GLENDALE — It was a 24-hour “battle of the titans” as Porsche howled past Ferrari in a 1970 Le Mans race immortalized by Steve McQueen in film the next year.Now the auto-racing legends are back. Only instead of ripping ’round the famous French circuit, they are slot cars hurtling around an electric track.
And in the lead of the miniature slot-car comeback are baby boomers from the San Fernando Valley, who will re-create the historic Le Mans race this summer in what’s billed as the biggest slot-car event in the West.
“We’re having a freaking great time,” said Stephen Farr-Jones, 45, founder of the FarrOut Slot Car Club, co-host of the July 24 race at the Petersen Automotive Museum. “I never stopped being a kid.
“Our goal is to: one, have fun; two, refer to No. 1; and three, have fun racing toy cars that look like real cars.”
Filling his Glendale two-car-garage is the toy racing-car fantasy of nearly every kid.
There’s the 57-foot plastic track whose stands and pits resemble real racetracks of Europe.
There’s the hand-held speed guns to control the 1/32-scale slot cars guided in each of four racing lanes.
And there’s Farr-Jones’ collection of 1,000 minutely detailed cars, stacked from waist-to-ceiling, that can hit speeds of 25 mph – the equivalent of 800 mph if they were full-size cars.
That’s just the FarrOut mecca known as “slot car nirvana.”
Twice each month at similar home tracks from Santa Clarita to Rancho Palos Verdes, up to 75 FarrOut enthusiasts gather for the fast racing action of their youth.
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