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Old 07-11-2011, 09:59 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Turnpike On A Tabletop



Miller, at age three, is my youngest whipper snapper and he is living up to his name quite capably. In fact, just this spring he was named the "Fastest Kid In Texas" by the Hays County Fair. Fathering such a prodigy is no small task and I'm consta...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

Three already? WOW!

I don't know about steerable slot cars but grew up with standard cars thru the '70s.
A few words of advice:
Mount the track well to a 4x8 sheet of plywood, hinge it to the wall so it folds up when not in use.
Use steel wool to clean rails. Always have power off when doing this (ask me how I know)!
Guard rails really do work. Cars don't like hitting the floor after falling 4 feet.
Each lane should have it's own transformer. They get warm and start to smell.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

Oh, and I had a thread deleted last week. It's all good. When you go off-topic it's still enjoyable, if not informative.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

It seems to me that you might be better served by a smaller scale RC setup, and build a track for him. I think they'd be a little less temperamental than the older sets. If you're dead set on slot style stuff, I've got a bunch of Carerra digital 1:24 stuff that I'd be willing to trade for old Ford parts.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

1st thing up on google: http://www.amtmodelturnpike.com/

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Old 07-11-2011, 10:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

My first race car set... 100 bucks in early 60's dollars it wasn't cheap. I begged my folks for a set starting 6 months out from Christmas. You can still find them on ebay and I know of one fellow on the HAMB who has one for sale in good shape. Perhaps he'll pipe in on this thread? Despite the features, like steering, changing lanes and running the other direction, the AMT stuff was too "proprietary" to be universally popular as only their stuff would work on their track. Regular old slot cars were the ticket. Even if I had a set now, I'd have no place to put it, the track was at least a foot wide and a basic oval with crossovers would fill up a 4x8 space easily. One of the best parts was it was stock car orientated, and you could easily adapt any of the AMT model kit bodies or promo models to the basic chassis. Gary
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

Spent a lot of time at the slot car track near my house in the early sixties.....that's pre-sixty four......... so I say it's traditional and not OT...........what's to know?..... you paint'em (those clear plastic bodies looked great when painted from the inside) and race 'em......just keep your contacts clean. You got plenty of room in your building to build a big track........road course with drag strip?......Hell ya!
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

Yeah I was a slot car freak in 67-68. I finished my all brass soldered home built semi-sidewinder chassis with side body hinges the night before leaving for Okinawa. I took it to the track that night and beat every car in the local hero's box that night. He was king of the track. I thought about that car for nine months in Okinawa and Viet Nam.

I put my box full of cars and parts in my car for storage until I returned. When I got home the box and all my cars were stolen. When I returned 9 months later the slot car track was closed and gone. I was a bad ass for one night anyway.


I got the chassis design from a slot car magazine so the old info is still out there. Probably as out of date today as a flathead but to me it would be just as cool.

Steerable wheels are cute but if you want to go fast fughetaboutit.

I got started by buying a heavy Cox styrene plastic car complete with a driver. I liked it because it looked relistic. I soon found out that it was more fun to go fast.

I still have my Bill Thomas cheetah body. Such a cool car.

I never got into video games but I guess slot cars were my video games. You had to have good reflexes that's for sure.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

Theres some dudes I know that drag race slot cars. They have a track in an old building in a town close to me. They have the whole setup like a full on real life drags would have except smaller...and cheaper. I'm not sure where they get their frames and motors from, but they just use regular model car bodies on theirs.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

I remember when the AMT set was introduced, but never knew anybody who had or ran one. Clearly, they weren't popular when mainstream slot cars were hot

Adding steering to a slot car would seem to have the same counter-intuitive qualities that R/C has -- learning to steer the opposite way when the car is coming toward you.

Why not buy Miller a decent R/C car and let him get started learning that difficult stuff right from the get-go?
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

I spent a good part of my younger days building, working on and racing slot cars...
Raced the 1/32 and 1/24 scale at varous places... but at home it was HO scale

I don't think "pushing a button" is all there is to it...
I do see kids who find the medium speed that the car will maintain and not crash.. they get bored quick.... but when you actually try to drive and handle the car on the track at faster and faster speeds... thats when its a matter of hand/eye coordination...

I think the steering on these cars is kind of neat as a novelty... but why not just get a remote controlled car instead?
More speed... more freedom...etc

You can go far with the idea of a home layout slot car track though... I found this track below, a 4 lane oval built as a dirt track... a friend had built it in the 70's... almost like building models, decorating it building cars to race on it... etc
I think I got this when I was about 10 or so... maybe I appreciated it more then I would have at 3... but you never know....
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

I'm suprised that R C 2 hasn't addressed at least a querry to see if the Slot car set A MT did in 1962 is even a realty. I remember the set as it was on display within a toy store here where I currently live . I'm also aware of the "exclusivity " of only A M T stuff fitting . Still,with all the Nostalga wave ........... scrubba
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

If this is off topic, how did all those “HAMB Slots of DOOM!” threads make it way back when? Seems like this, go-karts, and motor boats all fit in pretty well on the HAMB.

Anyway, I grew up with my parents’ leftover HO-scale slots from the 1970s, but was too old to care much by the time I discovered 1/25-scale stuff (by then I had outgrown modeling in favor of the real thing). The HO-scale stuff is neat because you could theoretically build a model-railroad type permanent layout in a basement or spare room if you wanted; the 1/25-scale stuff is cool because it can use (I think) any model-car body.

I’m intrigued by the “build-an-RC-car” suggestions. I thought they were all odd scales that didn’t lend themselves well to customizing. Something like a tether car with radio control would be too awesome for words.

-Dave
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

Dave , back in I guess 1953, A M T and I T C had such "Tethered " battery powered 1-25th scale cars ......... scrubba
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

Quote:
Originally Posted by SUHRsc View Post
I don't think "pushing a button" is all there is to it...
I do see kids who find the medium speed that the car will maintain and not crash.. they get bored quick.... but when you actually try to drive and handle the car on the track at faster and faster speeds... thats when its a matter of hand/eye coordination...
I got my dad's old Strombecker 1/32nd set when I was a teenager, but it was pretty beat up/broken/abused, and I just got the pieces to some cars. I still had the set when I was in my early 20's and got interested in resurrecting it, got all the borken parts replaced and bought the "good" track from strombecker instead of the aluminum "glued" track that falls apart, found parts to fix one old car, and got another car (they still make loads of cars), put it all together and.....very dissappointing, it worked, but not as well as HO sets I had played with. I think old plastic track with very difficult to clean contacts between the sections was the cuplrit. So...I bought a new Carrera 1/32nd set, some more cars, then all the track shoulders, transformer, and controllers to use it with 1/24th cars. That set worked flawlessly, and was REALLY fun. You can steer with the throttle going through the corners. Those cars go so fast, that I coulnd't even imagine having another control variable to pay attention to like a steering wheel, and when using 1/32nd cars with the 1/24th power supply and controllers, they can be projectiles when they leave the track!
Unfortunately, after moving to Las Vegas, I no longer have a house with a basement and can't spare garage space to set any of it up (big track pieces require lots of space), so it is all packed away now, both the complete Strombecker set, as well as the newer set. Maybe someday I'll have room to set it up again..it was a blast!
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

If you have some time to spare, check out "White Lake Formula One"
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

Zach up the way there hit the nail on the head as far as what I was going to say. If you give a kid a car that is just a bit of a challenge on a slot course it's great for months of fun at a time. Also a great way to learn mechanical stuff too... By 8 I had a great collection of dissassembled thunderjet and AF/X cars, and a few that were a hell of alot faster than out of the box. In other words, as soon as the first challenging car becomes too boring, a little father/son wrenching time spent builds a new generation of challenges for the next few months and some extra skills. Get the other kids involved too so that even more talent is developed. When I was a kid, my uncle who was at the time about 20, one night a week would haul me around to his friends HO tracks to race and just hang out. It was always cool to be a 8 or 9 year old kid that could keep up at something with the adults... Also probably my first real introduction to the complete "guyness" that is the garage/shop night. Killin' many birds with one stone!
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

The modern slot cars have tiny magnet underneath so to help the cars stay on the track. Perfect for young kids. HO scale is great because you can build a nice layout in a small space. Also, forget about transformers; run the power to several locations on the track, using a 12volt automotive battery.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

I have to say I agree with Zach too.

That said Scalectrix (http://www.scalextric.com) still makes cars and tracks and I remember reading that there were cars you could 'steer'. I believe the steering in this consisted of moving the pin that locates the car in the track though, so I am not sure that would be of much use except on the straights.

Radio Shack offered a 1/43 (actually I think it was a bit larger) scale RC car that was steerable not so long ago. They even had competitions as I recall, though they did have a range limited to line-of-sight.

Just found this when you look for 'steerable scalectrix'

http://www.slotcarillustrated.com/po...read.php?t=617
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: Turnpike On A Tabletop

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubba View Post
Dave , back in I guess 1953, A M T and I T C had such "Tethered " battery powered 1-25th scale cars ......... scrubba
Not quite what I meant. Rather something like this:



But with radio-controlled steering instead of a tether.

-Dave
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