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#1 tonyp

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:29 PM

I enjoy reading the West Coast raceway thread and thought it was time to start an official NJ thread. Post pictures if you have them. More fun!

Noose should kick start this with his stories of Tiny Tots, which I believe was the first raceway in NJ.

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#2 Noose

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:52 PM

Wow... Tiny Tots. Remember it well and believe it or not the store is still there. I was around hmm... 12ish (circa 1964) and at that time Tiny Tots in Greenbrook, NJ, sold models, toys, etc., in addition to a section with kids furniture. So one day my grandfather takes me there to buy a model. We are walking around the store and I see a "back room" and this weird noise coming from it.

When I went to the room, my eyes almost fell out of my head. There were people racing cars on a big track. Nothing was cooler than that. Screw the model. What did I need to do to get one of those things? I had never seen a race track in a store before. It wasn't huge and it was a flat track. Can't remember when they finally removed the track from there but every time I drive by there I just smile.
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#3 tonyp

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:00 PM

I was either playing (not racing) with HO or 1/32 cars at that time. What kind of cars were around then? What was your first car?

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#4 Noose

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:02 PM

I remember it being a Russkit... Porsche I think but that was so many cars ago. I too had 1/32s and already passed over HOs.

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#5 NJ Racer

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:14 PM

Ever been to Teaneck on Teaneck Road? Had to be around '67 or so.
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#6 tonyp

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:27 PM

Ray, yes I was there but do not remember much about it. Was that the place with the fiberglass tracks? Also a guy named Nick Carpuck? Used to race there and also at Nutley.

The weirdest track I ever ran a car on was at Cranford Raceway. They had a two-story track that ran from the first floor to the second. You actually stood on the second floor in the infield to drive the cars. As you came up the hill to the second floor the cars actually went behind you. It did have a cool Laguna corkscrew style downhill though.

It was not a raceable track. All the tracks they had (three) were weird. I believe the owners were carpenters and built the tracks themselves. On Friday nights we would always pick a track we never went to before and go to run there. I do not think they made it to the pro era.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#7 Noose

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:32 PM

Cranford was awesome but I think they closed before the pro era for sure as did Clark, Fun Fair, our own Sebring, and Tom Thumb in Union.

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#8 tonyp

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:41 PM

A little known fact is PvA actually owned a raceway for a short time. Maybe in Scotch Plains? I am sure he catered to the geek racer. LOL... Never had a chance to go there.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#9 Noose

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:46 PM

I thought there is still an HO and 1/32 place in Scotch Plains. Maybe Rob knows.

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#10 tonyp

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:51 PM

Vintage Hobbies. I know he sells old stuff and lots of HO I think. Not sure if there is a track as the store front looks pretty small.

Tyrell Road. a couple of blocks down from the connection to 78.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#11 tonyp

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 02:26 PM

Sebring Sport Center in Irvington was my first home track and that of Noose also. It was a classic style slot car track, giant building, 30 foot at least of counter space with four or five people working there all the time, black and white checkered floors.

All the tracks were Englemans with the copper braid. 220, 165, the one shaped like a King but all flat and triangle donut. A 180(?) shaped like the 220 but smaller and reversed and a 110 or 90 footer.

It was a neat place, lots of room, and of course a couple of blocks from home. Lasted maybe 18 months or so. One of many tracks built too close to another and with an overhead that could never be paid.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#12 Noose

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 02:33 PM

Sebring became a kid's furniture store, too. How come there were too many of them?

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The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#13 Black Flag

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:32 PM

Tony, the track PvA owned was in Roselle. He lived in Scotch Plains.

Yes, the place was filled with geeks and you could feel the love. It was a decent track.
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#14 tonyp

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:42 PM

I am sure he made many a kid go home crying. LOL...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#15 tonyp

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:47 PM

Roy, do you remember when it was open and what kind of tracks Peter had?

Just trying to figure where it fit in during the Nutley era.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#16 slotcarone

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 06:52 PM

:D I remember Gran Prix in Upper Saddle River - raced there a few times I think in Car Model mag races.
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#17 Black Flag

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 07:06 PM

Roy, do you remember when it was open and what kind of tracks Peter had? Just trying to figure where it fit in during the Nutley era.

Yes, it was summer of 1967.

Only ran one race there on July 4th and still have the Dremel tool I won. It was a very small shop with one track somewhat like Nutley but shorter.

After that race PVA and I went to Jims in Jersey city and won the two-hour enduro together, which was held on the front track. And hard to believe we used one motor for the race but the power was mild. The trophies were the largest I had ever seen.

I believe PVA closed his track soon after that date.
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#18 Bob Emott

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 06:20 AM

Pete von Ahrens' raceway was in Berkeley Heights, NJ. He lived in Scotch Plains.
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#19 Rob968323

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 06:20 AM

I thought there is still an HO and 1/32 place in Scotch Plains. Maybe Rob knows.

The shop in Scotch Plains has a tiny 1/32 track. He has it up half the year and the other half he has the HO track up.
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#20 Bob Emott

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 06:54 AM

The hobby shop is called Nostalgia Hobbies, and they do alternate with an Aurora Tub HO track and a 1/32 scale Scalextric track that fits in the same area. They hold races for each scale.

They have an amazing collection of 1/32 scale cars on sale (maybe 250 or more cars of all manufacturers), and they are also very big on new and vintage HO cars. They also sell some vintage slot cars and magazines. It is a small shop but well worth a visit if you are in the area.
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#21 Bob Emott

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 07:06 AM

:D I remember Gran Prix in Upper Saddle River - raced there a few times I think in Car Model mag races.

Grand Prix had two tracks. A sort of L-shaped figure 8 and a wonderful road course that is one of my favorite tracks. It had only one straight away which was only about six feet long... The rest of the track was made up of a mix of tight and gentle curves with a "main straight" that was a sweeping lefthander that had a radius of maybe 30 feet... It was a very drivable track and lots of fun to race on.
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#22 Bob Emott

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 07:16 AM

Tiny Tots was the slot car raceway of choice of Mark Donohue of Indy car, F1, Trans-Am and Can-Am fame...

A big problem I had with them was that they had a policy of allowing someone to rent a lane and stay on it for as long as they wanted... If no one wanted to let you get on the track, you didn't get to play...

They were my source for Marklin hook-up wire, which I used for slot car lead wire...
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#23 Black Flag

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 09:17 AM

Tiny Tots was the slot car raceway of choice of Mark Donahue of Indy car and Can-Am fame...

A big problem I had with them was that they had a policy of allowing someone to rent a lane and stay on it for as long as they wanted... If no one wanted to let you get on the track, you didn't get to play...

They were my source for Marklin hook-up wire, which I used for slot car lead wire...

Bob:
Pete must have had another track as the one in Roselle was the only one I remember do you know what year the one in Berkely heights was? In 1969 took a 37 year break. Your chassis were the best I ever ran ie the indy car built for nutley no chatter.
Roy
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Posted 21 June 2008 - 09:59 AM

I have a flat 90' , 8 lane, hillclimb that came from The Atlantic City area, after being in storage for over 20 years. It is now restored & is a key element in our racing program. I don't know who built it or other history, but would love to learn more. I will post photos later this weekend.

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#25 tonyp

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 10:26 AM

Roy, I think I finished second in that enduro on the orange track...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#26 Uncle Fred

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 10:26 AM

Being a New Yawker I didn't get to race at a lot of NJ raceways. I remember running NAMRA races at Upper Saddle River and at a track in Cloister. I once accompanied Howie Ursaner to a mid week race at some little track in maybe Bergenfield? Howie called me saying he was in a bind.......he was racing for Cobra at the time and was supposed to make an appearance at this track in Jersey and needed to borrow my car since he didn't have one together. He picked me up in his Corvette and off we headed to NJ, unfortunately we headed SOUTH on the Garden State Parkway and didn't realize it until exit 109! We turned around and went north at a high rate speed arriving at a very small in town raceway that was upstairs and had a homebuilt road course that could not be more than 80 feet. Everybody wanted to see "Howie's car" but when I told them I had built it Howie called me aside and told not to tell anyone that :rolleyes:. He finished second in that race to some local who knew the track.....it was all pretty crazy.
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#27 tonyp

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 11:21 AM

We ran a pro race at Closter. Horrible King track, no bite, slippery and hot power. The ultimate combination. They had a really nice building and a big hobby shop upstairs.

I remember blowing up early and going upstairs to buy the new sensation, the Rubik's Cube.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
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American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
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#28 slotcarone

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 10:59 PM

We ran a pro race at Closter. Horrible King track, no bite, slippery and hot power. The ultimate combination. They had a really nice building and a big hobby shop upstairs.

I remember blowing up early and going upstairs to buy the new sensation, the Rubik's Cube.

:D
Tony---isn't it crazy how we can remember this stuff that happened almost 40 years ago?!!!

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#29 tonyp

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 05:54 AM

Sure is, Do I know you?
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"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
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#30 loudspeaker

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 05:23 PM

Ray, yes I was there but do not remember much about it. Was that the place with the fiberglass tracks? Also a guy named Nick Carpuck? Used to race there and also at Nutley.

The weirdest track I ever ran a car on was at Cranford Raceway. They had a two-story track that ran from the first floor to the second. You actually stood on the second floor in the infield to drive the cars. As you came up the hill to the second floor the cars actually went behind you. It did have a cool Laguna corkscrew style downhill though.

It was not a raceable track. All the tracks they had (three) were weird. I believe the owners were carpenters and built the tracks themselves. On Friday nights we would always pick a track we never went to before and go to run there. I do not think they made it to the pro era.


When I saw the topic of "New Jersey Raceways" I immediately started visualising a most unusual track that Howie and I raced at once. I was trying to remember the name when... here was Tony's post! Yes, Cranford was an amazing track. It makes one remember that at one point there were many unusual custom-built tracks which were unique and different (I guess EMMRA was the extreme example). Many required a long regimen of weeks if not months of practice to learn. Very different from a blue King. The Cranford track was pretty unusual in its own right. I'm trying to remember if we went to this track for an exhibition or a race. I'm thinking we went as Team Russkit for a race. In any event it was during the "Pro Era".

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#31 TSR

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 05:56 PM

Indeed, Howie also told me that they ran a few pro races at Cranford.

#32 tonyp

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 06:03 PM

It was a crazy track. I never realized they actually ever ran any races on it. I ran on it in 1966.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
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American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
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#33 Noose

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 09:02 PM

May have been the only 2 story slot track.

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The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#34 tonyp

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 09:30 PM

And one you drove from the infield.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#35 loudspeaker

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 10:22 PM

And one you drove from the infield.

Round and round you they went. And at today's speeds, following the cars would have made you dizzy. Sandy
Sandy Gross

#36 sportblazer350

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:26 PM

Vintage Hobbies. I know he sells old stuff and lots of HO I think. Not sure if there is a track as the store front looks pretty small.

Tyrell Road. a couple of blocks down from the connection to 78.



are you thinking of NJ Nostalgia Hobby? If so, owner is joe Corea, ho track is an original h.o. Aurora "tub track", fiberglass shell but uses newer track nowadays. he runs h.o. races and 1/32 scale races, each with a 6 month season. The h.o. season is mostly vintage Aurora, 1/32 scale races are mostly current rtr plasticars. On park Avenue just about 3 blocks off Rt22.

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#37 sportblazer350

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:30 PM

I too remember going to tiny tots on Rt22, but i don't remember a slot car track when i went there, in the early 1970s. i remember the original The Race Place at Collingswood flea market, and Mini Wheels in Highland Park. I think there was a raceway/hobby shop in Metuchen and one in Edison on Plainfield Avenue, but i dont' remember the shop names anymore.....

Glenn Orban
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#38 tonyp

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:42 AM

Glenn, Yes Nostalgia....

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#39 mrtc4w

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 05:23 PM

I have never been to NJ, but I have a K&B slot car case with a NJ slot shop sticker on it!

Posted Image

It also had this sticker:

Posted Image

There were also the usual stickers, STP, etc...

I tried to remove the stickers but I couldn't do it w/o destroying it, so I scanned them to preserve
them.

I believe there was a name on the case. If I can find it again I will post it.

Marty

#40 Marty Stanley

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 02:30 PM

I too remember going to tiny tots on Rt22, but i don't remember a slot car track when i went there, in the early 1970s. i remember the original The Race Place at Collingswood flea market, and Mini Wheels in Highland Park. I think there was a raceway/hobby shop in Metuchen and one in Edison on Plainfield Avenue, but i dont' remember the shop names anymore.....


sportblazer350,

Well the shop on Plainfield Avenue - located right next to the Burger King - was Edison Raceways #1.

The owner / operator decided to move it over to a different location on Amboy Avenue, basically in Fords, NJ.

I do not remember the owner's name, but one of the coolest guys and racers around was John that drove the Austin Healy. John worked at the location on Amboy Avenue and used to tease me about having a car that "ran 1/16 of an inch UNDER the track surface.

The Edison Raceways on Amboy Avenue had a American Model Car Raceways "Monarch" or "Black" track. I loved that track and raced many a race on that track. Back in 1966 or 1967 we started running with a lot of other raceways in what was then called "The Garden State Cup." All the raceways put a 4 man team together and we traveled to all the raceways that participated and raced on one of their tracks. It was a fun time.

Mini Wheels of Highland Park - Tag Powell owner / operator. I raced for Tag in the Nationals in 1967 down in Atlanta.

Now, we're talking about history there sir.


If y'all want to get "Noose" excited, let's start talking about the 300 foot monster in Linden! That was the only track where you could take a nap each lap. When the car came out of the last turn before the bank, just close your eyes and take a nap as it was going to be a bit of time before it got the the first turn coming out of the next banked turn. Lots of motor was needed on that track to go fast!


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#41 tonyp

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 02:39 PM

I believe Noose and I ran for Sebring Sports center in the Garden State cup series.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#42 Noose

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 05:04 PM

Yup..we did. And I pass that building where the Linden track was everyday.

Joe "Noose" Neumeister
Sometimes known as a serial despoiler of the clear purity of virgin Lexan bodies. Lexan is my canvas!
Noose Custom Painting - Since 1967
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The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#43 tonyp

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 05:10 PM

It was a long walk to the other side to get your car when you fell off. I always wondered why they put the drivers panel on the long straight between the 2 banks...

Edison was the track where they refused to finish running the series race because PVA built a super heavy car, glued the crap out of the track and their light weights would not go through it. It was revenge for the year before as that is what they used to do to the visiting teams. We argued to like 1:00 in the morning. Bob Kean raced for their team.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
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#44 Matt Bruce

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:12 PM

I know alot of you guys must remember Checkered Flag Raceway in Woodbury, NJ. I was to young to ever have run there but it was very close to where I grew up. My uncle took my brother and I to the track after it had moved to Clementon, NJ not that far away. Carl Ford, Rob Renninger, Ed Gaskill, Dave Wikstrom,Larry Hermann, are just a few of the regulars who raced there. I got to race with these guys as a teen at another track in Canton, NJ called Frog Ocean Speedway which is still running since 1976. That track is in the basement of Bruce Mitchell who made the track himself. Six lanes with wide spacing, 100 ft. long and very fast. We ran scratchbuilt grp 27 dirt modifieds from Jan to April with a 12 week point series and a 500 lapper as our superbowl race back then. Today they run a turboflex Champion chassis with a proslot 12 for power and Champion Nascar bodies. Web site is www.frogocean.com. Rob Renninger who was R&S Bodies back in the day still runs there. That track should be put into the slotblog raceway directory. Bruce has all the races documented from 1976 to today. They only race in the winter but have been doin it a long time. I think with a little persuading we could get some of these guys retro racing with us. That track back in the day was what scatchbuilt cars, overpowered with no downforce was all about. Check it out.

#45 tonyp

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 09:01 AM

Clementon. Ernie and I were just about unbeatable there for around 2 years. My stuff just really worked on that track... Great place, Jack and his wife were great. That track was in WV I believe than Plainfield about 10 miles from my house for awhile. No idea where it is now. Joel and I had a great race the ARCO I believe. He will kill me down the straights with his Pooch power and I would be ahead as we turned on the straights. Handling won out that day. It was one of the races i was proudest of winning..

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#46 Matt Bruce

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 05:49 PM

Does anyone remember the track in Vineland, NJ? I heard it was an Engleman which later was split into two raceways. 110 ft went to Millville, NJ as a figure 8, and the other 110 went to Chicks Hobby Center in Paulsboro, NJ. Both tracks are gone now, Chick got rid of his around 86` or 87`and Bill in Millville sold his building just a few years ago.I raced on both those tracks, but not Vineland, that was before my time.

#47 Flash24

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 04:37 PM

A little known fact is PvA actually owned a raceway for a short time. Maybe in Scotch Plains? I am sure he catered to the geek racer. LOL... Never had a chance to go there.


PVA and Tony :)

oh yeah, and Edsel

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#48 Flash24

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 04:52 PM

Clementon. Ernie and I were just about unbeatable there for around 2 years. My stuff just really worked on that track... Great place, Jack and his wife were great. That track was in WV I believe than Plainfield about 10 miles from my house for awhile. No idea where it is now. Joel and I had a great race the ARCO I believe. He will kill me down the straights with his Pooch power and I would be ahead as we turned on the straights. Handling won out that day. It was one of the races i was proudest of winning..


Since you were so proud and you should be, maybe you would want this back old friend :)

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#49 tonyp

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 04:52 PM

Matt,

We used to race GP 27's in Vineland. He had this big track with 2 banks 2 banked 180's and a zig-zag in front of the drivers panel. I started the light car deal with the front wheels inside the pans on that track. I had some super light cars which was heard of at the time. Some with fiberglass batpans and homemade fronts made from flat plastic sheet.

I figured there was only one hard turn and if I crawled through it, I could make it up the rest of the way around the track. Worked really good. Won a few of the pro-races there.

I think the second track was a figure 8. The owners name was Bill Langley. Ron Boorman was one of the local hot shots.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#50 tonyp

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 05:37 PM

Flash, Thanks... Anytime you can beat the Camen guys back then it was an accomplishment...

I'd still like to know how you wound up with it.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Noose Painted Bodies
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
Car Model Magazine Series Amateur Champion
2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
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