Zeppelin Hobbies opened
in 1984 in a 600 square foot store on Hamburg Turnpike in Riverdale, NJ. The store
was small but it was packed with product. Our philosophy wasn’t to just sell R/C vehicles to customers; we wanted to
do more so customers would get the full potential of their purchase. So we ran R/C races. For five years we held races in
Pompton Lakes and Wayne High School gyms during the winter and
outdoor summertime races in our bank parking lot on Sundays. The races were so popular that we had to have a limit of 150
racers in order to finish at a respectable hour.
We had purchased a moving van to store and haul all the equipment necessary to run the races. When racing indoors,
we would carpet the entire gym floor then set-up PVC lane barriers. We also had a computerized lap counting system, and the
announcing system had speakers all around the track and in the cafeteria where racers would prepare their vehicles for racing.
When racing outdoors we would build a drivers stand parallel to the truck plus there was a timing area and announcing area
for the race director. All of which was powered by a gasoline generator. The racing was going very well but as you can imagine
the set-up and tear down operation required an enormous amount of work.
the hard work and logistics started us looking for a store that would be large enough to accommodate indoor racing. Luckily
we found just what we were looking for on Route 23 in Riverdale. The new store was 12,000 square feet! In 1990 we changed
our name to Zeppelin Hobbies and Raceway and moved into the new store which had a large retail section an even larger indoor
R/C track plus we also installed 4 commercial slot car tracks. The slot car tracks were built by Hasse Nelsion from Sweeden.
He built a 155 foot King Track, a 140 foot Hillclimb Track, a 90 foot Lazy Eight Track and a scale quarter mile drag strip.
Hasse also built the borders for the R/C track which could be set up as an oval or a road course. The raceway also had a radio
impound room for R/C races, an R/C drivers stand and an announcer stand. Plus there was an additional announcer stand for
the slot car tracks.
In 1992 we held the Slot Car Nationals
which attracted slot car racers from 15 states and 13 foreign countries! For this race we opened at 8 am monday morning and
closed at 11 pm the following Sunday evening! Today people tell me that it was the best ever Nationals.
store area was quite large and off to one side was the repair shop where R/C cars, trucks, boats and airplanes would be repaired.
We also serviced all types of slot cars, HO, 1/32 and 1/24 scales.
the store area was so large we decided to pick up new lines such as a slot car section with every slot car item conceivable,
kites, puzzles, toys and we became an Official Boy Scout Outfitter. We also have a service in which we sew patches on Scout
1995 we moved across the mall to a 6,000 square foot store because the R/C business fell off drastically and would no longer
support the costs of such a large store. The new facilities had two slot car tracks and no R/C track. However we managed to
keep the size of the retail store large.
were in that location for about 12 years. In 2007 our lease was up. The area was experiencing a building boom which was larger
than Route 23 could handle and traffic was becoming an issue for our customers. Once again we were looking for a new location.
we found our present location, 1530 Route 23 on Wayne, NJ.
Our new store is 4,000 square feet. We have two slot car tracks, A Hasse Lazy Eight and an Oglive Stadium Track. Our hours
of operation are: Monday through Saturday from 10 am until 9 pm, and Sunday from 10 am until 6 pm. We have open track time
whenever the store is open. Track time with rental car and controller is $4.00 for fifteen minutes, or $2.00 for fifteen minutes
if you own a car and controller.
parties are also available during store hours at very reasonable rates. We are still an Official Boy Scout Outfitter and we
still sew on patches. Don’t forget to check out our Pinewood Derby section, it’s one of the largest in the area,
we’ve got it all! You’ve got to check it out!
addition we carry White’s metal detectors for you treasure seekers. And there plenty of items to help you complete that
you find yourself in the area, or better yet make a special trip, to stop in and check out what Zeppelin Hobbies and Raceway
has to offer.
a call at 973 872-0400 and we are on the web at www.zephobby.