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Discussion Starter #1
I was in Books-A-Million a few weeks back and a magazine caught my eye that was titled "Model Car Racing".....I grabbed it quickly and looked inside and was blown away. I slammed the mag back down and said "this isn't Model Car Racing".......Now I'm sure that Slot Car Racing is a lot of fun but it is NOT Model Car Racing. And "RC Car Racing".......That's really alotta fun, I'm sure....BUT it is NOT Model Car Racing.

Last week, I get home from vacation and messing around on the computer, I google "Model Car Racing".......and here we go all over again. Slot Cars, RC Cars, Pinewood Derby Cars, etc pop up all over mu search.....

Guys, you all are my last hope:

You see, I KNOW what model Car Racing is. It is something that we've been doing on and off for some 40+ years, and I am sure that many of you may be wondering......"What is Model Car Racing?"

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MCR is simular to PWD (Pinewood Derby) in that the race track is Inclined Speed. The top of the track is appx 6-8 feet high except a MCR track is much longer. Over the years, some of our longest tracks have been 160 feet in length. When the cars are lined up and "come out the gate" well thats exactly what they are doing. The "start gate" is a piece of clear plexiglass that is hinged and spring loaded. One little bump on the lever and it springs open and the cars take off.

However very much unlike PWD, in MCR the cars are FREE to race each other, bump each other, draft each other, pass each other. Oh and one more thing......There are MORE than 2 cars racing.....We have had as many as 12 cars in a race and it is truly a beautiful sight. Lined up 2 by 2 and bumper to bumber.....BAM!!!!.....the gate pops open and here they come (we all stand down at the finish line) and watch them race.

The botton half of the track is appx ground level, so the cars have already reached top speed. When they cross the finish line, they have just completed ONE lap. The car numbers are called out and someone writes them down for a "finishing order" for that lap. Now, this will be the line-up for lap 2.....and so on. Normally, we will run 20 lap races and on the white flag lap, the order will determine the line up for the last lap (checkered flag) lap. The gate pop open, and the first car that crosses the finish line is the WINNER!!!!

Usually we have an Entry Fee of $5 per car, so in a 10 car field, the winner pockets $50 for his efforts. We have raced for $20 per car and we hace raced for FUN, it doesn't matter, when YOUR car comes down that track....YOU are racing!!!!.....

All the cars we have raced for 40+ years have been:

1/24 scale plastic kits (nascar) ...hey, if you were a Dale Earnhardt fan, well then build yourself a Black #3 chevy and bring it on.....A Richard Petty fan?....no problem. Build a Petty Blue #43 and bring it on. That's just it. I know guys that have some absolutely beautiful cars sitting on the bookcase at home. But why not RACE IT?????

The chassis have 2 live axles front and rear with rubber airplane tires. The best race cars roll perfectly straight and lose very little time (being against the rail) as the track is usually 24 inches wide with 2 rails on each side to hold then on the track.

Weight limit rule is 7 ounces (or 200 g) but that's what we run. The great thing about MCR is that if YOU put a track up in you area.....YOU make the rules. YOU run the track.......guys.....it's just an awful lotta fun to have.

Someone can buy a kit ($10) and couple cans of paint ($6) and couple sets of wheels and axles ($8) and build a chassis (from wood, or plastic or aluminum or whatever) and race ALL YEAR LONG......So tell me what other "racin" can you do for less than $40 bucks.....and if you win a race.....you have gotten that money back, so you have ZERO in it!!!!

A friend of mine races RC and he's spent $3000 this year and the season isn't done yet. Slot cars.....cost much more....I've raced Go Karts....and it takes appx $5000 just to get started and $100's more each week just to keep going......

We are in the process of getting some footage up on YouTube so you guys can check it out for youselves. You may wanna do a track in your area. In the meantime, if any of you guys got any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them.
 

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That sounds like fun! You can put as much time and effort (and DETAIL!) into the appearance of your race car as you like, just so long as your engineering is sound. I have a few ideas that I'd like to try out on something like this. Is there any listing of where groups that run these races can be found? I'm not even a meber of a model club, so I don't have any resources as far as that goes.

A few questions: I know it's 1:24/1:25, but is it limited to NASCAR models, or are any models (within reason) elegible? I'm wondering about size, age, etc. For instance, would ana Tamaya Austin Mini have an advantage due to it's small size or, for that matter, a Jo-Han Cadillac ambulance because of it's LARGE size? Can it be raised or lowered on it's suspension for aero purposes? Can it have a working suspension or must it be rigid?

Inquiring minds want to know! :wave:
 

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Skooter,, Well.....From the sound of it,, It sound's like it would be fun and exciting.....Heck,, I'd give it a try, if there was something like it around here....None that I aware of anyway....I've Dabbled a little in all of the for-mentioned racing at one point in my life and found them to be fun,,as well.......:)

AND YES,, It's true that they're not true Model Car's... Like one would build straight from a 1/24-1/25 scale Kit...Like Revell, AMT, Lindberg, MPC, Etc.......

And....I'm not trying to make this sound NASTY or that I'm Putting down the Racing you guy's do..........

BUT,,, Neither are the car's that your talking about racing Either....

Because,, you said....The Chassis can be made from ("Wood, plastic, Aluminum or Whatever")....("With rubber Airplane tire's").....:eek:

The only TRUE Model Car part, that your left with, is the Bodyshell.....And That's what you guy's are Really racing.....NOT a Model Car,, Straight from a Kit, with kit supplied Axel's,(front and back) like they use to come,, and with kit supplied tire's.....

NOW THAT,,WOULD BE "TRUE" MODEL CAR RACING.....:woohoo:

STILL,, I like what you guy's are trying to do.....:cool:

Maybe...You guy's could start doing it in Classes....With all kit built car's in it's own Class,, and the one's you race now...In say, an Altered Class.....Just a Thought.........:D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You guys made great points!!

But really, this is something that can be YOUR baby. Someone once said that "if you build it, they will come"....and this is true.....I am in South Carolina......where are you guys......hey.....if you love Model Cars and you love Racing.....well then you have GOT to get into Model Car Racing.....and yes we normally have two classes.....Box (chassis from the box) and Modified (custom construction)
 

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That sounds like a very fun time Skooter. A few years ago I attended a "DieCast Derby", which was actually HotWheels cars (1/18 expensive diecast could be fun :p) Anyway, I think it was just one guy who had a couple hundred HotWheels/Matchbox cars, and IIRC it was just a two lane track, with the same starting gate system about 5' high and it ran at least 50 feet down to floor level. I think he made it himself and took it around to community events, scouts, etc. Kids, young and old, ;) pick a car from his collection, give them to him, and he starts them. Again, I seem to remember he had an automatic flag system at the end that showed who won. Everybody loved it.

Sounds like the biggest problem some of us have, like Jim and Moe mentioned, is the lack of fellow modelers within reasonable distance. Could even be fun just by yourself I suppose :p

My 'version' was more Demo Derby style. When my son was 4 or 5 I would build up a couple of the 1/25 model kits, usually AMT, making sure they had the wire axles. I built them kinda as display, with paint and glue, etc, but didn't go overboard-- just made sure they rolled freely, using just the wheels and tires from the kit. Then....:woohoo::jest: I'd get on one side of the basement with my car, my son would get on the other side with his, and we'd just roll them as fast as we could at each others :thumbsup: Amazingly, they held up pretty good, but eventually they started falling apart. Both my son and I are relatively normal now btw.......:p

Thanks for sharing the idea-- hope it catches on. Could be new life for old glue bombs!:)
 

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... Could be new life for old glue bombs!:)
Tear up "Old Glue Bombs"??? I love rebuilding "Old Glue Bombs", and that's a lot harder to do after the bodies and bumpers get all busted up by smashing them into one another! Now, "New" Glue Bombs, that's another matter. Take some recent build that maybe didn't turn out as well as you wanted it to and what the heck, bash that sucker to your heart's content! But I can't help but imagine someone hauling off and wailing an MPC '69 Impala SS into an original AMT '66 Corvette annual - two built-ups that I'd love to get my greedy little hands on, no matter how badly built they might be.

Having said that, I remember back in the mid 70's, when I was in middle school, going across the street to my friend's house after their trendy, kidney-shaped in-ground swimming pool was drained for the winter and running our models around the sides and bottom of the pool just as fast as we could push them... catching air with them if we could. If they ran into each other, we'd laugh uproariously. I lost some of my best early models that way, some that I'd love to have back, some that I'd love to find again as Glue Bombs and rebuild.

(The '69 Impala SS and '66 Corvette annuals were two that I ruined that way... :()

So, is there anyone out there in the Philadelphia area tha wants to get something like this going locally?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just think if nothing elase that we (old timers) try and hand this stuff off to the younger gereration. Teach them how to actually build something, to put some thought into something.

About three years ago at my church, we had the Carolina Pinewood Derby Championships. There must have been 200 or more (father and son) racers show up. We had a blast, but I KNOW that you guys have seen it too.....

The PROBLEM.....

The problem is that 99% of the PWD cars are built by the DADS!!!!!!

That's the problem!!!!

I started walking around telling all the "dads"......."Guys, you should build you a 1/24 scale Model Car and come race with us.....Leave this PWD for the kids.......in other words.....if you wanna race, build yourself a car and come race......don't hide behind your kid.....


I saw one "dad" put his arm around his son and tell him "it's ok, winning isn't everything".......I wanted to tell him.....Hell, the kid should be OK with it.....it was YOUR CAR that lost!!!!!
 

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But aren't the pinwood derby, slot cars and rc cars minature repilcas of the 1/1 scale cars just like the AMT and MPC model cars??? And do they not have to be assembled just like model cars??? Not trying to get into an argument but I am trying to point sonething out to the author of this thread.
Bottom line is it all depends on how a person looks at it.
 

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I have to agree with Irishtrek's comment below this one. A "Model Car" doesn't have to mean that it started life in a kit box. Franklin Mint, Danbury Mint, and Brookfield Collector's Guild all make beautiful car models. All of them come already assembled, but that doesn't make them any less car models. My brother in law was the pattern photographer for Franklin Mint for many years. He and his crew would travel all around the country (and sometimes internationally) to photograph cars in minute detail so that the Franklin Mint models could be as accurate as possible. It wasn't unheard of for him to shoot upwards of 1,500 frames on a single car. I have a few of the models that he took the original photos for in my personal collection, including the 1960 Corvair Monza Club Coupe (of course!), 1970 Chevelle SS 454, and the 1948 Tucker. Do you have a Franklin Mint Richard Petty model on your shelf? If so, Kenny traveled to Level Cross, NC (or in the case of the '67 GTX, Darlington, SC), to take the pics of the actual cars for the model to be made. I had a huge collection of Aurora A/FX slot cars when I was a kid. Like the model cars that this thread is about, they have a plastic body atop a chassis intended solely for racing purposes, a chassis that bears little to no resemblance to an actual car.

So to my way of thinking, these ALL can be considered "Model Cars". I realize my personal interpretation of "Model Car" is probably broader than most people on here, but the way I see it, if it's supposed to resemble an automobile, whether one that exists in 'reality' or just it's builder's imagination (be that builder an individual or a model or toy company), and it's built to a smaller scale than a normal person could reasonably be expected to fit into, then it's a model car. Yes, I include many cars here that you might just consider toys. I includes our fantastic plastic creations, RC racers, Diecasts all the way from the aforementioned Mint cars down through the ever-popular 1:64 Hot wheels. Matchboxes, Johnny Lightnings and the like (and even "Micro Machines"!), the old slush-cast Hubleys, Dealer Promos (and their store-bought friction-powered equivalents), Paper Models, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nascar fans make the best Model Car racers.

1) Buy a 1/24 scale Kit. Now you will use the body from this kit and only the body. Glue it together, paint it, put decals on it.

2) The chassis made from wood, metal, plastic or whatever you want to house two live axles.

3) A set of (4) rubber model airplane wheels (tires)

4) Weight is 7 ounces (or 200 grams)

5) A track that allows the cars to race each other, change lanes, draft, pass, bump, swap paint with other cars.

6)The track is 150 feet long and 24 inches wide, it's painted black and has white broken lines down the middle showing the lanes.

Now tell me, what other form of racing can you spend $25 and go racing??????
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The last track we had, there was a Mechanical Engineer who worked at GE in a neiboring county. Now, this guy laughed and said "a buncha grown ass men out here racin Model Cars"......


Well, to make a long story a little shorter, this "engineer" builds him a car. He pulls up to the track one Sunday afternoon and starts telling us how he "hates to do this" and he "doesn't wanna make us mad" and he "hates that he's gonna take our money" and all this stuff.......


Now, the car looked awesome and really handled well, but guess what????


This dude making about $100 Grand a year and with his fancy shirt on and his great looking car......


Guess what????


He ran in the back ALL DAY LONG. He got pissed cause my little cousin laughed at him........


You see he thought it was gonna be easy and he done come over here and let a buncha Rednecks spank his butt. Needless to say, he never came back.
 

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The last track we had, there was a Mechanical Engineer who worked at GE in a neiboring county. Now, this guy laughed and said "a buncha grown ass men out here racin Model Cars"......
Reminds me of a friend who thinks that models are just toys and it makes no difference to him what the type of model kit is. And here he is about 80 years old and he still acts like a child at times.
 

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Skooter.....You say you live and race these Car's in South Carolina......Is this track located anywhere near the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area ????? Or Charleston ????
 

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This is my idea of model car racing:

http://www.professormotor.com/Articles.asp?ID=180

The body and interior are from an SMP kit. The chassis is a K&B.


http://www.professormotor.com/Articles.asp?ID=163

The body and interior are from an MPC kit. I used a K&B motor and Dynamic chassis.

These were built to compete in a Vintage Race Night series I was involved in. We had "hard body" classes that were my favorite. It gave me a chance to build models and race slot cars at the same time.

Marty
Marysville, OH
 

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Discussion Starter #16
we are in Darlington .....about one mile from the speedway.

Maybe you could bring some friends and ya'll check us out??
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Marty,

That's really cool BUT

it is slot car racing NOT Model Car Racin.

Remember WE have been racing these Model Cars for over 40 years.

WE are just trying to cue others in to how much fun we have been having.

Slot Cars are slot cars.

RC cars are RC cars.

Go Karts are Go Karts.

NASCAR Sprint Cup is NASCAR Sprint Cup

AND......

Model Cars (used in MCR) are 1/24 scale plastic kit bodies on a modified chassis.

Why a modified chassis???????

Because years ago, you could get a rolling chassis (live axles front and rear) out of the box. Old kits like the Petty SuperBird and Pearson Special and Force 440 Police Car and the last one ever made was a General Lee car.....So we had no choice. We HAD to start making our own chassis. But that only ADDED to the fun of it.

Remember guys, this is OUR baby. WE started it. The cars are 1/24 scale plastic bodies. The weight limit is 200 grams (7 oz) with live axles front and rear......come on guys, build youi a car.....COME RACE WITH US....


Where else on this earth can you spend $25 and GO RACING??????
 

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Discussion Starter #18
And about those slot cars......

They are NOT free to race each other. They travel the same old line lap after lap......and RC racin....that's for people who got more money than they know what to do with......

Which that's fine. I'm not knocking it.....I'm just saying, take a look at what we've been doing for 40+ yeras.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So what do we got in here????


We got PWD (Pinewood Derby) cars

We got SLOT cars

We got Radio Controlled (RC) cars

We got Diecast cars.....

Geeeeeeeze.....You don't have to be real smart to see that......

SOMETHING IS MISSING!!!!!!


And that something is more fun that all the others COMBINED......


MCR....Model Car Racing

You build the body....You paint it......

You design the chassis.....You Build it.

You build the car....You RACE it




Well.......What are you waiting for?
 

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Well.......What are you waiting for?
It sounds like fun, but the distance and money are a problem... Send me a couple of plane tickets to South Carolina and put me and my wife up at your place for a weekend event and I'll build a model to compete with you guys! It might not be based on a NASCAR kit, though, since I don't have any on my shelves at the moment. I'm thinking about something from the 60's, done up as a Demolition Derby car! (Maybe an AMT '62 Buick "Deuce-And-A-Quarter"?) Or I might just dig up the Jo-Han Fury Police car I built back in the 70's and modify that for race duty. ("One Adam-12, what's your 20?")

Seriously, 700+ miles is too far for us to go for something like this. Is there a national group of guys who race these modified models, and if so, how can I get in touch with them? I'd like to find something like it locally.
 
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