Hal's opened to the public as a bookstore in 1954. Named after it's founder Hal Hirshenmier and located at the corner of Dyer & Polk in Northeast El Paso, it soon converted to a hobbyshop. It was sold 11 years later to Norman Martin who in turn, sold it to Carlos Priemer 11 years later, on July 1, 1976.
The store relocated to Sunrise Ctr (N.E.) in 1977, going from 1200 Sq Ft to 2600 Sq Ft. In 1983 it moved to Hercules Ave. and to 3000 Sq Ft. In 1988 a lot at 1440 Bessemer (east El Paso) was purchased and a purpose built 4500 Sq Ft building was erected including space for two R/C car race tracks, (on-road and off-road). The Northeast store was closed in 1990.
Carlos Priemer worked as a remotely piloted vehicles (RPV drones) consultant to White Sands Missile Range for 14 years on telemetry, remote control, propulsion and aeronautics. Born in Peru, South America to German parents, at age 17 Carlos came to the U.S, to study engineering. Returned to Peru as a Mechanical & Industrial Engineer, working in his country for 2 years as a Mining Engineer. He eturned to the US in 1960 and worked for Corporate America in various US locations as General Manager and Plant Manager. Carlos Priemer became a US Citizen in 1969. Arrived in El Paso in 1971 to build, start and run Centralab, Juarez (1,500 employees). Also built & ran the new American Hospital Supply (converters) plant in Juarez, Mexico (twin plant,/maquiladora). He is fluent in Spanish, English & German.
He raced 1/8th scale on-road R/C cars from 1980 to 1984, helped Morgan Fuels develope Sidewinder car racing fuel with 50% Nitro. He did his own motor modifications to race against the top US drivers and their modified motors. Designed and built the first slide-valve carburator with photos and an article published by RCM 1982, July issue. 3 months later OPS came out with their version of the carb, followed by all other manufacturers. This is the carb that to this day is being used by all manufacturers!
Carlos won the R.O.A.R. District 7 Rio Grande Racers Championship in 1982 and 1984 with a perfect 600 points. Raced in Mexico City winning there as well. He helped Mexico City with the design of their World Championship Race Track, scoring equipment and fuel quality monitoring for said races.
Hal's Hobby Warehouse counts with 3 first class race tracks, a rock crawling track, a purpose paved on-road track and a fantastic off-road track (it took 34 dual axle dump trucks to bring clay from the river), mixed with straw and designed by well known reacetrack builders Joey Christiansen, Casey Peck and Levy Jackson. The purpose built driver stand incorporates a raised pit lane and handycapped driver ramp and platform extension, sophisticated night lighting (summer) and water, thanks to a pump for track wetting using a firehose and nozzle, AMB autoscore and PA system round out the track features, including parking pit areas, electric outlets, air compressor and tire wash tank = First Class Racing!
National Hobby Shop of the Year, 2004
There are more than 15,000 hobby stores in the United States. NRHSA (National Retail Hobby Stores Association) in all it's years had voted only 5 times for a store to be Number One for the nation on a given year. In 2004 they gave us that title. We are # 6 and since then, only 2 more stores have been added for a total of 8 in the Nation. We are the only one in Texas!
We are Special!