Topic: Dennis Hart Celebration Of Life

Sadly I must report the passing of Dennis Hart. Dennis passed away on Feb. 22, 2024. He was a long time NASTE racer. He started out building Hawksbill Station in Warren, just outside of St. Helens Oregon. The track was in the attic of his shop, constructed of Carrera track. Dennis held many races there, always providing maximum excitement and entertainment!

In addition to the slot car racing activities, Dennis took NASTE members on a totally different adventure by introducing us to the world of Portland's Adult Soap Box Derby event. This involved Dennis and members of NASTE constructing an adult size soap box derby car, The Hawksbill Flyer built using official USA soap box derby parts, with which Dennis himself raced in the event. Picture this: Dennis at 70 years old is a big guy! This derby racer is constructed mostly of wood! Only the axles and steering components were metal! I have many great memories of building the car together and taking it out for testing before the actual race. In the first test run we were having trouble getting the car to roll down the hill due to the less than desireable grade of the hill. Dennis told me to push the derby car with my Jeep......with him driving the derby car.....One of the issues with this was the fact that when I positioned the Jeep behind the derby car to push, I could not see the car or Dennis because of the Jeep's front bumper! I told him to throw up a hand if he was in trouble so I would know to stop! This proceedure did not lead to satisfactory results so we loaded the car back up in the trailer and moved on to a better hill. For this second test run Dennis chose the highway into St. Helens. There was plenty of grade on this hill for sure, as well as plenty of traffic! I gave him a push out into the road and he and the Hawksbill Flyer were off! I jumped into the Jeep to give chase. It was frightening watching Dennis try to keep the derby car in a single lane! On more than one occassion I thought he was going to crash, but he kept it going, sorta straight. I clocked him at over 40 miles per hour by the end of the test run. Believe me that is fast for a rolling wooden apple box! I drove the Hawksbill Flyer in quite a few test runs and I'll tell you, Dennis definitely had balls of steel!

Charlotte Hart would like some slot car friends and soapbox derby Mt. Tabor folks to attend a celebration of life this Saturday, April 13, from 1 to 3 pm, at the Columbia City School. She said he always enjoyed these activities and the people involved. She mentioned she doesn't have any pictures of him doing these things and would really appreciate any photos that can be shared. We will all miss Dennis, but we will never forget the adventures and friendship he brought our way!

Re: Dennis Hart Celebration Of Life

Dennis Hart's Hawksbill Station:

Re: Dennis Hart Celebration Of Life

Damn I was have a good day! Very sad to hear of his passing. R.I.P Dennis

The secondnidator

Re: Dennis Hart Celebration Of Life

So, one day when we were hosting the NASTE series races on Saturday's, Dennis showed up for the race on Sunday!

We chuckled a bit, invited him in and turned on the track for some laps and conversation.

When he was ready to leave, we awarded him a trophy and thanked him for coming.

I always enjoyed my time with Dennis, he will be missed.

"Big Smooth"

Re: Dennis Hart Celebration Of Life

I am honored to have run the Flyer for one run down the hill at the Derby. R.I.P. Dennis you will be missed

Race cars are neither beautiful nor ugly. They become beautiful when they win.

Re: Dennis Hart Celebration Of Life

I always enjoyed talking with Dennis and he always had time for me. He will be missed.