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MEET THE MEMBERS of SCI...Old23

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  • #16
    Thanks for the memories.

    I happen to be one of Old 23's "casual slot car buddies" that he refers to in his detailed, informative, and very entertaining post, who would also dearly like to profit from some form of "organized" slot car racing in our neck of the woods - (and also preferably on wood).

    Although I'm certain it would have happened sooner or later, I am grateful that Old 23 has been gracious enough in his profile not to have singled me out for any blame in his rekindling of this, as he mentions, at times costly, hobby. Both Old 23 and myself have long been motorsports aficionados, having been "infected" early on in our young and impressionable lives at opposite ends of the world, literally – himself in North America and myself in the Far East, when my father took me to witness my very first motor race, the 1956 Macau Grand Prix. Clicking away with my very primitive Kodak Brownie Camera at the Austin Healey, Bristol Warrior, Mercedes 190SL, Jaguar XK140, Ferrari Mondial, and I clearly remember that year, a Ford Thunderbird! among others, I was immediately hooked, not only by the spectacle of all this exotic (to me at least) machinery, but more particularly by the intoxicating atmosphere surrounding the whole event, and the ability and privilege to be standing right in the midst of this carnival, rubbing shoulders, or should I say being gently and politely ushered out of the way by good-humoured drivers and their mechanics, as they prepared their cars for combat. That event and a Scalextric set as a Christmas present soon after, and with which I spent countless hours living out my motor racing fantasies, was the beginning of a life long interest and passion for all things automotive.

    That original Scalextric set went the way of the Bristol Warrior, as has the ability to mingle intimately and pass with ease in the paddocks of modern day motor racing venues. Nonetheless, I am pleased that all is not lost. A few years back a local hobby store was closing down and was having an “all-items-marked-down-tremendous-savings-everything-must-go” sale, and the owner, who knew about my passion for things automotive, and who had supplied me at one time with scale model trains for my son, suggested that now would be the ideal time for me to consider getting into slot cars. To be honest, I thought they didn’t even exist anymore, crude and clumsy toys fading away like the Bristol Warrior. It was a shock (a pleasant, and ultimately a somewhat expensive one, I might add) to quickly learn that slot cars never really went away, were now very much in existence, and had in fact enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, and had evolved to a level of sophistication heretofore unheard of by myself. I left his store that very day with two Ninco sets, put them together as one track on the floor of a spare bedroom, gave Old 23 a phone call (whose acquaintance I had made, incidentally, some twenty years earlier while I was waiting to collect my 1:1 Porsche from the same garage he was having his 1:1 911 serviced), and invited him over to check out the remodelling of the spare bedroom.

    Much time, many enjoyable hours in the company of fellow slot car enthusiasts, an expanding collection of cars - the exact number of which I am unable to reveal lest my wife happens upon this post, and a two-lane eighty-odd foot permanent plastic Ninco track in my basement later, and I am convinced life has a sweet and kind way of repeating itself. As for the magic of mingling intimately with my driving heroes past and present, I had the good fortune last year to attend the 2006 edition of the magnificent Goodwood Festival of Speed. I stood right up, close and personal amongst the 1:1 cars, literally rubbing shoulders with the likes of Stirling Moss, Derek Bell, Richard Petty, Mikka Hakkinen, Nigel Mansell, Jackie Stewart, Jensen Button, Nico Rosberg, and many many others, until a good-humoured mechanic asked me to kindly step aside and block my ears as he was preparing to launch the Le Mans-winning Audi R10 with Allan McNish at the wheel.

    There was no sighting of a Bristol Warrior, but indeed, all is not lost. And this is a good thing.

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    • #17
      Wow! Talk about stepping up to the plate and hitting one out of the park! That's a very interesting personal account Old23. Great stories. The pics of your tracks - that's archival stuff. And the Mosport pics. That's history book stuff! As I sit here, I'm looking at my original redline Hotwheels Chapparal No. 66, almost 40 years old, which is based upon the very car in YOUR photo, that is responsible for my prolonged adolesecence to this day.

      Got any more stories? As your compatriot Neil Young would say, "Tell me more, tell me more".

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      • #18
        Aurora, thanks for your interest and kind words. I'm all out of stories, but... slot racing in Thailand??? What's that like? How big is the scene there? What are Thai slotters racing?

        Old23

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        • #19
          Slot racing is still relatively unknown in Thailand. I came here a few years back and have been trying to get it going. I've had some limited success with sales, but it hasn't yet caught on in a big way. I'm still hopeful. As with many parts of the world, and certainly here in Asia, motorsports are really taking off, so I think the hobby can only grow.

          Right now everyone is racing RTR 1/32 cars. I hope to bring in more goodies - aftermarket parts, kits, accessories, etc. - but it's one small step at a time for right now.

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          • #20
            What I was missing...

            I had lost the "Meet The Members" section of sight for some time now and catching up on my reading revealed lots of good, funny, entertaining stuff! This here intereview, Old23, was a great read and I thank you for sharing it with us.

            Yo RIR, very nicely put: reminiscences of a not too far past are also big with me - modern racing is a bit "colder" than what the sport used to be. But, as some say, that's called "evolution"...

            Cheerio lads!
            BigDog

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            • #21
              Old23

              Great stories. Sounds like a fun life, thank you for sharing.

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              • #22
                Evil Steweee is a friend and fellow racer who just helped out with the VRAA at the 'drome recently.....three or so years ago friendly chap was wandering through the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame...admiring a collection of 1/48 cars.....I was volunteering often then, as I was just retired and keeping busy....jokingly I said I owned over 50 Ferraris, little ones...his response was "You must be ferrari1950"...SCI was the common thread....one thing lead to another...invite to race in Montreal when there visiting family...my wife and I moved to Cornwall (hour away)...the connections for continued slot racing were in place and a group, including the friendly chap race at the 'drome often...thank you so much for you friendship!...now lets race on!


                Marek

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