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the first paytrack cars in the world

1635 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  TSRF
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hi,here we have 1 of several kennedy bugattis i own.the first cars were made in 1930 & raced in mr kennedys home on a 6 lane rail track.around 1932 he modified the cars added a wall,& a paybox.he then moved his track to the leicester square amusement park & created the very first commercial electric race car track.the people put their money in the paybox & then operated their push button controllers as they raced each other.it was used for several years.the guides had little clips sodered to them so they could drift in the corners but not come off the rails.the cars are around 1/32 scale.the bodies were handmade metal.i have 1 1930 buggati which is a little different from the commercial ones.the one here is the 1932 commercial car used on the pay track.you can see the rest of the cars & the magazine articles,& some patent information on my website, thanks.(bernardsslotcarmuseum)]
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Bernard,
Actually, the Kennedy cars were not quite the first "pay cars", as you will read this passage in my new book:

(regarding the Lionel cars, which by the way as recently discovered, were NOT the "first" production, guided electric racing cars in the world):

QUOTE ...The first world war put an end to further experimentation and Lionel discontinued the toy in 1916. Another advanced motivation for discontinuing the toy is that J. Lionel Cowen had been horrified to find out that his automobile racing sets were used in some seacoast resorts as gambling devices...

Turns our that some casinos in Atlantic City had Lionel sets rigged so that gamblers were not only paying a fee to race the cars (as on the Kennedy track) but placing bets multiplying their investment!


Kennedy was first to do it for amusement purposes only.
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QUOTE hi don & phillipe,this all such early history,its difficut to determine sometimes what really happened.if the lionel cars were raced for gambling then the driver probably didnt pay an entry fee.the profit came from gambling or betting just like today.
From what I gathered from the Hertz book (and W. Hertz did his research quite well), an older article in the New Yorker about the beginnings of the Atlantic City casinos and gambling houses talks of "electric cars being raced for money", which of course could mean anything, but apparently the racers themselves DID pay, while others were gambling on the races results, and this is what infuriated the rather puritan Lionel Cowen.
Now, of course, who knows... ???
Regardless, the very fact that several of the Kennedy cars not only have survived, but are now in the hands of collecting enthusiasts is simply fantastic, astounding, amazing, and, did I say fantastic?
Yes. Worth repeating.
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