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  • Interesting Not-slot

    Made the recent acquaintance of something I had not heard of before; a tether car. (?) This is on display at the museum Beloved works for. Part of a local automotive history display. Never knew such of a thing before, but thought maybe someone here may have, maybe even ran one once upon a time. Kinda neat.


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    "I can't drive a stolen car!"
    "It's the same principle; four gears forward, one reverse."

  • #2
    Those things are COOL look them up on utube the speeds will blow you away!

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    • #3
      Tether car clubs still exist. They are very cool. Don't have a tether car club here in St. Louis but we have a control line airplane club which is the same thing but with airplanes.

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      • waaytoomuchintothis
        waaytoomuchintothis commented
        Editing a comment
        Controline airplanes are miles away from the tether cars. Tether cars are full throttle, heavy tether, cars in a walled round track (or that's the way they were done pre-war and into the 50s). Control line planes operate on 3-D space, allowing pairs, formation, combat, stunts, all kinds of stuff. Nearly all flying models around the world were control line for decades, then R/C became 1/3rd as expensive as it was, and it didn't take long for that to take over.

    • #4
      Dangerous, too. We had a post about them on HRW once that had a Pop. Mechanics article with people standing around the track looking like targets for a loose car. A guy on base when I was an Army brat had one and he ran it on the apron outside Armored Washrack Area (Ft. Benning). I was around 4 years old, but I remember.

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      • #5
        i've seen them on American Pickers, too.

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        • #6
          Originally posted by SpeedyNH View Post
          i've seen them on American Pickers, too.
          Frank is a cheap idiot...
          Dave
          Saginaw Valley Raceway
          Only Rule: Just enjoy who you are racing with.

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          • slothead
            slothead commented
            Editing a comment
            I remember when "American Pickers" came on as a replacement for 'Madhouse", a show about racing rivalries at Bowman Gray Stadium a NASCAR short track. Madhouse was supposed to return for a second season but American Pickers got good ratings and the racing show died.

        • #7
          I'm fortunate to have one of the three existing tether car tracks in the United States just 20 minutes from my home here on Long Island. The others are I believe in southern California and somewhere in the mid west, either Illinois or maybe Indiana. I attended one of their big international meets here about two summers ago, and got to meet some very nice and very talented racers. One of the gentlemen I met had designed one of the old Eldon sets back in the sixties, and he was also the designer and builder of the famous "Magwinder" slot car dragster that graced the cover of the model magazines back in the day! I spent a lot of time that weekend hanging out with an older gentleman from Sweden, who fortunately for me spoke English very well. I've got photos of these guys somewhere. Most of the high end tether cars are scratch built, even some of the engines! There are also guys running some of the vintage tether cars, which look more like vintage Indy and Sprint cars, as opposed to the high speed prototypes which are sonic needles! Absolute works of miniature engineering, believe me, and FUN to watch.
          There is a website for the American sanctioning body which can be found with a quick google search. One of the older members of the Long Island club currently holds the world record for the new prototype electric car class, of which he had two cars last time I saw him. If memory serves, he was running close to (or over) 200 mph, with batteries totaling about 56 volts DC, and one motor driving a bevel type crown and pinion gear set. The fastest nitro powered prototype cars top 200 mph regularly, and by then you're just holding your ears, staring at a blur, and watching the digital readout rise as the run progresses! Very interesting, and the guys still try to get me involved whenever I bring some friends down to watch them run. I always tell them thanks, but I'm already wrapped up building , collecting, and racing slot cars for 55 plus years!
          Check it out, there's a lot of cool stuff to see. Enjoy! -- Ernie :>)
          Last edited by BIG E; June 24, 2020, 03:57 PM.

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          • #8
            It must be a shock for you, HO specialist, to encounter these things.

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            • #9
              Yeah, right? :>)
              As kids we had tether cars... AMT 1/25 plastic car models with the wheels securely attached, lightly oiled metal axles, and some rocks loaded into them for some weight. Just add some string or fishing line, stand in the middle of the street, and get dizzy! A few of the neighborhood kids had those .049 powered "Prop Rods", but they were a handful to try and control. We spent the serious money on more Aurora HO stuff!

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              • #10
                I had a cox "shrike" a 049 airplane 3 blade powered tether car. Fun, but nothing like the beasts the real tether guys run. We used a nail in pavement and fishing line. A dead end street with o traffic right next to my house was perfect. Sometimes the elementary school if the cops didn't kick us out. We used longer line there, a few times ran in a straight line. Nail to nail with a tumbling shrike at the end.

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                • #11
                  Disneyland in the very early days in an area near Tomorrowland had "Thimbledrome" tether cars and Cox control line aircraft on display.

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