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Brian Ferguson
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3,652 Posts
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In countries like the UK, where you can visit a club or a slot retailer with just a 30-60 minute drive or so, and where you expect online retailers to get product to you in 1 or 2 days, my day might seem like nothing. But here, it just doesn't happen like it does there.

We don't have good online retailers. We don't have clubs scattered all over. We don't have slot retailers within a comfortable drive. And we have about as many manufacturers as you have eyes.

So, today was an exceptional day. Leaving the house at about 10 am, my wife, son, and I headed for RaceWorld in north-central Toronto. At 12 noon, we walked into the shop. RaceWorld is the commercial raceway owned and run by Ernie Mossetti, also famous for his Eurosport-style equipment sold worldwide under the Mossetti Racing name. I've known Ernie since the early 1970's, when he started slot racing. Unfortunately, a planned meet didn't happen (life gets in the way sometimes), but it was great to tour his shop again anyway. Two tracks take up much of the shop - a large Ogilvie 8-lane 1/24 wood track, and a really nice 8-lane 1/32 Carrera track. An excellent inventory of all the major brands, including virtually every aftermarket product you can name, is found in cabinets standing next to the sales area, and on the wall behind the sales/display counter. Even as a scratchbuilder, I could outfit myself nicely in this shop. And for RTR lovers, he has hundreds of current offerings teasing you from behind cabinet doors.

Given that Ernie has kept RaceWorld viable for the better part of two decades, he is the most successful raceway owner of all time in the Toronto area.

Best news, though, for Canadian slot racers, is that Ernie's RaceWorld site is soon going online! Initial product offerings will likely be limited, but the plan is to expand the operation to become a complete on-line slot shop! And, in talking to Ernie about this, he mentioned that pricing will be competitive with other online options. This is fantastic news for Canadians because we pay heavy cross-border and international customs fees, along with exhorbitant international mailing fees from many offshore sources.

So... Canadians! Keep your eye on RaceWorld

Leaving RaceWorld around 1 PM, we next headed for the infamous "bat cave" of BWA's Al Penrose. Fighting Toronto's legendary traffic, we finally cruised into Oakville around 2:15 PM. Al met us at the door and led us down where our cameras were not permitted. For good reason! Al has a secret underground lair that left me drooling! If I mention Sherline lathe and milling machines, and a larger British lathe and milling machine, you might start to get the picture. Until you look at the shelves and spot the classic AMT, Russkit, Monogram, etc. cars staring at you, or the scratchbuilt chassis with Pittman motors, or the classic 36Ds! And then he shows you the Beardog cars he has, and the cars he has sent to the Marconi proxy, and the superb bodies he is working on! And describes, and shows you, how he makes those beautiful wheel inserts. And lets you turn a few laps on his relatively long Revell track with cars that almost bring tears to your eyes because you realize you are driving a classic like a Russkit Carrera or an AMT 36-D. And you look in awe at the variety of wheels he machines, and the billet bracket he offers, and the simple yet beautiful chassis he is now gearing up to produce.

Al is my idea of the ultimate slot racer. He has the knowledge, facilities, and talent to create anything related to the hobby. He insists on making everything to an incredible level of quality. But perhaps most importantly, both for him and for those of us who want his products, he is a true gentleman slot racer who loves the hobby. Al is developing international contacts and also planning a new web site for better distribution of his products, and this is a concept I applaud. BWA is a name that all slot racers should pay attention to!

Reluctantly, we left Al's place around 3:30PM and headed home where we arrived at 5PM - 7 hours after leaving home.

I fitted one BWA insert to a wheel on my F1 Matra.... and have been grinning ever since.

And no.... neither Ernie Mossetti nor Al Penrose are people with whom I have any business or personal relations.

It was just an untypical great day for a Canadian slot racer!
 
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