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Where did you race as a kid?


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#276 don.siegel

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 04:59 PM

Hey Jay, 

 

Did you know Floyd Manley? Always wondered what happened to Thingie Man... 

 

Don 






#277 DocSlotCar

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 04:16 PM

C & C Raceways, Bobby's Hobbies, Sheetz Family Raceway (Not sure if that is correct name. but it was in groton coonecticut) , Nutley in New jersey, cobra in New York and buzz A rama in New York. Some other places in bronx and along the coast from 1963 until the raceways fell off the map in 1969 to 1970.......


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#278 Jay Guard

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:42 PM

Hey Jay, 

 

Did you know Floyd Manley? Always wondered what happened to Thingie Man... 

 

Don 

 

Hi Don:

 

Yes I did, but at the time I was only 15 and he was probably in his 40's(?) so we didn't exactly hang out together.

 

However, he was one of the few "old guys" at the track who actually helped me get up to speed, which wasn't really the norm in the days of teams, evil bucks racers and speed secrets. All of the other fast guys usually just blew cigar smoke in my eyes (no kidding) during the race.  

 

I do know that Aloma was his home track as he lived just a few miles away. Unfortunately when the track closed in late 1968 I lost contact with him, never saw or heard from him thereafter. 


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#279 Martin

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 07:13 PM

Wish i could find just one person that was in England in 68-70 and raced at Hounslow  Raceway in the high street. Great track, great memories.

Martin.


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#280 John Secchi

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:02 AM

Martin

As a kid i used to spend a lot of my time at Nordic's in Southall but every now and then take a bus ride to Hounslow, compared to what i was used to this was a massive track!

You might have some luck if you post a message on SlotForum, many older UK racers on there.

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#281 zipper

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:22 AM

Re Hounslow:

The only british fella I know from those days and still an active racer is Adrian Gay, met him first time on the EC 1972 in Uden, Netherlands. Maybe he could know.

https://www.facebook.com/adrian.gay.9


Pekka Sippola

#282 don.siegel

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:24 AM

Thanks John, that would indeed be the place... for instance: 

 

http://www.slotforum...&st=15&start=15

 

Don 



#283 Martin

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 01:13 PM

Thanks John, Pekka and Don, great leads.
Still have great memories of that 220' track at Hounslow (my home track) Wonderland (where my grandparents lived) and a couple of club tracks one was behind a pub in Egam the other was called The Vinyard and was in the basement of a pub,somewhere in London.
The only other place I raced was a 1/32nd track at a British Petroleum plant where a friends Dad worked. All my cars were 1/24th and built to run American commercial style tracks but they let me race with them with my 1/24 Mini as it was about 1/32 size. I do remember when I hit the throttle with that hot Champion motor they all slowed down to a crawl.
I still have all the cars I built (greatly influenced by what was going on stateside) and the fishing tackle pit box I bussed around with. For me, as it is for many others here, it gave me direction to do what I do for a living and to some degree where I live today.
Some day soon I hope to get more time time to build and restore some of the projects I have collected over the years. I am not sure were I fit in this hobby/sport but It is more meaningful to share here on Slot blog. To all concerned, thank you for a place to do that.  
Martin.

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#284 John Secchi

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 06:46 PM

Think the Vinyard was in the Richmond area of S.W.London, i know John Dilworth [Howmet of vac body fame] was a regular there. Wonderland would have been in Southend [Essex] , had several tracks and was the last known home of the Tottenham track. Be nice to see pictures of your old cars posted on the forum.

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#285 Martin

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 10:35 PM

That makes sense the Vineyard was in  Richmond. I only remember the stairs down to the cellar where the narrow track was and the lack of light.

The track I went to at Southend (Wonderland) you had to stand at the top of the banking to drive and the elevation change was exciting.

I will need some help to post pics as I have not done this before on this site. I went through the icons above but it is not obvious to me.


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#286 John Secchi

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 03:12 AM

Not the best person to give advice regards posting pictures, sure Don can help though!

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#287 mcrracer

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 06:36 PM

Tri City in the South Suburbs of Chicago. Mid to late 60s. On Halsted St. near 147th St. I think they had three big tracks, the only one I can remember well enough to describe , was an elongated figure eight. I had a wonderful time going there. Sometimes parents would take me, sometimes I rode the suburban bus...until one day I took the bus out there and they were gone!!!!! Arrrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!! Nooooooo!!!!! I gave up on slot cars after that until I ran into a modified Purple Mile in the mid 80s. The bug bit hard once again and I have opened 10 raceways over the last 30 years. I am a glutton for punishment as I plan to open another one. Maybe we can create some good memories for some kid to enjoy 40 years from now.


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#288 don.siegel

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 04:29 AM

Thanks Marlon! Been waiting to hear if anybody else mentioned that! 

 

I was on the south side of Chicago, in the city, but went out to Tri-City a couple times and actually won a (beginners) race there once. 

 

I thought they had 4 tracks, but I mainly remember the American Red, across from the counter as you walked in the door, and then an Engleman type track kiddy-corner from the Red. Didn't pay much attention to the other tracks, but the figure eight must have been in the other corner. It was a huge place and pretty well run if I remember right. (I usually raced at a small local hobby shop on 71st in Chicago, with one track). An older friend with a car sometimes drove us out there, and maybe my dad once. 

 

I think Tri-City was Mike Staskie's home raceway too, although I don't remember seeing him there - not that I would have recognized him if I did! 

 

Don 



#289 MarcusPHagen

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 12:46 AM

My first exposure to slot cars was in the mid-'60s. I was visiting my grandmother in Waukegan, Illinois, and while she was shopping, I got to watch the cars at the track in a mall. If memory serves, they were RTRs like the Banshee, Asp, and similar models. I thought it was great, but was only 10 or 11 at the time, and didnt get a car until a year or two later.

I grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin. By the time I was in 7th or 8th grade, there were at least two racing shops that I knew about. One, "K's", had what was probably a custom-built track. I remember a giant banked turn (that some of the slower RTRs fell off), and am pretty sure that the conductors were copper tape rather than braid. I never raced there, but went with friends a few times before it closed.

The other tracks were located at a hobby shop in Villa Capri Shopping Center on the north side of town. Since I lived south of Kenosha, near the Illinois state line, this track was a 9.1 mile trip across town. (I used Google Maps last night to follow the route I used to ride on my single-speed Schwinn 24 bike with a home-made slot car box strapped on behind the seat.) Took me about 90 minutes unless I stopped along the way to encourage some of my friends to join me. I usually stayed from about 10 am until late afternoon, with intermittent segments of racing (noodling around) punctuated by time spent repairing my car so that I could go back to running. I could make $1.00 by weeding my neighbor's flower beds, which would buy four 15-minute segments on the yellow Windsor 80 with its demon S-curves, or the black Regal 90 (which was like a flat, miniature Blue King, but ran clockwise) each with its relay-based timer/lap-counter. I spent most of my time on the yellow while they had it, since the black was almost always full. I never raced on their orange Aurora HO tub track, but remember it in the middle of the shop.

Later on, the yellow track disappeared and was replaced by a bunch of craft items as the hobby industry regrouped after the end of the fad. The black track remained through my high school years, but disappeared some time after I graduated in 1971. The black had the anemic American timer power packs, so we mostly ran stock or home-rewound 16D and 26D motors which regularly let out the magic smoke. One of the kids brought a small motorcycle battery which he wired into his controller, but he was "encouraged" not to do this! As time went on, the track braid got stapled back into place, but none of us ever figured out Fate's magnetraction trick. I don't think I ever saw an Atlas motor until eBay, and the only Pittmans were on a drag track at another hobby store that I saw once.

Other tracks included Gary's in Racine, but that required a ride from somebody's parents, since none of us drove. It had what I've learned to call a hillclimb, but I'm pretty sure it was a custom home-made build. It had plenty of blind spots and multiple levels. The last time I visited the shop, it was still open, but slots had been replaced by electric RC racers.

Antioch, Illinois had a shop with a figure-8, a road course, and (I think) an HO track as well. Only got there a couple of times, as it was also a parent-driven road trip. The entire area has been so developed in the intervening 40 years that I couldn't recognize anything, but I figure the shop probably closed as the area was developed from a small village to a north-Chicago suburb.

My cousin lived in Chicago, and we would occasionally take our "team" of five Kenosha kids down to race him and four of his friends at Kenny Ito's track. It was a home-made (5-lane?) elongated figure-8 with a tight, high bank at one end a flat curve leading into the long back straight at the other. Kenny had this all fitted into a narrow storefront which went WAY back. The track was up front, with a pit area (short bench) opposite the track, and the counter space on the wall behind the pits went to the back of the building. It was the first place that I saw a slot racing newspaper (as opposed to the magazines), and I remember going down the night before and sitting up all night building a new anglewinder to match the pictures in the newspaper, topping it off with a 1/24 Marcos Mantis body in bright TCL green. By then I was running Mura Cukras "B" can motors with 27-28 double winds. Kenny had one sgl-23 armature in the cabinet, but recommended against it. It probably would have amp-sucked the rest of the cars, since the power was not batteries. Kenny would rent us the entire track for the morning, and would call the races for us.

Kenny later got involved in 1/8 scale fuel-powered RC cars, and I saw at least one RC setup article by him in a slot car magazine.

The cars and controllers we ran changed during the 5-6 years I was active. I started with an MPC 1/24 car - aluminum chassis, sidewinder Dyno-Can (like a 36-D) and two bodies (the red Mako Shark, and blue metalflake Ford J). My controller was a translucent yellow pod (Revell transistor?) , sort of like a one-button mouse. Next I got the 5-15 ohm MPC Varipower controller, and I eventually ended up with a Parma double-micro controller. All of these had phone jacks rather than clips. The tracks we drove generally supported both, but it was easier to plug the jack than risk screwing up the clips.

By the time I got the Varipower, I was building frames based on the magazines I bought (35 or 50 cents at the corner store. The owner would let us read them, as long as we eventually bought at least one.) First inlines, and then anglewinders. I even bought a Lancer wedge body, but it wasn't really practical on the short tracks that we ran.

My one encounter with pro racing came when there was a major race at Hinsdale on a Blue King. My dad drove three of us down for the day, and I remember watching from the sidelines as the pros thrashed and qualified. My time got me into the lowest Consi, which I "won" by being the only car of four still running at the end. Needless to say, I didn't finish the next level as my car gave up the ghost. But I got to see a number of pros that until then I'd only read about, and it was a great experience anyway.

Once I went to college, my parents moved and much of my stuff disappeared. I'd had a hobby table made out of an old door blank, with a cloth-covered cork board on which my painted collection of bodies waited for chassis builds. One of those was a toasted-marshmallow brown and white Dave Bloom body which I picked up at Kenny Itos. It disappeared in the move. I wish I still had it. My collection of magazines also vanished, but the cars, parts, and tools in my box survived.

When I finally came back to racing in the late '90s, I was amazed at how the underground had continued for all those years without me knowing of it. As far as I knew, the last active track I'd seen was Beloit Raceways in Milwaukee during the '80s. I bought a womp for my son to run, and started preparing a hardbody inline stocker, but then we moved so I never ran it. That was the only track I' d found since the early 1970s. But proxy racing has allowed me to build a few cars, and race them with people I've never met except online. It's a new and very good world. Thanks for the chance to remember!

Marcus
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Marcus P. Hagen -- see below, my five favorite quotes: applicable to slot cars & life in general.
[ "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.". . Daniel Patrick Moynihan ]
[ "Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately, it kills all its students.". . . . . . . . Hector Berlioz ]
[ "There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness." . . . . . . . . . . . Dave Barry ]
[ "Build what you like to build, they are all doomed." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prof. Fate ]
[ "The less rules the more fun. Run what you brung." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Larry LS ]


#290 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:51 AM

So does anybody remember the hobby shop and slot car racetrack on the north side of Seven Mile Road just west of the Southfield Expressway in Detroit in the mid-sixties?

 

:huh:

 

 


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#291 Pat McGee

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 03:23 PM

Wasn't that Tiny Tims?  I have better memories of The Groove, White Circle Raceway, and Stapleton's, which was out in the Waterford/Pontiac area.


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#292 NSwanberg

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 03:49 AM

Tiny Tim's was in Royal Toke, er I mean Royal Oak on Woodward.


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#293 Pat McGee

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 10:08 AM

Pfhhhhhhtttt...... aaaaaahhhhh..... thanks, Nelson.


What's all this brouhaha?

I'm told I have a face for radio and a voice that belongs in the newspaper...

Follow me for fun! Go slot car racing!

#294 Vay Jonynas

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 10:38 AM

Pitt Man:

 

Learned about tuff guys and nasty girls.... I met my first wife there, ended up married as a senior in HS....

 

 

So I guess it didn't take you long to learn that some of those nasty girls had something to offer after all!

 

 

:D


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#295 miko

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:17 AM

The first commercial track I went to was in Huntington Park, CA in 1963, i was 13. I don’t recall the name of it but it was located on Gage just half a block off of Pacific. I remember it being upstairs above another business. I remember it having two table top tracks, can’t recall if they were routed or plastic home tracks. After seeing that first slot car track I was HOOKED! Anyone remember this track?

 

Later when we moved to South Gate CA in ’65 I lived just three blocks from Associated back when they were a slot car raceway located a block or two south Tweedy on Long Beach Blvd. I’m having a tough time remembering the names of the owners but i recall one of them Fabio? It was a very small shop with a high and i mean HIGH banked figure eight! They also had a drag strip, I think it wasn’t quite scale 1/4 mile maybe what would have been equivalent to an 1/8 mile. I recall there being a big dial at the start line to crank up the voltage up to 36 volts and only pressing a big red button instead of using a controller. I recall seeing Gene Hustings coming in to fine tune his aluminum framed dragsters, they all looked like fine pieces of jewelry !  A few years later i worked for Associated making all their rear tires. Anyone else remember the Associated track before it became involved in R/C ??

 

A few years later I discovered Speed & Sport Raceway about a half mile south of he Associated track on Long Beach Blvd and Imperial Hwy. in Lynwood, CA. Owner Ron Granlee with the help of his mother, father and nephew ran the raceway. Ron, his father Wes and I apologize for not remembering his mother and nephews name, my mind is getting foggy lately, were some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to have known! 

Tom Eatherly please jump in with your recollections of Speed & Sport. 

I had the pleasure of working for Ron for a couple of years and also building a couple of winning concourse cars for him. I also designed and drew the Speed & Sport sticker seen here on Rons pit box.

 

post-1249-0-10844400-1303064415.jpg.jpg

 

What a great raceway and time that was! Racing against people like Earl Campbell, Mike Kondor (i'll never forgive you for totaling my Alfa Romeo that you bought from me, LO), Tom Eatherly and Bill Marquette to name a few local racers.

 

If you were at Speed & Sport or the Associated tracks I invite you to jump in and share your memories.

 

Great memories from my youth !!


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Marinko Mueller

#296 zipper

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 06:15 AM

My sole memory is that I made my first international shopping from Speed & Sport. All that tinkering with cheques in bank - and they took quite a big service charge...But the items came fine, even through customs without extra duty.


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#297 miko

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 09:13 AM

I what year was that? I don't recall how long after Rons passing did Speed & Sport continue to operate as a distributor. Anyone recall that?


Marinko Mueller

#298 zipper

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:00 PM

I'm not sure, I bought  about. '71.


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#299 Tom Eatherly

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 01:04 PM

Marinko, I'm dusting off my memory banks[a lot of dust!]. I'll be chiming in here soon. I know I can come up with a few.


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#300 miko

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 01:17 PM

Thank you Tom.


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