Thursday, May 31, 2018

Racing Toward the Past

The year was 1968. The day was Christmas. The place was the garage of 1223 Woodlawn Circle, Denison Tx. One of the best Christmas presents ever was nailed to a 9 foot by four foot plywood board. The Eldon International 500 Race Set! I had seen the set that was set up at Sears, and now I had my own!

Now this thing was BIG (hence the huge hunk of ply) and featured a full banked curve. I ran the little Porsche and Ferrari like crazy over that track, and actually got pretty good at it. Times were good.

Unfortunately, when we moved to Garland, the set was taken down and never fully set up again. Eventually it sat in a closet and then went missing as so many bits of childhood do.

When I started collecting my old toys back, I put the set on my list. However, there was a problem. Although the set isn't particularly rare, finding a complete one that works can be tough. The biggest problem, however, is that, as I said before, this thing is HUGE. The boxed set weighs in at over ten pounds, which puts shipping in the 30.00 to 40.00 range.

Recently, however, a complete working set popped up on eBay. The clincher is that the seller lived just a few miles from my house! A few messages back and forth, a meeting at a gas station for "hand off," and I was once again the proud owner of the race set! Here are some pictures:

The box. They were proud of that banked turn. It actually did make it easier to drive fast around it!

This side shows the layout. When assembled, this set is very impressive!

The other side shows off the cars. Interestingly enough, these cars have different markings than the ones on the top.

Inside the box. The banked turn is on the right side. The lap counter track (with numbers 1 through 0) is in front. 

The cars. These actually do work. I tested them when I got home with a 9 volt battery. 

The Eldon controllers feature a "speedometer" built into the top. I'm about 99% sure that they aren't close to being accurate, but it's a fun feature anyway.

And on the side, we still have the Sears price tag! This set may have been a Sears exclusive. Santa was very generous!
I still haven't set it all up because I just don't have room...yet. However, someday soon I should have the cars screaming around the track again!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Bit of Luck from Old Denison, Texas

Today I'm going to share something that's actually my wife's. You see, I gave her this item several years ago as a gift, but since we live in the same house, we share the same attic, right? Before I show you the item, I'm going to give you a very, very quick (and very, very undetailed) history lesson.

In 1883 State National Bank opened in Denison, Texas. Denison was a rail hub, of course, and money was pretty much everywhere. The bank built a grand building in full Victorian glory on Main Street. This building lasted until 1970, when someone decided a marble box would be cooler. Here is a postcard that I found on line that shows the two buildings:

After...and before. I guess you can't tell which one I like better...
It was a sad day for a bank that, up until 1935 actually printed its own money! By the way, the box is still there, although the State National Bank is no more. I'm not claiming that tearing the old building down doomed the bank...but I'm not going to dismiss the idea either...

If only they had had a little bit more, maybe, THIS!

Yep, in 1958 State National Bank gave away aluminum key chains that held a shiny new 1958 penny! These were to celebrate 75 years of banking in Denison, and the "heads" side sports a four leaf clover, a horse shoe, and a wish bone in addition to the lucky penny!

I gave this to my wife for our seventh anniversary, since it was the "copper" anniversary, and she loves antiques. Also, the year is special as well.

So there you have it. She keeps it in her crystal ring box. Oh, and by the way, today is our 12th anniversary. Happy anniversary, Laurie!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Custom Customs...

When you collect tiny cars for a long time you may find that you have a whole lot of the same (very common) cars. They might come in a box that had something you wanted in it, or maybe they were priced at a garage sale for ten cents and....well, come on, TEN CENTS.

A few years ago I took three cars that I had tons of, some bondo, some super glue, some paint, and a Dremel tool and, in a fit of really weird creativity, made the following...

The first one was actually pretty tame. A quick wheel swap, jack up the back, slap a blower on the hood and there ya go!

The second one was pretty conservative too, in a way. However, it did take more work. I took two 1957 Chevys and cut them in half....Well, not exactly in half. I was going for the stretch limo look...

Which brings us to this...thing. what do you do with the other parts after you make a limo? Glue 'em together into a '57 Chevy Super Short! I actually like this one the best!

I soon got tired of chopping up Hot Wheels so these were the only ones I did. Still, it's kind of fun to have them around.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!