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Thread: Slot Car Racing

  1. #61
    I've just discovered this site - of course I was envious of the owner of the Indy Roadster and the Bruce McLaren Group 7 car in NZ's national racing colours.

    There are two tracks that I specifically recall as a young lad - one was somewhere in central Auckland and the feature of it was a loop. The other venue was in 'Old Papatoetoe', just off St George St on Shirley Road. The track seemed to take up the entire shop and I could hardly wait to one of my own.

    I'm guessing that turned on Christmas Day 1966 - the cars were Lotus 16s - one emerald green and the other one yellow. Before long I had a pair of GT40s (one white with a black bonnet and other pale blue) but the best ones I had were a couple of Can-Am types - one mid blue and the other orange. And no, the orange one did bot resemble a McLaren at all!

    At about age 11 or 12, Robert van Gisbergen and I spent hours racing slot cars - I guess we'd be doing that 'on line' these days.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Clark View Post
    I've just discovered this site - of course I was envious of the owner of the Indy Roadster and the Bruce McLaren Group 7 car in NZ's national racing colours.

    There are two tracks that I specifically recall as a young lad - one was somewhere in central Auckland and the feature of it was a loop. The other venue was in 'Old Papatoetoe', just off St George St on Shirley Road. The track seemed to take up the entire shop and I could hardly wait to one of my own.

    I'm guessing that turned on Christmas Day 1966 - the cars were Lotus 16s - one emerald green and the other one yellow. Before long I had a pair of GT40s (one white with a black bonnet and other pale blue) but the best ones I had were a couple of Can-Am types - one mid blue and the other orange. And no, the orange one did bot resemble a McLaren at all!

    At about age 11 or 12, Robert van Gisbergen and I spent hours racing slot cars - I guess we'd be doing that 'on line' these days.
    Michael, the one you refer to in Central Auckland was in Queen St and if the memory bank is correct it was either beside or above the old Regent theatre. Seemed like hundreds of steps to get up there. Yes, the loop was awesome and there were always several casualties if the power was decreased just at the top of the loop. The other one in Old Papatoetoe was in Station Rd near the railway Station. Shirley and Station Rds merged into each other. Only went there a couple of times and memory has faded a bit as to what the tracks were like. Certainly in my era there was much wheeling and dealing with cars and high powered motors.

  3. #63
    Also a massive complex in Rotorua. The banking was so steep if you weren't going fast enough it would jam the guide.
    Another one in Customs St Auckland, near to Gore St.

  4. #64
    What years do you reckon all this going on Frosty? I'm guessing 66/67 in which case I would have been 8 - so when I say the track in Old Papatoetoe "...seemed to take up the entire shop...", I am making that comment based on being only about track height.

    I do recall considerable carnage on that 'loop' as well. Great memories..

  5. #65
    My guess would be the commercial tracks were around in 64, based on when I went there, certainly by October 65 (when I had finished School Cert exams in Matamata I was allowed to train to Auckland and buy my Triumph Tiger Cub and I took a couple of cars in my bag) and were probably starting to fade by 68 ??

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Clark View Post
    What years do you reckon all this going on Frosty? I'm guessing 66/67 in which case I would have been 8 - so when I say the track in Old Papatoetoe "...seemed to take up the entire shop...", I am making that comment based on being only about track height.

    I do recall considerable carnage on that 'loop' as well. Great memories..
    Yes Michael, it would have been around that era, possibly a little earlier 64/65 for me anyway. I would have been 14/15 then and there was a great trade in slot cars when I was at Otahuhu College. I actually purchased a partly built track from one of the teachers and lengthened it to around 5 metres x 1.5m wide. 3 lanes which tapered as it climbed a series of "hills" and down a long straight heavily banked. Great memories that's for sure. Gave that away, work and my stock car took over as well as my road car and flagging at Puke.

  7. #67
    I have just been trolling the web, very cool site slotraceshop.co.nz, also has links to groups around the country, track pics, build guides etc etc. And how to build tracks!

  8. #68
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    I'm "young" compared to some on this great website - born in '66. My earliest memories were trying to stand on stuff to be tall enough to watch lunchtime slot car racing at my dad's work ( NZBC TV studios , Shortland street , Auckland ) in about 1970.
    Being apprentice electronics technicians meant slot cars were very "hotted up " and the track was very impressive.
    Roars of laughter would erupt as a car with a rewound motor would have a meltdown or billow smoke or just run backwards...
    I recall the track being about 6 lanes and well built.
    Competition was extreme with cars being built from brass wire or piano wire all carefully soldered.
    Off the shelf parts were rare - Martins toys in Customs St had a range and there was a slot car track upstairs near there.
    I well recall tyres made from old jandal rubber and other "experimental" materials !
    Weight was always an issue with old slot cars.
    My brother and I had scalextric slot cars as soon as we could squeeze a controller and a huge layout.
    As we got older we moved to Aurora AFX cars but I didn't enjoy them as much.
    Later in life I had another go with "modern" cars at Henderson Slot Car club and slot car drag racing ( very fast - and reactions need to be also )
    Funnily enough there was a bloke there who had worked at NZBC and raced against dad in the old days !
    Dad couldn't believe it
    Good , simple fun for all ages. I wish we had the lovely Scalextric cars that are available now , back then.
    My favourite old cars were the mini cooper and Porsche 917 long tail

  9. #69
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Dad bought a "Wrenn 152" system (1/52 scale rather than Scalex 1/32).

    Motors were effectively ratchet and pawl controlled by contacts and just an on/off controller. Unlike the traditional motors, firstly, these ran on either 12v DC (like most others) or 12v AC! AC was faster and also, because they were ratchet and pawl, they freewheeled, but the motors soon got a bit warm. Driving them required split second judgement as to when to release the power and then put it back on.

    Dad would go into town on a Saturday morning and see if the normal 25/- cars had been reduced to 5/- as ex demo models! We ended up with 62 cars. I had seven, my brothers one each and dad had the rest.

    Eventually, Wrenn produced DC only motors. Shame.

    We played with them just about every night. Happy times. I brought all the cars and a fair bit of track and a pile of spares back to NZ when Dad died.

  10. #70
    In 66 /67 I remember going to the ones in Customs St, Old Papatoetoe and bottom of Onehunga

  11. #71
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    AFX club in Auckland, anyone else race there?

    I first raced Slot Cars at Scanlin St, Grey Lynn when Aurora AFX were sponsoring the NZGP. That's where it all started for me, first racer was a short wheelbase 911. We even did a 24hr race for Telethon one year. Think I must have been about 10 when I started. "Santa" brought a Scaletrix set for my daughter 2 years ago and the car collection has slowly grown, much to her delight.
    Funny what they say about boys & their toys though, all true for me…...
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Kerry C.

  12. #72
    So that's where the #19 came from Kerry. Your toys have definitely got bigger! How's your new gearbox?
    Cheers, John

  13. #73
    Weekend Warrior Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    So that's where the #19 came from Kerry. Your toys have definitely got bigger! How's your new gearbox?
    Cheers, John
    Hey John,
    Yes, Ferry Porsche's birthday, 19 September.
    Coincidentally the COD for the 911 below is #1909
    Still, you know how much of a Porsche nut I am, especially for the 911 variants.
    Don't even ask about the gearbox, been in and out 3-4 times and still not sorted.
    Kerry C.

  14. #74
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    Recently came across this interesting little article about Martins Toys slot car track in Auckland city

    Name:  Martin's slot car track 1966.jpg
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    Last edited by Jeff; 04-20-2014 at 01:29 AM.

  15. #75
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    Name:  img097.jpg
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  16. #76
    Thanks for that Jeff, I spent a lot of pocket money there, even made the trip from Matamata just to be there as a 14 year old. Railcar was the mode of transport
    Last edited by Oldfart; 04-21-2014 at 07:04 AM.

  17. #77
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    "Martins - the mecca for modelers"
    I didn't know they had a slot car track - I was a frequent lurker in their store in Customs street though, and think I bought a Cox Cheetah there.
    Used to race in the big track up on K Road - along towards where Red Baron is now on the other side of the road - only stopped because I was doing my PPL, and I needed all the cash I could get - well - a Piper Cub, solo at Dairy Flat was $3.50/hr! - expensive!

  18. #78
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    Oooh Railcars ! Lovely. The sight of the Silver Fern used to get the old heart racing


    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    Thanks for that Jeff, I spent a lot of pocket money there, even made the trip from Matamata just to be there as a 14 year old. Railcar was the mode of transport

  19. #79
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    Haha.. wonderful. Thanks SPman , I guess you could take away that decimal point these days and add a bit more money to that hourly rate of hire although a Cub is out of the question these days ! aaah tube frame, canvas and wire... Those were the days

    Quote Originally Posted by SPman View Post
    "Martins - the mecca for modelers"
    I didn't know they had a slot car track - I was a frequent lurker in their store in Customs street though, and think I bought a Cox Cheetah there.
    Used to race in the big track up on K Road - along towards where Red Baron is now on the other side of the road - only stopped because I was doing my PPL, and I needed all the cash I could get - well - a Piper Cub, solo at Dairy Flat was $3.50/hr! - expensive!

  20. #80
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    although a Cub is out of the question these days
    Oh dear...still have a soft spot for the Cub...side slipping over the fence and stopping in about 300 ft at the Barrier, then watching the Auckland Aero Club planes try and stop before they ran off the end of the strip - it was an advantage learning on a decent plane on a grass strip (as Dairy Flat was at the time)....

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