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Slot car racing is popular again – with men in their 60s


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:10 AM

Don't know how I missed this report in the LA Times from over two years ago... especially since it features Slotblog members Eddie Shorer, Dennis David, and others.

Slot car racing fad of the 1960s is popular again with men in their 60s
 
fo.jpg
Michael Smalley, far left, watches fellow FarrOut Slot Car Club racers compete at a private track in Glendale. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
 
Slot car racing was born in the early 1900s, but the hobby languished until the 1950s, when English entrepreneurs began to build electrified tracks and controllable scale-model cars to race on them.
 
The new system spread to America. By the mid-60s, there were more than 3,000 public race tracks in the US. Manufacturers Scalextric, Revell, Aurora, Carrera, and Tyco were together selling $500 million worth of cars and equipment a year.
 
Kids like Shorer began frequenting tracks where, for only a few dollars, they could spend hours racing with their pals.
 
I was ditching Hebrew school when I was 12 years old when I wandered into a hobby shop in West Covina, Shorer said. As a result, I never got my bar mitzvah.

Read the remainder of the story HERE.

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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap





#2 Pappy

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:10 AM

Cheater,

 

You need to change the title of this thread. We're not "men" in our 60s, we're "boys" in our sixties.  :laugh2:  :dance4:


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Jim "Butch" Dunaway
 
Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 

I'm so sunny and bright I am now being blamed for global warming.

 

I don't always go the extra mile, but when I do it's because I missed my exit.

 

 

 


#3 Cheater

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:14 AM

It's their title, Butch...


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#4 gatormark

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:33 PM

That's actually the kiss of death for the hobby, wouldn't you say?


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#5 Steve Deiters

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 05:06 PM

There was an Eddie Shorer that came and raced at Parma a couple of times when Ken MacDowell was having his big  "Nationals" races. 

 

Unbelievable times as I look back on them. Heady stuff.


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#6 Tim Neja

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:26 PM

That's actually the kiss of death for the hobby, wouldn't you say?


This hobby is dying when we die!! There's no generation below us to keep it going! Gonna be virtual reality games and computers!! That's okay – extinction is part of nature, too!! :)
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She's real fine, my 409!!!

#7 gatormark

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 06:04 AM

Tim, your right, it's run its course.
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#8 MattD

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 08:42 AM

It is what it is. I always say us old guys should just enjoy what we have and then if it becomes extinct, so be it. It will stay alive if anyone wants it. eople find a way to keep alive what interests them.   
 
Looks pretty obvious the momentum is 1/32 basement racers.
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#9 sportblazer350

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 01:35 PM

yes 1/32 plasticar and h.o. clubs will keep the racing part of the hobby alive. There will always be closet collectors. 

 

and as far as us guys in our 60's enjoying what we have- yes that is the point of what i have been saying here in Slotbog. We should stop complaining, stating that only certain types of cars are the best to race, etc etc. If we realise the it is us seniors that are keeping the last flames of racing going at commercial raceways here in the US, then we should all make a bigger effort to support local raceways, race with other groups, encourage club racers to go to commercial raceways, and just maybe- we can attract younger generations to keep the flame lit after we are gone.


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#10 Pappy

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 03:04 PM

You would think that the younger generation would really flock to slot cars. After all, they are the original 100% electric cars.  :D


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Jim "Butch" Dunaway
 
Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 

I'm so sunny and bright I am now being blamed for global warming.

 

I don't always go the extra mile, but when I do it's because I missed my exit.

 

 

 


#11 Tim Neja

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 06:58 PM

When they make cell phones work as controllers we might have a chance!!   :shok:  :laugh2:


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She's real fine, my 409!!!

#12 Dallas Racer

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 12:35 PM

Each generation has their own interest. Nothing surprising about this generation's lack of interest in slot cars.

 

And it just dawned on me, everyone keeps complaining about kids. What about people in their 20's, 30's, 40's and even 50's. They're not into slot cars either. At least not many of them. Slot cars are truly a geezer hobby.

 

Like Matt said, just enjoy it for what it is.


Phil Smith ® ©


#13 gatormark

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 05:13 PM

We are in an area that is full of snowbirds but still no new interest. Its dead. Now taking into consideration we have great fishing, golf and pickleball which is the rage with seniors.
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#14 Pappy

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 05:32 PM

OK, I'll bite. What is Pickleball?


Jim "Butch" Dunaway
 
Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 

I'm so sunny and bright I am now being blamed for global warming.

 

I don't always go the extra mile, but when I do it's because I missed my exit.

 

 

 


#15 MSwiss

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 05:57 PM

I was curious to know when a slot racer Gil Rivera kept on touting it on Facebook.

It's a sport with the world's most non-descriptive/appropriate name.

Without Googling it again, IIRC, it's combination tennis and ping pong.

Smaller court than tennis, and solid paddles, like ping pong.

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

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#16 Dave Crevie

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 10:18 AM

Well, now that there is a much younger (20's, 30's, 40's) moving into my area, I will defend them in a small way in

saying they haven't the time for a hobby. Both parents are working 50/60 hours a week to support a lifestyle well

beyond their means. They are trying to stay ahead of a mortgage that can be $5,000 per month or higher, send

their kids to elite private schools which charge $35,000/year, and pay off financing on high-end autos. They have

nannys or grandparents take their kids to their soccer games because they are working Saturdays. To have a

hobby, you need time. Down time. Time to relax. But isn't that why we "old timers" got into them to begin with.   

 

P.S. I realize my neighborhood is not typical, but isn't the problem universal? We are all trying to keep our heads

above water, which means we have to expend more time making a living than we did 50 years ago.


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#17 sledge57

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 12:06 AM

That's actually the kiss of death for the hobby, wouldn't you say?

Hopefully not, I'm 63 and just got my 10 year old nephew hooked, we just have to drag the kids to the track with us so they can experience the hobby themselves. The issue is the lack of tracks and decent hobby shops IMHO. I'm lucky to have 3 different places to race within an hour of home plus Professor Motor 45 minutes away.


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Doug Sloan
Dearborn Heights, MI

 

"You don't quit playing when you get old, you get old when you quit playing"

"Kids in cars cause accidents, accidents in cars cause kids"

My 1:1 scale slot car
SxA6cK6.jpg


#18 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 12:56 AM

There has been a sea change in attitudes towards cars and driving that has cast a shadow over the hobby.  My son, now almost 50, was, as was I, prepared to the point of hyperventilation to take his driving exam on the day he became eligible.  His first car was a Fiat 124 coupe and he would go on at great length about the DOHC engine, Weber carbs, 5 speed gearbox etc.  My daughter, now approaching 29 (2nd marriage) reluctantly studied for and took her driving test the year after she graduated from college.  She views cars and driving as a necessary chore.

 

To me, electric cars are appliances.  While self driving (only) cars are still away off, I see the offering, by insurance companies, of various systems to record and rate driving habits as a foreshadowing of a time when they will be required. It is only a short step from that to some level of state imposed external control over motor vehicle operation.

 

I fear that the golden age of automobile ownership and driving is fading into the past and, along with it, interest in other related activities.


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#19 Dave Crevie

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 12:35 PM

Doug; Love it!! Hemi, maybe?



#20 olescratch

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 08:47 PM

  While at a family gathering today I asked the question, do you know what a slotcar is?  Out of a group of 9 kids, ranging in ages 9to19, the only one with a clue was the 19yr old, my grandson.   Wanna talk about what's killing the hobby, how many kids/less than 60 have you exposed to slot cars lately?  It's a secret that only a few are aware of, and tend to keep to themselves.  TAKE SOMEONE NEW WITH YOU THE NEXT TRIP TO THE TRACK!  It's funny but once exposed to slots, most will want to come again!


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#21 sledge57

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 10:13 PM

Doug; Love it!! Hemi, maybe?

Thanks. no a "tiny" little 500" stroker (400 block) ~625 hp

 

It's fun...


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Doug Sloan
Dearborn Heights, MI

 

"You don't quit playing when you get old, you get old when you quit playing"

"Kids in cars cause accidents, accidents in cars cause kids"

My 1:1 scale slot car
SxA6cK6.jpg


#22 sledge57

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 10:20 PM

  While at a family gathering today I asked the question, do you know what a slotcar is?  Out of a group of 9 kids, ranging in ages 9to19, the only one with a clue was the 19yr old, my grandson.   Wanna talk about what's killing the hobby, how many kids/less than 60 have you exposed to slot cars lately?  It's a secret that only a few are aware of, and tend to keep to themselves.  TAKE SOMEONE NEW WITH YOU THE NEXT TRIP TO THE TRACK!  It's funny but once exposed to slots, most will want to come again!

Exactly, my wife and I spent last night at a friend of hers. I mentioned taking my nephew slot racing to her new boyfriend and his ears perked up and wants to go next time I go.

 

Unfortunately chemo every other week limits my track time, so a week from Saturday before I'm able to again...

 

But it's another person interested, he's no kid, in his 40's, but he's another guy to race with.

 

By the way, I love this site. Just getting back to slot cars after 10 years or so but it's been 50 years since I had 1/24 scale cars. I built a 32nd scale track for my niece and nephew (different kids) 15 years ago in my basement (well that's the story I told my wife anyway, we know who used it the most...) 

 

Unfortunately it didn't stick with them and now I'm stuck with ~100 1/32 cars, sold the track...

 

Cancer is going to force me to retire I fear and building and playing with slot cars again is how I plan to pass time now. (with a little N scale trains thrown in)


Edited by sledge57, 01 January 2020 - 10:31 PM.

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Doug Sloan
Dearborn Heights, MI

 

"You don't quit playing when you get old, you get old when you quit playing"

"Kids in cars cause accidents, accidents in cars cause kids"

My 1:1 scale slot car
SxA6cK6.jpg


#23 MattD

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 10:40 PM

Good luck.


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#24 Dave Crevie

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 10:08 AM

I'm sure the Dodge is fun. N-scale is good if you want a lot of running, not so much for modelling. If you are not too deep into the

N-scale, consider going with Bachmann On30, about the same price and can run in the same space. Far easier to build locos,

cars and structures. And I like the character of narrow guage. Of course if you want to do superpower locos, you will need a lot

of space. 

 

IMG_0196.JPG

 

IMG_0151.JPG

 

Top photo, Bachmann Climax. Bottom photo, Climax with Bachmann Shay just ahead. Either can be had at swap meets for under

$200. Sets with the 2-6-0 loco, track, cars and power pack can be bought for about the same price.

 

Trains still are, and always will be, big with kids.


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#25 MattD

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 10:27 AM

Dave, it doesn't matter how old the kids are!!!

 

I have a few copies of The Narrow Gauge Gazette.   The detail and skill is fantastic on the layouts pictured.   A few used issues (ebay)  are worth buying just for the pictures on the cover!


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