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  • I Guess I'm Back?

    Just purchased this:

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    The cars are appear to be really nice. (I'm already trying to source a driver's head.) I know an oval will fit the dining table, and I think I can fit in an over/under with some finagling. According to the seller everything functions, but the aluminum strips are lifting on some sections.

    My track options are: Small and smaller. At 69 years of age and counting, I don't think I'll be on the floor for extended periods racing vintage slots on a floor track!

    Anyway, I'm looking more forward to fiddling with cars/etc than I am actually racing the set. However, IF I can fit in some sort of over/under on the dining table, then I think that will be fun, too. Given the small tracks, speeds will be low, accident damage minimal.

    All fer now!

    Andre "I'm An Idiot" Ming
    Andre Ming
    Poteau, OK

  • #2
    Hi Andre, good to see that you have returned to the hobby,...a lot has changed, and, a lot has not !!..........I am sure you will have lots of fun fiddling/tuning/building.

    There are still plenty of folks who play with the "vintage" cars, so help with sourcing parts, tuning etc. is not too far away.

    While Strombecker cars were far from my favourites, I have managed to refurbish most of their cars over the years, and with a bit of work they can be made to look quite nice.

    Here are the two cars in your set with a bit of a clean up.

    Cheers
    Chris Walker

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    • slowshoes
      slowshoes commented
      Editing a comment
      Beautiful cars!

      Bill

  • #3
    Hi Chris!

    First, excellent work on those two Strombecker cars!

    I'm hopeful that I'll learn the "ropes" and find sources for the needed items as time passes by.

    The cars in the set will remain "stock". (Except for finding "vintage looking" tires and new braids.) BUT, it's not outside the realm of possibility to "save" various cars in the future and fitting them with such great looking wheels/tires and such as you have done. (Your cars really look great.)

    I realize Strombecker cars are significantly below the scale fidelity levels compared to what was accomplished by Monogram, Revell, and others, "back then", BUT, Strombecker is where my best memories are found (youth experience memories as well as later collecting memories), so it's a no brainer that I would return to Strombecker.

    Scary part is, I'm already seriously interested in a second Strombecker set.

    Then there's Eldon...



    erdnA
    Andre Ming
    Poteau, OK

    Comment


    • #4
      Funny how its like a brotherhood among us that almost all of us have at one time or another, "fixed up" some Strommies, Eldons or other oldies.

      Comment


      • #5
        Wow WTMIT!

        That's a nice collection and some excellent work! Do I espy a Monogram Lola GT in that mix?

        Perhaps "one day" I'll have the need to learn how you guys do the snaps/rivets. Makes them very snappy and quite riveting.

        Andre
        Andre Ming
        Poteau, OK

        Comment


        • waaytoomuchintothis
          waaytoomuchintothis commented
          Editing a comment
          riveting... oooh, brain hurt.

          I buy people's junk piles when they come along, and over time, enough bits and pieces come in that I can revive long gone cars. Lots of fun to do. Yes, that's an original Lola GT. Good eye.

        • waaytoomuchintothis
          waaytoomuchintothis commented
          Editing a comment
          Somebody gave me another "like" and I came back to look. I notice I never did answer the riveting question... I use a craft paint "silver leaf" I think, and I dot the rivets on with a bare 28 gauge solid copper wire. For 1/24th, I use a round toothpick, but it doesn't come up very often. For HO, I squint my eyes and imagine the rivets are there- that's good for me.

      • #6
        Originally posted by LAMing View Post


        I realize Strombecker cars are significantly below the scale fidelity levels compared to what was accomplished by Monogram, Revell, and others, "back then", BUT, Strombecker is where my best memories are found (youth experience memories as well as later collecting memories), so it's a no brainer that I would return to Strombecker.


        erdnA
        Andre, While the Strombecker cars certainly left a lot to be desired from a performance perspective, their bodies were quite accurate and could be made into some very good looking cars.

        Performance wise, the Strombecker 2 piece brass 1/32 "competition chassis was light years ahead on any of their plastic or aluminum offerings....these "competition" chassis can be found on ebay should you ever have the desire for better (much) better running cars. You can always build your own chassis should you really want to go fast !!

        Cheers
        Chris Walker

        A couple more of my rebuilt Strombeckers'.

        A McKee Mk10

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        Their Cheetah.......

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        This is the Strombecker "Competition " brass chassis,...under the Cheetah.........light years better than their plastic and aluminum chassis'.

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        Lotus 30.........

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        Dino Ferrari...........

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        And my favourite,........their McLaren M1B

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        I did build a chassis for the McLaren, and it runs in our local clubs' 60's sports car class.

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        • #7
          Some of the finest modeling ever. I am always impressed by Chris' cars.

          Andre if you want to use the Strombecker track, I would suggest you get the third version track and not the glued on aluminum or brass rails. The newer version of track is found everywhere and doesn't have the inherent problems of the earlier track.
          Matt B
          So. In
          Crashers

          Comment


          • #8
            Chris:

            That is some superb modeling, paint, and decal work! Those cars are simply exquisite. It's amazing how great the simplistic Strombecker bodies can be made to look!! Thanks for sharing pics of your Strombecker cars!

            Matt:

            Yes, I will be getting U-rail Stombecker track eventually. I won't need much. My small track space I currently have to work with will mean I won't be compelled to keep acquiring track like I did back in the 1990s!!

            Aluminum strip track: The only aluminum strip track I've ever had was in my first Strombecker set from Christmas Eve 1963. All my other tons of Strombecker track have been U-rail. However, I will still preserve (and try to find a way to fix) the original set track.

            Speaking of my original set of way back when: Here's a page from the Montgomery Ward catalog I found online a few days ago of the very set I received that Christmas Eve...


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            I will retain (and try to find a way to fix) the original track that's in the set, for I'm confident the set is almost a complete original set with the exception of missing a track piece or two. I suspect my set I've purchased originally came as an over/under elongated figure 8. (Note there are vintage support columns in the picture of it I posted.) That's why the cars will stay stock: To preserve this set in a complete, unmodified state. I do intend to try to add the missing track pieces needed for a figure 8.

            In all, it feels pretty good to think that I'll be able to tinker with some vintage cars n' stuff again as well as piddle at running them around a small "typical" home set track from "back in the day".

            Andre

            Andre Ming
            Poteau, OK

            Comment


            • #9
              Great to see what your doing with the Vintage Strombecker..We enjoy the older stuff and have fun racing it.
              Looks like you got a cool set that Christmas eve back in 63!
              Rusty
              Humboldt ,out in the country in west Tn...

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              • #10
                Thanks Rusty!

                I played that set to death, literally. Ran through several sets of tires/gears/guides. I was only 11 years old at the time, but I would order parts straight from Strombecker using the info included with the set! I don't recall what happened to the worn out set. (I also think the aluminum strips were loosening/etc.)

                My second set came along for Christmas Eve '66. It was HUGE. It was sold by Western Auto and it appeared to be Strombecker's "European Rallye", but without the gimmick tracks. (For a lower price point than the full blown "European Rallye" set.) I recall the set had 22 curved and 35 straights. Came with a blue Chevy Cheetah and a red Ferrarri Dino coupe. Upon opening that big set, once we were done with our Christmas Eve festivities, I lugged it down the stairs to the down stair den and set up the track exactly like was shown. Thereon my new brother-in-law and I raced and raced and raced until 4 AM!! The entire down stair den smelled of ozone! (To this date, that night was one of my warmest memories I have of my late brother-in-law.)

                I added more cars to that set, I remember adding a Porsche Carerra for sure, may have been others. I also built slot kits (Cox/etc.) and even adapted a static body to a slot frame by following some instructions in a slot mag article of the time. (Article was named "The Bad-Mobile" as I recall. I think it was adapting an Aurora 1/32 kit by the name of "Demolition Demon" onto a K&B "A-Jet" chassis. I think the "Demolition Demon" represented a model of a beat up '55 Chevy?) Anyway, I know I purchased other brands, too.

                My huge Christmas '66 set I had into the mid-70's. I recall trading it all off for a set of headers for my hot rod I was building at the time.

                That was it for me and slots for a while. Sputtered around with it again in the early 80s with a Bachmann (Strombecker track) set... but the new cars sucked and I didn't know there was still vintage stuff "out there".

                THEN, in the very early 1990s, I discovered "SARN" (Scale Auto Racing News) upon a visit to the hobby shop of an old friend of mine. From my dealer friend I learned that he could still get Strombecker stuff! (The French versions.)

                I was back! Purchased MANY of the NOS French cars. (A couple dozen or more, for I would use the chassis under three-pin vintage Strombecker bodies, too!) They had plastic "pancake" chassis with "Peanut Can" motors. Not bad little cars and CERTAINLY more fun that the horrid Bachmann cars or the Parma cars I tried to use on my previous early 1980s effort. From that encounter I joined SARN and started browsing the classified sections in the SARN issues for vintage cars. I also think I found a slot car oriented web forum (or was it an email list?) and participated in that, too.

                By the mid-1990s, I had dozens of very nice Strombecker cars, Monogram, Revell, and others. I also had tons of Strombecker track and tons of Revell track. Boxes and boxes of each. (It took boxes and boxes of Revell because it was so darn brittle and the tabs broke off easily and it cracked if you looked at it wrong!) However, we (family and I) migrated to racing on the Revell track account of the more readily available aprons and curve radii. We had a ton of fun! We'd call a night "Race Night" and I'd go over to the church (I pastored at the time) fellowship hall and set up some folding tables, and thereon build the track for that night. Wild Child the wife would order a Big Foot pizza from Pizza Hut, and Wild Child, Daughter and myself would race until ??? that night. Good memories. We did this for quite a while... until I burned them out!

                The slots fell to disuse. Eventually I made the fateful decision to sell off (mistake!)... and pretty much did via online within a very short few days. They were like piranha's at a feeding frenzy!

                Shucks, some of you old timers may have cars I owned at one time, or even restored during the 1990s.

                Wow... done wrote a novelette!

                Okay, okay... enough flappin' my yap for this one.

                erdnA
                Andre Ming
                Poteau, OK

                Comment


                • ourwayband
                  ourwayband commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Great story of having fun!!!!!

              • #11
                Back in the early-mid 60's I got a new Strombecker set every year for Christmas. Maybe even the set you showed and have. I remember having all those cars. When the track was set up on the floor parts got stepped on and broken. When it was put on a piece of wood and stored under the bed it got covered with dust and it took forever to get the cars running. Then my father built me a table in the cellar and I could put all my pieces together for a big permanent track. Tremendous fun and great memories.

                I've reacquired some of the bodies and am considering mounting them on chassis and adding to my Le Mans or Can Am rosters. Even though I loved them as a kid, I couldn't go back to the plastic chassis, motors, and tires most of them came with. I would try upgrading some of the stamped brass chassis available online if there are replacement motors, wheels, and tires to make them competitive with Scalextric, Fly, and MRRC cars. I'm not after NSR or Thunderslot performance levels, those cars don't fit in on my track.

                My favorite body right now is a yellow Ford 'J' car just like I had decades ago. For that I might see about commissioning Chris Walker and/or Dennis Samson to do a complete remake of it with a custom brass chassis. I'd probably be shocked to see how well a top notch car could go on my routed road course.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Hi Slothead!

                  Yes, our sets back then lived hard lives. Mine were no exception. That huge set I mentioned above ended up on the basement floor. You can imagine what doing rollovers, end over ends, and sliding on their roofs across the cement floor did to my cars! I'm sure I'm looking back at my sets and cars through rose-colored glasses. Reality indicates they were WELL USED and tatty. BUT, such use was part of the "magic" back then. We were only kids playing with our race sets, not serious hobbyists.


                  ALL:

                  FWIW...

                  Performance:

                  I suspect that for a small set up like I'm talking, performance won't make a lot of difference. Fresh tires and braids, good gears and make the best it can be in stock form, and that will suffice. The foreshortened track will make for low top speeds, so high revving super-fast cars just aren't in the works. Not where it's found for me, anyway.

                  Inventory:

                  I just did a quick inventory of the remaining slot stuff I have stashed in my computer/hobby room closet. (I had a Carrera sell-off a few years back.) I re-discovered that I have a NIB MRRC Ferrari P265 roadster and a NIB MRRC Chaparral 2 roadster! Plus, I have a left over earlier Scalextric GT40 in Gulf livery. I also still have a few Carrera D132 cars. BUT, the biggest surprise is that I have enough Carrera D132 track and aprons for a short oval AND I still have the extra D132 controllers I purchased for family use, thus a total of four D132 controllers.

                  Interesting.

                  Andre
                  Andre Ming
                  Poteau, OK

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    So I've been thinking this over some more. (Note: I "over think" everything... even my hobbies. It's what I do. Oh well.) AND, I may be stumbling upon some elements.

                    First, my digital racing totally fizzled. I don't really know why. I do recall there wasn't the "panache" with my digital as there was with my old vintage stuff. I also recall seeing some really neat analog slot car... and had to pass because it wasn't digital and installing a chip wouldn't be too practical.

                    Then there's been my growing interest in earlier era's of racing. By that I mean, for years now, I've really grown to like the Grand Prix cars of the 1950s, the sports cars of the 1950s (and into the early-mid 60s), etc. Same with stock cars: I was evolving back in time in my appreciation for them. (An avid Nascar fan since the early 60s... THAT desire has simply died. I care NOTHING about today's Nascar.)

                    Lastly, the most fun I've had with slot cars since my original sets as a youngster, have been found restoring older slot cars, and messing around with their tracks and such. The years I was involved in that (1990s) were very rewarding and a lot of fun. Trying to build digital dirt cars just wasn't the same. (I never finished a digital project.)

                    So where am I headed with this? Well, I think my slot car "thing" may be messing with vintage sets/cars and possibly indulging in some "modern vintage". That is, recent offerings of models of racing cars in the 1950s/etc. (Think: Scalextric/etc.) I also think it might be fun to have a few accessories that cater to that, too, like hay bales, figures, and what have you, that can be placed here n' there along a small sectional track layout. Shucks, maybe even some printed card stock raceway structures? All of that sounds like a lot of fun and would cater to my evolved tastes.

                    This much is for sure: We shall see.

                    All fer now.

                    Andre
                    Andre Ming
                    Poteau, OK

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Stuff like this I find very interesting...

                      Vintage Scalextric...

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                      And "re-issues" and modern "vintage" offerings such as this...

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                      Yeah, I know, I'm sick.

                      erdnA

                      Andre Ming
                      Poteau, OK

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Just closed a deal for this Strombecker set:


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                        Apparently my "thing" in vintage slots seems to be cars that portray the racing cars of the 1950s into the mid-1960s, along with a fascination with early 1/32 home sets.

                        What piqued my interest in this set is that wonderful box art, and the fact that the windshields are intact. Also appears much of the paperwork is included. Shame about another missing drivers head, but I hope to find a few of those eventually.

                        My goal for both sets are to restore them cosmetically as well as restore them to full functionality. I will then enjoy them on small tracks that I will set up as mood/energy inclines.

                        I think I might need to get a handle on this idiocy.



                        Andre
                        Andre Ming
                        Poteau, OK

                        Comment


                        • Mickey thumbs
                          Mickey thumbs commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Immense Miniatures makes a bunch of vintage driver heads and Professor Motor carries reproduction Russkit driver heads for a couple bucks each.

                        • LAMing
                          LAMing commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thanks Mickey Thumbs. I've check out the links as well as copied to my list of links/suppliers. By the way, sorry for just now getting back to you. I just saw your comment. Apparently using the comments feature results in no "Notification" being sent?
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