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Remember Slotcar Places!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bad Bob, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,084

    jnaki

    Hello,

    Just like in building hot rods or custom cars, these little bodies and motors created problems for everyone. (Until you got it dialed in correctly.) For example, the clear Lexan bodies were the perfect shape of an original car…61-62 Corvette, painting inside out for the first timer was an experiment in itself. If you wanted to get creative, you were painting backwards. The clear Lexan made it look fabulous on the outside, but on the inside, it could look awful.

    We learned that if a car rolls over in a corner or hits a wall at speed, then the cracks show up on the paint. So, as good body/repair people, we added more paint to fill the cracks. The next time more paint cracked as the material got thicker and thicker. So, we learned to mask off the areas we wanted a different color, had one good light spray, then dry and repeat. Two coats were the perfect amount for these lexan bodies. Roll overs, hitting the walls, pile ups, they were all taken in stride, with little to no damage to the paint. Does everyone remember the towels at the end of the strip to stop the cars? Those were the most damaging to the lexan bodies and paint, but with our new paint technology, the paint withstood the stopping/cracking at the end.

    Now those electric motors needed a little more experimenting and customization for those high speed dragstrips.

    Thanks,

    Jnaki
     
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  2. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,790

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Ah, the good old days.There was a bowling alley down the Gold Coast south of here (Similar to Miami Florida) that had a large banked and wide track, enough for 6 cars if I remember. As a kid I remember that it was awesome fun. Sadly the developers came in an bulldozed everything to make way for a flash rat high rise complex that does not have the same old world charm. Alas the slot car rack and bowling alley didn't feature in the new plans, more money to be made from the tourists.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  3. This was my favorite car from back in the day. Had a lot of fun with it. 20160810_081101[1].jpg
     
  4. Herb the love bug!
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  5. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,084

    jnaki

    Hello,

    There were a lot of motors for almost every application. The big DC 85 motors (many plates put together with end plates that housed the bearings) for all out drag racing from sports cars to dragsters, the smaller DC 65 motors for smaller mid-engine applications, the ever present Mabuchi single that came in most factory prebuilt cars for road race sets, and the DC 71 long motors that came in a variety of narrow bodied sports cars and F1 racers. These were the motors that were easily taken apart for modifying. (Rewinding the copper wires, adding epoxy, turning the commutator, adding bearings, etc.)

    The Mabuchi was the workhorse as they came stock in most complete racer sets. They could be run all day and still keep going. But, try to run one on the dragstrip and it was a slow go. Modifying them was not very easy. Some of the other motors that came stock in the 1/24 sizes were also hard to modify as they were sealed to prevent any tampering. These usually had the axles and gears already built onto the motor housing and plopped right in to any chassis.

    For every racing application, there was a motor. The drag racing motors were heavier and could not compete with the smaller and lighter weight sports car motors on the curvy tracks. We tried building mid engine mounting of the smaller DC 65 motors on our custom frames. They were low and wide, but they weren’t as fast and light as the ones specifically made for road racing tracks.

    Pretty soon, there were companies that made custom chassis out of milled aluminum that easily bolted on to the pre-built motors. You could buy these kits and go racing in one day. So, for us, the writing on the wall showed us that hours spent soldering the frames together, soldering & running wiring down the chassis for that clean look, drilling the bearing housing for speed, modifying the motor with new wires and epoxy was a thing of the past.

    The new generation of slot car racers had their own way to do things and we older guys were stepping aside. I hope the old slot cars that were in that original wooden box with lots of speed parts gave the new guy many hours of fun. It gave us a ton of fun and it was exciting…drag racing, road racing and the occasional electric shock from the transformer and tune up runs. It was lively…

    Thanks,

    Jnaki
     
    elgringo71 and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  6. Another fun thread, I have enjoyed reading a few of your stories, And I still have a lot of them to read yet. Here's one of mine. The first time I went to one of those big commercial tracks, that they had just opened up in Winchester Va. I took one of my cars from my home 1/24 lay out. It was a 67 vette that I had made into a sedan delivery. It said Ron's Speed shop on the sides panels. Well she ran like a bat outa hell, for a while. Then as it was going down one of those big straight stretches she came to a stop, with smoke rolling out. I put her in my shoe box and had to rent one of theirs. lol I still have that car. But it is at my dads house buried in the attic. I need to dig it out and take a picture of it. Here is a photo of my grandson and I racing on our track, at our home. 001.jpg ha ha Keep the stories coming Ron...
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  7. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,084

    jnaki

    Hello,
    You are very fortunate to have your old cars and to be able to share them with your grandson. I wish I still had those cars that I built back in 62-63. But, since I had not used them or played with them in 20+ years, my wife's philosophy is: "If you haven't used them in 5 years, time to reconsider moving them out of here"....said in a nice way... This kid that I knew needed something to do and did not have much, so I gave the complete wooden tackle box with 5 cars, chassis parts, motors, bearings, a transformer, controllers, 3 feet of track and a bunch of other stuff. He was like a kid in a candy store when I gave the whole shebang to him. So, I felt good, but forgot to take any photos of the stuff. Great stuff you are posting...
    Thanks,
    Jnaki
     
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  8. racer_dave
    Joined: Nov 16, 2012
    Posts: 205

    racer_dave
    Member

    An update- ran 3rd with the Waltrip 88 car. The Petty 43 car didn't turn the way I liked, so swapped the body over to a 76 nova body- that helped, but only ran 4th. I was fastest car last 3 segments but gave away too much too early. Both cars a bit too tight to really charge the corners hard. But not bad for only the second time ever going to that particular track. But more importantly- had a blast.
     
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  9. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    We raced in this "rich kids" basement, late sixties early seventies, 1/32 scale. He had a banked oval and a drag strip. I built this soldered brass tube twin engine sidewinder 4 wheel drive '49 ford with bigassed spongies all around, all the guys oohed and awed when they saw it, lots of power, complexity and wieght, the sort of thing we all love, was gonna set the world on fire. Thing wouldn't fall out of a tree, too heavy and wouldn't go around a corner fast for love nor money. Geez, Wadda ya know, Colin Chapman was right.
    The next one was a flywieght cougar funny car, used a dremel sanding drum on the body till you could literally see through it if you held it up to a lightbulb, aluminum sheet chassis, simple and LIGHT. That one worked a lot better. Lesson learned.
     
  10. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    You know you guys are a bunch of arseholes, right? :DMan, now you clowns have me looking at slot cars online! Do they EVER have some cool stuff now! As if there isn't enough car parts for me to spend money on!
     
  11. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,814

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    When I was a kid in the late 60s, Buzz-a-Rama in Brooklyn was the place where cool dads would bring a bunch of kids to celebrate a birthday party.
    Guess what? It's still there!
    http://www.buzz-a-rama.com/
     
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  12. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Man is that ever cool!^^
     
  13. 345.png 910.png My son saw this on face book, don't know the owner.
     
  14. 20160810_081101[1].jpg
    .........This was one of those clear plastic bodies that you paint from the inside. The color choice was inspired by the Mori Bros' V-8 Volkswagen, the ChevWagon that I had watched at Aquasco Speedway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  15. My inspiration.........for the VW 08192014.jpg IMG_4228.JPG
     
  16. WOW ! that Willies is to nice to race. I guess Drag racing is petty safe. I wonder how they made that 58 Ford grill for the Willies. Our cars spend as much time in the body shop as they do racing. lol One of the things that I did at those rental tracks, back in the day was to build cars that had lots of body damage. They got lots of attention. lol This isn't one of them, but it gives you an idea of what they looked like. I have always, and still do play the slots. And I LOVE the BUG , Don ATTACH=full]3302620[/ATTACH]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
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  17. Scott Mannion
    Joined: Aug 18, 2015
    Posts: 114

    Scott Mannion
    Member
    from Scotland

    Great thread, it really brings back memories (and makes me want to reach for the soldering iron!). Scratch building a landscaped track (like a model railway, but with speed), really appeals to me.
    When I was 'growing up' in the late '60s early '70s, Scalextric was king and so the slot cars we had were always 1:32 scale. I think Airfix also did a 1:32 scale track system. Any alterations to the cars usually consisted of grafting a 1:32 scale Airfix car kit onto a standard Scalextric chassis or, (if you had access to a really good model shop) one of the Monogram 1:32 scale hotrods (my favourite was the Topolino).
    The idea of going to a shop and running your cars on their track is a strange concept to someone from the UK. The closest my mates and I ever came to that was packing your best cars, spare tyres and braids into your Adidas school bag and cycling round to a friend's house to run on his track. I did manage to acquire enough second hand track to build an (almost) scale replica of Le-Mans in my parent's attic, but it used to suffer from some power loss on the parts of the track farthest away from the 12v transformer!
     
  18. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I am already working on a fully landscaped mid fifties CP N scale model railroad layout with my daughter. She gets a big kick out of creating a world in miniature.
     
  19. racer_dave
    Joined: Nov 16, 2012
    Posts: 205

    racer_dave
    Member

    That drag Willys is badass.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  20. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,104

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Here is a cool shot from the vintage photo thread.
    In the mid 60's, as a kid growing up in a small Oregon town, my friend and I were into H.O. cars pretty seriously, I recall having eight or ten cars, we both had our own track layouts and would alternate, pretending to be traveling race teams.
    We knew about the slot car tracks because he had two older brothers that always had car magazines laying around. There were no slot car tracks near us but I recall visiting one a few times when I moved to the Portland area, they always seemed to have older kids and their dads there and it seemed like kind of an exclusive group.

    [​IMG]


     
  21. 41 coupe
    Joined: Nov 29, 2009
    Posts: 262

    41 coupe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from bristol pa

    20160809_111116.jpg This is what I have left from when I was a kid. I think from around 1963-1965.
     
  22. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,827

    Fortunateson
    Member

    Man this brings back a lot of memories. I can't remember if I posted this info before or not, however, I got into slot cars around '67-68. I accidentally went into my parents room and just caught a glimpse of my mom wrapping a Strombeckrt track kit for Christmas. I still have it plus additional track. I savEd up my allowance and pop bottle money to finally get a chicane piece of track. When I went to place it in position it would not work. Nobody told me about no stinkin transition pieces. Did not have the money to buy them and I'm still looking,!! Grand Prix Hobbies on West Broadway in Vancouver had the big multiple car tracks. One day when I was in high school I heard they were ripping out the track. Got over there the next Saturday and it was all gone ( kinda like the turkey movie A Christmas Story!). I never really had the room to set up the track for my kids and that's a regret I will hopefully allay when and if grand kids show up. Thanks for all the posts guys, great times.
     
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  23. racer_dave
    Joined: Nov 16, 2012
    Posts: 205

    racer_dave
    Member

    Hey DDDenny. I've never really encountered that side of things. Although when I was younger I was too scared to go ask them for help :) I travel quite a bit for work, so a lot of times I find a track within 50-70 miles of my worksite and go race. I just walk in, introduce myself, get them talking and ask to borrow cars and equipment. They usually do and I get a chance to race at a new track, meet new racers. Last time was at LeMans Raceway near San Diego, or Elmsford near Tarrytown NY and I got run the last race ever at Stanley's in Spokane Washington.
     
  24. racer_dave
    Joined: Nov 16, 2012
    Posts: 205

    racer_dave
    Member

    Update- won my feature in the #88 laguna- was running 3rd in the Nova when a wreck trashed the rear gear- pitted and fixed, but no chance to recover. I think next big race is 10/21 & 10/22 at Mid-America Raceway Napierville IL.
     
  25. Even Bruce Wayne had a cool Slot Car layout:

     
  26. Fun times at the Bat Cave.:D
     
  27. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,608

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Was the gray track Revell? Gary
     
  28. I haven't read the whole thread, maybe someone has mentioned this. Remember back about '63 or '64 the 1/24th top fuel goal was to break 1 second? I lost total track of the sport until a couple years ago and ran into a modern day slot car guy. I asked him if drag racing was still popular and what the records were nowadays and what motors replace the great old Pittman 85 and Ram 850 powerhouses. He said sub 1 second was common and everyone ran the $$$$$$$$$$ can motors now.

    Nothing beats the smell of 'nitro' (36V on a 3V motor!!)
     
  29. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,669

    Offset
    Member
    from Canada

    Need to come back with a coffee or two and read this whole thread. Slot Cars…..every kids dream regardless of age!
     
  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,084

    jnaki

    upload_2016-11-15_9-51-21.png
    Hello 41,

    Great save. Those chassis parts were from 63 and were very popular right off of the shelf at most hobby stores. We got our starts with these ready-made chassis/Mabuchi motor combinations. Since the complete cars came this way already set up, it was fun to buy clear bodies to paint and customize. That made the multiple lanes colorful. The front chassis/tire/motor combo looks like it came out from a stock bodied car. But, some of the stock kits came with aluminum front wheels with bearings built into them. The rear photo looks like you put on softer, wider sponge tires for better grip. These slot car chassis set ups had a tendency to swing wide and the foam style tires made a better grip around the turns.

    It was hard to modify those stock Mabuchi motors and we destroyed several trying to make them into higher rpm sport/drag motors. Nice save on those plunger controllers. We all learned to “back pedal” those controllers (down and up quickly) going into corners and such.

    Wish my old collection with a multiple drawers and cars was still in my garage…good old days… Building and driving modified, hot cars without spending too much money…what fun.

    Jnaki
    These stockers were fun to modify, as it was easy to see them race and at the drags, actually go down the track. Our full custom rails with Pitmann 85/full hopped up motors took a second to finish. If you blinked or turned around, they were gone.
     

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