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entry 2 May 2007, 16:43
The other evening a thread from another forum brought my attention to Bernard Sampson of Texas who has opened his online slot car museum. Apperantly Bernard has an amazing collection, that he (and others) have been working on for some time now. He is a member of HSARC a very active club and group in Texas. Some of his collection is always on display in the club’s home shop. Bernard has a permanent rotating display at Scale Auto Racing. Currently the display features Prefo cars. At Stuck In The Slot 2007 Convention of sorts, the display will be 50 Years of Scalextric in honor of the major sponsor. After visiting his site I can attest that a fascinating collection of slot car history from around the world has taken shape at http://bernardsslotcarmuseum.com/

That is not to diminish the efforts of another fine gentleman in Brazil.

Back in 2004 after writing an article for another forum I received an e-mail from a wonderful collector. It was from a gentleman in Brazil by the name of Osvaldo Pace. Osvaldo rediscovered his childhood passion for model car racing over 10 years ago, and now in his mid fifties, he still remembers the smell of his first slot car set, a Christmas gift in 1965. He modestly invited me to take a look at his collection at his web site at Paceautorama

Little did Osvaldo know that I had been visiting, and admiring, his amazing collection seen at his site, for over 2 years . Typical to his Italian and Brazilian roots Osvaldo commented that it is the “passion “ for the hobby that is all important and not the size of one’s collection. And passionate he is!

For over the past fifteen years, Osvaldo, a graduate of Mckenzie Business School at the University of Sao Paulo, has run a successful Home Theater and automation business . His other passions include his collection of vintage cars, a 1970 Mustang, ‘63 Impala SS, ‘74 Pontiac Formula, 1968 Opala and 1970 Olds and of course, his collection of old TV Shows.

Osvaldo admits that he is a collector by nature and since he ran out of room for real cars his attention and effection turned to slot cars. The collection consists of over 1800 slot cars of every vintage, of every make imaginable from around the world. Eighty per cent are 1/32 scale. About 150 are sealed mint kits.

Osvaldo’s slot car collection is in his home, a nice country house outside Sao Paulo Brazil, in a room specially made for the collection.

“My first memory about slot cars was in 1965, Christmas, when I received my first set. That was an Estrela (Brazilian brand ) Autorama, made in Brazil under license from Gilbert USA, that was a figure 8 with 2 Formula cars. I still have them in my collection in perfect condition. I think that my motivation was to have all the cars that I only read about in the American magazines back then.”

The special slot car room is 12 x 6 meters (about 40 feet by 20 feet). The walls are lined with a Library of Congress like display of slot cars.

In the middle of the room rests a beautiful 23m (75 foot) six-lane Ninco track with a Ninco power pack and boosters for each lane. The track uses a DS timing unit with infrared and there is nice diorama including pits.

The cars are mostly for display but each of them works perfectly. Osvaldo never uses the collection cars for racing, but does have many cars specifically for racing.

His favorite cars are the vintage ones, especially the ones he had as a boy. These include a Cox 1:32 Cheetah, Monogram Ford GT and all the cars from the Brazilian Estrela (Portuguese for Star) brand. Osvaldo’s oldest cars are two Formula Jr. cars, a red and green car from his first set by Estrela. His newest acquisition is the VW Karmann-Guia convertible, a resin Limited Edition ( only 120 made ) by a Brazilian brand, Interlagos.

Osvaldo collects mainly on the Internet from all around the world, from on line stores, from other collectors, and at ebay auctions.

He is, I’m sure, more proud of his three children and one grand son than he is of any of his accomplishments or collection. Can you imagine visiting grandpa’s house!

Osvaldo’s web site is neatly organized alphabetically, including brands from America, Brazil, England, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, a veritable United Nations of Slot Car manufacturers, ninety-one by last count, ranging from Airfix-MRRC to Varney. Click on a Brand name and a list of cars by that manufacturer appears. Click on a green coloured name and a sharp photograph of the car pops up! Pick your favorite brand and spend as long as you want lost in your memories or dreams. Or find the most arcane little known makers and admire their efforts.

Osvaldo’s passion has created a wonderful and extensive collection that we can all admire at his web site.

I encourage you to visit and appreciate an incomprable slot car acheivement fueled by one man’s memories of a Christmas gift long ago that ignited his passion and love of our hobby.

Thank you to SCI as I paraphrase my own article and recent postings by others. I encourage you to visit both sites for a facinating virtual walk through the history of our hobby. And good luck to Doc P, rekown collector and gad about town who is not only writing another book but building a museum!

Great stuff, all of it. If you have other sites please comment and post. Thank's and enjoy!

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Mr. Ferrari1950
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! thumbsup.gif