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Rich Dumas
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3,531 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,
I got into slot racing in 1961 when a local store put in a track and started selling the original Model Motoring vibrator HO cars. I ran at the store a few times and at a cousins' house. My first track was an A. C. Gilbert in what I guess was "O" gauge, 1/48th. I eventually stretched the track to about 50 feet and fully landscaped it. I wish I had a picture of that track. I bought extra cars for it and even adapted 1/32nd parts to build my own cars. When the T-jets came out I teamed up with a friend and we built a 75 ft MM track at his place. We would alternate between that track and one that another friend had.
By 1965 1/24th raceways were opening all over the place and I started Racing at several in my area. I ran my single 1/32nd race at the local YMCA. A ran in at least two hundred races at various tracks in Connecticut until I got drafted in 1968, which sharply curtailed my racing activities. I did run a little bit in Vietnam. By the time I got out of the army in 1970 most of the commercial raceways had closed, but I did run a few times at a track that a guy had in the loft of his barn. Twenty years would go by before I could race 1/24th cars again.
In the early '70s I ran A/FX, Magnetraction and Tyco Pro cars at a track in a friends' spare bedroom. After he moved I wasn't able to run for a number of years until I bought my own house. In 1983 I dusted off the old track and set it up on the basement floor. My old friends from high school would drop by for some informal racing. In 1991 a 1/24th raceway opened up in Branford, CT that had three Steve Ogilvie built tracks plus a drag strip. I got my old cars out of storage and rushed right over there. My stuff was 'way out of date but I was able to run some of them later in Old Timers races. I have since raced all over the region at a dozen or more tracks. I have been in over a thousand 1/24th races and certainly won my share of them. I continued running HO at the same time. The track in Branford had a 4X12 Bucktrack for a time which helped get me started in more advanced HO racing, but we never had a formal race on that track.
I stopped racing 1/24th cars when all of the local tracks closed a few years ago. Thanks to the Internet I was able to get more information about HO racing and exchange e-mails with a number of people. I purchased a 4X16 ft MaxTrax road course. I started racing HO with the HOCOC group two years ago; they are a regional group with racers mostly from New England. NYCONN and MARC racers drop in from time to time to keep us honest. The first official race on my track was held last year, there is a HOCOC race scheduled for Oct. 18th.
I consider myself to be a racer, rather than a collector. If I can't race then at least I want to run my cars. Any scale will do. I am not necessarily obsessed with the cars being scale replicas of actual cars, racing for years on commercial raceways has cured me of that, but I do admire a good looking scale car. The same goes for landscaping, to me it is icing on the cake.
 

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Rich Dumas
Joined
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3,531 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I run everything from T-jets to RO cars. I don't have any Neo cars, but an RO can turn the track in 2 seconds. The track is more difficult than it looks, especially in the gutter lanes where you keep switching from the wide outside lane to the tight inside lane. MaxTrax have a very wide lane spacing that magnify that effect. The S bend in the infield gives people trouble too. The average lap distance is 51 ft. I made the table legs short at 2 ft. to make it easier to reach across the track and give a good view when sitting on the stools. I can convert the track to an oval in less than 30 minutes.
 
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