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An Open Letter to the Racing Car Lurkers on This Site


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#1 OFFLINE   Jersey_Devil

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:18 AM

It’s been nearly eight years since my open letter to diecast hobby newbies was posted here:

http://www.diecastxc...by/#entry659003

and I think the changing times require another manifesto.

Being a DiecastXchange member should be about more than showing off one’s collection or latest acquisitions or ooing-and-ahhing (or poo-pooing) the announcements by manufacturers of upcoming releases. This is a community of sorts, a casual but real assemblage of people based upon one shared interest: model vehicles (usually but less-and-less predominantly made of diecast metal).

Having said that, it’s disappointing how few people actually take part in the threads that are posted on this site compared to the number of members. I realize that not everyone is a native English speaker or is comfortable expressing him- or herself, but I would like to think that everyone is welcome and that the more people who contribute – via the introductions, via showing even a casual phone cam shot of his one diecast car, via a comment on someone else’s collection thread or in the ever-growing “What Did You Buy Today?” thread, the more we feel this site is realizing its potential.

I admit that my reaching out here is somewhat self-serving. I am one of the community of racing car collectors and, though there are quite a few threads of collections or want-to-haves or discussing the latest release on DX, fewer and fewer of them address our area of interest, wide though it may be. I am not going to badmouth other, larger collector subgroups just because their interest differs from mine; that’s what people do, show their interests by voting with their posts. But is it because there are fewer and fewer quality diecast racing cars being released at prices within reach for us working stiffs that so few people respond when news of such an announcement does happen? Are the ones who previously gave us a lift when they introduced themselves by saying they joined DX because they saw one of Amarus’ amazingly detailed histories of race cars all over the world gone because they didn’t see their interest represented sufficiently over time? And what about the people who do post but are disappointed when no one at least replies “Nice pic!” and wonder why they wasted the time and effort?

Is the answer to go find (or “found”) another collector forum dedicated exclusively to racing collectors? I for one would be disappointed if that were the only answer because I do enjoy marveling at the many amazing models out there of subject matter I’m not interested in collecting (love the aircraft and action figures!) as well as racers. But if racers are going to be served on DX, we need to PARTICIPATE. Don’t let your fear of your photos or writing style or English “not measuring up” in your eyes to others’ here stop you from taking part in this community. If you’re open to a little help, trust me – DX’ers love to show off their knowledge and would be delighted to guide you through whatever roadblock you are experiencing.

RACERS – AND LURKERS - OF THE WORLD UNITE!

Red

Edited by Jersey_Devil, 17 May 2017 - 10:18 AM.

I just want someone whose baggage goes with mine [from "Rent"]...
- Red

My 1/18th collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...16/#entry557038

My 1/43rd collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...d-riverside-300

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#2 OFFLINE   Uzair

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 12:22 PM

Hear hear Red! And I also apologize for of late I have been absent from DX. I am not a lurker however; time was when I would check updated threads ten times a day. Now I don't log in more than once a week. The reason is not because I have lost the passion, but because I absolutely have zero interest in new releases from all the major manufacturers. Blame the switch to ABS plastic (AUTOart) and overall move to resin for that. Nothing new ever comes out from Exoto, and CMC's new models are overpriced now in my opinion.

Another reason is that right now my collection is boxed up, so I can't share detailed photo reviews. What are your thoughts on seeing single photos of each car I have, most of the photos showing the car in its box?

Like you I am a huge motorsports fan and I have immensely enjoyed your collection thread. Sorry again for not being super-active of late; I hope to remedy that in a few months from now.
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#3 OFFLINE   Jersey_Devil

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 12:55 PM

Uzair, you are the LAST person I would have directed this thread at, considering your contributions here over the years. I fully understand your situation, having been there for most of my collecting career since my first serious add in 2005. As a matter of fact, if you look at the start of my collection thread, most of the pics are of my cars in boxes, just from different angles :giggle:.

Which proves my point - any level of participation is welcome. I just want those who might otherwise have held back to add to the "joyful noise" of racing fans speaking out on their love for the hobby or just for the 1:1 vehicles their collections are based on. Tell us how you used to sit by the radio and listen to the broadcast of the Indy 500 back in the day or look out your grandparents' 2nd floor window to watch the cars zoom past during the Targa Florio or climbed a fence to watch the booming Can-Am cars at Mosport which led to wanting to hold one of those gems in your hands.

I have never attended a race in person in my life but since the mid-60s I have lived for the sport vicariously through newspaper reports, magazine articles and photos, books and, eventually, TV and videos. And the advent of the internet has made accessible a whole additional level of documentation as people post their personal photos, amateur and professional, on websites of all kinds. Thousands of views never seen before until someone decided to put their father's love of motorsport online for the world to share in.

We have people here who can do the same. I'd get a kick out of hearing from someone who drove his VW on the Nordschliefe or walked the Kyalami track or rode a bicycle on the defunct Reims circuit. I just want them to tell us about it and how holding a Burago Viper made them remember when they slept on the side of the Mulsanne straight as cars hitting 200 mph flew past in the night...
I just want someone whose baggage goes with mine [from "Rent"]...
- Red

My 1/18th collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...16/#entry557038

My 1/43rd collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...d-riverside-300

#4 OFFLINE   spikyone

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:19 AM

Wow, Red, I'm surprised to hear you've never been to a race in person.  You have such a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport.  Is there a reason you haven't been able to get out there?  I understand we all have different priorities of course!

I'm probably guilty of not sharing enough photos of my collection.  Whilst it's not a huge collection, and I go through phases of buying a ton of models and then flitting to one of my other hobbies for a while, I've only managed to upload two models to my collection thread - and one of those was a model of my 1:1 (where's the "embarrassed" smiley when you need one?).  I have a couple of days of annual leave coming up, so I will try to add some more photos then.

I've been to quite a number of races.  I grew up within a 45 minute drive of Brands Hatch, and my parents used to take me to a free entry day there every summer back in the 1980s - I still have the race programmes today.  The racing was a complete mixture of classes, from Minis to Thundersaloons (spectacular silhouette racers that came in all shapes and sizes) and even truck racing.  The latter was dangerous enough that all the marshals would get back behind the spectator safety fences rather than stand between the Armco and the fence.
One year (in the early 90s IIRC) they ran a competition at that event, with the prize being tickets to the British Touring Car race.  When they announced the competition, I was close to the office where you had to go with your answer to the question they asked, so went in and won the tickets!  And from that point I regularly attended the BTCC races, through the golden era of Super 2000 cars with enormous factory backing, right up to the point they decided it was too expensive in the early 2000s, which coincided with me moving away from that area.  I've only attended British Touring Car races a few times since, but have also seen the DTM at Donington, CART at Brands Hatch (ruined by pit stop rules that turned it into an economy run, I think there was one on-track pass!), and many smaller club meets, including a brief meetup with DXer Mizen when he raced at my local circuit last year.

I've also been lucky enough to attend a handful of Grands Prix.  The first was the British GP in 1997, which was a gift for my 18th birthday.  Mika Hakkinen was close to winning his first race but retired from the lead right in front of me at Abbey, as had compatriot Mika Salo.  It's hard to comprehend that in mid '97 Hakkinen had yet to win a race, yet in '98 and '99 he would win the championship.  Back in the '90s there was a Sunday morning warm-up, usually used for race preparation, and it had been raining early on Sunday (I'd slept in my step-dad's car at the circuit overnight!).  Damon Hill had won the title in '96 but - like Mansell and Prost before him - talked himself out of a new Williams contract by asking for too much money.  He was driving for Arrows, who sent him out in the warm-up on low fuel and he set the fastest lap!  Hill ended up scoring his first point of the season finishing 6th, which was hugely popular and felt like a big achievement until his heroics in Hungary.  (As an aside, it makes me feel very old seeing that Jos Verstappen and Jan Magnussen raced in F1 that day!)
I also attended Silverstone in 2002, sitting in the grandstands at Copse.  It was a wet race, and Barrichello stalled on the grid, being sent to the back.  The 2002 Ferrari was dominant to a ridiculous extent, and as Michael Schumacher lazily extended his lead, Rubens made his way up to second before half-distance.  Most entertaining though was Takuma Sato in the Jordan, who was living up to the Japanese love of drifting by taking Copse sideways every lap.  This is a corner that was taken at 170mph+ in the dry!  It's amazing how the little things like Hakkinen's retirement and Sato's four-wheel drifts can leave such a memory.

In 2004 I went to the race in Montreal.  A friend was living there at the time and extended her stay - a half-serious suggestion that it meant I could visit for the race ended up with grandstand tickets for the first corner.  Great city, great circuit, and far cheaper than a European race, except for the flights!  Once again in 2004 the Ferraris were utterly dominant in the race, though not in qualifying.  Jenson Button, having qualified second, was chasing down Barrichello at one point, before being badly baulked lapping Timo Glock in his first F1 race (standing in for the long-forgotten Giorgio Pantano).  It's worth remembering that without Ferrari's dominance, Jenson would've won numerous races that year - he was deeply unlucky that BAR/Honda's best car came in the same year as the F2004.  Williams (with their Walrus nose) and Toyota were both disqualified after the race for oversized brake ducts.
My most recent F1 race was Valencia in 2008.  I'll say it straight away - beautiful as Valencia is, it was a dismal circuit mostly on an industrial estate that resulted in an equally dismal race.  The Spanish fans were furious after Kazuki Nakajima collided with Alonso on the first lap, putting the home hero out of the race!  Felipe Massa won after dominating the weekend, with Robert Kubica driving to a strong third place.  But the standout of that weekend was Sebastien Vettel.  He was driving for Toro Rosso and was yet to win in Monza, which came a month later.  But this was the key race of his 2008 season, and perhaps his career.  The team's Technical Director from that time, Giorgio Ascanelli, would later say of Valencia '08: "Suddenly Vettel understood something about how to drive an F1 car quickly. It made a huge difference – not only to the speed he could unlock, but also to his ability to do so consistently".  This was the era where teams used race fuel levels in Quali 3, so the real barometer of pace was Q2, when they ran low fuel and fresh tyres, and turned the engines right up.  And in Q2 it was Vettel, for the first time in his F1 career, that was fastest.  I suspect many who were there don't realise the significance of what they witnessed that day.

In my time of watching lower-tier racing, I was also lucky enough to see both Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton in Formula Renault UK - in Kimi's case, he went straight from FRenault to F1.  Both of them stood out as being exceptional drivers.

Sorry for the massive thread hijack there!  I'd also considered starting a thread on here to discuss track days, autocross, sprints.  Basically somewhere for anyone who gets on track in their own car or someone else's to discuss the sheer enjoyment of driving fast.  I haven't had much track time (yet) but I know there are others on here that have done track days, so if there's interest I will start that up at some point.

Posted Image

*** Collection thread updated 6th Feb (Sun Star Peugeot 207 S2000) ***


#5 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:53 AM

I have been to numerous race, rally and rallycross events.
Many have been cold, wet and expensive - and in some cases (Silverstone I am pointing the finger at you!) I felt like I was a nuisance to the organisation.
Despite this, I will be attending two or three events this year - at least!
Motorsport madness is incurable.   :drool5:

Edited by slartibartfast229, 18 May 2017 - 07:39 AM.


#6 ONLINE   ibj40

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:11 PM

Red - Sometimes I think of myself as the Forrest Gump of my era, with regard to attending races.

I went to my first Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Regional/National weekend racing event at Green Valley Raceway, in Smithfield, Texas, in 1967.  At a couple of the races at Green Valley, I was fortunate enough to see Tom Smothers received his National license, as well as to see a real Corvette Grand Sport get its nose written off in an on-track altercation.  From that experience, I went on to become involved in SCCA Timing and Scoring, and eventually hooked up with a guy who raced a Lotus Elan.

I helped him out for a few years, and among those races was the first (and only) International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) night race held in Texas, at Texas World Speedway (TWS), outside of College Station, Texas.  It was a combination race with IMSA's GT and Nascar Grand American (pony cars) classes.  And it rained (and we all know the stories about Nascar drivers and rain), and we got t-boned by a Firebird, but our driver limped it back to the pits, and with a lot of duct tape where the passenger side door used to be, we finished.

Along the way, I have attended and/or crewed on cars that raced in Monterrey, Mexico, and Daytona.  Anything from a Camaro, to a Volvo, and a Mazda sedan.

I bought my first race car in 1976, it was a 1969 Camaro which had previously won its class at the 1972 Daytona Continental.  Raced it off and on until the mid-80's, when I hooked up with another driver and we bought a Corvette that was bodied with 1982 Pickett-inspired bodywork.  We raced that a couple of years, and then built a Trans Am-spec 1986 Camaro.  We sold that car in 1996 and I quit my active racing career.

Between and among these events, I attended the 1967 Trans Am race at Green Valley, as well as the 1969 Can Am race at TWS; along with every Nascar stock car race that was ever held at TWS.  I was at the Dallas International Motor Speedway Trans Am when the track got flooded and the race cancelled; as well as at the only Formula 5000 race ever held there.

I've been to the Daytona 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, and the LeMans 24 Hours all in the same year (2000).  I went to every IMSA race ever held in downtown San Antonio, Texas; as well as the Formula 1 race held at the Dallas State Fair grounds, the Trans Am held at the Addison, Texas airport; and Trans Am and Can Am races held at Green Valley in the 90's.  I went to the only ALMS race ever held at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) near Fort Worth, as well as the only contemporary IMSA race held at TWS.

I've been to the Daytona 500 twice, as well as watching Nascar races at Phoenix (twice), Atlanta, and TMS, as well as Indy Car and Craftsman Trucks at TMS, as well.

On my way back from Atlanta after having bought a wide-body IMSA Corvette roller, my buddy and I were treated as royalty when we stopped into a dirt track somewhere in Alabama along Interstate 20.

I refer to myself as Forrest Gump due to the fact that many of the races I have attended, for some reason, were one-off's; and I had the good fortune to be there for that one unique moment in time.  And each race has had a story, and I wish I could remember the details of all of them.

From this background and experience grows the direction for my collection.
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#7 OFFLINE   Jersey_Devil

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:30 PM

Thanks, spiky, slarti and Jim - LOVE getting back this kind of wonderful personal history :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:! And Jim, an added note; the 1967 Green Valley Trans-Am was the only one that my all-time favorite driver, Dan Gurney, ever won, edging Cougar teammate Parnelli Jones in the closest finish in Trans-Am history....

Posted Image
I just want someone whose baggage goes with mine [from "Rent"]...
- Red

My 1/18th collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...16/#entry557038

My 1/43rd collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...d-riverside-300

#8 ONLINE   ibj40

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:18 PM

One of my favorite drivers was Paul Newman (PLN). I think I actually have a thread on here somewhere about my PLN models.

Anyway, I think it was around 1982, we had the '69 Camaro together (a long story - but some other time), and headed to Hallett Motor Racing Circuit up near Tulsa, Oklahoma.

It was an SCCA Regional/National weekend, we were going to run the Regional on Saturday, which is also open to the guys who will be running in the National on Sunday.

We had a problem in practice, and the clutch was locked. We got under the car and forced it into 2nd gear (which with a 4:10 rear end, wasn't all that bad), but we'd have to push start it (which was okay because the false grid was on a hill above the track surface).

If you push start, you have to start from the back, but . . . PLN was also there with a brand new Datsun 280. They had qualified on the pole, but wanted to also start from the back to get some clean laps in preparation for the more important National race on Sunday.

Since they could self-start, they were required to clear the false grid before we push started. We got started but never caught the pack. PLN's team must have lost track of me, and started him right after the pack took the green.

I came onto the S/F straight just as he was getting up to speed. He clearly had the superior car, but since he wanted a clear run, Paul Newman waved me by! Does anyone know how cool that is?

The driver who would, on the next day, set a track record, and then went on to win his class at the season-ending run-off's, waved me by to pass him!

I made 5 of the scheduled 10 laps, and the car popped out of gear, and with no clutch, coasted to the next corner station. After the race, I got towed back to the paddock, and while we were loading to go home, a little boy came by, and asked me if I was the driver. When I told him that I was, he handed me a copy of the race program and asked for my autograph.

I told him I wasn't famous, but he didn't seem to care, and so I signed on the page that had the other entries for my race (multiple classes were grouped by performance capability).

And so, out there, somewhere, there's a race program with the only autograph I ever gave; an autograph of a driver who was waved by the world famous actor and race driver, Paul Newman.
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#9 OFFLINE   VarioCam+

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:19 AM

:eusa_clap:

Edited by VarioCam+, 19 May 2017 - 01:21 AM.


#10 OFFLINE   Boy from Ozz

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:03 AM

I only collect racing 1:18, and have not posted for ages, seems to be a lack of support.
Most pics. and discussions are mainly road going exotic cars, that have really taken over.
I get more feedback from Facebook die cast pages, but I still come back here twice a day.

#11 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:47 AM

Just to show that I build and modify as well as collect competition models, this is a small image to prove it......  
Can I assume that 'racing car lurkers' can include rallying and rallycross since they are racing of a kind?
It's a slightly modified dash from my recently acquired Solido VW Beetle 1303S - Acropolis rally 1973.
I will also post this in the workbench thread.
The rev counter is scratch built with a suitable face decal.
The tripmaster which sits in front of the co-driver is used for timing and distance recording.
You won't see such things in modern rally cars - technology made them obsolete in the early 90's.

Attached Files



#12 OFFLINE   Stu72

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 01:44 AM

intersting thread J_D

I more than likely fall into the catagory you are writing about.
I've found my interest in this forum just fall away to almost zero participation, purely due to the lack of interest in motorsport. I have not updated my 1:18 thread for a long time now due to little to no interest in what was posted. I find these days I pop on the forum, read a couple of threads that interest me and that's about it. It's not good (on my part), but I really can't get excited about this place anymore, there's no incentive to want to share or contribute.
The constant whining and moaning about sealed resin models or AUTOart's plastic models dosn't help regarding wanting to engage with the forum either. All I get from reading post after post on this subject matter is alot of negativity on the fourm. This is another reason why I have stopped posting my 1:18 models. I buy alot of Spark race cars, they're all sealed resin models. With such negativity on the forum about resin models, I just don't feel compelled to want to post/share pictures of them.

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#13 OFFLINE   drivinghermad

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:00 AM

I seem to be buying Resin most of the time now in 1/12 Stu and always post them,those who look are positive about what i show and the members with negative comments don't comment on the Resin's i show so don't let the nay sayers get to you,i for one would like to see your model updates. :agreed:

As for Jim,you are a star,full Respect Bro. :rock: :adore: :adore: :adore: :adore: :adore: :occasion14: :danke:




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