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New Jersey raceways


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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.

"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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#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.

Joe "Noose" Neumeister
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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.

Joe "Noose" Neumeister
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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

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
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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

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
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Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
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ip


#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?

Joe "Noose" Neumeister
Sometimes known as a serial despoiler of the clear purity of virgin Lexan bodies. Lexan is my canvas!
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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

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
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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

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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