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Fretting In the wrong direction

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#1 Michael Jr.

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 06:16 AM

There are a couple of quotes that remind me that we might sometimes be misidentifying our bottom line.

“If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself. “ J. W. Marriott.

Which is an expansion of, “Look after your customer and the business will take care of itself.” Ray Kroc (founder of McDonalds)

We prognosticate and speculate and postulate about whether we ought to have any hope based on whether we will ever rise to the level of success seen during the slot car bubble of 1965. Or somewhere thereabouts.

We do a lot of things right. But our fixation on numbers is myopic. Clearly we are surviving and in a good number of places we are thriving.

I love our '60s history. I love the pictures of guys wearing ties racing. The steering wheels that do nothing lined up along the side of the track. I don’t think 2020 looks too shabby either. I don’t have a tie for the track but I have shirts with reflective vinyl (ahem... $20 each plus postage and handling BTW). Some of these tracks... ooooo wee... they are purdy! And we don’t have one huge place on the east coast... we have several big spots for those that want to see them.

Things aren’t bad, gentlemen. In many ways they are really really good. No, this doesn’t look like 1965. But 1965 didn’t look like 2020 either. NASCAR has more to worry about than we do right now.

What we have in common with 1965 is the person standing trackside squeezing a trigger and hoping his car makes him look good. Let’s just help him. And the hobby will take care of itself.

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Michael Cannon

#2 Racer36


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Posted 12 May 2020 - 09:33 AM

The irony of the quote from Marriott is astounding. My brother worked for Marriott corporate and they are the worst back stabbing bastards imaginable.


That is not an editorial on your post however.

Dennis Dominey

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#3 MattD


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Posted 12 May 2020 - 11:46 AM

The steering wheels actually had a function on those early tracks.    I think that if you oversteered or understeered   your car, it actually slowed down, so you had to steer perfectly.   What about you old guys that ran on those tracks?

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Matt Bishop

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#4 Rotorranch


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Posted 12 May 2020 - 12:05 PM

The steering wheels actually had a function on those early tracks.    I think that if you oversteered or understeered   your car, it actually slowed down, so you had to steer perfectly.   What about you old guys that ran on those tracks?


Matt, the one that I ran on in the 60's, the steering wheel had to be turned left in the left hand turns, right in the right hand turns, and straight down the straights. It wasn't proportional. It only controlled the power distributed to the left, right and straight sections of the track. The accelerator pedal controlled all the power, just like a controller does.



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#5 Jay Guard

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 12:59 PM


Rotor is correct abut how the steering wheels operated and it must have been a huge mass of wires under the track to make it work that way.  If you remove the steering wheels the track would simply need to be rewired in a conventional fashion to allow it to work with regular hand controllers.  The track surface and braid wouldn't need to be modified.

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#6 Half Fast

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 01:21 PM

They were not interesting, they were a PITA. People had trouble with them with their cars stopping in the turns and causing a crash. Not fun, they did not last long.



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#7 Tom Eatherly

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 04:30 PM

And here I thought you were talking about working on frets on guitars. Opps! Well, now you know what I've been up to at times.
Tom Eatherly

#8 Aeropro


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Posted 12 May 2020 - 07:19 PM

The only time I ever saw those steering wheels was when I was a little kid and visited an amusement center at some beachfront boardwalk (perhaps on Coney Island?) I thought they were entirely bogus: I could drive MUCH faster with my own car and a real slot car controller (SO THERE!). Amusing, but not practical....

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#9 NSwanberg


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Posted 13 May 2020 - 03:48 AM

I've heard it said that the only people Comcast treats worse than their customers is their employees.

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