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Old Arizona slot car tracks and locals, 1965-73


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#1 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 04:45 PM

One of the tracks in the Phoenix area that was a fun place to race was actually in Scottsdale, with Scottsdale being an affluent Phoenix suburb I was surprised it was open for so long what with rents and cooling bills being so high.

 

The track name was Miniature Grand Prix of Scottsdale and owned by Wayne Tanner and his family, it was truly a family business as Mrs. Tanner and her boys were behind the counter and provided excellent customer service. Their track was an MGP track that is very well described below by Thomas Hanson. I made the trek out to Tanners by carpool from another track located a few miles from my home, I'd ride my bike there then the track owner would load up a bunch of his racers and take them to Tanners. I was in 7th grade when I made my first away race at another track, I raced one of my RussKit 22's wound with 30awg Simco wire in a modified RussKit brass chassis & russKit cooper body. I won! what a shock. Over the years there would be a lot of racers go trough this track but one in particular went on to make some really good controllers in the Diode era, Henry Vervoorn.

 

The track flourished while Mr. Tanner was alive, he was a heck of a great guy, one day I heard Wayne had died of a sudden heart attack. The track remained open for a wile after but soon closed. To the Tanner family, your dad was a great man.

 

I agree with tom, Foster's Freeze is great, too bad we don't have any in Arizona:-(

 

Clipped from another post on this Blog, written By Thomas Hansen.
 
The MGP I raced at opened in like summer of '64, maybe even spring. One of its two tracks was kinda similar to the yellow Windsor but with three very distinct differences. The esses were at the far end by the 180, the donut was on the opposite side so it ran like this- left kink-uphill-right 180- across the bridge-downhill left donut-straight-esses, right 180- straight and back to the kink, and the donut was much much much bigger. Oh yeah, and the Slushes next door at Foster Freeze were great!

Prior to MGP I ran in the basement on the modified figure-8 of the Orange Bicycle Shop. :shock:

Tom Hansen
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Arizona Recollections By Jesse Gonzales


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#2 Bill from NH

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 06:43 PM

Nice post Jesse! :) Keep the history coming.


Bill Fernald
 

I heard they weren't going to make yardsticks any longer.


#3 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 09:59 PM

Next up, Kapp's Raceway.

 

Jess



#4 Tim Neja

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 10:11 AM

The only Az slot racer I know is Dave Portz! He was one of those "magician's" with piano wire!! He could bend up and solder a chassis together that worked great quicker than anyone I"ve met until Joe Chevy!! Their two peas in a pod. 

But i knew Dave as a consummate 1/12 scale RC Racer in Tempe!! We battled every week in 1/12 scale in Tempe in the late 80's. A great gentleman--- lot's of fun and a talented builder.  

FWIW
 


She's real fine, my 409!!!

#5 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 05:30 PM

Kapps Raceway, Mid Phoenix AZ 1964-1967

 

This was one of those deluxe slot car tracks we heard about as being what the Californians had everywhere in the day, carpeting, air conditioning, American formica sided tracks etc. a real first class track. the manager was Richard Angle with Jay Jett as counter help. Kids or amateur races were held on Saturday afternoons and Open/Pro races were run on Tuesday nights. Everyone in those days ran whatever you brought so there were a mix of screw together cars and scratchbult chassis with rewound motors or bought exotics like UGo's or Green Hornet motors.

 

local fast crew was as follows, Jay Jett, Johns Greer, Joe Sandecki, Dennis and Jphn Gonzales (Brother but no relation to me) Bill Dillon from Seattle, Tiny Lewis, Val Hummel and a host of others from all over Phoenix. Oh, I forgot me! I was from a Barrio about six miles dead south which meant I had to cross martial law territory during the race riots that occurred in the 60's.

 

Kapps had all top notch American Raceways tracks and power supplies so it was a lot of fun to race there, we rotated racing on the three tracks, a Red, an Orange and a Black, the Orange was a favorite. When visiting pros from other tracks would come by to test against this hotbed of motor and chassis builders it was pretty apparent that their bought Muras and Champions had a tough time beating us. We once had avisit fro Jack Garcia who was very fast looking while alone on the track but was actually just mid pack when the Kapps cew filled the track. Same thing with UGo Smith came by.

 

We had just gotten into Pittman cans and 26D's when the track closed. For me this meant even further bike rides in our legendary summer heat to keep racing.

 

Good Days.

 

Jesse Gonzales







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