Pat Dennis TycoPro History...
... .The Grand Opening of Atlanta's Mini Raceways September 1970....

Car Model Magazine "covered" the event.....

(click image for larger)

This Mini Cooper was decorated by the "Kids" at the Mini Raceways Grand Opening in Atlanta Georgia. I was told they worked late into the night to give this to me before I was scheduled to leave. It was a very unexpected, and appreciated surprise....


(added 12/2009):

.....Thanks for sharing our e-mail exchange with Pat Dennis. That was a huge weekend as you can see from the guest list.
The weekend before had been the inaugural Road Atlanta Can Am race. Ken MacDowell of Parma brought his Lola T-70 to the shop and of course, Car 54, the Auto World XLR McLaren also made an appearance. Big time stuff for a 17 year old car-crazed kid.

The oval in the picture from Car Model was new, having only been installed within a week or so of the opening. It took us a while to make it raceable as it used embedded 14 gauge copper wire as a conductor. It required a completely different set up from the braided Car Model track. Once we sorted it out, it was lots of fun to race on.
The Car Model track was a terrific race track. Riggens with the Lancer Ti-22 body were my choice and very fast. I wonder if any of those tracks survive?

Fred S.



It is a small world indeed!

I should take this time to properly thank Fred for the miniature of my Mini. As I recall, I was being "rushed out the door" of Mini Raceways to make my flight and never got the opportunity to thank him.

As Fred can see, I kept the car in my private collection until only recently, relinquishing it to the Tycopro Museum. My logic being that it would be better to have this work seen by many, as opposed to only "seeing the light of day" on rare occasions - I hope Fred approves.



That body sits proudly in my collection! I am in regular contact with Pat and will forward him these emails!!! xxxxxxxx

Small world!! Would love to see any pictures--add them to the history section and any other recollections you might have too!



-----Original Message-----
From: Fred S
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 1:26 PM
To: RiggenHO
Subject: RE: ordering info

Hi Ron,

!!That is my paint job!! Had completely forgotten that. Also did a Car 54 McLaren for Oscar (complete with slot cars!) when he arrived for the CanAm race that fall.


>>> RiggenHO <> 12/24/09 1:13 PM >>>
I definitely have the motors, no problem...I will have a new supply of completed 4000 Series cars in the 2nd week of January...they are fitted with pin tubes so you can pin any lexan body...I may even have a Tyco 5t pinion spare....

I love hearing about your remembrances of Mini Raceways! I need to make sure you have seen this part of the Pat Dennis story:

Maybe you helped decorate that Mini Cooper!!!!


-----Original Message-----
From: Fred S
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 12:38 PM
To: RiggenHO
Subject: RE: ordering info

Hi Ron,

Small world. I was telling some people last night about HO racing in the early 70s. My last year in high school (1970-1971) I worked for Bob Rule managing a store called Mini Raceways in Chamblee, GA. We had a Car Model Engleman and a banked oval built by Bob Haines. This was about the time that the 2nd series TycoPros were released (427 Cobra, Superbird, et al.) Pat Dennis came to visit that fall and hosted our official grand opening. Then all of a sudden, along come the Cobramites followed shortly thereafter by the Riggens. Let's not forget the Dynamic anglewinders either. Mura was making HO motors and parts along with AJ's, Riggen, Champion, and lancer. Great times.

Anyway, I have just completed a Wizzard 4 lane oval (about 32') and I am looking for non-magnet cars to race. I wanted to build some narrow cars to fit the Mike Vitale stock bodies so was hoping to find some of the HT50s we used to use. Did a search on Google and there you are.

XXXXXXXXXx I am also interested in using gears to tune these cars. Back in the day Tyco had a hop up set that included a 5 tooth pinion. Great for torque. Glanced at you web site and hope to spend more time in a day or so remembering a great period in racing.




1:1 inspiration?