Featured Before Sims There Were SLOTS!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ted Duncan Jr, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. Ted Duncan Jr

    Ted Duncan Jr
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    Slot Cars at Christmas.jpg
    Before Sims … There Were SLOTS!


    Back when I was a boy, thanks to ABC's Wide World of Sports and Road & Track magazine, I got introduced to motor racing in the late 50's - early 60's. This introduction led to building model cars ... and then in about 1963, my brother and I (and my Dad ;)) got an Aurora Model Motoring slot car set for Christmas. This set was the one with the steering wheel speed controllers (with brakes and reverse buttons!) and those fabulous, skinny tired Thunderjet slot cars. Dad put a 4X8 sheet of plywood up ... and we went racing. It wasn't long after that that we started buying more cars and Hop Up Kits with change of gearing, wheels and racing slicks and a couple decal sheets ... and miles of additional track pieces.

    Although there were larger scales available, these Aurora cars were (allegedly) HO scale, and their small size and low cost made it easy for the young motoring enthusiast to go racing!

    Aurora really promoted the hell out of these things, with spots on programs like the Steve Allen Show and etc. The old I've Got a Secret program held a race, marshaled by Sir Sterling Moss (who was on the cover of the Aurora instructions), where 4 nice young men (slot cars were NOT for girls) competed for FIVE THOUSAND BUCKS!!! http://slotblog.net/topic/43645-ford-aurora-slot-car-race-on-ive-got-a-secret/ HUGE money back in the day.

    One Sunday night on the Ed Sullivan Show, Stirling Moss, Jackie Steward, Graham Hill and Dan Gurney races these cars LIVE ... and in Black & White, at least at my house. I can't find a vid of the event, but I found a picture. In the photo below, you can see that three of these racers are having fun, but Dan Gurney, ever the competitor, seems to be really trying hard.:

    Slot Cars Ed Sullivan Show.jpg

    Eventually, the slow, slow, slow Thunderjets gave way to faster AXF cars and finally AFX with MAGNA TRACTION which exposed the magnets in the cars chassis to the rails on the track. The magnetic attraction was so strong; you could almost hold one of the track pieces with a car on it upside down without the car falling off. I suppose this is the equivalent of modern down force technology.

    My brother and I even tried our hand at "modding" ... we carved little car bodies from balsa wood and put them on the little motor/chassis assemblies.

    The HO slots held up really well over the years ... each of my sons had sets (see the opening picture of Christmas Morning at our house) and LOVED them. In the mid to late 1970's I even turned the Sports Car club I was a member of on to Aurora HO slot cars. Five or six other members of the club bought sets (and more and more cars & track) and we would hold racing weekends at each other’s houses once or twice a month. One of the guys in the club worked for RCA and brought home a Gauss meter, so we could match our magnets ... not that we had ANY idea it would make them any faster, but we did it anyway.

    One of the original spokesman for Aurora was a stock car racer, Edward Glen "Fireball" Roberts who unfortunately was killed at the World 600 at Charlotte in 1964. But there were plenty of other drivers willing to help promote these little cars. Here's Peter Revson to tell you more about it:



    From these roots, I got involved in cars and eventually racing them.

    Anybody else do any slot car racing before sims?


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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2018
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  2. Emery

    Emery

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    Back on '68 Christmas, my brother extravagantly gave our cousin a spiffy 1/32 Eldon set with a couple of CanAm cars. They being older than myself (19 years and 10 years older, respectively), I was fortunate to get to play with it even though I was only 6 years old... and boy was I hooked!

    My parents gave me an Eldon HO figure 8 the next year. I readily swallowed my disappointment that it wasn't as elaborate as my cousin's nice set and got down to enjoying it rather quickly.

    When I got my own apartment in '87, I indulged my fantasies and bought a bunch of Aurora HO stuff.
     
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  3. birle1

    birle1
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    not before, because i´m not that old!! jeje. i started almost at the same tyme, and i´m still doind it when i have time. i´ve been on (or in ??) a slotclub untill last december.
     
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  4. Michael Turk

    Michael Turk

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    I had slot cars back in the day when I was a kid but I'm still playing with mine actually, I have my Tyco H.O. scale track still and a new Scalextric 1/32 scale track at home and I've found a place in town to run my 1/24 and bigger cars. I was thinking about going to the digital sets but I just hadn't changed over yet cause I'm lazy, lol.
     
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  5. beef

    beef

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    I still have it all in the loft lol
     
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  6. Jockey

    Jockey

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    I also had slots.
     
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  7. Eckhart von Glan

    Eckhart von Glan

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    In Germany the aurora afx series was promoted by local modeltrain buildings company FALLER. They ran their own sets, the AMS racing line before and the pieces actually fitted together. I must have got my first set back in 1974 or sth. for christmas (about the only time of the year such exorbitant presents were to be got, at least in my family). My two brothers and me played hours and hours and hours on it. We had cars with light and raced with the blinds down in a dark room and then slowly let the light come back in to simulate long distance racing. The older cars had weak magnets and you could actually powerdrift them round the corners whereas the later models got stronger and stronger magnets (see text above). I didn't buy those on principle, spoiled all the fun since you could race 99% of the track flatout. My little brother got one and finally had a chance against us older ones, lol. I also remember building eleborate paper models for pits, race control and grandstands. My parents gave the whole set away some twenty to thirty years ago, hope another kid had just as much fun with it as I did.

    http://www.faller-ams.slotcar-treff.de/
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. bsmooth

    bsmooth

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    Talk about bring back the memories, I think I pretty much had a little of everything. Had the 1/24 and 1/32 scale for quite awhile. My favorites being a COX Ford GT and an F1 BRM P261 in BRG,and an F1 Sharknose Ferrari Fooled around with souping up motors and trying different gear ratios. We also had a Local 8 lane track you could go down and rent by time.
    After that I ran out of room and went with the smaller HO cars. Then from there I went with a HO train and track combo, which was a handful. Those were some carefree times when FUN was the name of the game.
    Thanks for this thread. BTW I still have a few gears and drive shafts in a small jar down in my celler!
     
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  9. DrLimerep

    DrLimerep

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    Of course I had slots :) Can't remember the brand of my first that I got for Christmas at age 6 set but it may have been Scalectrix. Later replaced by various Tyco Formula 1 sets. Still have the Nigel Mansell branded Monaco set lying around somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  10. LilSki

    LilSki
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    HO Aurora Model Motoring for the win. Still have a large vintage collection handed down from my father. Spent many hours building tracks back in the day. Maybe that is where it all started.
     
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  11. Andrew

    Andrew
    Out of my mind ! Back in five minutes. Staff Premium

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    My first cars in 1965. And I still have them. Oh, those memories :inlove::inlove:

    1965-10.jpg
     
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  12. poir.qc

    poir.qc

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    Received the Aurora AFX Ghost racer track, on Xmas eve, when i was around 10, was hand down the best Xmas i ever had!

    [​IMG]
    I wish i still had it today. I remeber trying to build a jump by making a track going up and connecting the track with wires!
     
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  13. Glaurung

    Glaurung
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    The "Carrera Bahn" it's still well alive, my son has this: it's all like back in the days, but the main characters are a little bit different :D
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Leonardo Ratafiá

    Leonardo Ratafiá
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    In spanish but pretty actual info
     
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  15. Stig Bidstrup

    Stig Bidstrup
    Jarek says " 900 degrees of rotation " Premium

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    I was a bit nerdy with this :whistling: I recreated the 1977 and 1978 F1 season with a friend using Slot cars .
    The picture is from february 1978 and the track is Kyalami recreated as close as I could :D
    On the picture just in front of me is a big watch -that was used to take Quali times :D.
    On the grid is the Tyrell 6 wheeler and The Mclaren M23---I must be 13 years old on the picture.
    IMG_20180326_0001_NEW.jpg

    I still collect Slot cars if I see something I like , cant help it - including this set.. but I don't use it anymore.

    5 (1080x810).jpg
     
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  16. Beto Luga

    Beto Luga

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    My first "Autorama" in 1976. Autorama Fittipaldi 2.jpg
     
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  17. Nico

    Nico
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    Here in my country they were called "Scalextrics". We had a very basic set and some generic plastic cars when I was little in the 2000's. My neighbor from the next building has a nice, detailed track with some nice cars.

    A couple of years ago, where we go to vacation, there was a little store with a huge, detailed track which let you -and up to other seven people- play certain amount of laps depending how much you paid. We had lots of fun, but the owner told us this is a dying hobbie, that most kids today don't care about anything they can't get on their phones, and he didn't see himself maintaining that business model for too long. And indeed, the following year he wasn't there anymore. :(

    I admit I'm a millenial (23) and I behave like an average one at most aspects, like being very dependant of electronics and internet. But I do agree that there are some good things from the past that are being lost, and this is one of them. Pictures like the one in the OP do really make me wonder how different my life would have been if I was born 20, 30 or even 40 years earlier.
     
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  18. Hal Burns

    Hal Burns

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    Ha Ha...my father got a huge box of the old rubber Scalectrix track when we were kids and we had old 1950's BRM, Cooper cars. Later moved up to 60's Lotus and Ferrari. My Christmas present from this year, which my daughter and I take to the local hobby shop to run:
    IMG_1280.JPG IMG_1281.JPG
     
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  19. Metla

    Metla

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    slot.jpg
     
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  20. Daniel Pettit

    Daniel Pettit

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    It was Scalextric for me. I was recently delighted when Project Cars 2 included the Autoglass Porche in their livery roster for the 956. I wasn't even sure it was a real paint scheme as apart form the game I never saw it anywhere other than that model car.
     
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