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A neat ad from an old Car Craft


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#1 MattD

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 02:43 PM

Scan0097.jpg

 

Wonder what landfill all those track molds ended up in?   This was in a Car Craft from Dec 63.


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Matt Bishop

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#2 MattD

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 03:52 PM

If I put these up before, well just look at them again!

Scan0084.jpg

Scan0083.jpg


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#3 Martin

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 07:08 PM

Love that track Matt, exciting layout.

 

Why did fiberglass tracks not become more popular. Seems like a good idea?


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#4 Bill from NH

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:37 PM

IIRC, it was the cost per running foot. Routed wood was less expensive. Shipping costs may have played a part too. When slot car raceways first came to northern New England in 1967, many of the tracks were Mr. Raceway's, built in Cambridge, MA.


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#5 MattD

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:52 PM

Built locally was probably a big deal when major builder was on the other side if the US.    I know that a few of the local tracks here were done by local craftsman, some to fit a particular shaped space.   I 

 

I may have read that the glass tracks were not real smooth, but I don't know that for a fact.   I'm sure wood was cheaper, but also heavier and maybe harder to take apart, ship and re-assemble.   I wonder what other track plans they may have had.


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#6 Martin

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 10:54 AM

I do realize that I will probably never have a dry space big enough to have a decent size track. That's what interested me about the fiberglass track, I think that is the perfect material to be able to leave the track outside in the wet season.

I would cover for sure, to keep it clean. This could add a whole new element to slots, Garden slots, why not?


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#7 Steve Deiters

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 12:06 PM

I have to wonder when I see these mega -sized tracks from way back when if the drivers fell asleep waiting for the cars of the era to eventually make it around to complete a single lap.  LOL



#8 MattD

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 12:08 PM

Martin you can get those "plastic" sheets now in 4 X 8 and have them CNC routed to build a  weather resistant track.   Also very smooth with no painting.   How the heat would affect it and the braid is another issue.   

 

A guy here built a track from this material that is 4-5 sheets and makes a 4 lane oval.   He has it on a trailer that has a lid that raises up about 4 foot.   He takes it to events and sets it up for kids to play on.   He does that free, just because he likes involving kids.    I will take a picture of it sometime to post on here.

 

Steve, they still need to hire a kid to put the car back on so they don't waste all their track time walking around the track!


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#9 Bill from NH

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 08:15 PM

Someone here or on OWH posted a couple years ago they had actually ran on a Mili Miglia glass track. I forget who it was. It might have been Don Siegel or one of the Italians.


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#10 Martin

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 11:23 PM

I do remember building a Scalextic plastic track some 20 year ago. It was mounted on a plywood frame but if the sun hit it would buckle and warp until it cooled down.

Talk about changing track conditions.

I think glass is a bit more stable, but I open to others with experience.


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#11 Rick Moore

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 10:48 AM

My local raceway in MD in the northwest burbs of “Bawdamor” when I was a kid (were we really that young?) had two of the deluxe 240-foot Mila Miglia tracks pictured above, one in metal-flake blue and the other in metal-flake green. There was also a yellow figure-8 track in the back, probably 100-foot, but it looked tiny back there next to those other two monsters. Both tracks were pretty smooth (we used to wonder how people could stand to race on some of those “bumpy” wood tracks); the smoother blue one was used for racing, and had a photoelectric lap counter; the green one was used for rentals. I can’t recall the exact numbers for the power supplies they had hooked up to these things, except that compared to other area raceways it was in the “ridiculously overpowered” range. Made those long straights a lot less boring. It also made for a lot of burnt, melted, and/or exploded motors. The tracks even had ashtrays at the drivers’ panel, which we assumed were for smoking cigarettes and burning motors. You can’t really tell in the pic, but the gutter lanes on these fiberglass tracks had a rounded corner from the textured track surface to the smooth sidewall. If you were “skilled”, or more accurately “lucky”, you could “run up” onto the sidewall instead of “whacking” the wall; and while it allowed for “softer” wall-shots, the trade-off was you got more “launches” from de-slots. To turn-marshal the turns inside the Low-Bank and the High-Bank we would crawl under the track to be on the outside of the turns, so visibility was good too; as a “bonus”, instead of a side-wall, there was a large flat surface at the bottom of the High-Bank, so when we turn-marshalled the turn below it we could just sit there; you just had to watch out for flying cars that would smash you in the face, but that was true of all the turns. The safest place to marshal was the Esses, but that was only relative; people were known to take out life insurance policies before turn marshalling the Deadman (probably where that name came from).

 

Closed in spring 1968, not long after we all started building anglewinders…

 

Rick / CMF3

 


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#12 MattD

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 12:40 PM

Rick, thanks for your input on the glass tracks.   Great to hear  first  hand experience.


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#13 Half Fast

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 01:02 PM

What kind of traction did the glass surface provide?
 
I wonder if such a track would work today, might be good for high humidity environments, unlike MDF which absorbs water like a sponge.
 
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#14 Rick Moore

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 02:05 PM

This was back in the “pre-glue” days. The textured track surface kept them from being “ice rinks”. For the speed freaks on the blue track, foam tires were the way to go for racing. Mostly over on the green track (they tried to keep the normal people away from the race morons when possible) you’d see some people with “sillies” on their cars; for a while we (the race morons) thought that was why they called them “sillies”… I can only imagine with spray glue those 240’ Mila Miglias would have been, well, for lack of a better word, crazier…

 

The main problem with these tracks, and the majority of 60’s era tracks, were the track supports. Most tracks, like these, just had “legs” (and on some way too few) to support the track, and not the double-triangle supports we’re used to now. In retrospect I’m surprised how well the blue Mila Miglia held up.

 

A lot of old slot car geeks here who raced in the 60’s have a soft-spot in their hearts for tracks they ran on “back-in-the-day”, so you’ll have to excuse me if the Mila Miglia falls into that category for me. These days I’d need clean underwear if I ever saw one recreated to contemporary standards. After the garment change, I’d be on that track like white on rice…

 

But, dang, did we go through a lot of motors…

 


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