Hi! From high a top the control tower here at the world famous Autodrome located half way between here and there, on the shores of the mighty St. Larry River, we bring you the 74th running of the VRAA Grand Prix of the Autodrome and as you have already guessed the VRAA has been here 34 times before. I'm Dick Grande and, by way of Brazil and some sort of "twinning "proceedure we await this years special guest, Enzo. Tributes to Ferrari glory are being shown on large screens around the track as we await his second coming......where in the world is Enzo? Let's take you down to the pits where our regular commentators Jack E. Stewart and Sir Nigel await Enzo's arrival.
Right Dick. Jack E. heeerrrre with Sir Nge and no sign of Enzo. Where in the world is Enzo? Nothing unusual herrre. The pits arrrre a behive of activity as the carrs are unloaded and soon tested. Not many Scot's carrrs so as usual they're all crrrap. Sirrr Nige any comments.
"Mwell ..hramppph here here..God Save the Queen...where in the world is that Eyetalian chap?...rude sort...wot?"
We take you high a top the observatin carnival ballon over a meeting of "German mechanics".."ve see nuthink..ve hear nothink...hess nut vith us...rouse..schnell"...no sign of Enzo. Where in the world is Enzo?
Dick here. I've just been informed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have deployed their highly trained sniffer horses in hopes of finding Enzo. Flag staffs at half mast incase ill has befallen him at a very "sketchy "family business in the "Eyetallion" section of town. Where in the world is Enzo?
As the search continues tradition here at the 'drome warrants that the Royal Princess Fridgedaires commence their march to begin festivities mindfull to always remain behind their mascot the Bejewelled Turtle. This could take sometime as in previous years so we take you to some fans in the park to see if they know where in the world is Enzo?
Heh! mahn. We don see senior Enzo no where amigo? Where in the world is Enzo? Dunno mahn..hehehe! so why don chew look at the carnival mahn?
Fans party prior to the race here at the park but no sign of Enzo? The Umpah band entertains to keep the worried crowd calm. Where in the world is Enzo?
As the day ends and preparations for qualifying begin no relief is insight from the search for Enzo. We leave you as confused as ever here at the 103rd running of the 82nd VRAA Grand Prix with but one burning question in mind, "Where in the world is Enzo?"
Welcome back to the 40th running of the VRAA at the Autodrome here in Cornh...errrrr...wall Ontarrrio. Jack E. Stewart speaking and I'm afrrraid to say we have as yet to find our guest of honourrr strraight from Italy by way of a Brazilian cloning lab wherrre he may have had a slight face lift.
We sent Sir Nige out and about on the streets and by the carnival rides but no sign of Enzo. Where in the worrrlld is Enzo?
Dick Grrrande was on assignment at the rrefrreshment stand and still no sign. Wherre in the worrld is Enzo?
In any case the carrrs have done a parade lap by numerrrical order and all seem to be...in a word...crrrap! They're not Scottish...if ye didn't get 'em fer free you paid too much!
Thank you Jack E.. Dick Grande here from race central ,no sign of Enzo but we must continue. If all goes well qualifying will happen late tomorrow with results posted sometime after. Excitement fills the air in anticipation for the 12th running of the VRAA and 58th race in the series this season. Only NASCAR runs more. More news tomorrow.
Where in the world is Enzo?:
We're back here at the 'drome. It was decided to get the local constabulatory force involved to find, where in the world is Enzo?
Officer John Doe Naught even though very busy with police work, was more than glad to set up lookouts to find out "where in the world is Enzo?"
Spotters were deployed and it was decided to look first where RIR was invited by the Gregory Peck look alike to visit, perhaps to see his nice Doberman dogs or perhaps something or someone else.
OMG it is ENZO. Where in the world have you been? Wh are you here?
OK OK..everrey budy take it da pill? I'ma ok, just a visit a grave..nevernominda who...justa good friend EF...whadda you wanta?
So nowa dey go finda me I gotta do da job. So okay shtarta de qualificationna!
Cars dey look a so nice but too manni garagistas, no? All lina up now and getta going.
Ho boyce looka how dey go fasta!...dattas nice....dey all race around uno minuta eacha to see who so fasta, middleof traka ada 10 volta...nice.
Dey finish lika dis.
Finally grrracia Enzo for showing up so the rrrrace could start. Unforrrtunately RIR is now missing as is Grrregory Peck's double in a white suit. Maybe holidaying in Brazil? Jack E. herrre and the chart tells the story.( 1st # order of quali, then car number or name then time) Really no surrrrprise as the Polish Lotus was built and tested on this its home trrrack. The tirrrres are well worn indeed! As forrr the rrrest of the competitorrrs...they're carp!:
..and so we await the running of the 113th running of the 4th VRAA at the Autodrome.
Dick Grande, Enzo, Sir Nige and Jack E. signing off for now!
Jack E. Stewarrrt herrre and wot an extrrraordinary night of rracing it was. Let us just say a crack team of drivers and track mangement ran another successful prrroxy herre at the world famous Autodrrrrrrome...
...lovely cars to see racing on the track....
A car built for this track edged out a one lap victorrrrry as it ran last in the rrrotation and was brrilliantly drrrifen by the young McG on the very last stint.
And wot a fine run by the Porsche and the lovelyBRM...and look at the tightly packed 4th through 8th places...WOW!...heck 10th....wooo
Dick Grande here signing off for Jack E. Stewart, Enzo, Sir Nigel and the cast of characters here at the 'drome. Rest assured all is well at the track. As for where Enzo was and rumours of aliens and cloning and other nonsense reminiscent of the old Boys from Brazil movie we have no idea why people would suspect anything "funny" here. Do you see any look a likes???...silly!
Good day till next time, eh!
So this car has existed in the collection over a decade. It is an MRRC Vanwall with an MRRC chassis. modified, with BWA wheels rear and Ninco wires at the front, to start with.
The origianl change was to replace the MRRC driver with an EJ's driver. Now I opened up the cockpit and used a Darts driver. I decided to carry on improvements for a proxy VRRA Spring series. Fresh coat of green and my racing number.
Years ago I read an article and modified the chassis so it was a pan with floating front axle. The whole thing functions in theory like the old Scalex sledge idea.
More changes with a BWA S can and new gearing.
Close up of the now very stable slot.it rear with bushings after opening up the brass frame holes that previously held the axle. New tires that I cast myself.
BWA/Dart wheels and inserts, polished up the chassis, TSRF guide left in place, car runs like a charm.
Only one problem...rules for proxy state that the chassis cannot show below the body when viewed from the side....boo...my chassis shows a tad...so even with a bit of grinding and effort it just won't disappear. After all I often stand at the side of the track hunched over one eye squinting looking for a slight peek of chassis at the correct angle....( tad upset )
So lovely runner stays home for me to enjoy and proxy loses an entrant. That's how the cookie crumbles.
PS...car drives much better than the Scalex Vanwall of modern release...hehehe!
Picked these two lovelies on epay a while back. They came with assembly instructions found in the original box. One GT40 is endbell drive, the other can drive so I assume that they were released at different times.
Both cars need considerable clean up and paint.
The original tires were replaced by my"Cupcake castings"
I have further cleaned things up. Scrubbing Bubbles non abrasive bathroom cleanser and a soft tooth brush works wonders. Each chassis got a coat of clear acrylis to stop further oxidation. Crown gear will be replaced on the blue Ford.
Rear of black car was reconsrtucted from sheet styrene.
One Ford is done. Other is still in the shop and will get a whimsical orange Jager livery. Both were offered for sale to a friend but alas they run so well the offer is off the table! I'm keeping these beauties.
Once again both cars are and are being painted by Glen Norris, my pro paint and body restorer, a newbie slotter to our WIMMC&C group, who suffers from a propencity for orange colours and certain livery. He is a master modeler with many awards for static models to his credit. The paint job makes these cars extra fast.
Can't say enough about how well these cars run 45 years on.
As blogged, along with photos of the first Canadian Grand Prix, some time ago, 1967 was a seminal year for my country, Canada's Centenial. Our nation was full of hope and promise and granted a Grand Prix which is now one of the older races on the calander that "Bernie" and big money have created. ( Not that he and others have not tried to drop and replace Canada with a race in Ugabuhgastan for the cash and 6 fans who could afford to attend with the reigning dictator.) But I digress. I was long ago 16 going on 17 and now I'm "maturing " and nostalgic!....and STILL RACING SLOT CARS! One of the chaps in southern Ontario, where I once resided and raced, sent along a great clip. Let's share and enjoy.
Along with the poster and disk of photos of this event, that I cherish, this link makes for a perfect day.
From the cast of characters and misfits that inhabit the World Famous Autodrome, here in Cornwall Ontario Canada, a Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.
Thanks to all who continue to browse and read the blog over all these years!
Just the other day my slot racing buddy Stewart(old23) sent this pic around to the guys in our club. I just love it! It captures a time and era that evokes great memories and slot cars are involved. The pic is from a BRDC meeting in 1965. Its a veritable whose who of heros. Clark , Hill, Chapman.....the web page link is here
Its from Australia and this is from just one section. Have a walk about and enjoy . I have.
The suggestion was that when the "kats" gather for the annual Christmas Run Offs at the Autodrome we wear tux or formal attire...we'll see.....
Recently on epay listed by electricgaragesale in Caledon On I spied (through rose tinted glasses of 50 years past nostalgia) the original Eldon slot car set that started me on my way to a hobby I still enjoy today.
Missed winning the bid by $1.00...damn...but it was fun to see the original box and gear. Probably means nothing to anyone but me, but it is my blog so put up with the memory lane twadle.
Now I return to the way back machine......hehehe!
Thanks for the pics from Caledon and the epay sight.
Back in May I thought I had a McKee but was promptly corrected by a large contingent of slot car aficionados that I had a McLaren. My bad. I have since got hold of the real thing. It's a Strombecker body. The pictures tell the story. I had two Mrrc chassis purchased earlier so one has gone to good use. Its shortened a bit, new screws used to hold it together, bushings and motor siliconed in place. The old body mounting posts were cut of and I used blocks of styrene. System works very well on two centrally located screws. Touch of paint, decals, coat of Future wax and there we go. The car is an extraordinarily smooth runner and stable. Wow! Another CanAm car in the collection.
Thanks for some history by racecars.com
This is the 6th sports racer and 1st CAN-AM car designed and built by (Bob) McKee Engineering Corp. of Palatine, Illinois. The car possesses the original tube frame and fiberglass body as built by Bob McKee Engineering in 1965/66. It is fitted with a full race prepared Olds big block (455 c.I.) as originally fitted to the car.
The car is described in ROAD & TRACK's series on America's Race Car Builders - Feb 1967 issue.
Bob Mckee began his career as one of Chicago's better known speed shops, catering to the dragster and stock car market. He had built a Chevy and a Pontiac for Tiny Lund and then joined the Pontiac stock car team. He then became interested in Indy cars and was Dick Rathman's crew chief for two seasons. Roger Ward decided to go road racing, purchased a Cooper chassis and Bob Mckee was given the job of building the car. Installing an aluminum block Buick, McKee determined that existing transaxles weren't man enough for the job and designed the McKee transaxle. He continued to provide race preparation and fabrication for customers like Augie Pabst and Charlie Hayes while also working on Indy cars.
As his reputation developed he was commissioned to build specials to order and by late 1965 had produced 5 such cars, all different, including the Chevettes of Dick Doane and Jerry Hansen featuring Chevy power. He also produced the LMD, powered by a Ford 427 stock car engine, and a Plymouth hemi special. All of the cars featured tube frames and aluminum bodies.
Beginning with the sixth car McKee switched to fibreglass bodywork and series production, embarking on a run of three cars, of which this car is the first. The McKee Mk VI was introduced at the 1966 SCCA National Convention. This car is the show car. The car was originally owned and raced by Budd Clusserath on the Cro-Sal Racing team w/Gene Crowe as mechanic. It competed in SCCA events in the Midwest from 1966 through 1968, driven by Budd Clusserath and Dr. DeJarld. The car appeared in CAN-AM competition in 1969 (as #64) and 1970 (as #33) driven by Chuck Frederick, at venues including Edmonton, Elkhart Lake, Laguna Seca, Riverside (Texas), and Donnybrook.
The cars were known in their time for a very high quality of craftsmanship and extensive use of domestically sourced parts, to minimize the problem of foreign parts replacement. The only non-U.S. source parts on the car are the steering rack, dampers, and hydraulic master cylinders.
There were only four marques which won points in the 1966 USRRC series, two British; McLaren and Lola, and two American, Genie and McKee.
There you have it.
This past weekend I made the trek back to Southern Ontario to visit my son and his wife, crash at a long time slot buddies place and visit the Huttonville Slot Car show. I think this was the 23rd show at the Embleton Road school house in Brampton Ontario, as Huttonville is swallowed up by urban sprawl. The school gym was packed with all scales and all ages of cars and enthusiasts. My friend Dr.Vanski was selling off his collection and I scored a nice Fly Porsche livery I like and the LeMans Miniatures Pink Pig I have always coveted, along with a hand built fiberglass bodied Mercedes. Thank you Van for the deals, the hobby was better for you. Race at my place anytime. The red 512M rounds out yellow, blue and red liveries by Spirit so when its time for IROC style racing one Ferrari for each colour of lane. Drew, so you swore you wouldn't negotiate a deal on the yellow Shell Porsche...droped $5 for the begger I am!.. Sean what a bargain on the Scaley box Williams and McLaren...thanks dude.
My son and I visited Dundas Valley Hobbies the evening before the show for old times sake and I scooped the Ferrari 458 by Carrera. All the cars are being or have been tweaked and tuned, slightly regeared or blue printed and run fine to great. The Porsche Pink Pig lived up to its name...a pig...never have seen an axle so bent out of shape at the rear...never the less after great effort the here to fore shelf queen can now keep up with a well tuned Fly car. Chris, Brant, John and daughter, Jim, Bill and the rest of the old crew great to see ya.
Art of D'Art hobbies was my host Saturday evening and what great projects are in the works in the 'skunk works...can't tell ya... but he has great BWA and D'Art product at http://www.darthobbies.com/index.htm
A lovely visit with all. Thanks Matt, Kristina and Art for places to sleep..cats and gerbils and all!
Years ago when I started this blog I mentioned that my first taste of slot racing as a young lad was with Eldon products. No they were not of the greatest quality nor was the detail anything to write home about. Scale was very roughly 1/32 or somewhat larger and chassis were crude and adjustable to fit many body styles. Still the product holds a bit of a soft spot in my heart and though very toy like I recently purchased two examples cheaply on "epay" and decided to dress them up a tad.
So this is what I started out with,gathering possible donor parts from various bins.
I decided to replace the rear axle with a threaded 1/8' EJ's unit and Revel vintage gear. I threaded the original plastic wheels on and used a nut to hold them in place. One of the wheels was slipping so a dab of "Crazy glue" did the trick.
Hit the bodies with Krylon spray paint I had rattling around the "skunk works" and as you can see cleaned up the chassis.
I kept the original motors as they worked well at ten volts, siliconed the motor in place, siliconed the expandable chassis so it was more rigid, replaced the guide with a Strombecker EJ's repop after I reamed the post holder a bit with a file so things were loose but firmly in place with a collar on the post.
A bit of detail work with Tamiya paints and EJ'S decals out of the "left overs" file. and things where looking good. I failed to mention that I stretched a pair of my own cast urethane tires on the rear but found them disproportionately narrow so took a chance and cast the dry hard original Eldon tires and luckily was able to come up with a couple of decent usable pairs.
The "Indy Lotus" and I use the description with poetic license and...
the Indy roadster came out rather well and are charming to race around, at a surprisingly brisk clip for such old "toys"
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I've been racing slot cars since I was 12. Started with Eldon, routed my own track, raced H.O. and since 1999 back to 1/32. Had built a road course and oval at my school in H.O. four lanes for the kids to race. Now I'm retired since 2007 after 34 years of teaching and administration. Enjoy a variety of 1/32 makes and scratch builts. Tinker with the cars constantly. Have expanded to a 65' three lane routed MDF layout and its great fun adding to the scenery and racing.A bit of a collector (425+ and growing) , club racer and proxy racer. Add stuff costantly! Building and tweaking is as much fun as racing. Enjoy writing my blog. Good day, eh!