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A trip to K&S Engineering


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#1 MSwiss

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 02:51 PM

I've been at K&S numerous times, but I never bothered to take pics.

They absolutely won't let anyone on the factory floor due to insurance reasons, but I did get into their west office for the first time.

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The display when you get "let in" the East building.

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The Special Shapes sign in the West building.

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This was something I never noticed before. I wonder if Don Siegel realized K&S was in his neck of the woods, and sold go karts out of it.

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One pretty cruddy K&S rack.

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LOL.


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Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516





#2 Bill from NH

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 03:36 PM

It's surprising they didn't sell dirt bikes back then, too.


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#3 don.siegel

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 03:38 PM

Thanks for posting that, Mike - never realized they were on the South Side, but for somebody without wheels as a young teen, it wasn't all that close. Also, we got all we wanted at the local hobby shop, back when there was such a thing... 

 

I think Gary is now right near the current K&S plant, more on the West side, right? 

 

I still pick up some K&S when I get back to Chicago (including for fellow addicts here in France!), but mostly go to the local Ace hardware store, where they have a pretty good stock. It's kind of sad seeing all the emply displays, as they phase out the bulk boxes for blister packs on cardboard... I may have mentioned this before, but I've even seen K&S displays here in France, and could still find some parts I needed up to about 10 years ago, especially outside of Paris. I really do wonder why they ever exported this kind of thing to Europe, but there must have been a market... 

 

Don 


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#4 zipper

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 03:51 PM

I built all my cars of K&S stuff on early '70s, it was the sole material used until they left the plating off.


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#5 MSwiss

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 04:25 PM

I think Gary is now right near the current K&S plant, more on the West side, right?

 

They would be 1.5 miles, due west, of the western edge of Midway airport, and near the Chicago - Summit border.

 

The neighborhood is called Garfield Ridge.


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Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#6 MSwiss

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 04:51 PM

I built all my cars of K&S stuff on early '70s, it was the sole material used until they left the plating off.

 

What did you switch to?


Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#7 MSwiss

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for posting that, Mike - never realized they were on the South Side,

 

That ad implies they were still on Halsted in '64.

 

I thought possibly you noticed the address, even recently, in a Car Model magazine.

 

Where did you live?

 

More towards Ashland?


Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#8 don.siegel

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 03:45 AM

Nope, 82nd and Paxton, right in South Shore, maybe a mile from South Shore HIgh School, my alma mater (that of James Dewey Watson also, the DNA guy, who also went to my grammar school). 

 

Of course, the most important landmark was Carl's Red Hots, on 83rd and Jeffrey... ask any old southsider about those dogs! 

 

I wasn't that adventurous either, mostly stayed in my basement building slot cars! 

 

Don 



#9 zipper

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 03:59 AM

What did you switch to ?

 

Mostly continued with K&S - with long teeth. But also whatever the hobby dealers could get, only unplated was available. Next chassis I built after a long let-up was in 1986 - a wire tripod as the light perimeter concept came here. And won the first race thanks to the sole Camen cobalt motor that didn't blow in the final...


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#10 Horsepower

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 04:27 AM

They would be 1.5 miles, due west, of the western edge of Midway airport, and near the Chicago - Summit border.

 

The neighborhood is called Garfield Ridge.

 

Dammit, Swiss! You ruined my wise and clever report on this subject. About the only one I know anything about, too. :sarcastic_hand: :crazy:

 

Thanks to Don too, for making me famous for five minutes. Yup, Don, that place doesn't look like too much but it's a step back into the more fun and less complicated times when you could spend a dollar and biuld your dream. I hate to say it but at the risk of showing my geezer credentials kids today don't build much in the real world.


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#11 MSwiss

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 07:24 AM

Dammit Swiss! You ruined my wise and clever report on this subject. About the only one I know anything about too. :sarcastic_hand: :crazy:

 

Gary, you can give us a review of Weber Bakery. Lol
 

Nope, 82nd and Paxton, right in South Shore, maybe a mile from South Shore HIgh School,

 

I somehow thought you lived west of State.

Where was your local raceway, again?

After I worked at the once slot car raceway/hobby shop, above Walgreen's, from '76-85, I worked about two miles from your house, at 73rd & Kimbark (3 blocks east of Stony Island).

I didn't hang out in that neighborhood much after work.

I do remember the intersection of 79th, Stony Island, and South Chicago, was considered the most dangerous one in Chicago for traffic accidents.


Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#12 don.siegel

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 08:19 AM

I worked at a small hobby shop/raceway on 71st Street, called Hobby Center, owned by a guy named Joe, who was in fact a German refugee. At first he had a hobby shop, in which he installed a four-lane Strombecker track, an HO track, and a dragstrip, about '64-65. Then probably in 1966 he moved a couple doors down and set up mostly as a raceway, with one eight-lane Formica-topped track - never knew who made it, and can't say I really asked myself the question at the time! 

 

Don



#13 Steve Deiters

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 08:33 AM

Very cool. Thanks for sharing the visit.



#14 MSwiss

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 08:44 AM

I worked at a small hobby shop/raceway on 71st Street, called Hobby Center, owned by a guy named Joe, who was in fact a German refugee. At first he had a hobby shop, in which he installed a four-lane Strombecker track, an HO track, and a dragstrip, about '64-65. Then probably in 1966 he moved a couple doors down and set up mostly as a raceway, with one eight-lane Formica-topped track - never knew who made it, and can't say I really asked myself the question at the time! 

 

How far east?


Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#15 don.siegel

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 09:07 AM

A block or two east of Jeffrey... it's actually mentioned in the Midwest column in a later Car Model, maybe in '69 or '70, after I had stopped working there. 

 

Really a small local place; there must have been hundreds or thousands like this in the States, never included in any list, that sprang up for a year or two between 1963 and 1967. We had a small local group of racers, maybe 10 in a race at the most; some of us went out to Tri-State Raceway when we wanted to go up against the big boys... don't think I ever made it up north at the time to Tom Thumb's in Evanston, or any of the Skokie raceways, or pretty much anywhere else in Chicago in fact. 

 

Don 



#16 MSwiss

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 09:16 AM

Was Tri-State the one at about 112th and Michigan/Roseland area?

 

I took a ride with my brother and friend, and an adult, to a real impressive one in that area.


Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#17 Richard G With

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 11:16 AM

When I started racing Retro a few years ago, the lack of plating on K&S wire was something I noticed and contended with. Thanks, Mike, for reintroducing plating.

I was intrigued to see the go kart ad, too. I raced one of those in enduros in the early '70s with side tanks. Never knew the K&S connection.


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#18 tonyp

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 03:09 PM

K&S I believe discontinued the plated wire because the plating would come off.


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