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From Larry's vault


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#1 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 05:48 PM

Here's little selection of what looks like Larry Shephard's  (1936-2011) Proxy cars.

I first met Larry when I was 17 in the height of the 60's.  Larry, then in his early 30's was the point man for everything precision in slot cars.  He did everything from wind Pittman
DC 65 motors, to pulling bodies from his own molds. His accomplishments
can't be told in just a few paragraphs.  We all were inspired by Larry's work !

 

In his later years, he turned to 1/32 scale proxy cars.  In Larry's tradition, anything was possible in design and construction.  These cars had seen some good racing no doubt. Notice the Silicone tires.  Those are capped over sponge by Larry.  I also learned how to cap tires.   I'm wondering who out there recognizes one or all of these that may have  been raced by someone you  know or raced them yourselves?  I'd really like to hear some stories, observations.

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#2 Bryan Warmack

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 10:07 PM

    Years ago when we started running 1/32nds in D3 out here at BPR, Larry sent me a box with a whole slew of old 1/32nd cars to check out and just play with.  An awesome variety of inlines and sidewinders that Larry had built over the years with many unique and odd ball chassis designs.  He also showed me how to add a thin silicone skin to the foam tires and after it was shown to work so well we decided to ban it to keep things simple for everyone!

 

   Somewhere I have pics of all of the cars that Larry sent me and if I can find them will post them here....


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#3 Mark Wampler

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 12:14 AM

Larry had a tremendous output of cars he built. Steve Foster has a museum upstairs at the track and there's a special section for Larry of his most unique designs. One of the tracks we raced on was a swoopy 200-foot glassy surface track and not a drop of glue on it. If you wanted to be fast you ran Larry's silicone cap tires. I bugged him about how to do it. You would bring your tires to him he would recap them for $0.50 a pair. One of the machines he used was an old sewing machine motor fixed with a threaded axle and foot pedal. He ended up giving me that sewing machine motor and I started practicing. He was way better at it but I did take a slice of the market so I sold mine for $0.35 a pair.
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#4 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 12:18 AM

I met Larry at the first Las Vegas Rad Trax slot car convention in '99.  Larry was meticulous in everything he did including bringing a small light box and lamp for taking photos of cars.  We were close in a number of ways including age - I was a week or two older.  Larry and I stayed in close contact until his unexpected demise.  His memory is treasured.

 

EM


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#5 rvec

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 07:45 AM

I met Larry in 2004 at the slot car convention at Rad Trax. What a great guy. He was the prime mover for the convention sending emails, creating classes of competition etc. I visited him at his home some years later. Besides slot cars, he was an accomplished gunsmith. Below is an image of me with Larry at the 2005 convention in Chandler and one of his slot cars. Back in 2015, I posted a retrospective on the 2005 convention. http://slotblog.net/...onvention-2005/  There are many images of Larry's cars (and those of many others). The article is quite long but just a look at the images will bring some of us back to those good old days of slotting! Hey Allen, there is am image of you and others (including our old friend Rocky and Bob Scott) at the drivers station for the vintage F1 race. Also, there is an image of your white Lister (I think it was yours).  One of my favorite images in the article is the Hula. Where Stan Smith, Dennis Sampson, Dennis David and other joined in.   

 

 

Larry Shephard.jpg

 

 

Cheetah.jpg

 

 


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#6 rvec

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 08:16 AM

Professor Fate (Rocky Russo) may he rest in peace and Larry always had a friendly rivalry. Larry was a stickler for detail while Rocky was more into performance. Anyway, Larry told me a story that I thought was humorous. 

 

Larry and Rocky agreed to a challenge sports car race to be held at one of the conventions long past. Larry selected a Cobra, while Rocky selected a Corvette.  Cars would be built for the upcoming event. Although it was assumed that the bodies would be stock, Larry pulled a fast one and created what he called a Cobrazilla.  Two Cobra models were used to create the "Zilla". Each was cut lengthwise but not at the centerline. When the two halves were joined the car was much wider than the original. Rocky howled at the injustice while Larry just laughed his a$$ off. 

 

I really miss both of these guys 


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#7 Mark Wampler

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 10:29 AM

Rich, great write up on that 2005 convention.  Here's a piece of history that had eluded me.  There was only one convention held at Buena Park that I remember and thought of it as a sideline  event, but in reality was to be the foundation of modern Retro.  I also didn't realize the enormous scope of Larry's influence.   Also noted in attendance was Dennis Samson, Paul Sterrett,  and Philippe.  The following year, D3 was born.  Had it not been for these retro fanatics,  Retro as we know it, might have never happened.

 

The pic of the Red Cobra is one of Larry's greatest work of art. 

 

The car sits in Foster's museum section dedicated to Larry.


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#8 Mark Wampler

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 11:40 AM

Ha, now I'm feeling nostalgic.  Our track, Foster's is closed, the work bench getting dusty,  so these stories are cool to read.  I knew Rocky and Larry were friendly rivals and for the most part, everyone here knew Larry in his latter years.  I knew the young Larry that knew how to win those long enduro races back in the day.  He would wind those Pittman dc 65's and hook up a tank and wick riding on the comm with trombone oil.  There was one track in Arroyo Grande at that time, but in Pismo Beach was the deluxe American Track, with the Red, Orange, Yellow and Black tracks.  The hard core competition happened in Arroyo Grande and Larry could do both.  The young Larry was mostly hard core competition.   His cars were the fastest.  So here's my Larry story.

 

It was late 1968,  Anglewinders had arrived on the Central Coast.  That summer, floppy pans had just came into vogue. We're 200 miles north of Orange county, just a small coastal community.  We read the slot car mags and knew some of the big players by name, but I'm not sure  Larry knew Bryan, Mike Steube, or John Cukras apart from the printied page.  I remember vaguely their names from just reading the mags. So there's this one race and here are Larry's  new Anglewinders on the track.  I didn't have a car that could keep up with these new advanced cars.  At that time the inline chassis craze was the cuc / ISO chassis.  Larry built a ton of them, many of them running his rewound 26d's.  So Larry loaned me one of those ISO cars with a 26d.  Several of the racers were still using Cox and MRC controllers, but when the Russkit controller came out, that was my choice. I could never go back to plunger controllers. The 26d was a rocket in the straights, but I was being run down in the corners.  It was a hairy race, blasting the straights and getting caught in the corners.  The whole race went that way.  In the end, I narrowly won, whew!!    As it turned out, it was one of the last races before I left slot racing  and the Arroyo Grande track closed a few months later the following year.  Few things impacted my existance as slot racing has.  I will always be a slot car enthusiast .


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#9 rvec

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 01:47 PM

Great story Mark.


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#10 rvec

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 09:55 AM

I do not want to hijack this thread so I am starting a new thread entitled Slot Car Conventions http://slotblog.net/...ar-conventions/

So far there are the 2005 and 2001 conventions chronicled. I will be posting many images of the 2004 conventions shortly


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#11 Mark Wampler

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 11:38 PM

I think that would be a great idea and yes a separate thread would give you better exposure and I know Larry would be pleased
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