Riverside International SlotCar Raceway
Vintage Aurora ThunderJet 500 Slot Car Track Version
“My mom asked me to split up our slot cars.”  Mister Coney Member Tony Brown - mgbbrown

About three years ago...

In 2005, on a visit to my Mom’s house in Raleigh, North Carolina where my twin brother and I grew up, my mom asked me to “split up our slot cars.”  She was of course asking me to divide evenly between my brother and I all of our surviving Aurora HO cars, Pit Kits, track, and controllers, as well as various slot car scenery bits that had managed to make it to this point in time unscathed.  We had a rather large scenic layout in our basement during the mid-late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  The lure of petroleum-particularly British iron AND perfume, as well as an impending one-way ticket to sunny Southeast Asia (we were twins so both of us had Selective Service number 23 to be drafted to go to Vietnam) brought about a sudden demise in our slot car racing days.  Nixon bombed Haiphong Harbor again and we became within a week draft status 1H or 1 Holding.  This of course gave us both the green light to college and for me to become an archaeologist! Yes-all of this does have a bearing on the story! Having received formal training in digging up the past and its preservation, I found reviving just how the hobby was enjoyed in its heyday a very important aspect of my enjoyment today.  As for perfume-I thank God daily for my beautiful wife who understands my love of cars!

My father...

In the winter of 1966, helped us to build a copy of Glenn Wagner’s mountainous and scenic layout featured in the November issue of BOY’S LIFE.  This was a rather large layout that covered a full sheet of plywood on a specially built table that featured a circular hill climb which ended on a large viaduct like bridge and twisting back around to start all over again.  The peaks and lakes on the layout were named for various places at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, which was particularly interesting as I later wrote an archaeology thesis from research conducted at the ranch, and visited all of the places for which various highlights on the layout were named.  I still have the BOY’S Life issue that started it all!

We used Permacal and...

Window screen wire mesh to fashion what I thought was a good facsimile, but as young boys who rarely crayoned inside of the lines we of course slopped paint on the track occasionally, and glue dabs were commonplace.  Therefore most of the track was beyond recycling, as I had a vision already to create a layout as I raced in my boyhood.  All of our slot car remains were stored in a Rubbermaid storage container, and our first set was a 132 scale Strombecker with a D-type Jaguar slot car. Inside the container was the Strombecker instruction booklet, which detailed various racecar tracks throughout the US and how to build them with their track. What caught my eye was a scale plan for Riverside International Raceway.
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Article & Images Copyright 2008 MrConey.com | SlotCarDigest.com     July 18, 2008