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Where did you race as a kid?


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#226 joekb2yhs

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 09:11 AM

Thanks! It was driving me crazy trying to remember the name of the shop.

 

Has a lot of fun there racing winged cars and Womps. My father used to build and paint plastic model airplanes that they would hang from the ceiling.


Joe Grant




#227 mickd

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:56 AM

I did a bit of resarch, the track in West Allis that I first started racing on was Garman Hobby Shop, not Garmin's as someone had stated. It was located on the corner of 81st and National Ave, and is now a floral shop.

Garman's must have moved sometime in the late '60s or early '70s to a location across the street that was another hobby shop, located at 8021 W. National Ave. The name of that shop I can't recall, I bought a few gas plane parts there on one occasion. That shop was recently Happy Hobby, and had a major fire on 12-31-13, $500,000 in damage.

The second location I raced was Family Hobby Center around 80th and North in Wauwatosa, loved that American blue King. My mom found two pictures of me racing on the King in February of 1968. I was only twelve years old. I scanned the negatives on my Nikon film scanner. I'm on the left on the orange lane, a grade school friend is on the right on Green.

I think I traded that Monogram Chaparral 2D for my Cox Cheetah. That Chaparral had a functional wing and only cost $5, available only as a kit. I still have the MRC Endura Varipower 1200 controller, variable from 5-15 ohms, and that Cox mark IV 15 ohm controller I let my friend use.

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#228 slotcarone

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:38 AM

:) Cool pictures, Mike!! 

I notice the King track had the woodgrain sides rather than the blue Formica. Have never seen a King in woodgrain before.

Mike Katz

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#229 mickd

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:11 AM

Hey Mike,

Wow, I didn't notice the woodgrain. I just got these pictures today.

This answers one BIG question for me, the track I raced at from '69 to the mid-'80s before it closed was Beloit Raceway. I saw a post on the net where someone said that track had the wood instead of the Formica. I always had the suspicion that blue King at Family Hobby Center was the same one at Beloit Raceway. It probably is!

Here are a couple of pics of me at Beloit Raceway in the early '80s.

Thanks so much, Mike!

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#230 atatat

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 12:45 PM

Hi...

Does anyone recall a private slot racing club, very near L.A. Intl airport? I got membership and raced there for a few years around 1970 or so... it was in a big warehouse in a residential area and we could hear the jets go overhead pretty close! The cars were all 1/32 scale and it was a hugely elaborate track with scenery, etc., but very competitive racing. All of the cars were custom built with lots of great engineering! I recall one guy there called John Luthi... anyone recall this??
 
I also raced at a place (mostly 1/24) in Alhambra - good Saturday night racing. Had two tracks - guy named Ray ran it. We used to go to Irwindale drag strip after sometimes to watch real races... also Rick Thigpen used to race there and built the most amazing looking cars!
 
Cheers,
Andrew Talbot

#231 sub006

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 11:00 AM

The two lanes to the right in the first picture in post #230 don't appear to have any color ID stripes. Were they the "hot lanes" that got worn off or did the track builder maybe run out of colors or time?
Jim Smith

#232 mickd

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 06:16 AM

Jim,

Those lanes are purple and black. I raced this King track extensively at the original location at Family Hobby Center, and Beloit Raceway (Hank's). I was champ in the Tuesday night hard-body late model stocker series for two seasons at Beloit Raceway in '75.

I am absolutely positive all the lanes were marked, would have been hard to marshal the cars with no lane markers. If you look VERY closely, you can see the purple, and the black kind of blends in with the track. I suppose your "hot" lane would be personal preference. The center lanes are usually the best lanes because they are absent any really tight turns. I suppose orange, blue, and yellow would be best but I always liked orange and green on a King. You never would want to qualify badly and get stuck in the gutter lanes, red or black, for the main.
Mike Dober

#233 Gary Donahoe

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 11:17 AM

I also raced at a place (mostly 1/24) in Alhambra - good Saturday night racing.

 
Hello Andrew,

Good to see that another racer from US Raceway in Alhambra has found their way to Slotblog. 

I sent you a PM. You should be able to open it by clicking on the small envelope at the very top of this page towards the right.

Best regards,

Gary Donahoe

#234 spdpro

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:12 PM

I started at Continental Hobby in Lynchburg, VA, around '64-'65. My first car was a green and pink Serpent. At the time it housed (I think) three American tracks. It moved from the shopping center it was in to its own building right across the street. It kept the American Red until the end, around 2001.

There were many very talented racers through the years including a couple of Nats winners. I made many friends and will remember those as some of the happiest days of my childhood. Wouldn't we all like to relive those days!!

My first experience with really fast slots was at Joel's in about '78, when he was in Greenbelt. I also still have my T-shirt from the '80 Nats at Grand Prix in Cincinnati.

Lots of friends... lots of memories. Hope I'm around long enough to add a few more of both.
Pete "PD" McNeil

#235 Courtney S

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 07:07 PM

I went to college in Lynchburg the fall of '85. I walked in and there was a huge original blue King. I spent every spare dollar at the track.

I had no idea what I was doing and everybody there was so nice. We raced Womps weekly and I had the best time by my senior year. I had won the track championship in Stock Womp and Modified 1/32. This guy, JC... would build these great cars and all I did was plug in and he did everything else.

But my favorite memory was when Lem Campbell built me two Koford quad strap I15 motors and Kevan Taylor (SP, Virginia Beach) built me an awesome tripod wire chassis. We had a Mid-Atlantic USRA race there in the spring of '89. Lem was my pit man and we crushed all the out of towners. Man, that was fun.

The guys I remember Lem Campbell, Scotty..., Mike Bryant, JC, Alan Alva, Larry Leonard (his dad is Sonny Leonard), Mark Priebe, Todd... I can't forget Mary Sue and Mrs. Foster 
 
So, Pet,e if you were there during the school year from '85-89, good chance we crossed paths!
Courtney Smith

#236 Carson56

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 12:09 PM

Reading the posts about Family Hobby in Wauwatosa brought back many fond memories of time well spent there. I lived on 119th and Watertown Plank and one of the older kids in the neighborhood influenced me to start the sport. 
 
I started with a Dynamic chassis and a Mura motor and eventually ended with a scratchbuilt running a 26D can, with a Mongoose arm and some secret sauce magnets that my Dad had zapped at work down at A&B. Along the way I spent time on the Fig 8 with a Cox 2E and a Stock Car, which was great fun.
 
I remember one night in particular where they were running an enduro race, it was late at night, we had gotten a couple hamburgers from the place across the street; enjoyed those and then went out to get some cool air a couple hours later. It seems the police had shot a burglar over in the same area and had the area cordoned off, big stuff to a few pre-teens. Of course this was in the time when Father Groppi was quite influential and we had been through a curfew during the summer, great chance to do a headstand on Watertown Plank Rd at 11 PM at night, so our imaginations were quite active about what was going on.
 
As with the slot car fad across the country, it ended in Milwaukee and the shop closed and moved with the blue King winding up in one of the partners garage in pieces; I have no idea what happened to it after that. One of the partners moved to a smaller lower cost location up north of town. I went up there intending to race but it was kind of a rough style of racing and I didn't see anyone I knew. I declined to get out on the track and the partner behind the counter agreed. That was my last involvement with slot cars.
Scott Skogen

#237 dan49

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 01:22 PM

Carson56,

Your post about racing was very interesting to me. I lived on 119th Street on the south side of Watertown Plank Road in 1966-67. My younger brother and I spent numerous hours at Family Hobby until it closed down around 1968.

If I recall correctly, the gentlemen behind the counters were Paul? and Bud? Both were very appreciative of their customers and ran Friday/Saturday sprint races. They also scheduled several four to six hour enduros that my team, The Roadrunners, participated in. It was truly a sad day when Family Hobby closed their doors.

Thanks again for the memories,

Dan
Dan Thorlton

#238 Carson56

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:07 PM

Dan,

 

I lived at 1102 from about '66 'till '71. I think you lived in the duplex with the Wood family for a while and had the red Honda 65cc? If so, let me thank you for all the help you gave me in getting my cars set up, you were always willing to help me! I have some wonderful memories of that time.

 

I think Paul got into R/C airplanes and was a little hard to get to know, but was really a good guy once he knew you IIRC.


Scott Skogen

#239 bluecars

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:48 PM

Trona, CA. Burrens Slot Car Track. I think that's the spelling. Logan Burrens and family ran a small place at the edge of town I was twelve so it had to be '63. Just moved from a ghost town in Nev. called Pioche.

First time I ever seen a slot car track that didn't come out of a box and had only ever seen two of those. Anyway I rented a car and a micro switch with two wires (on and off, no brake) for 25 cents. A half hour for track time and 25 cents for the car and switch. Went back the next day and plunked down $3 for a Revel Rat Fink Lotus and never looked back.

Soon moved to Ridgecrest, CA, 22 miles away so I stayed in touch with Logan and family. My grandparents lived there so I went to Trona a lot. Had a track in Ridgechrest in Edwards Hobby Shop. So I was still in the game. Like many others it was my second home. 

If anyone remembers either track I would like to hear from you.

Robert "Red" Valantine :diablo: 


#240 dan49

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:29 AM

Carson56,

I continue to be amazed at how small the world has become since the internet era.

You are correct, my family shared the duplex with the Woods family. You may recall my little brother John who is now 58 years of age.

The following is a part of my life story. In early 1968? we moved to Delafield and I continued to race until early '69 when I was inducted into the army and served fourteen months in Vietnam. I recall selling or giving away all my slot cars and tools and most certainly wish I had kept a couple of my chassis I had built. After my return from Vietnam, I moved back to my home state of Indiana and enrolled in college. I got married in 1972 (42 years and still married) and completed a degree in elementary education.

In the 1980s I became heavily involved in 1/10 electric R/C cars and raced them all over Indiana and Illinois. Eventually, the cost to compete and finish on the podium became too much and I left the hobby in 1990.

In about 2008 I was once again introduced to 1/32 slot cars. I am amazed how at the age of 65 the bug has bitten me again. I host a website www.slotcaraddiction.com which I would very much like you to join. I am a member of an extremely active 1/32 non-mag club and get to race two nights a week. I retired from 38 years in the classroom last week but I still sponsor a fifth grade slot car club at my school. We have a 97 foot six lane custom built wood track( The Beast) that is used every week by the students.

If you don't mind, could you activate the Way Back machine and jog my memory about the racing we did and how I played a role in helping you with slots?

Thank you very much for helping me to relive my early days of slot racing,


Dan Thorlton

#241 woodman

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:49 PM

Well, let me post some small tidbit for Kansas City... I was 12 in 1965, and I think that was about the time I saw my first commercial track... 

But! I do remember an older kid on my block supplying me with my first 1/24 scale brass chassis, foam tired, lexan bodied, blue 64 Corvette Stingray, man I was hooked, for a 12 year old I was in hog heaven..... playing with my little Strombaker track with that bigger car anticipating my next trip to the big track....

I do remember there was another track across the street from that one , this was in S. K.C. on Hickman Mills Drive....

We moved from Ruskin Heights in 67 to Grandview and one of my dads friends routed  a 2 lane track 4'X16' for me, that was awesome!

 

I came across an old newspaper clipping from 1972 on the internet, and the name of a hobby shop "Dunn's Hobby Den" 7114 Prospect...I remember I must have been 14 when my Mom took me there to buy a car for my birthday.....They had a track that was said to have been made of "Concrete and Asphalt" ,and I do remember it said that on their window.....

 

Well, when I started driving I found my way to A King Louie bowling center, on Troost,  that had 2-3 tracks in the basement....That is where I first started racing....I still have the  "Riggen anglewinder plumber chassis" and body of the car I raced their back in 1970....


Steve Crawford
 
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#242 John Rader

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 10:51 PM

I raced and hung out at Trophy Dash in Chula Vista, CA from "65 to '70. It was .25 for 15 min. Hal and Ann, husband and wife, owned and ran it. We thought they were so cool. Hal had thick slicked back blond hair and Ann was pretty with puffy brunette hair. They drove a shiny blue Corvette Sting Ray. We thought they had everything!


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#243 Zippity

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 11:35 PM

Dan49,

 

For the sake of an "L" (or an "N")  we could be brothers :)

 

I am enjoying browsing your website :)


Ron Thornton

#244 CoastalAngler1

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 07:20 PM

1972 or 1973? - The Hobby Shop, on 9th Street in St Petersburg, FL not too far from Webb's City (two scoop 19 flavors ice cream cone for 19 cents plus a penny tax), I'm 10 or 11 years old.  Royal Castle was on 9th and 22nd, Montgomery Wards downtown on 4th street, Biff Burger, Lums, Grand Way on 62nd avenue N across the street from our McDonald's with the white and red tile covered building, concrete tables with the metal red/white umbrellas (outside seating only) and the golden arches that touched the ground - we would watch them change the millions served number monthly... darn I miss those days!  

 

My Uncle Jerry gave me a white 1/24 car, wish I could remember that car.  I want to remember it as a monogram or AMT (box in my closet), but the blurry memory says cox when I try to see the underside.  All I can remember is Lotus Ford for some reason.  Quite possibly it was a GT-40 and I remember liking the Lotus 30.  All the fast scratcher guys at the track blew past me, never said a word to me in the pits, and would nerf the husky new kid every lap.  After 3 times of this I said no when mom asked if i wanted to go there.  One cool thing was the dads wanted to buy my car every time I put my stuff up and waited for mom to come get me.  It must of been a good one. I remember a lot of glass, but still only a maybe that it was a Cox GT-40.  My 2 brothers and sister never played slots.  

 

Dad took us hunting and fishing all the time plus baseball and summer camp at NE High School Gym those years kept me pretty busy.  Not all fishermen hunt, but most hunters fish.  Dad was the volleyball coach at Azalea Jr High, his two best fishing buddies (besides me) were coaches at other schools Don Palmer BB Coach at Northeast High, Rick Wotring baseball coach at Dixie High I think.  My Uncle Chalmers Coe (dad's best hunting friend, not blood uncle) was the principal at my rival Jr High School Riviera, I went to Meadowlawn...by the time I was 14, I had become a winning tournament angler in the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup with a 119 pound fish, and had a 7 point buck and 150 lb. boar to my name.  Fishing is my true addiction, but slots are definitely interfering lately!  I'll gladly trade fishing advice for slot advice...  

 

I've changed all those bad feelings about slots now, been at this vintage 1/24 toy car madness for about a year.  Been thru 20+ cars learning slots like a kid back in the day...too much fun!


Charlie McCullough

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#245 Dennis David

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 08:28 PM

I love reading this thread. It brings back all of my slot car memories. Having a beer and burger after work, now got to rush home to see if the postman brought me some new parts to use on my cars.

Some things never change. :-)

Dennis David
    
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#246 Keith Tanaka

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 10:41 PM

Hi...

Does anyone recall a private slot racing club, very near L.A. Intl airport? I got membership and raced there for a few years around 1970 or so... it was in a big warehouse in a residential area and we could hear the jets go overhead pretty close! The cars were all 1/32 scale and it was a hugely elaborate track with scenery, etc., but very competitive racing. All of the cars were custom built with lots of great engineering! I recall one guy there called John Luthi... anyone recall this??
 
I also raced at a place (mostly 1/24) in Alhambra - good Saturday night racing. Had two tracks - guy named Ray ran it. We used to go to Irwindale drag strip after sometimes to watch real races... also Rick Thigpen used to race there and built the most amazing looking cars!
 
Cheers,

Andrew, you describe a private slot racing club near LAX. It sounds like MESAC. I wasn't a member of MESAC but I did know a couple of the members (Dick Fisher, Roger Uusitalo). Dick was an officer of the club at the time whom I met at Rolling Hills Raceway, Roger was a fellow Team Rolling Hills member who still races slots at Buena Park Raceway. Here's a link which includes many discussions about MESAC: http://slotblog.net/...b=0&gsc.q=MESAC

 

Keith :)


Team Rolling Hills circa '66-'68


#247 kcslotrat

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 12:47 AM

In the late 60s, early 70s I raced at King Louie Raceways in KCMO. 3 tracks. All American tracks. Black Monarch, an Orange ???? and the raceway's pride a Red Imperial with a very steep bank. About the same size and configuration as a blue king.

I started with Cox LaCucarachas, and other low power fun cars but very soon got the bug to build much better and faster cars when watching and marshalling some class racing.
Group 12, 20 and eventually group 7 open cars. That's when the fun really began!

40 years later I discovered a commercial track an hour away from my home in Denver and have shown my 13 year old son how much fun it is. He hasn't seen a race yet, but maybe soon. He's afraid of soldering irons and Dremels for now.
Charles Kelley
ex-King Louie Raceways (KCMO) slot car rat circa late 1960s.

Everyone at the track knew me as "Swinger". (Am from a jazz musician family)
kcslotrat@gmail.com

#248 Dennis David

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 08:15 AM

Most kids don't build things these days, I hope you can turn him around.

Sorry to hear how your earlier experience with slot cars ended. Glad you're back.

Dennis David
    
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#249 Zippity

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 09:19 AM

Christchurch, New Zealand. Late 1960's?

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#250 RocketRod

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 10:19 AM

I actually had two favorite tracks as a kid -- 1st was Hagginwood Raceway in Sacramento run at the time by Dick and Barbara - they were really great people.

2nd in the back of the Hobby Store in Turlock -- it was a homemade track that had washer/dryer timer boxes that you stuck a quarter into. It had a squeeze section where only the 2 cars on black and red could get through at one time -- 


Rod Roseling





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