class(es) which are in use at the raceways where the series will visit.

A longer way to build a series is to find an unfilled need, attract people who are interested, schedule and run races, and publicize the races (before and after).

 

I have series in mind which fit these descriptions; I have worked for companies which employed both of these philosophies.

I was also involved with automobile road rallyies (competitor and organizer). For sustained success a series needs a feeder system of some form, and it needs to not cannibalize the feeder system.

 

--- end of rant ---


Bob Schlain

#22 gotboostedvr6

gotboostedvr6

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,356 posts
  • Joined: 19-July 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mt. Laurel

Posted 01 February 2018 - 11:09 AM

I find it significant that the more vocal track owners that post here on Slotblog have not yet posted in this thread. Im sure they are considering it and more then likely will post an opinion that will seem neutral on the subject to avoid offending anyone. Meh, I digress.

My background is managing automotive parts related retail establishments. In my opinion tracks that pay rent in high traffic areas and follow the industry standard retail markup have 0 chance of longterm success unless they are very aggressive with low cost marketing and have a high percentage of customer retention.

The only way for them to succeed is if patrons regularly spend money purchasing parts, labor, and track time. Using the slot industry's 40% gross margin model, a typical slot track has little to no room for payroll.

While it certainly does not hurt to have slot racer show up with a box full of cars they typically have zero interest in purchasing anything of substance. Slot racing's industry as a whole would do much better if we encourage Racers to purchase new products and have the track maintain their cars for weekly racing.

When business's approach Greg and inquire becoming a advertiser they evaluate the content of a website, see what is trending, and make a decision whether or not they want to become a advertiser.

As of the last few years it seems like "current production" content on this and other slot forums have dramatically reduced. This is a sign that we as a whole are not attracting enough new guys into the hobby. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Attrition is destroying this Hobby.

Those who work for a living are being quickly overwhelmed by those who vote for a living.

Thomas Jefferson: "Paper is poverty. It is only the ghost of money, and not money itself."
-David Parrotta


#23 Guy Spaulding

Guy Spaulding

    Unintentional Instigator

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,911 posts
  • Joined: 06-November 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:High Point, NC

Posted 01 February 2018 - 12:57 PM

Attrition can destroy any hobby.  The question for everybody, both racers and track owners, is how to get new blood into the sport.  Just in the last couple of days, I've run into a couple of people and shared with them.  Older people say "I didnt know they still had tracks".  Younger people say "Whats a slot car? or "I used to have a set at home" 

 

RACERS!  You want your track to live on?  Help create accretion!  Just as Churches go out to streets or store to evangelize,  Organize a group to go out and greet people, show pictures/videos, hand out flyers.  If it takes all day for 5 people to attract one new racer, your efforts have succeeded!    

Someone should sell a t-shirt that says "Wanna get into autoracing without braking the bank?  Start small!  Talk to me about Slot Car racing."  Have a small group go to a fair or car show. (cars & coffee).  Wanabe racers are out there.  They just dont know we exist.

 

In the past, publicity was limited, you had one or two rags out there, and that was it.  Now, there's facebook, Internet blogs, and others.  But none of these avenues have ever reached out to the general public.  Any ideas?

 

Sellers dont advertise on Slot Blog because the numbers who read this forum are limited.  When's the last time you or your track manager/owner talked to anyone at the track about slot blog?  "Talk" is a cheap resource. Use it where it counts

 

Next:  So you have a new racer or two come in the door, buy some equipment and join in a weekly series, only to get their butt whipped.  What are YOU (the seasoned racer) going to do about it?  Just let them keep on until they give up?  Oh sure, you all say "I'll answer any questions they ask". Well that aint good enough because they may be afraid to ask or dont know what to ask. Take one under your wing, ask to help. Inspect their car and recommend improvements, coach them as they drive to "go deeper in this corner",  conduct clinics and "how-to's" at the track.


  • Rob Voska and olescratch like this

173548759346958.1480.1688182746.png
Promote Your Page Too">Check us out on FaceBook


#24 havlicek

havlicek

    OCD Rewinder

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,790 posts
  • Joined: 20-August 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NY

Posted 01 February 2018 - 01:40 PM

I find it significant that the more vocal track owners that post here on Slotblog have not yet posted in this thread. Im sure they are considering it and more then likely will post an opinion that will seem neutral on the subject to avoid offending anyone. Meh, I digress.

My background is managing automotive parts related retail establishments. In my opinion tracks that pay rent in high traffic areas and follow the industry standard retail markup have 0 chance of longterm success unless they are very aggressive with low cost marketing and have a high percentage of customer retention.

The only way for them to succeed is if patrons regularly spend money purchasing parts, labor, and track time. Using the slot industry's 40% gross margin model, a typical slot track has little to no room for payroll.

While it certainly does not hurt to have slot racer show up with a box full of cars they typically have zero interest in purchasing anything of substance. Slot racing's industry as a whole would do much better if we encourage Racers to purchase new products and have the track maintain their cars for weekly racing.

When business's approach Greg and inquire becoming a advertiser they evaluate the content of a website, see what is trending, and make a decision whether or not they want to become a advertiser.

As of the last few years it seems like "current production" content on this and other slot forums have dramatically reduced. This is a sign that we as a whole are not attracting enough new guys into the hobby. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Attrition is destroying this Hobby.

...and with all that, none of it shores-up the idea that people interested in "vintage" are or somehow will kill slots.  If a raceway is only keeping the door open for vintage guys, the owner is on the way to failure with or without them...period.  If a track has a "somewhat" healthy business and some vintage guys start to show up, the track is not going to suddenly start failing.


  • grooverunner likes this
John Havlicek

#25 olescratch

olescratch

    olescratch

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 723 posts
  • Joined: 19-July 13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ravenna, OH

Posted 01 February 2018 - 04:57 PM

As mentioned by Guy, "members" of these racing groups have to be a bit more open to helping newbies improve!  When I re-entered the hobby, I did so at the now closed Rt. 93.  I barely opened the door and was greeted by damned near everyone in the place!  Not only was I shown an entry level product, I also received help in setting the car up for racing with the group.  Now this entry level purchase may have only been legal at that particular track, but it got me back into the hobby.  I'm not a racer, but I continue to purchase the parts for my "vintage-like" builds that are available at the nearest track.  I know that my injection of cash is only a drop in the bucket, but each drop counts.  I also buy track time for the day when I go, no matter how long I stay.  Long story shortened, people need to be made aware of the hobby, introduced to the items needed to participate, then be treated as a part of the group.  Now that last part is where I see a problem.  I know of very few "racers" with the desire to win that are willing to assist someone beat them!     


John Stewart





Electric Dreams Online Shop