| HomeRobotics | HomeAutomation | Racing | 1/24 Models | Mustang | Family | PaPa |

My Old Hobbies
Valve Cover Racing | Off Road RC Truck | On Road Street Truck | Drag Queen

Long ago in a far away land... well it seems like it now but it wasn't THAT long ago was it?
I've always been interested in racing in one form or another... never been that GOOD at it but always interested.
Sooo over the past lifetime I've been involved in low level racing of one form or another...
from friend-to-friend dirt bike racing, to Street Racing the '69 Stang, to Radio Control Truck and Valve Cover Racing.
So here's a few pics of those toys from days ago...

Valve Cover Racing

If you've never heard of valve cover racing, you've most likely missed the car show days in America during the late 80's and early 90's Valve cover racing involved(s) taking an old American made automotive valve cover, throwing some wheels on it, keeping it under 10lbs and racing it on a gravity feed track. We had a lot of fun with this racer which originated from a 2300cc Ford Pinto engine. Nicknamed the "Freight Train" by others due to it's noisy trip down the track, the racer was pretty competitive in nearly all the places we took it and as can be seen, either placed of won consistantly

Under the Cover...

Here's a peek under the cover to see how I made this one work. Instead of using the standard roller skate wheels or taking years to hand mill custom wheels and bearings, I took the cheap route and used a couple of old wire spools and bike wheel bearings to provide the locomotion. As it turned out, this was a very nice feature in that the left and right wheels where totally locked together and once the front and rear axles where trued to be parallel, the Freight Train tracking dead straight down the track every time. The aluminum cover up front covers the primary lead weight while the secondary weight is used to tweak the racer to right at 10 lbs.

From Behind...

Here you can see the polished read cover plate (with vent holes to make sure we didn't have wind resistance <grin>). The custom paint was provided by Clayton Lewis of ClayMar fame in the Central US custom car group.

Off Road Radio Control

The next adventure (and money sucker) in my hobbies was my involvement in Off Road RC truck racing. What started out as a simple fun thing to do turned into an every Tuesday night trip to OKC's RCRC track to race this RC-10T on the off road track. It WAS a lot of fun but with batteries running $50-60 per hit, tires pushing $20, motors in the $30 range and good radios pulling in $200 or more it was very expensive.

Under the Body...

Here's the guts of the truck which was pretty cool at the time. Teflon coated shocks, electronic speed controls, fast steering servo, and custom tweaked motors meant you still couldn't be competitive unless you were really GOOD... and that was hard to do. None-the-less I do have a drawer full of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons as well as the trophy above. The ribbons were from the weekly races and the trophy is 7th place in a State-wide race from long ago.

Street Truck Too

When the RC bug bites it bites hard and so it was with me. In addition to the offroad truck and several other cheaper RC contraptions, this sleek little street truck burned up many a foam tire in front of my house. With the right gearing and motor the little thing easily runs 30+ mph and get's itself up that fast really quick. It's a little tricky keeping things under control at that time but who cares as long as it's flying.

The little monster was really wild with a 13 turn motor and 1700mah battery. It you got the ball diff setup good, she would smoothing accelerate from a dead stop without having to worry about swapping ends... if she wasn't setup right it would send you looping around in circles as it swapped ends over and over.

The Dragger That Didn't

Although well intended and pretty cool looking, this little T-Bird never really served any purposes. Originally a hand built model by another hobbiest, I bought it for $20 and proceeded to replace the plastic chassis with a aluminum plate version and a true ball diff rear end. I DID give her a whirl using a 13 turn motor and 12 sub-C cells. The throttle was a servo with two heavy duty micro switches that provide full throttle, brake or neutral. The first full on run produces about 60 feet of unbelievable acceleration and then a 90 turn into the curb which ended up making the plate chassis look like a big spoon... oh well it was fun. I straighten it back out and used it just to 'cruise' every once in a while thereafter.

Future Racer....

For better or worse, my little boy Austin is a Car Fanatic... he loves playing with the 'uuuttt' car (that's the sound the servo makes when it turns) and I'm quite sure will be racing or playing with the future 'car toys'... they may be wheel less air cars by then but he'll be interested...

Updated 2006 - Wow.. where did the time go..
Check out www.AustinNolen.com or Here for the new truck