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Why race Womps in the first place?


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#1 idare2bdul

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 10:39 PM

A series of posts I ran into the other night steered a new racer towards flexi cars as a beginner car. I am not criticizing that advice but Womps are inexpensive and will teach you:

How to tune and drive.
What effect modifications have.
How rules can be interpreted in various ways.
How tech inspectors might not be worthy of the name and how to adjust your car building accordingly.
That it is possible to learn to drive a car that might be a little unforgiving as you approach its limit
That you can answer the Beach Boys question about what will still be fun when you are a man?
That driving for an hour to and from a track with a friend can be fun, not a chore.
That you spent more on gas than you did for the race and that both were worth it.
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#2 slotcarone

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 05:53 AM

The problem with Womps is that they are too easily bent. Flexi cars are a much better beginner car IMO. Remember we are talking about an out of the box car and not one that has been modified for strength and handling.
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#3 Samiam

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 06:06 AM

Womps should be run on a max of 10 volts. 


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#4 Cheater

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 07:04 AM

Sam,

I think 12v would be fine in most cases on the shorter tracks. Obviously 14+ volts is not a great idea with Womps.

What I think you two experienced guys are ignoring is the demonstrated appeal that simple, cheap, usually one-piece chassis have for some people.

Don't forget how well-supported Parma's FCR class was for years until Parma dropped the ball. Steve Adkin's AWRA schedule is getting significant 'traction' at raceways around the country, although the numbers aren't huge at individual events... yet.

But there's no denying the fact that Womp racing does appeal to a non-trivial number of people who play (and sometimes race) in commercial raceways, for multiple reasons. Does it really help the hobby/industry to demean it as somehow beneath the purview of 'serious' slot racers?

One of the negative behaviors of too many trackowners (heck, too many business owners in any segment) is wanting to force their personal preferences on their customers, rather than listening to what their customers want and profiting thereby. Why can't there be room for both Flexis and Womps?
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#5 idare2bdul

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 04:54 PM

The brass womp chassis are fairly sturdy but having consequences can be a learning experience. Slot racing has evolved tracks that are easier to drive based on the evolution of the king track and the cars have become easier to drive. The unintended consequence of that is that it puts more emphasis on having the best equipment. Spelled$$$. My amateur year I routinely qualified into the A or B consi and drove my way up to the main. West coast Retro has a similar system now and in the past we had a system where every driver had to at least race a semi. The problem with that system was that it was only 4 heats and if you drew the wrong lane set you had a hard road to get to the main. Womps don't have a game reset button and there are no secret cheats that are buried in the code to give you extra lives. Womps teach you that life rewards certain things and punishes others. Maybe we need bumper stickers: MORE WOMPS

                                                                                                               FEWER WIMPS

The other advantage of a womp is that is easier to carry on a bicycle in a small box or bag on your bicycle. OOPS, I forgot, kids get driven to the track and picked up by responsible parents, riding many miles to a track by yourself. Horrors beyond imagination! ( Even more fun was riding on a bicycle with a bowling ball in it's bag with the bowling shoes , holding all this riding hands off the handlebars and the cops wouldn't give you a second look.) What would Darwin think about our current child rearing.


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#6 MSwiss

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 06:01 PM

When I got back into 1/24 slot racing, in late '81, we use to race Womps at Mark Mattei's Cycle Smithy. Lots of fun.

 

IIRC, they were $15 each. The issue now is a roller lists for approx. $42. With a motor, lead wire, and a decent pinion, you're talking around $60. When you can get a nice JK C21 car for $76-$80, a Womp is a tough sell.

 

Especially, with just checking Eagle and ERI's websites, they are not available.


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#7 idare2bdul

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 11:32 PM

The cost of a Womp vs a Flexi is minimal. The ability to return to your roots with a group of like minded escapees from the senior living facilities; that are likely trying to track me down as I type, PRICELESS!

Got a third place plaque the first of my 70th decade , now I need a 1st and a 2nd for a complete set.


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#8 gjc2

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 05:39 AM

My adult slot car racing career started in the mid-eighties (I was in my mid-thirties) when I discovered a small raceway that had a weekly Womp race. If that store was still open I would be racing Womps today.

 

 

I can’t give you any real reason, but I just don’t like angle winders and I just don’t like those stamped steel flexi type of chassis.  


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#9 Milkman

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 10:48 AM

Womps are fun.  Some of the most fun racing I've done is with race classes based on womp chassis.  Back when I was still up in Massachusetts I used to race on a small oval where we raced 3 classes that all used womp chassis.  You learned a lot about set up and good driving.  Surprised to hear that womps appear to be unavailable through the major distributors.


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#10 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 01:31 PM

The cost of a Womp vs a Flexi is minimal. The ability to return to your roots with a group of like minded escapees from the senior living facilities; that are likely trying to track me down as I type, PRICELESS!

Got a third place plaque the first of my 70th decade , now I need a 1st and a 2nd for a complete set.

 

Wow!  You're 700 years old??  :shok:

 

Sorry Mike, just teasing.  I like Womps too.  They're simple, rugged, fairly easy (and not too terribly expensive) to maintain, require you to develop some tuning and driving skills and can be lots of fun to race if you're not too obsessive about going crazy fast.

 

And they are easier to carry in a box or bag on your bike.  It's been awhile since I've used my bike to get to my local raceway (about 50 years), and the raceway was much closer.  Nowadays the nearest commercial raceway is more than 100 miles away.  :frown:  Just...Too...Far.

 

So, there's another advantage to Womps; you can run them on your home track in your basement. :good:


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#11 John Streisguth

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 01:56 PM

The biggest draw I see for womps is that the chassis hasn't changed in a very long time.  But now I see "alternative" chassis being brought out...just the beginning of "chassis wars".

 

Hate to say it, but Parma really screwed the pooch on these classes that relied on one simple, basic chassis.  


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#12 Mayberryman

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 11:21 AM

Why race womps?  Why NOT race womps?  Womp racing places a great deal of emphasis on driver control as these cars (for the most part) are not squashed aero plates to help with handling.  Womp racing also takes some of the reason to have the fastest cheated up motor as most of the currently used motors are about all the Womp can handle.  They are a blast to race and for the most part look more like cars than most flexi 4' bodies.  Yes, I will admit that womps cost a lot more than they did during the 90s when I raced them at Continental Hobby in Lynchburg, Va., but have you priced the current competitive flexi cars against the original Parma Flexi 1 cars that we ran back then?  It is all personal taste and to each his own but oval track scale racing seems to be growing in a lot of parts of the country.  4.5 Flexi NASCARS, Hand built ,4' dirt late models so popular in the Western Part of Va. to Pennsylvania or the Womp racing that seems to be taking hold in Virginia, NC and south.  If you have not attended an AWRA race, you should try going and see the fun that is being had.


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#13 sportblazer350

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 08:52 AM

Here in New Jersey our Vintage Racing series are in the planning stages to break out and dust off our old Parma Womps and race them again. What we are doing is racing real vintage era cars, starting with the 36D era cars and moving up from there. Since all of the old timers have Womps, like you guys are asking: why not?  My first two brand new commercial track cars purchased in the early 90's were a Womp and a Flexi 1 or 2 car. And since then i have a small fleet of various era Womps and related (Riggen originals up to the later home set cars). In our Vintage Racing series, we are merely trying to race for fun with old cars. Womps will add to our series just fine. 


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#14 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:08 PM

Racers care about the RACE - what are the rules; what can you NOT do; what track(s) do we drive on; when is it?   Womps as a BEGINNER class is not a great inducement to race.  While they may have been the cheapest thing in town, that does not make them a good beginning race car.  Was a VW beetle a better race car than a Cobra or Corvette?

 

All cars bend when you crash them. Some classes allow bracing that reduce bending - THESE are better beginner classes than the fragile 'unbraced/stock' classes.  My opinion is it is not a race car until it is braced - at least in the motor/drive axle area and front areas.

 

Looking to put together a four raceway Oval and Flat track series  for womps in Northern Illinois this Fall......


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#15 orangecrate

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 07:12 PM

I like the womps because you have to drive them. I have  quite few of them with different body styles and work on them to make them handle. The womps chassis do bend, but sent the time to get them straight, but they do need the bracing.


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#16 jimht

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 08:17 PM

Stamped half-hard steel chassis can be torched, quenched and tempered and not need as much reinforcement.  :D 


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#17 idare2bdul

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:23 PM

My Womp got put on the wrong lane by accident by my pit crew and took the maximum hit into the dead man on an Engleman.

Total parts cost for repairs $2.50 for a rear axle. Some judicious bending also required.

Tires are lasting, motors are lasting as are bodies. This is the cheapest racing I have ever done and the racers at American Adrenaline are good people. The owner just added an Oval for those so inclined. 


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#18 smithspeedway

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 09:21 AM

Womps are also a crossover for the new slot environment that is developing. Oval fans are running mixed series (home tracks and commercial). By merging 1/32 and commercial tracks there is a new market. The smaller size and potentially lower top end makes them a good choice. 


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#19 sportblazer350

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 11:58 AM

so i started looking around here on Slotblog and had not paid attention to the Womp forums. It seems that there is still interest in them, and i am surprised to see that the Riggen home set chassis are being used. Years back in a plasticar club that i raced in, i showed them the Riggen home set cars and brass chassis. And they are still being raced today at NJ Nostalgia Hobby in Scotch Plains NJ in stock form, with slip on Super Tires! 

 

  And if there is enough interest in the NJ Vintage Racing series we will adopt the AWRA rules and use the JK motors. I haven't raced Womps since the 90's, should be fun! 


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#20 orangecrate

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 02:29 PM

Talking about womps, I recently bought the H & R womp type chassis, called the stinger using the PS 2002 motor, 48p 9/29 gearing 1/8- .765 tires. I went over this chassis to make sure it was straight and flat and then added some bracing and ran it on at the race place nj cyclone track and tomee acted like a womp and drive thru the turns and pleased how it ran. I still want do do more fine tuning.


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#21 Rotorranch

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 02:51 PM

Womps are a ball! One of my favorites!

 

My wife raced the Womp class at Georgia Hobby Center back in the late 80s early 90s. She was pretty successful, winning in both Powder Puff, and the regular Womp race. She really enjoyed it.

 

Rotor


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#22 Courtney S

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 07:15 PM

I too started in 1985 with a Womp in Lynchberg VA Continental Hobby

 

And to cross over to another tread about getting people interested in the hobby, I would suggest simple resistor controllers , or the Professor Motor electronic controller with NO adjustments.

The only controller adjustment i had was to un hook the brake! It was so fun and way more driver , $150-$300 controllers might be a tipping point. 


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#23 smithspeedway

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 07:46 AM

I agree on the controller issue. We don't allow modded up controllers. We actually get eyebrows raised when we recommend Professor Motor 25 ohm controllers. They work great on our flat oval. At 45 bucks, they are awesome.


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#24 MattD

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 12:13 PM

Keeping things simple can make racing fun and not too expensive.   If racers aren't skilled in building and tuning.    Nothing is better than a Womp with a little extra weight to be a fun racer.    

 

The guys with great skills that like to see what they can do, aren't happy with this entry level position.   that's OK, they do retro or whatever they like.    It is pretty easy for anybody to have fun with a Womp and basic controller.    No mortgage is needed on the house!


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#25 mdiv

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 04:22 PM

Hey Dave, orangecrate....give a yell next time you are headed to the Race Place, we can meet up and BS about slot cars, I've wanted to run some stuff on the Cyclone.  Our vintage club will be there Thursday July 11th for a meeting and BS session =)

 

Mike


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