Here's How Tom Started to Race

By Tom Dooling

    On a Sunday evening in the early part of 1937, my brothers and I were sitting around the fire in the living room, discussing the day's activities at the Los Angeles Model Airplane field. At that time I was an ardent model airplane fan, had a plane of my own, and like most amateurs in aero-dynamics, I managed to bring my plane home in pieces after each Sunday's flying.
   This particular Sunday evening, the discussion came around to the possibility of building a miniature car powered by a small gas engine similar to the motor used in my airplane. Being like any other average American, I have always had the desire to tinker with gadgets of one sort or another, and this model car idea could not be passed up. The following week, with the aid of my brothers, we assembled our first car.
    This little buggy had the beauty and grace of a one-legged duck - and with all its ugliness. The basic principle proved a success, and we immediately started designs for a new one. Since that time, we have made several different models. The exact number, I have forgotten.
    We attended the first miniature race car meet in Fresno, Calif., in April 1939. It was such a success; we decided to go to every model race car meet thereafter. My best speed on a flat track was made March 3, 1940, at an unofficial meet of the Wheel Twister Club, Van Nuys, Cal. I managed to turn the quarter mile at
63.83 miles per hour. With the same car, on the Los Angeles Speedway banked track a week later, the time for the mile was 61.9 miles per hour.
    Miniature cars have been a hobby that has furnished many pleasant hours of sport and entertainment. And this hobby has been the means of meeting a gang of wonderful sportsmen.

Tom Dooling - June 1940