PAUL PFANNER: MY ENDURING PASSION
Slot.it’s 1: 32 rendering of the
1974 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning
Matra-Simca MS670B is a work of
art worthy of the Italian company’s
range of classic sports prototypes.
culture. In young adulthood, I’d moved up to
real cars and began a career in publishing.
Today, my passion’s taken on a dimension
I could only have dreamt of as a child.
My own realistic 1: 32 track is dubbed
“Pfannapolis,” and includes every slot car
I’ve ever owned, totaling more than 130.
But were it not for those countless hours
of my youth spent racing a slot car, a
rewarding career in motorsports and
publishing might have never come to
pass, and you may not be enjoying the
pages of this wonderful magazine.
If not for slot cars, there might not have
been a RACER magazine. Like many baby
boomers, the spark of my passion was the
Indy 500, but my lifelong commitment to
racing was stoked with Strombecker,
Monogram, Revell and Aurora AFX slot car
sets. They were my first direct experience
with racing as a participant at the age of
10. Though my first racing cars may have
been 1: 32 or 1: 24 scale, they were tangible
representations of the 1:1 scale cars
I dreamed of owning or racing someday.
Slot cars connected me to racing
In 1995 Zak Brown set aside his ambition
to drive in order to drive his ambition of
building the motorsport marketing
agency that today is known as JMI, or
Just Marketing International.
Brown has even been mentioned as a
potential successor to Bernie Ecclestone,
an idea he vigorously dismisses. His
reputation as a deal-maker is well
founded, but he’s still a racer at heart.
“I’m a car guy and a racer at my core,”
he says. “Business in motorsport is how
AND CAR NUT
Under Zak Brown’s
leadership, JMI has
brokered F1 deals
with UBS, Johnnie
Walker and LG
Electronics, as well as
with Crown Royal.
He’s an inveterate
deal-maker, but also
an avowed car nut.
RACER founder and
president Paul Pfanner
track) on his 10th
birthday with his first
slot car set in 1964.
That track, and those
that followed, fanned
the flame that led
Pfanner to racing
Formula Fords in SCCA
competition, as well as
a career in motorsport
media and marketing.
Zak Brown’s ultimate slot car track combines many of his favorite corners from racing in stunning detail.
I happen to make my living, but it’s
fueled by passion for the sport.”
Though he continues to race when and
where he can with his United Autosports
operation, he often fuels his competitive
desire with a controller rather than a
steering wheel in hand.
Five years ago, Brown had Slot Mods
USA build him the uber slot car track of
his dreams. It combines aspects of all his
favorite tracks, including the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway, Laguna Seca, Monaco
REAL RACING IN MINIATURE