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O'Connor Hobbies, Toronto Ontario Canada

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  • The other Torontonian

    Originally posted by Cinny1 View Post
    Mike Power was Joe Gutz? Funny I have heard the name Joe Gutz, but never in reference to Mike Power. Mike and I were both in the group he refers to and we were all pretty tight for a number of years, even after Mike stopped racing. Maybe Mike can shed some light on the Joe Gutz monicker. I first raced against Mike in 1968 at Oshawa raceway in a 9 hour enduro and after that location burned to the ground in that same year we started racing at agincourt mall and O'connor. O'connor soon became home for myself and Frank Grant who was also from Oshawa. Like I said it became a close knit group and we all, many times, travelled to Lorne Park Plaza, Grell's and another track in Buffalo, then Parma in Cleveland. The first time we went to Grell's I was amazed at the size of the store. They had several King tracks, I remember racing on their, Blue, Orange, Black, and one other. Mike's brother Robert raced Grell's weekly with another Torontonian who's name escapes me. We all made treks to Mosport during the seventies and once borrowed my sister's Winnebago to travel to the race course at Mid Ohio. Those were, ahem, "Heady Times."

    Of that original group of guys, I still see Jim Best and Glenn "Curly" Walker. The three of us were involved in car racing together for a number of years and we still camp at Mosport for two or three races per year.

    For a number of Years Jim, Brian, Glenn and myself ran a an H.O. club for a long time with over 30 party folks, two tracks in two homes. One was a modeled after a Blue King and it was amazing. BTW the H.O. track in O'Connor's basement wasn't a "King" track. It was built onsite and was a one off design. "King" was originally a prefab manufacturer and the track designs were designated by their color.

    After O'Connor closed I spent some time with Bill Woloschuk, Dan Camillari and Ray Noones. In the first photo, that would be Ray, fourth from the left on Orange lane. We travelled in the eighties and early nineties we made excursions into Hartford Michigan, Cinncinati and a couple of other US tracks for some Pro/Semi Pro races.

    Currently my racing is done online with a PC, 40 plus guy's every Thursday night, running American Lemans type cars at www.champion-motorsports.com

    Mike, it was really good to hear from you after all this time. Gotta get together.
    The other Torontonian was Chuck Stryker. We went to Buffalo every Wednesday to race at Grell's and buy parts. Chuck had a 64 E-Type Jaguar that was mint. Those were memorable times.
    - Rob Power

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    • O'Connor 1/24 Wing Car Racing, mid 1970's pictures

      Here's some pictures from O'Connor, compliments of Peter Sardella :

















      Last edited by challenger; 08-29-2009, 11:58 AM.

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      • hi bill apparently i have some photos of hobby centre in my storage locker ... will take some searching but ..on my to do list !!! will post in here when i locate them!! tc jim ....... photos not found
        Last edited by jimjungle42; 12-31-2016, 02:31 AM. Reason: update

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        • Originally posted by PowerRB View Post
          The other Torontonian was Chuck Stryker. We went to Buffalo every Wednesday to race at Grell's and buy parts. Chuck had a 64 E-Type Jaguar that was mint. Those were memorable times.
          - Rob Power
          Good grief! Another 'ghost' from the past! How are ya? It was great seeing your brother again. Some day, all of us 'old pharts' have to get together.

          Rob, Chuck's Jag was cool, and I still remember hearing his Kawi 500 triple wailing between the industrial units!

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          • Originally posted by Fergy View Post
            Good grief! Another 'ghost' from the past! How are ya? It was great seeing your brother again. Some day, all of us 'old pharts' have to get together.

            Rob, Chuck's Jag was cool, and I still remember hearing his Kawi 500 triple wailing between the industrial units!
            I am doing fine here in Hanover. Glad to hear from you! I had forgotten about that Kawi triple and yes it did indeed scream. I spoke with him about 10 years ago (maybe more) and he had purchased 2 Binelli 6 cyl bikes - both brand new out of New York. Never did get around to seeing him and the bikes. He was into R/C racing at the time and still having fun. As for me, no racing but have done some nice sledding in the past 15 years throughout Ontario and Quebec. Anyways enough of that - this forum is about Slot Cars. Reading some of the posts and seeing the pics sure has brought back the memories of good times with the O'Connor gang.
            - Rob

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            • memories

              I was only a kid (7) when I first came to O'connor raceway.I grew up around Bill Woloschuck,Peter,Ray,Ernie,Dan.They were a great bunch of guys.Still remember racing riggens downstairs.

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              • holy crap! That is ME ,the boy in the pic on the right side.I was about 7 yrs old.wow.

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                • Originally posted by madone52 View Post
                  holy crap! That is ME ,the boy in the pic on the right side.I was about 7 yrs old.wow.
                  the things you find on the internet ! LOL

                  -more pics to follow, my friend's dad is still searching his stuff

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                  • I grew up around Bill Woloschuck,Peter,Ray,Ernie,Dan.
                    Nobody could ever 'grow up' around those guys! That was the very tail end of my O'Connor days...

                    I am doing fine here in Hanover.
                    Rob, not that far away in Dundalk here! The original O'Connor bunch has definitely spread all over southern Ontario. I still think we need to get the whole group together again.

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                    • Fergy, a get-together would be a great idea, so many people are starting to drop in to say hello here, amazing how many hits this thread is getting. I mentioned you to Peter Sardella when I saw him on Friday, he said to say hello.

                      It's mentioned " growing up " around the O'Connor gang, I can say the same for me. I ended up on many new experiences and adventures with several of the people from the store.

                      1. trip to Flamborough Speedway with Jim Pearsall ( in his '72 'Cuda )

                      2. trip to Mosport with Drew Tarling ( in his '74 Camaro )

                      3. trip to Dragway Park Cayuga with Jim Bremner ( raced his '69 GTO when we got there )

                      4. trip to Shannonville with Harvey Little ( pit crew for his Formula Ford )

                      5. trips to Niagara Falls, Montreal, and Washington racing slotcars with Ray Nunes

                      just to name a few, each weekend was something new and exciting, I just loved the teen years !

                      Last edited by challenger; 09-03-2009, 06:35 PM.

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                      • Rob, not that far away in Dundalk here! The original O'Connor bunch has definitely spread all over southern Ontario. I still think we need to get the whole group together again. [/quote]


                        Fergy, I go right by Dundalk when going to the cottage on Simcoe. Will have to get together for a brew . Getting the old 'pharts' together would be a real blast. In the meantime, if you ever happen to be in the Hanover area let me know - You are always welcome to drop in.
                        Rob

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                        • true,hard to ' grow up' around men playing with toy cars.Funny, my kids now play with toy cars too.

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                          • Another OConner Raceway alumni checking in..,although not as famous as some of the other posters, I think I was 10-12 when I would go, mostly raced in the basement with my Riggens, the memories are fond!.

                            My son who is turning six soon was my inspiration to begin looking around at the current state of the slot car scene thinking I would find something for him. Disappointed with the offerings at ToysRus, that's all we have out here on the east coast of Canada, that I am aware of for retailers, I typed into Google some keywords, lo and behold don't I find this thread...

                            I will save the rest of the story for a intro post but I look forward to rediscovering this great hobby with my son and sharing our adventure here on SCI.

                            I also want to say how well put together the SCI forum/site is, I frequent a number of different forums as a part of my paid work, I only wish they were as well run as this forum is.

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                            • there's the O'Connor slot box !

                              I was uploading pictures from the Canadian Slot Car Show today and I noticed the O'Connor slotcar box that Porsche911 posted earlier in this thread !



                              If I knew it was you I would have dropped by to say hello, hope you had a good time at the show.

                              Jim

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                              • Its a small slot car world

                                well this starts about 25 years ago. Wanted to get into Rc racing and a new shop opened up in east end of scarborough. The shop was call Raceworld Hobbies. So went in met the owner Ernie, then and there I knew I new him or thought I did. So time clicks on and he closes up the shop and moves and so did I at the time, 18 years click by and I get a Laptop for Xmas. I started to surf slot cars, and came apon this picture of O'Connor Hobbies, I couldn;t believe my eyes There in front of me was tis guy I meet there Erine and that was in 1966 or ther abouts. my first track I raced at was at Kingston RD. and Midland now the store is a Furrier and that was in 1965. Had a paper route to pay for cars, and controller. I finally had my own set years later in the 70's made from Strombecker and Eldon track.Used Parma womp womp cars on it, spent 100's of hours racing . Does any one know what happened to the wing track from O'Connor hobby. Well its been a slice puting all these memories down. So if any one knows Ernie's whereabouts please pass on my email [email protected]. Thanks for having this site Fats

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