Slot Cars

1:32 Scale – My First Track

A true dream track!! In about 1964 several of us started running slot cars at the various commercial tracks, and a few private ones, in and around Fort Wayne, Indiana. As a bachelor living in a house with a basement, it didn’t take long for the now organized “Concours Model Racing Club” to decide that, since I had the hangout, I might as well have the track, too. The result was this beautifully crafted track. I was very fortunate to have friends that were experts in several fields, particularly wood working!

It was four lanes, routed in high quality plywood. The contact strips were braided wire in recesses routed beside the slot. A 12 volt car battery with a charger supplied all the amps we ever needed. Lap counting was by dead strip circuit detection. We did not have lap timing. (I would have had to buy the house next door to have enough room for a 1964 computer capable of doing race management.)

The lap distance was 75 feet, with a main straight (right side in diagram below) that was 20 feet long. After the 180 turn at the end of the main straight (bottom of diagram), the track made several sweeping elevation changes as it headed toward the esses, which ended in an overpass, then the track dropped rapidly to go under the esses then to the pits and the start finish area (top right in the diagram below).

I had the track from 1964 to about 1970. It lasted through getting married, moving to a new house and having two children. When slot car racing faded the track was sold to a friend and he finally dismantled and scrapped it. I sure do miss that track and those days of racing – even getting beat by my 3 year old daughter!!

Above – track marshalling around the furnace pipes was a challenge. Fortunately, there was adequate duck-under room.

Above – A track level view at the end of the main straight, going into the 180. The track had complete scenery all the way around. A requirement for joining our “Concours Model Racing Club” was to build a 1:32 spectator car or paint some people. I still have most of the spectator cars. I also still have the Monogram Ferrari F1 in the lead here but the Lotus is long since gone.

Above – An overhead view at the end of the main straight, going into the 180 and climbing back to “Novice Corner” in the right foreground. All 4 lanes had a 10″ radius going into Novice Corner and an 8″ radius coming out. Since the corner was over 16′ from the driving position, first timers took a while to learn it.
I had originally put in wooden dowels with balsa rails for guard rails but they didn’t last long. These pictures were shot after I installed aluminum posts but had not completed the plastic tape rails. They lasted reasonably well.

Above – An  view coming out of the last hairpin turn and going to the left into the underpass toward the pits. Note the sweeping elevation changes through the esses in the background. The aluminum post and plastic tape guardrail job is still under way. 

What a fantastic track! Maybe someday……….

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