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Oscar Koveleski


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#1 Steve Deiters

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 08:43 PM

I saw on a Facebook page devoted to Can-Am racing that Oscar Koveleski is in an assisted living facility in his hometown of Scranton, PA.

Truly a pioneer in slot racing and the hobby industry on many levels. He saw slot racings potential early on. Owner of AutoWorld and one of the owners/founders of Car Model magazine. The catalogs are legendary and a valued collectible. A character in the hobby industry and 1/1 in the world of Can-Am racing.

Literally one of a kind. Lets keep him in our thoughts.


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#2 raisin27

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:11 PM

I remember his Can-Am McLaren with the slot car track graphics on it.


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#3 Alchemist

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:29 PM

I remember how excited I would get, looking through the Autoworld magazine/catalog.

 

Always dreaming that one day I would own my own slot car or two!

 

His name and Autoworld, brings back fond youthful memories of slot cars.

 

I hadn't heard his name for so many years - it's good to have been reminded of him and his accomplishments.

 

Thank you for sharing, Steve - it's very much appreciated!

 

Ernie


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#4 Bill from NH

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:02 PM

I found Auto World when I was just a model builder. They carried lots of unique parts I couldn't find locally. I would place two good size orders every year. He always had everything I ordered in stock & I never had any backorders.


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#5 team burrito

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 02:43 AM

auto world & car model magazine were the two most important publications i ever read. i loved looking at all of the cool bodies you can get from auto world & i loved the cool chassis building articles from car model. i especially like the four-part build article by lee gilbert & his gal pal, donna.
 

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#6 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 07:43 AM

We visited his “World HQ” once. I remember it being much smaller than I expected for a company that had everything. After all, the AutoWorld catalog was the Bible of slot racing. I also remember he was a super nice host. Had a great visit.
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#7 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:03 AM

I met Oscar once - years ago. He was heavily into go-karts (1:1) at the time. I have a signed photo of him with his Can-Am car as a remembrance. Very nice guy - easy to talk with.
 
EM
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#8 MSwiss

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:22 AM

Howie ran into Oscar at a Vintage event, at Road America, a few years ago.

Oscar remembered Howie as one of the stars, if not the top star, from the era when Auto World was in it's slot racing prime, and invited him into the hospitality area for lunch.
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#9 MattD

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:17 AM

6028.jpg

 

6030.jpg

 

This one was kind of my bible when I was figuring out what was what back in the '66-67 era. The '67-1/2 is just as good.

 

6031.jpg


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#10 Dave Crevie

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:39 AM

Met him briefly at the 35th Can-Am reunion. A true character. Can't imagine anyone ever having a bad word to say about him. This would be a great loss to everything that is automotive related.
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#11 Steve Deiters

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:26 AM

Are you referring to the reunion that was at Watkins Glen? If so, I was there also with Ken MacDowell and his McLaren M6A. We spent some time with Oscar also. He drove Ken's car to the grid for the photo shoot of all the cars. 
 
Had seen him many years over the years at several race tracks. He would talk your arm off. LOL. He never would tell me why they called the late Teddy Meyer of McLaren "Weiner." LOL.
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#12 tonyp

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:05 AM

Met Oscar at Car Model magazine. Great guy.


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#13 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:18 PM

I was friends with Oscar and the Car Model crew when i was a teen. I traveled with them and worked at the Car Model Proxy mail-in Drag race in Hartford. We were like a family. I did run into Oscar at RA and he lit up when he saw me and we had a good time. He gave me some cards of his Polish Racing Team. It was great to see him.


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#14 Dave Crevie

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:33 PM

Steve,

 

No. The official reunion was at Road America, organized by Dan Davis. A lot of tracks had reunions that year, but the Historic Can-Am Association only backed the one at the Brian Redman International Challenge in July.

 

Pete Lyons always referred to Oscar as the "Clown Prince of the Can-Am." I think that fits very well. He was everyone's friend.



#15 Steve Deiters

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:09 PM

FYI for everyone.  
 
Oscar's Auto World
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#16 917-30

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 05:03 PM

I’ve been wondering how Oscar was doing, sorry to hear about more recent events. I wonder if his wife is still alive - I met her at the 2006 Can-Am reunion at Road America. This lady was selling Auto World videos, stickers, and other memorabilia on a card table set up in the paddock or near vendors row. Turned out to be Mrs. Kovaleski. I bought some of each, and some Michael Turner Christmas cards. Very friendly, we had a nice conversation, and I was later able to get Oscar’s autograph in my copy of Pete Lyons’ book. He made sure that I got his fellow PRDA member Tony Adamowicz’ (“Tony A to Z”) autograph.

Steve Dieters, that’s a great tribute website. I think the big Can-Am reunion at Watkins Glen (which was supported, at least that year, by the Can-Am Association) was in ‘92, and I was amazed to meet Ken McDowell and even more surprised that he owned a Team McLaren M6A. Do I have the right year?

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#17 Steve Deiters

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:07 PM

That’s about the time frame... early '90s. The McLaren that Ken owned was a spare tub that had come from the Penske stable.

#18 Cheater

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 12:37 PM

Here's one of the better pics of Oscar's famous 'slot car' McLaren that I've seen.

 

oscar.a.jpg


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#19 Dave Crevie

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 02:38 PM

That livery was available on the Vanquish MG series of 1/32 slot cars. The cars were oversize, somewhere around 1/28

or 1/30. The differentials didn't last, most people replaced them with one piece axles. Run as a single class, they were fun.



#20 MattD

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 10:23 PM

I got one of the MG cars just because of the Oscar connection. I do like the MG cars though.

 

P1010009.JPG

 

Had to have this one, too.

 

P1010010.JPG


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