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You're never too old to enjoy slot cars, a miniaturized way to experience thrills and spills of motorsport.
Londoner John Chance-Reed, 87, is the oldest registered member of thea collection of enthusiasts in a sport that saw its heyday in the 1960s.
Bob Hallums, of the North London Society of Model Engineers, poses with his workshop kit on a recent racing day.
Members often fine-tune slot cars at home in anticipation of their weekly racing nights.
The north London club features a 90-foot track with four lanes which dominates the cramped room.
Some members have known each other since the club moved to Finchley in 1982.
Finchley club member John Ovens turned his son Michael onto slot cars at an early age.
Michael eventually became a champion in two divisions, but dropped the sport when he got older.
Most British slot car racers are over 50 years old, leading to concerns that their sport is headed towards extinction.
There are fewer than 40 registered slot car racing clubs remaining in the UK, where custom-built racing tracks with elaborate decorations are the norm.
Some include vintage figures from the 1960s and 1970s, when the sport was in its prime.
Slot car races are won and lost on curves, with cars easily spinning out of control if speed is not managed.
As a result, non-racing members are positioned in corners of the tracks to reposition cars when they wipe out.
The ex-navy serviceman, now hard of hearing, is adept at accelerating down the straight, and easing up on corners so that his car doesn't careen off the grid.
But when the inevitable wipe out does happen, it's never fatal.
He simply picks up his plastic electric car and slots it back on the racing track.
Chance-Reed is the oldest registered member of the BSCRAa collection of enthusiasts in a sport that enjoyed its heyday in the 1960s and now skews heavily towards men at or near retirement age.
Some maintained their passion and introduced it to their kids, to varying success, while others rediscovered slot car racing later in life.
It's the combination of speed -- cars can surpass 20 mph 32 kph -- and "making the cars look pretty" that keeps racers hooked, says Paul Harwood, who, at the spry age of 51, won all his club's trophies last year.
Skills are honed on and off the track, where racers tweak cars by replacing tires, treating metal conductors and checking the balance of a car.
Unlike true sports opinion hilo 13 european blackjack gold valuable racing, which is taking on new levels of female participation, nearly all but "one or two" BSCRA members in the UK are men, he admits.
Like most racers who are married, Witham says his wife's feelings towards his obsession are to "tolerate it good-naturedly.
Like roller rinks, bowling alleys and bingo halls, slot car racing venues began fading in England and the US with the rise of real estate prices and competition from video games.
Numbers peaked at 3,000 public slot car tracks in the US in the mid 1960s, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Today, Southern California has just one remaining after the of a track in Santa Clarita.
On a recent rainy night in Finchley, north London, eight slot car racers gathered at thea dingy slotcar tracks equipped with a kitchenette and racing room dominated by a winding four-lane track that stretches 90 feet over 27 meters.
As the pungent smell of a blown-up car wafts in the air, there is hardly enough room between the track and the surrounding walls to allow the four racers to squeeze onto the podium and slotcar tracks their positions.
The society was formed in the late 1960s, and much of the vintage equipment migrated to Finchley from its previous home in 1982.
The racers all know each other slotcar tracks some for 35 years -- and good-natured ribbing is the rule, slotcar tracks the exception.
Points are tallied in different categories, including Formula One, saloon and sports cars, with the winner in each division lifting a "sarcastic trophy" at the end of the year.
Before the proliferation of video here, crowds of men would gather to race slot cars in arcades like this one in San Francisco.
Some Finchley club members have gone on to race at the British nationals, and even the World Championships run by the International Slot Racing Association, set for Finland this October and England next year.
Brian Church is a former British national champion, winning the Formula One event in his prime at age 45.
Now 68, Church sold his eyeglass lens-making business a few years ago, but still maintains private clients -- and a love for slot car racing.
The sport is no different from any other, he explains.
It takes a combination of hand-eye coordination and experience to win.
It is very easy blackjack 21 lose control on curbs, check this out cause a wipe out, as this writer found out.
As a result, members waiting their turns are assigned corners -- much like baseball's first and third base coaches -- to reposition cars that skid off the track.
The Finchley club read article one member, 28-year-old Matthew Bottoms, who is one of the few remaining slot car regulars under 30 in the country.
John Ovens, another Finchley member, raised his son Michael on his own, and turned him onto slot cars at an early age.
By the time Michael was 12, he was scooping up trophies -- eventually winning three national championships in the club and saloon categories at the "novice" level.
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