SPOTLIGHT: Mike Dixon, Show Us Ya Slotz
Mike Dixon is looking to raise awareness for a hobby so close to his heart he took the plunge and turned it into his livelihood.
Dixon is the owner of Show Us Ya Slotz, a slot car centre located in Lemon Tree Passage, just north of Newcastle.
Servicing the niche slot car hobby, Dixon used the opportunity presented by COVID to switch focus in his career with the all-new operation.
Like most, Dixon’s passion for scale racing took hold at a young age before life got in the way.
In recent years his love of slot car racing was rekindled as he began racing locally, and through that experience saw a hole in the market.
“I definitely came back to [the hobby] later in life, a few years ago initially,” Dixon said.
“I didn’t realise there was many tracks around. Then we took the kids down and saw a track, and then I start going down there later with friends of mine and got back into it.”
Originally from Manchester in the United Kingdom, Dixon’s life in Australia began in the corporate world.
“From there, I went back into the building game and was quite happily working,” he said.
“But when COVID hit the building side of the business slowed down, because most of the travel was all interstate.
“At that point the slot car centre that we raced at was closing down as well, and that got the mind thinking about ‘do I give this a go all by myself?’”
Show Us Ya Slotz opened over the Easter holidays and stocks all major brands; Scalextric, Carrera, Slot.it, NSR, Revoslot, Platfi and more.
He also has a comprehensive range of other, boutique and specialist brands, and a huge range of spares as he caters to every niche of the hobby from kids and families to hardcore racers.
“We’ve got the 1:32 scale racing, and there’s a lot of the locals coming in with flexicars from 25 years ago when they last used them asking if there’s any chance we can get them up and running,” Dixon explained.
“We obviously saw there was a passion there for locals, and we started then accommodating those guys and doing flexicar racing on a Friday night and making sure we got all the spares in to get these old cars back up and running.
“We tried to cover all aspects of the slot cars hobby,” he added.
“There’s a lot of different people in different ranges – some will just collect the cars for the sake of collecting the cars as a shelf ornament, so we try and get as many different ranges of those in as we can.
“We have private events for kid’s parties but also where companies come in and use the facility as a team building, a bit of a break for them.
“So we actually get corporate companies coming in to use the tracks as well as a private function.”
Dixon’s tracks are a step above the plastic track most associate with slot cars, with custom built tracks capable of accommodating six cars at a time.
He runs regular race nights, with dedicated classes targeting specific styles of racing.
“We’ve got two timber tracks, right around the 38 meters in length,” he said.
“One is a flat track, the other is a fast one with banked corners on either end – that’s the one we would tend to use more at this stage for racing.
“You can get a fair bit of speed up on those banks, [and the track has] a few humps in there so it’s a little bit more difficult for people.”
There is even work underway on a drag racing track along the back wall, ensuring all variations of slot car racing are covered.
For Dixon, NetworkCafe.com.au offers a unique platform to speak directly with his market audience, which are typically also car and racing enthusiasts.
“Something like NetworkCafe.com.au is massive,” he said.
“It’s probably one of the best things that can happen from our point of view.
“The people that are into racing and the rest of it, they’re the kind of people we need to target and tell them that this place is here, and the fun they can have here.”
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