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  • Remembering John

    A good friend of slot car racing, John Ebersole, passed away on March 19th.

    John had been fighting cancer and it won.

    John was the owner of John's Slot Car Garage in Riverview, Florida. His raceway featured 2 of the best racing surfaces in the southeastern United States.

    On May 16th, his wonderful wife Nancy is hosting a gathering of slot car racers to celebrate what John Ebersole brought to the world of slot car racing. Starting at about 11 AM, the doors to John's Slot Car Garage will open and we will start racing and continue until everyone has had enough racing for the day. If you can make it there, it will be a very special day of racing and remembering. I hope you can make it.

    John, among many talents, knew auto bodywork. He used a lot of bondo, a body grinder and a lot of sanding to refinish a couple of tracks that would have been thrown on the trash pile if it had not been for the efforts of John.

    One of them is a 200 foot hillclimb. This is an awesome track. I don't think there is a car made that will not make it through the banking on this track with the throttle held wide open. The straightaway is so long and so smooth, once you enter it, open the throttle wide open, you almost have time to take a bite from a sandwich before you need to put another control input to the car. However that "Deadman" still comes up pretty quick so you had better stay on your toes. Here's a photo or 2 of the track:




    That beautiful hillclimb is not the only outstanding feature at John's Slot Car Garage. He also has a King track in the building that had to be shortened about 8 to 10 feet just to fit in the place. It too has a fantastic racing surface and is one of the best tracks I have ever raced on. It is smooth, fast and just a blast to drive. I've never seen any braid ever come up, nor have I seen a car come off that has not been a fault of the person holding the controller in their hands.



    I would like to invite all of you that love slot car racing to join us in "Remember John Ebersole" on May 16th, starting at 11 AM and ending whenever!

    For more information, drop me a PM and I'll respond with any information that you need to come and join us on that day.

  • #2
    Remembering John

    On Saturday, May 16th, 2009 there was a gathering of slot car racers held at John’s Slot Car Garage in Riverview, Florida. The purpose of this gathering was to take a day out to honor a fallen friend of ours, John Ebersole.

    I did not know John Ebersole for a long time, but John became a friend the day I met him the first time I ever walked into John’s Slot Car Garage. John was there, preparing his tracks for the upcoming My Series race to be held there in March of 2008.

    John Ebersole was the reason Frank Sinatra wrote his song, “I Did It My Way” as that is the kind of person John was. He believed in what he was doing and building for all of his friends in the hobby of slot car racing was the proper thing to do. John, in a way, was kind of on a mission to build something that everyone would enjoy – one of the best slot car raceways in the southeastern United States. To this end, John went out and bought a couple of tracks that had been damaged and in the words of some, “Toast”! He set about moving them into his “garage” behind his house. Once he got them there, he started out to make some outstanding racing surfaces. Was he successful in this endeavor? In aces!

    There is a 200 foot lap length Hillclimb and a 143 foot lap length King track in the “garage”. John was like any of us, he wanted to put the largest track into his building that he could and did. As a matter of fact the King track took up so much room, an ‘addition’ was in order so that folks not skinny as a rail like John was could walk from the parts counter past the banked turn on the King. He added a picture window that lets a lot of light into the building – and in retrospect I think it now provides John with a view of what’s happening at his labor of love.

    If that’s true, then John had that special smile he had on his face when there were a lot of slot car racers at his “garage” – he used to invite all his friends to come over and play on a regular basis and that was something we all did yesterday. We went to John’s “Garage” to enjoy what he built and also to “Remember John” for all that he did for our hobby.

    When I pulled into the driveway at John's Slot Car Garage, I saw a lot of cars parked there – which to me was a fantastic sign. That usually meant there were a lot of folks there to honor John Ebersole’s memory and pay respect to him for what he accomplished and left for his friends in slot car racing to enjoy.

    The racing was informal, just hook your controller up, put a car on the track and start running laps. Quite soon there were lots of people racing. It seemed like folks found cars that were very evenly matched with someone else and the racing just seemed to take off and folks were having FUN!

    Rick Moore, aka CMF3 brought along his full complement of 4 of the wildest slot cars you have ever seen WWW is what he called them, absolute fun is what they were. He got them all set up to run and then asked 3 other people to gather in on the fun. What is a WWW – it is basically a “Womp” on steroids! All the chassis are scratchbuilt from brass and wire. They all have “Contender” motors in them and are very evenly matched. I don’t think I have ever seen 4 grown men having as much fun as we were having racing those cars around this magnificent track. After many laps, I don’t think there was a clear cut winner – actually all of us were winners with the FUN Factor we were experiencing – but the racing action was hot and heavy.

    As I was getting ready to leave, I heard what was one of the best bits of news I could hope to hear – two fine gentlemen are going to help Nancy Ebersole out by opening “John’s Slot Car Garage” up for full operation this summer. Hopefully that will show that there is enough interest and business to warrant keeping it open for the long haul. If you have never been to John’s Slot Car Garage, I urge you to go over there and see what slot car racing is all about on two of the best racing surfaces in the southeastern United States.

    As I said, it was a fantastic day of racing, camaraderie and just having FUN!

    Thank you John for all your work. It is truly appreciated. Rest in peace my friend!

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