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1967 Arco Nationals in Atlanta, GA


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 04:12 PM

Big thanks to Don Siegel for scanning these pages from his massive slot car library at my request. After seeing a page or two of this article on Facebook, I realized I'd never read the whole thing.

 

In 1967, I was just 13 and had been racing slot cars for a little more than a year. One of the older guys from Nashville was driving down for this race and was willing to let me tag along, but my guardians didn't know him so would not let me go. The Williamsburg shopping center still exists right at the Clairmont Road exit of I-85, just a couple of miles from where we lived for about fifteen years, but by the time I got to Atlanta in 1972, the raceway was long gone.

What I find so cool about this race report is how many of the people listed in the article are people I not only came to know, but in many cases became good friends with (the late Bob Cozine, for example). It's also amazing how many of them are still involved in slot racing as well as how many are members here at Slotblog.

Best not to ask Howie about this event, as he feels to this day that he would have taken the overall title from Cozine had not a child put one of his cars on the wrong lane, resulting a massive wall-shot.

 

From the April 1968 issue of Car Model magaine. (If you click on the images, they will get much larger for easier reading.)

 

arco.atl.p1.jpg

 

arco.atl.p2.jpg

 

arco.atl.p3.jpg

 

arco.atl.p4.jpg


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Gregory Wells

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





#2 Cheater

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 04:23 PM

Forgot to mention that I believe Raymond 'Speedy' Gonzalez still has the body for that concours-winning Ford Fairlane. Maybe he'll post a pic of it...


Gregory Wells

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


#3 Don Weaver

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 06:40 PM

I remember he brought it to Abbeville's Slots of Fun on his first SERRA visit there.

 

Don


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#4 Cheater

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 07:35 PM

I'll see if I can find a pic of that body in the coverage. I do think one was posted in the distant past.


Gregory Wells

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


#5 mickey thumbs

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 10:43 PM

Tire truing machine puts a Hudy to shame!


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#6 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 12:48 AM

As far as THE INCIDENT goes, When they called the drivers over to the track for the can am race, the last of 4 after 4days of racing i walked to the track to get my car and put it on. As i approached the track i saw from across the room , a kid put my car on the track in another drivers lane and heard a loud bang, My car was  pretty much destroyed before the race started. I had qualified 1st for the race , running laps and sections. They gave me 5 minutes to try to fix my car but it was totaled. To win the overall championship i only had to finish 4th so i had it pretty much sewn up , my car was pretty unbeatable . So yes i would have won the overall and i got screwed. The thing is, the story was never told in the magazine, I tried to race the car, it launched and that was that. 


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#7 slotcarone

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 01:31 AM

Your car launched on a red track? How can that be! Did you at least get some good air? That totally sucks, Howie!


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#8 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 10:08 AM

Yeah, Mike, it sucked so bad that it never went away!! I still have questions about how this could even happen! LOL.
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#9 Half Fast

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 11:02 AM

I still have questions about how this could even happen! LOL.


Champion trained the kid well. :D
 
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#10 tonyp

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 12:13 PM

Most Arco races were on the crappiest tracks they could find either launch ramps or smoking hot power.


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"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#11 Mr. M

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 06:54 PM

There are many scandalous stories that we have learned never made it to press and this is one of the worst!


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#12 Cheater

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 08:53 PM

I'd suggest keeping in mind that there are always at least two sides to every story.


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Gregory Wells

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


#13 Half Fast

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 09:40 PM

One side, the other side, and the truth. :)
 
Cheers,
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Bill Botjer

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#14 tonyp

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 01:58 PM

Knowing how cutthroat the Pro racing was, I’d put money on it being on purpose. Champion put on event needed, a Champion driver to win it all.


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"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
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American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
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2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
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#15 bbr

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 04:11 PM

Sadly, it happens all the time. Seen it happen in all forms of slot car racing.

But Howie has a good story to tell after all these years
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#16 MSwiss

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 10:19 AM

Most Arco races were on the crappiest tracks they could find either launch ramps or smoking hot power.


Pretty amazing how bad it was.


post-4-0-93414800-1536933424.jpg

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#17 old & gray

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 10:42 AM

Looking at this picture reminds me of the 20-something looking at my 1960s cars and asking, "Why did you have drop arms?"
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#18 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 10:47 AM

So what is the photo telling us? Yes that is Gardner and Cozine intent in the middle of the race, so?

And it is a red track with the humps they had, so?

 

I am not saying nothing happened. I don't know what happened, but this has nothing to do with it.


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#19 MSwiss

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 11:04 AM

I came across it, when researching my last answer, in THIS thread.

That pic was taken out of THIS thread.

Greg added the arrows, to point out Bob and Ray. Not me.


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#20 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 01:03 PM

Bob won the overall with no wins. I would have had two. My Can-Am was also the winning Coupe car that was unbeatable there. After a blistering TQ with laps and sections.

 

They all knew that, so someone decided to taco my car.  Desperate times. LOL.


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#21 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 01:24 PM

I understand that Howie. I still don't know who did what or who was in the know, and you don't know.

 

Or is there an off the wall chance that it was one of those things that should not have happened but it did and nobody planed it. I know you cant believe that and I see your point.

 

I don't know what happened. 


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#22 Mr. M

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 04:11 PM

Didn’t Champion bring their own lap counter, timer, race director, and race power to each race? How In today’s Big event context, a race sponsor showing up a week before a race.


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#23 MSwiss

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 04:51 PM

As far as THE INCIDENT goes, When they called the drivers over to the track for the can am race, the last of 4 after 4days of racing i walked to the track to get my car and put it on. As i approached the track i saw from across the room , a kid put my car on the track in another drivers lane and heard a loud bang, My car was  pretty much destroyed before the race started. I had qualified 1st for the race , running laps and sections. They gave me 5 minutes to try to fix my car but it was totaled. To win the overall championship i only had to finish 4th so i had it pretty much sewn up , my car was pretty unbeatable . So yes i would have won the overall and i got screwed. The thing is, the story was never told in the magazine, I tried to race the car, it launched and that was that.

Where was the car when the kid picked it up?

In impound?

Or had you been warming up, and fell off?

Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

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

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#24 tonyp

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 04:54 PM

They would come in and jack up the power so pretty much everything blew up. The 517 was pretty Bullet proof compared to other motors and that gave them an advantage some times. If you look back at the old reports all that power on the red tracks they chose to run on had mains were maybe 3 cars ran the distance with out blowing up or destroying itself on the launch ramps.



All that changed at the nutley ARCO when Tango would not let them touch the track.


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"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
Car Model Magazine Series Amateur Champion
2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
ip


#25 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 05:02 PM

The car was walled and destroyed before i even got to the track, i was walking to the track with my controller when i saw the little kid put a car on the track and watched it hit the wall , and heard the bang. I didn't know it was my car at that point.The strange thing is that the cars were in impound.They released them and back then, at this race the power was turned on and the drivers could get the cars ready. I was slow to get over to the track and there were a couple of drivers hooked up and playing with their controllers. My car was removed from impound by someone , not sure if the kid took it himself from impound or someone else and gave it to him to put in the slot. and the car was put in one of the lanes where the driver had his controller punched checking out his car., At his point they were very quick to say the race would start in 5 minutes. I tried to patch the car up and race it but it was too bent to run properly and survive that track.kYou would think they would have given me more time to make a good repair but no.This could never happen now as the track power is off until drivers are ready. At all the Arco races i had problems.Like Tony said it always something. At one the lap counter "malfunctioned" and the race needed a restart.The power was blowing all the motors, the track was weird, Team Champion winning for them was everything and they were in charge of everything so me beating them, and Bob Cozine , who was an incredibly nice guy and a friend was going to be a really big deal and a major loss for them.


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