Entries in April 2012
When I lived in the greater Toronto area going on three years ago now, I met and became fast friends with a large group of dedicated scale slot car enthusiasts. At that time Al ( Mr. BWA ) lived only a few blocks away. Well time passes, friendships endure, and new friends now race at the " World Famous Autodrome."here in Cornwall. It was with some trepidation I recorded that Al was going out of the slot car business and would be missed as he was moving to new digs, his dream in the country along the Niagara peninsula. My parts bin started to dwindle. What new sources would I now turn too? Well good news.... Al Penrose...BWA himself is settled in and back in business. I've placed my first order and await delivery. You can reach BWA at the link posted. Glad he is back in the "show"
Al is ageless and though this picture goes back about five years I'm sure he still wears the same sweater!
Amongst that group of racers was Art ( Super Rat) to some. Art is a talented individual and perfectionist. He started casting club tires just after me and continues today. He is without a doubt the best track builder I have ever met, a true artist and is now expanding his offerings through his new web site. He only produces top quality merchandise at more than a fair price. I'll be ordering some drivers and axles soon Art. Good luck in your venture.
Too bad his arms and stature were so short his marshalling skills came into question .....not! This is a rare shot of Art with no Beck's in hand.
These are first rate craftsmen, good people , but above all slot racing friends.
Fleischman of Germany, produced some well made slot cars in the sixties and early seventies. I always loved the looks of this little gem and felt if I managed to get a reasonably priced Alfa in good enough shape I would do some upgrades and make it a decent runner with newer cars. Epay came through, the car was a reasonable $60 but shipping from Portugal was rediculous. Oh well another Holy Grail attained.
Started out with a motor swap. Shimmed in an S can and used BWA wheels. The original pinion and spur were used. The spur being an odd large size is siliconed to the BWA wheel so there is no slip on the slot.it axle. Original bushings fit snug so were just siliconed in place.
The clam shell bottom looks neat and tidy.
The guide blade was sanded and thinned as it bound in the slot of my routed track. They made them thick and sturdy. The screw holds it in place with no slop. Well made product.
As the above three photos attest having no inserts I used a little ingenuity, a drill, my razor saw and a sanding block to spin, cut and sand inserts fashioned from the discarded rear wheels. Perfect fit for the rear BWA's.
The original finish was clean so I stripped the aged decals and gave the driver a fresh coat of paint on his helmet, goggles and seat belts, then wiped the car down with a little rubbing alcohol. Looks good. I enjoy the freshened look, retaining some originality.
New livery is similar to one used at the Nurburgring by Alfa. Car runes very will on my own cast urethane tires and is similar in characteristic to Scalextric Ferraris and Ford GT's.
Thanks to the ultimatecarpage.com
"Now officially Alfa Romeo's competition department, Carlo Chiti's Autodelta began the development of the replacement of the highly successful 'TZ' and 'TZ2' GT racers late in 1964. Dubbed the type '33', the new Alfa Romeo was an altogether more ambitious machine as it was intended to run in the small displacement prototype class where Porsches reigned supreme. Very few existing parts could be used on this project so it took over two years before the first car was actually raced.
In order to keep pace with the competition, Chiti's men designed Alfa Romeo's second ever mid-engined chassis. The first was the stillborn type '512' Grand Prix racer of 1941. Unlike the TZ, which used a multi-tubular 'spaceframe' design, the 33 featured a simpler chassis built around three large diameter tubes constructed from riveted sheet aluminium. Two were used as side-members with the third connecting the two in the middle to create an 'H' shape. On both ends more conventional magnesium cross-members were also used to add further rigidity. The two side-members also housed the rubber fuel tanks.
The 33's suspension was more conventional with double wishbones at the front and lower wishbones, top links and twin trailing-arms at the rear. Ventilated discs were used on all four corners, with the pair the back mounted in-board. A six-speed gearbox was also developed specifically for the 33. Towards the fall of 1965 a first, very rough prototype was ready. It was still powered by a four-cylinder engine, while the proposed V8 was still under construction. The prototype was extensively tested and up to three chassis complete with suspension were supplied to OSI and later re-appeared as a closed and open show car.
While the chassis was submitted to rigorous tests, the Autodelta engineers put the final touches on the all-new V8. Chiti had learned valuable lessons developing the ATS V8s, so much was expected from the new Alfa Romeo engine. Constructed from light alloys, it featured a twin-cam head with two valves and two spark plugs per cylinder. The earliest examples still sported Weber carburettors but by the time of its debut a more modern fuel-injection system was fitted. Despite its modest displacement of just 1995 cc, the high revving V8 produced a hefty 270 bhp at 9600 rpm. This was about the same as Porsche's similarly sized flat-8.
Completed late in 1966, the first Alfa Romeo 33 was not shown to the media until March of the following year. The car sported a 'Spider' body with a periscopic engine intake that earned it the nick-name 'Periscopica'. The new car made a victorious debut at the Fleron hill climb in Belgium. Despite the long gestation period, the new 33 still proved fragile and failed to impress in international events that year. Additional victories were scored in hill climbs and also in a minor race at Vallelunga. Meanwhile development continued at Autodelta, focusing mostly on reliability and a more efficient body design. At Mugello a differently styled Spider was used but this remained a unique machine.
Over the winter, Autodelta worked diligently to ready the updated '33/2' not only for the works team but also for privateers. The mechanical specification remained virtually identical as in 1967 with reliability still the biggest concerns. The 33/2 did sport a brand new coupe body, which has gone into history as the 'Daytona' following the updated 33's debut at the March 1968 Daytona 24 Hours. Rule changes had caught Alfa Romeo out as a new three-litre prototype class was introduced, which replaced the earlier under and over two-litre classes. Porsche had responded and fielded 2.2 litre cars at Daytona, which duly won. The three Alfa Romeos that started did finish and in a promising 5th, 6th and 7th.
Over two dozen 33/2s were built in 1968 and raced with considerably more success than the original had done a year earlier. Meanwhile, larger versions of the V8 were developed by Autodelta. A 2.5 litre, 315 bhp was introduced halfway through the season and was also made available to some of the customers. The 24 Hours of Le Mans was not held until September and four special coupes were readied with long tails and the original two-litre engines (Le Mans still had a two-litre class). Three of the works cars reached the finish in 4th, 5th and 6th, sweeping the class podium in the process. VDS also entered two cars but they, like the fourth works car, retired with mechanical failures.
For 1969, Chiti and his men started with a clean sheet and developed the 33/3, which featured a full monocoque chassis an a full three-litre version of the V8. Many of the privateers continued to race the 1968 vintage 33/2s for several more seasons all around the world. Sweeping the two-litre class podium was the crowning achievement for the first generation Alfa Romeo 33 prototype racers. The name would be applied to several further evolutions, culminating in the flat-12 engined variant that clinched the 1975 World Championship. Today these early mid-engined Alfa Romeo prototypes are highly sought after and most of the survivors are part of prominent collections."
I'm off to cut a few enjoyable laps with this latest addition.
Recently two cars you have seen before were mailed off to two diffferent proxy races. My little green MG was inproved upon with BWA wheels and motor and my own tires. A brass plate was added for a lower centre of gravity. Some fresh up with paint, numbers and a new gas tank and exhaust system prepared the car for the Last Open Road Proxy
From Wiki, "The Last Open Road is a novel written by B.S. Levy, a long time amateur racer. It tells the story of a young mechanic from Passaic, New Jersey who becomes involved in automobile road racing during its peak in the 1950s. The book follows Buddy Palumbo, the main character, as he has to balance family life with working on cars. Buddy works mostly at a small gas station in his home town of Passaic, but also worked briefly at a foreign car shop in New York City.
The novel meanders through several real life race tracks, including Watkins Glen, Sebring, and Elkhart Lake (touching briefly on the creation of Road America near the end of The Fabulous Trashwagon) and also some real life races such as the Concourse de'Elegance at Elkhart Lake with some of the actual participants such as the three Cunningham's. Burt Levy's ability to create vivid characters, experiencing the world of amateur motorsports for the first time, and mixing that with historical detail are among the most engaging aspects of the story."
Any car mentioned in the book is eligible to race, within the parameters of the rules. This car will be in the slower Class A. Looking forward to hosting a race here later this year.
The old Ferguson from two years ago in the Vintage Race Across America got a new driver, new motor and new chassis (brass pan) and the track was stretched to the legal proxy limit before it was shipped of to the Tasman series, an off shoot of the VRAA, for cars within proxy parameters with bodies that at any time competed in the old Tasman series in the sixties. Races are in New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia.
Neither car will be a champ but should be competative.
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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!