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Most Interesting Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
While I´m here, I wanted to look around and see what I could find out about
slot cars in Brasil and post them here. First off, a few basics.
Autorama - is what slot car racing is called in Brasil.
Pista - is the slot car track.

Slot car racing has a long history in Brasil, with a long line of high profile racers.
http://www.obvio.ind.br/Autorama.htm

My first stop, is at Parolu Autorama, in Sao Paulo.



With several national points titles and and wins at national tournaments, Parolu´s is one of the most prestigous tracks in Brasil.
http://www.parolu.com.br/
Owner Paulo, has just celebrated the tracks 32nd year. To me, that´s very impressive, because the longest I´ve ever seen a track stay open is about ten years. Brazilians are very passionate about slot car racing. I´m not saying it´s any more than the few of us are in America, but it´s just a little different somehow. Brasil does have a "professional" slot car racing league. Paulo and some friends travelled to Houston, TX last year to race in a nationals event held there last August. That´s Paulo on the left, and some Mopar nut case on the right.



Slot car racing is only half the deal here. Paulo also owns TWP Products. They manufacture most of their own parts right here in the back half of the shop. The line includes bodies, motors (remember the Wasp?), controllers, chassis parts, tires (claims to have the best qualifying tires in the world), lubes, glues and so on. www.twpproducts.com.br





Parolu Autorama has quite a list of regulars, Philipe Massa and several other top Brazilian drivers race here in their off seasons, and when time allows. I didn´t get all their names, but I´m sure some of you road racing gurus would know. Maybe I can come back here and race with some of them.
 

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Slotcar Fanatic
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Would be nice if we could get that back in the states. When I was a kid back in the sixties, I had three hobby/slotcar stores within five miles of each other and they all had two or three tracks with plenty of slotcar guys that would help. On my first visit, with Dad driving, he busted up the Manta Ray that Santa brought me and they did all they could to rebuild it and get us back on the track. Great bunch of guys then as they are today! :thumbsup::thumbsup: rr
 

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Brazil is a good example of the important connection between the popularity of 1:1 racing and slot car racing. Brazil has a rich heritage and continuing interest in motorsports at all levels and it has more than its fair share of representatives at the pinnacle levels like F1. When you have a population that is inspired by competitive real racing and you have forms of real racing that the enthusiasts can participate in, and actively compete, then you have all of the essential ingredients for higher levels of interest and participation in slot car racing. Slot car racing IS real racing, the pairing of one man and machine against another man and machine. The size and scale doesn't matter, it's still the same game and same type of competition. But yes, it still requires active and hands on participation, and in some parts of the world sports that require active participation have taken a back seat to passive spectator sports.

Anyone in the slot car manufacturing side of things should strive to restore the connection between real 1:1 racing and slot car racing. It starts with building cars and sets that emulate the real race cars and race courses that the 1:1 sport is using - a fact that has been lost on 100% of manufacturers who build so called NASCAR race sets with loops and over unders and tiny and unrealistically banked turns. The next step is to come up with connections with the current and legacy 1:1 racers. I imagine that getting some contemporary drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Philipe Massa, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, etc., to lend their images to a slot car race set would cost more than what most modern manufacturers can afford. Maybe some of the retired legends would come cheaper for a properly focused and themed set. Anything to get that connection established.

Kudos to RaceMasters for trying to reconnect with 1:1 racing, both with its Super G+ and Mega G Champ Cars to the Le Mans inspired GT40s and legendary Chaparrals. Now we see AutoWorld trying to do the same thing with its drag cars. I think anyone making slot cars understands the racing connection but getting a deal put together is so expensive. I would argue that forming the "slot to pro" relationships are equally or more important for the 1:1 pros. A person who is excited about slot car racing is very likely to be a 1:1 racing fan for life.

To me, providing low cost or no cost sponsorship at the slot car racing level is like planting a seed to grow a lifelong fan of the sport. I also feel this way about producing slot cars that bear the likeness of 1:1 cars. Frankly, I think that the race teams and automobile manufacturers should compete and pay slot car manufacturer to disperse these little seeds of advertising that can build fans for their products. Obviously, the manufacturers do not see things my way. They are missing the boat. If someone like Ford took the money that it costs for one minute of one Super Bowl ad and paid it to someone like Life-Like to make sure that 80% of their slot car products were based on Fords, that would be money well spent for building a future base of loyal Ford customers. The Super Bowl ad gets lost in the blur of other ads, or overridden by a bathroom break, and has near zero residual value. That Ford slot car is getting brand reinforcement every lap that junior runs it around his slot car track. The owners of these copyrights and brands need to see the value in planting seeds for the future and step away from purely harvesting once in a while.

Aurora understood the big picture between big scale racing and small scale racing. Some of that magic still exists in places like Brazil. Thanks for sharing the pictures with us.
 

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Premium Member
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Very cool Rich!!!! Some MOPAR nut?????? :lol: You should see if Paulo will branch out into HO :thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for lookin guys,
AfxToo, you are spot on about Brasil. Autorama is not viewed as kid stuff. Even the kids sets are made realistic, instead of with loops and rolling eyeballs. The sets here are mostly SCX, with an emphasis on F1 and sports car racing. Believe it or not, there are some Nascar fans here.

Here´s an overhead view of Paulo´s main track. The turn not pictured, is in the above photo with the national titles. It´s kind of a King track with different banks and radius´. Most of the Parma, and glue type racing is done on this track.



Upstairs is where they do the scale racing. Because I race HO, I tend to like scale racing more. This track looks like fun. I hope to go back and race on it.









www.twpproducts.com.br :thumbsup:
 

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Crazed Painter
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Rich,

Awesum pictures and tell tales! Looks like you are having a good time in Brazil. :hat: Thanks for Sharron!!

Bob...It's your Vacation "ENJOY!"...zilla
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, that´s it for this trip. Unfortunately, most shops were closed through the holidays, and I never saw the inside of another slot car shop. Most shops are scheduled to reopen on the 8th, but I´ll be back home with my slot cars. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got bumped. 3 hours in traffic to the airport, and an hour and a half at check in to find the flight overbooked. Oh, well, they put us up in a five star hotel for the day. Will fly out tonight. See yall tomorrow.
 

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Rich - Looked like a great trip. You needed the travelling Jasper to accompany you. Thanks for posting. Time to get back to Charlie.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Back in Texas, and online. I've got some catching up to do with a few of you. My head is spinning from the trip and all the stuff I've had to do when i got back.
 
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