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alley racing model cars


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#1 junkman1153

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 10:59 AM

Hi. I don't know if this was a reigonal thing ,but growing up in Reading pa. we had regular organized model car races in the cement alleys. most cars were based on the flathead AND MODIFIDes from the Reading Fairgronds. the cars were mostly 32 ,34,36,and 40 fords and 37 chevies. it started out pretty much stock models over the years the models like the real cars became more and more modified, we used brass tubing to run the axels through,the plastic stock axels would break.the hard tires gave way to soft slot car tires or the very much desired 58's the soft tires that came in the early 58 impalas. the big problem was the cars turning . since the alley center was dished or bowl shaped somebody came up with wobble wheels stock wheels drilled out just enough to let the wheel wobble so as a car would run high in the alley it would turn back to center. some very talented builders emerged out of this. Larry Baisch of big donkey resins was one of the kids who raced back then

#2 chris coller

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 04:06 PM

I grew up doing this as well. I raced in just about every alley Reading had to offer. We had the spongies and "Classics" with the wobblies up front. Cars weighed between 6 and 8 ounces. My favorite alley was on 19th street on the south side of town. The cars just flew in that alley. I ran into a guy around 2000 and learned that guys started racing again on Locust street next to Northeast Middle School. Not sure if they still do it but as of a few years back they were. Fun times back then.

#3 junkman1153

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 05:58 PM

I grew up doing this as well. I raced in just about every alley Reading had to offer. We had the spongies and "Classics" with the wobblies up front. Cars weighed between 6 and 8 ounces. My favorite alley was on 19th street on the south side of town. The cars just flew in that alley. I ran into a guy around 2000 and learned that guys started racing again on Locust street next to Northeast Middle School. Not sure if they still do it but as of a few years back they were. Fun times back then.

i raced mostly northeast reading .between douglas and windsor in the 800 block of mulberry st.or the alley near 12th and oley. i always built the also rans,everybody was doing tas,tobias,gerhart. adams,kepley,olsen,brightbill,i built buck williams ,smokey dengler,tommy mcandrews

#4 Eric Stone

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 03:12 PM

I'm reading this thinking "what were the cars powered by??" Then I remembered that not everywhere is as flat as southeast Texas... I'm guessing you ran them down the hills, kinda like Pinewood Derby cars, without the track, or the pinewood... Sounds like fun!

#5 junkman1153

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 07:03 PM

I'm reading this thinking "what were the cars powered by??" Then I remembered that not everywhere is as flat as southeast Texas... I'm guessing you ran them down the hills, kinda like Pinewood Derby cars, without the track, or the pinewood... Sounds like fun!

Reading sits basically on the side of a mountain you could go from 13th st. to 6th with out pedaling your bike.but the return trip was a pain.

#6 wreckless666

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 03:02 PM

Hi. I don't know if this was a reigonal thing ,but growing up in Reading pa. we had regular organized model car races in the cement alleys. most cars were based on the flathead AND MODIFIDes from the Reading Fairgronds. the cars were mostly 32 ,34,36,and 40 fords and 37 chevies. it started out pretty much stock models over the years the models like the real cars became more and more modified, we used brass tubing to run the axels through,the plastic stock axels would break.the hard tires gave way to soft slot car tires or the very much desired 58's the soft tires that came in the early 58 impalas. the big problem was the cars turning . since the alley center was dished or bowl shaped somebody came up with wobble wheels stock wheels drilled out just enough to let the wheel wobble so as a car would run high in the alley it would turn back to center. some very talented builders emerged out of this. Larry Baisch of big donkey resins was one of the kids who raced back then



I grew up doing this as well. I raced in just about every alley Reading had to offer. We had the spongies and "Classics" with the wobblies up front. Cars weighed between 6 and 8 ounces. My favorite alley was on 19th street on the south side of town. The cars just flew in that alley. I ran into a guy around 2000 and learned that guys started racing again on Locust street next to Northeast Middle School. Not sure if they still do it but as of a few years back they were. Fun times back then.


im probably younger than you guys by a bunch of years beings that my father grew up in the area doing the same thing. i lived on green street a block away from 13th and green and did this as well

#7 junkman1153

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 10:00 AM

i grew up not very far from there at 12th and oley,raced in several alleys between 13th and birch st. ancient history went to the school that was at 12th and greenwich.

#8 wreckless666

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 05:27 PM

i grew up not very far from there at 12th and oley,raced in several alleys between 13th and birch st. ancient history went to the school that was at 12th and greenwich.


i lived right there on the corner of green and birch. thats really the only place i raced

#9 chris coller

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 01:46 PM

I lived on both sides of town and had the pleasure of racing at the biggest and fastest alleys in the city. I raced in Dummey's alley, 19th street,Keystone, Syracuse, alleys on Spruce St, Birch St, 17th St. Just all over the city and had a blast. I got thrown out of an alley cause the guys couldn't beat a lighter car than what they were running and got mad and asked me to leave. Man we used to have like 20 kids race with upward of 100 cars. It would take all day and we even raced for a little bit of scratch. Man those were the days!

#10 Steven Zimmerman

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 02:25 PM

We did pretty much the same thing when I was a kid in the early sixties. I lived in a small town named Cornell,in Illinois about 90 mi. south of Chicago. We raced ours on the concrete sidewalk and the blacktopped playground,out behind the grade school gym - about a 300 foot run. Mostly we raced the newer(at the time) Impalas,Mercuries,Thunderbirds,the cars with metal axles and runner tires........