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First scratchbuild???

About 59 or 60. Was a small one, but dad insisted that knowing how to solder, shoot and work a torque wrench were basic skills. At a local toy store saw a Strombecker kit of some european car. Called a MERCEDES. I was in rural New Mexico.... well about 20 miles from the "Roswell Incident". But the car looked COOL. So, Ibought and built it. But it just SAT there. I mean I was flying model airplanes and THEY moved. And my dad had a train set and IT MOVED. But in the kit, there were these little brochures about converting the car to run around a pylon. So, I pulled it apart and converted it with a surplus servo motor. But it went round and round. But another brochure talked about doing a RAIL car.
So, one day my dad comes home and sees a 4x4 foot plywood bit with a single rail snaking its way around the table, and the Mercedes slowly bouncing around the thing. "Great idea, where did you get the rail and motor". Silence. I did WHAT to his trains? Followed up with the Strombecker 1/24 Scarab. THUS doing all two of the kits the local toy store had.
In 61, flying to the Philippines, I read an article about a club in new york doing a SLOT instead. Thought I was a great idea. Converted my cars to slots. Single slot in the plywood, aluminum foil strips. Added a Maserati from the first Merit kit(and an aston martin and a Healey from Revell). Carved my first body and did a Lotus 18 from an article and cut away in Road and Track.
On my move BACK from the philippines in 63, all but some parts and the maserati disappeared(common with government movers). Destroyed the Maserati body and replaced it with a fibreglass knockoff.
Still have the Maserati and have raced it with EMs Vanwall in the last 6 Vegas conventions.
And I am trying to build up replicas of the others. In that persuit, I have found a Stromie Mercedes kit. YAAA!

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