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Jim Douglas' Garage. The Flea Market, Thrift Store, & Garage Sale Finds!

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  • Jim Douglas' Garage. The Flea Market, Thrift Store, & Garage Sale Finds!

    I've been flea marketing on and off for years but haven't found much in slot cars, but I do occasionally.
    I'll go first.

    A reasonably long hiatus from the flea market ended a few weeks ago. I found this in a spot that was stacked mostly with old board games. I spotted this and asked about the "racing game." Ten dollars, because she didn't think it was all there. Looked more than complete to me and both cars were in the box.
    Negotiating another two dollars off, I was romping home with Aurora's Firebird Fever (1980 version). The 1979 Firebird Fever has seven more feet of track.

    The lower artwork was retained from the 1979 issue, but this formerly large set was now their basic "oval 8" set with 10.5 feet of track. This was (also) sold in Canada, so two faces of the box are in English, two faces in French.



    Let's see what we've got.


    Virtually everything is there including the track cleaning pad, Quickee-Lok key, an extra power supply, orange trestle, and terminal track. Possibly not pictured, the little vial of racing oil, unused; I don't see it in the photos but it's there. The glow in the dark guard rail decals had already been applied. The red Firebird is quite desirable and virtually never seen in this set.
    Both are in great condition, window posts intact, low mileage, lights working.



    Video! Only one curve's rails seemed a little dirty.
    After a tune-up, oil, and Super Tires, the cars were going around quite nicely after just a couple laps.

    [youtube]bqcw6gayJ14[/youtube]
    Last edited by JimDouglasJr; 04-15-2018, 09:05 PM. Reason: Spelling.

  • #2
    Cool! -- Ernie :>)

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    • #3
      Nice find
      Like the cars too.

      bigman

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      • #4
        Yeah, that red one is a score in and of itself. The black one is common and can be had on ebay occasionally for as little as $10.

        OK, I'll go again. Please, anyone feel free to put your local finds up.

        Some little sweethearts for $10. Found by my friend's wife at a garage sale.
        The taxi (AMC Matador) is like new.
        The Foyt Indy Special is missing the wing decal and has lots of laps on it. Not normally something I'd buy, but for essentially $3.35, a deal.
        The fire chief car was discolored worse than the photo shows, but soaking in peroxide whitened it up. No chassis. I had a chassis, flasher unit and bulbs so put that together.

        Last edited by JimDouglasJr; 04-05-2016, 09:34 AM.

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        • #5
          Nice score!

          The Foyt car is on my bucket list. Had the body only in some set I had around 1982 (came with an extra body and stickers for some reason). Gave the body away for some reason when I was a kid...

          Now it seems like that car is at least $30 on the bay no matter what condition it is in.

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          • #6
            [quote=JimDouglasJr;960412]Might be nice to see if we can get a topic on this rolling.
            I've been flea marketing on and off for years but haven't found much in slot cars, but I do occasionally.

            A few years ago, I posted about my experiences with an Estate Sale, in St. Charles, IL., that a buddy of mine told me about; it was offering the inventory of a closed hobby store, and included a mass of slot car stuff in all scales, both new in the box as well as what appeared to be the personal cars/equipment of the owner. I went there and purchased over a two-day weekend, and picked up a number of new and used Tomy/TYCO/LifeLike cars, a BSRT "Number Series" McLaren F1 car (all new in their containers) and my first Wizard (a P2, already modified with new sponge coated silicone tires), as well as some spare bodies. Everything was well below market; it was get what you could, as some collector was going to take anything left.

            I also picked up some used cars from a store that bought/sold used toys on several occasions. All these needed was a cleanup (looked like they were full of carpet lint, stopped working, and ignored) and new tires/pickup shoes, and I had some great additions for almost nothing. But of course, "nothing is not forever"; the store manager began to go online and look at bid sites, and began to price them ridiculously high. That just wasn't worth the time after that.

            I have yet to go to garage sales; I have seen a number of postings on the Forum, and there appear to be some great opportunities there. My favorite place other than buying new at hobby stores? Slot Car shows. I attend both the Milwaukee (WI) and Midwest shows (Highland, IN) when I can (they run shows in the spring and fall, different dates so they don't conflict). I find a lot of great inventory of all kinds, in all conditions, and many of the sellers will bargain with you, especially if you have bought from them before.......
            Last edited by Speedhoppy; 04-05-2016, 07:25 PM. Reason: Paragraph spacing

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            • #7
              I used to live a 5 minute ride away from the Lucas County Fairgrounds (Maumee, Ohio), home of the humongous Toledo Toy Show. At one point, it was the largest in the country.
              I scored some good AFX cars there. I'd go early and help dealers carry stuff in.
              Then I was inside with about an hour or so before the doors opened. This would have been around 1988-1998.

              I don't think there's anything like that out here. There's a toy show in San Jose I just heard about, but nothing slot specific.
              For the most part, my budget allows me to buy on ebay, though.
              Nothing like pre-internet and the anticipation of a show. I can remember going with a $40 or $50 spending limit and having oodles of stuff in my bag by 3:00.

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              • #8
                Here's a flea market/garage sale hint that's paid off for me several times.
                Train yourself to look for diecast Matchbox-type car cases, often blue vinyl, but also black, red and the shaped HotWheels cases. Also look for the usually light blue or yellow trays sitting out.
                Often it's estate cleanout stuff and they'll sell the cars for a buck or two each and there may be slot cars mixed in.
                Also any dealer with older toy cars - ASK them if they have any slot cars. Sometimes they haven't put them out because they don't know anything about them and have been putting off doing any research.
                Offer $5-$10 each in that case. Juicy enough they'll likely accept it.
                Last edited by JimDouglasJr; 04-07-2016, 12:32 PM.

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                • #9
                  A couple of years ago I found an old Tyco set at a thrift store with a near mint Petty Superbird for $20. I don't collect Tycos but I have a friend that does. I got a few very nice T-Jets for that $20 investment.

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                  • #10
                    Sweet. Exactly. You can always trade or resell good stuff you find like that.
                    Hobbies can be self funding.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JimDouglasJr View Post
                      Sweet. Exactly. You can always trade or resell good stuff you find like that.
                      Hobbies can be self funding.

                      Somehow, mine does not seem to work that way!

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                      • #12
                        I went to Florida a couple weeks ago and found this at a flea market with my brother near Clearwater.
                        Got the whole shebang for $40. This was someone's racer box. Other than new Super Tires, the cars needed very little. Rear wheels were already trued pretty well and the shoes were mostly well adjusted.

                        Five AFX. Four Magna-Traction. Two G-Plus, and one Screeecher Magna-Steering.
                        Even that one works pretty well when it's in a good mood.
                        No cuts, good window posts, even the '55 Chevy has all it's tips, although I did have to repair the mountings.
                        Also had to replace light bulb in one of the two lighted cars.
                        The black Indy car had mismatched magnets, typical of early G-Plus. The Javelin has Super II magnets.

                        Florida score.JPG
                        Last edited by JimDouglasJr; 04-10-2019, 04:30 PM.

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                        • #13
                          JD, nice haul

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CoachD View Post
                            Nice score!

                            The Foyt car is on my bucket list. Had the body only in some set I had around 1982 (came with an extra body and stickers for some reason). Gave the body away for some reason when I was a kid...

                            Now it seems like that car is at least $30 on the bay no matter what condition it is in.
                            The Foyt car was never sold in a set. When you purchased a G-Plus, or Speed shifter set, you mailed away for the Foyt car for a nominal fee, I think 50 cents or something. That's the ONLY way you could get that car.

                            I have one from an antique store that has orange wheels, but the REALLY hard ones to find are the Foyt cars with orange wheels, and an orange chassis. They are worth a bunch.

                            I'm pretty sure Patto's has the stickers.

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                            • #15
                              Jim,

                              Looks like Christmas to me. Always very fun to score a clean, unmolested time capsule. The violet/white Javi being the added bonus, as it holds a number 1 rating in the "Beers Bible" for rarity.

                              Thanx for sharing.

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