Gerbig says he started taking interest in slot cars around the age of eight. Growing up in Nebraska, he says being able to afford the hobby required scraping up some nickels and purchasing the materials raw.
Steve Gerbig says his time working with slot cars revolves around the term ‘stint’. He explains that, to him, a stint is the time between the conception of a new slot car track within driving distance and the time it’s eventually shut down. In his life, Gerbig says he has experienced around 12 stints. Now, with a fully operational track of his own sitting in his mechanic shop, he’s hoping to bring the hobby to life at the lake, no stint included.
Gerbig says he started taking interest in slot cars around the age of eight. Growing up in Nebraska, he says being able to afford the hobby required scraping up some nickels and purchasing the materials raw. The chassis for the cars were hand built at the time and he has kept with the hobby every since, all the way to the Ozarks.
The main appeal to slot cars for Gerbig is the racing. He says he’s always been a racer and loves the thrill of hitting his best time on the track. As a full-time mechanic as a career, machines and car parts have been a main staple for much of his life.
Though the appeal was always there, Gerbig says the idea of racing full size vehicles was always too expensive a venture for him. With the slot cars, he says it’s nice to be able to knock a car off the side of the track and know that any possible damage to the machine might only cost a few bucks.
The track he now houses in his shop laid dormant for years. One day, he says he had a conversation with a local friend about slot cars and the idea of rebuilding the track in his shop was put into action. Nearly a decade later, Gerbig is now hosting races in his shop and is hoping to bring attention to the hobby
In his mind, Gerbig says that there simply isn’t enough variation of hobbies to do around the lake. With slot car racing, not only is there a sustainable source of entertainment, but the engineering skills that are learned along the way are just as valuable. He says that he currently doesn’t have any regimented classes for learning to build a car, but he is willing to work with anyone’s schedule to find a time.
From start to finish, anyone willing to learn to build a machine will learn the basics of soldering, using a dremel tool and basic assembly. This process of learning the engineering required to get a car from raw material to racing condition is the biggest reason why Gerbig finds the hobby to be so important.
“What profession is your child going to learn playing video games?” Gerbig said. “You’ll learn painting skills, you’ll learn soldering, you’ll learn engineering. There’s a lot of attention to detail doing this that will translate into your life.”
Gerbig says the slot car track is now available for public rental, $20 for a half hour (car provided). He says the track is also available for parties. To inquire about the track or the other services of Gerbigs Osage Auto Service, call (573) 302-4555.