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Scale Car Garage - A chat with Jim Cunningham


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#1 John Kit

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 10:59 AM

Please join me as I have a wonderful conversation with Jim Cunningham of Nomad Raceways who is organizing the World Challenge Slot Car Drag Race Proxy!

 

 

Any and all comments are more than welcomed!

 

Thanks

:)

John


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#2 rvec

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 10:04 AM

John,

 I met Jim at a few slot car conventions; at least one at Rad Traxx and the only one in Chandler (Phoenix suburb) in AZ. He always brought innovative and retro rides and I always admired his workmanship and attention to detail. Perhaps if I lived closer to Jim, we would have  become good friends. Both of us are into slots and cycling.

 

At the 2004 event at Rad Traxx, I was very excited about two races. First was the NASCAR race, second was the sports car race. Both were ostensibly for hard body cars as I remember.

 

For both races cars varied in speed to a very large degree. Some raced cars with the old brass ProTrack chassis, Phillipe ran one of his production TSRF chassis while others were scratch built. I recall Jim's car - a long wheelbase Chrysler with a "lengthened" ProTrack chassis and a Cheetah motor (I believe). It is shown in the image below. I was running a scratch built by Bob Hanna (shown below). I did have other cars in the race. I lent my ProTrack Ford to Stan Smith and I think another car to some other driver.  In the sports car event I recall running a GT40, again with a Hanna "rattle chassis" (shown below).

 

JCunningham300.jpg

 

RVecMonteCarlo.jpg

 

RVecGT40.jpg

 

Anyway, to equalize the race and give everyone a shot a podium position, Jim devised a system which valued consistency above all else. This did make the events much more interesting and fun. Although both of my cars were not the fastest in the field, they were consistent and easy to drive. In the end, I managed first in the NASCAR race and the GT40 did very well in the sports car race even though a rear axle bushing locked up and caused some loss of time.   I also recall what Jim called a Doppleganger - a twin motored (Audi, I believe). Some cool stuff. Perhaps Jim could post an image of this car.

 

At the next convention in Chandler, I was interested in the 24 scale NASCAR/Muscle car race and the 24 TSRF race.  For the N/MC race I ran my Crown Ford but I did have an extra ride, a Corn Flakes Chevelle (which I lent to Jim).  These cars did quite well finishing 1-2. Below is the grid

 

DCP_1340.JPG

 

For a 1/32 race on Dave D's track which was set up at the venue, Jim lent me a Fly 917 while he ran a Fly 512. The 917 handled great and I managed a third a few laps behind second place Jim.  (see image below)

 

DCP_1343.JPG

 

Jim also had an TSRF Alfa which I thought was very cool. See image below

 

DCP_1391.JPG


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Rich Vecchio


#3 nomad2race

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 07:09 PM

Hey Rich!  Thanks for the kind post. You asked about Doppleganger.  I will be adding a story about that car on my blog page 

 

This car won the Proxy it was built for and it holds the track record on Quadrophenia It is a one -  off original design.

 

I have never seen a twin motor car that worked better than a single motor, but his race was a special case, as it allowed for unlimited magnet downforce.  The two motors and independent drive work like a differential to reduce corning drag and traction. The twin motors also run cooler. Historically, many cars in this Proxy failed due to overheating. The chassis in .055 steel wire high temperate silver brazed with a 1/8" drill blank center pivot.  It was designed to withstand hard impacts.  Center pivoting chassis works well to keep traction on uneven or banked tracks.  There are 14 traction magnets (rears are double stacked) . Not sure of the downforce generated, but it does deflect Carrera tack upward and is very difficult to lift by hand. Rear wheels shown have been replaced with prettier alloy ones now matching the fronts. The solid Derilin wheels shown, have very little depth, but were selected because they are indestructible. If this car comes off track, it is always a very hard impact! Unfortunately, during the race a competitors car deslotted in front of Doppleganger and was destroyed. (no the only terminal crash in that race. Doppleganger "Evil Twin" suffered only minor body damage.  The body was painted in Marconi livery as they were hosting the event.  Pure pandering to the Concours judges, The like the car but hated it's rear wheels!  There was some controversy as the rules specified a maximum overall width width and a slightly smaller maximum width at the tires. at the tires.  the car was almost almost disqualified for the extra width at the wheels because of the slightly protruding hubs.  I had to point out that the rules specified TIRES. maximum overall width was legal.          

 

Here are a couple of photos:

 

doppleganger.jpg doppleganger_1.jpg doppleganger_5.jpg doppleganger_6.jpg doppleganger_9.jpg doppleganger_10.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Jim Cunningham
Nomad Raceways
Racing fun anywhere,

anytime for anyone!


#4 rvec

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 08:44 PM

Thanks for sharing.


Rich Vecchio


#5 nomad2race

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 09:33 PM

Those bracketed format road races and Proxy events were an early innovation in what soon became Nomad Raceways. I built a raceways and webstore, but the mobile events division became the most successful and lead to hundreds of events.  Since events are now restricted, I have applied that experience to producing an Proxy Event. I thinking it going to be great!

 

Check it out here!  

 

Proxy Signature.png

 

 


Jim Cunningham
Nomad Raceways
Racing fun anywhere,

anytime for anyone!


#6 rvec

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 09:35 PM

Good luck with the proxy race!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you get a ton of entries


Rich Vecchio


#7 nomad2race

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 10:20 PM

It would really be good for the entire hobby if this blows up big. 

 

We are prepared to handle as many as come. 

 

We think we can mange over 100 entries per day and are prepared to go for weeks if neccessary.

 

So... you gonna enter??


Jim Cunningham
Nomad Raceways
Racing fun anywhere,

anytime for anyone!


#8 rvec

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 09:44 AM

Jim,

Slot drags are far from my expertise (if I even have one) but I am considering it. BTW, Here is an article about your Doppleganger from the March 2004 issue of Scale Auto Racing News.

 

Dopple.jpg

 

 


Rich Vecchio


#9 nomad2race

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:48 PM

Thanks I had forgotten this article!  Good the see it again.


Jim Cunningham
Nomad Raceways
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anytime for anyone!


#10 nomad2race

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 12:22 PM

For many reasons, we have decided to extend the deadline and reschedule the entry deadline to June 15th.
 
Good news! More time to build!
 
We will continually update this page our Facebook and our website as things progress.
 
As a thank-you to those who sent cars early, we will offer the option to have us run them as a test run. We will report results only to owners who may request changes to the cars before race time. We have also given the option of having cars returned at our expense, case you need them for other races before June 15.
Proxy Banner Trans ShortBD.png

Jim Cunningham
Nomad Raceways
Racing fun anywhere,

anytime for anyone!






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