The long, cold winter of 1954 was when a piece of history was created in Skaneateles New York. It was then that Bob Robinson, a musician by trade, decided to create a car for the Fresh-air child that would visit them in the summer to drive. When the snow melted and summer arrived along with their visitor from New York City, the car was sitting in the front yard waiting.
A neighbor saw the car and wanted to make one. Six were built that first year. The next year the idea really took off and the Robinson backyard became a car builder’s paradise. At one point in the spring of 1955 the yard had 26 cars in process. Bob decided that there needed to be a standard way to make these cars. He sat down and engineered the first ‘microd’ (micro – hot rod). He kept the plans with the ‘Average Joe’ in mind. He did not want to make it so complex that a dad could not build one in his garage. He also kept it cost effective so anyone could have a microd. He soon wrote the first plan book to serve as a guideline.
During the summer of 1955, the idea of cars driving on the sidewalks of town hit. They were also found on the streets when local law enforcement was not looking. Safety became a real concern! It was suggested to Bob that a track should be built so the kids could race in an organized manor. It was flat and was designed with dimensions that would incorporate safety, speed and fun. The straightaway would allow the motor to just reach the peak of the power curve and then there would be a U-turn that would bring the motor back to the bottom of the curve. There it would begin its accent all over again. The track that was developed turned out to be one tenth of a mile in length.
Soon Tom Brogan, an Auburn resident and assistant director of the N.Y. State Fair, took notice of what was happening in Skaneateles. He asked if the boys wanted to come and race at the fair. Twenty cars came and got to race in front of the grandstand at the fair. (the Year was 1955) Everyone got a trophy and microds were a hit.
The next summer, 1956, there were clubs added in Auburn, Camillus and Syracuse. Microding was taking central New York by storm. With clubs now totaling 4. Mr. Brogan formed the New York State Microd Association (NYSMA). Its sole purpose was to coordinate things between the clubs for their appearance each year during the N.Y. State Fair. Later when Bob fazed himself out of Microding, NYSMA became a sanctioning body, helping to coordinate the microd plan book and motor specs. Today NYSMA also standardizes the rules and provides insurance to drivers and their families.
Chester Copes Wins the Feature at the first ever Microd National Championships held at the New York State Fair. Chester at age 12 Becomes the 1956 National Champion. Pictured here Chester receiving the Championship trophy from Movie Star Leo Carillo (Pancho).
The summer of 1957 brought two new clubs Homer and Wolcott bringing the total to six. Racing’s third season also included the dimension of driving on an asphalt track when the Syracuse track was paved.
In 1966 the car’s design was changed so that the axels were on top of the frame instead of below. This lowered the center of gravity and reduced the number of flips especially on the blacktop tracks. This design called the ‘Special’ is still in use at The Finger Lakes and Mid-State Microd Clubs today.
Today there are 5 Asphalt & 2 Dirt Microd Tracks in New York.
Mid-State Microd Club's History
The Homer, New York track opened in June 1957 at the site now know as Griggs Field, and was home to the Homer Microd Club. Microds circled the 1/10th mile oval track in competitive driving until 1980, when the Homer Microd Club moved to it's present location at Hillcrest Speedway in McLean, NY and renamed itself the Cortland County Microd Club. On July 8th, 1998, the Cortland County Microd Club purchased the track property, ensuring a place to race for many generations to come. On Oct. 23rd, 1999, the club was renamed the Mid-State Microd Club to include the home bases of all of our
The “SPECIAL” as designed by Tom Morrison in 1966.