Category Archives: Product Reviews

Dueling BTCC – Scalextric Match Up

This series from Scalextric has delivered some very challenging action on our home track. The first classic BMW E30 M3 and the 125 proved these new inline models were easily tuned and had the potential to become quite an interesting series if we added a few more.

Enter the VW Passat and MG6.

Both of these models represent 2016 teams from the BTCC.  And looking at prototype photos indicates Scalextric has done an excellent job capturing them in our scale.

Of course neither of these cars will inspire all of you, especially on this side of the big pond. 4 door sedans are just not the most appealing style and the series being based in the UK. Regardless of that, I have to give high marks to Scalextric on the execution. And to be very honest, there are plenty of slot cars we enjoy that we never heard of until someone released it in 1/32nd scale.

Continue reading

Slot.it Chaparral 2E – Hap Sharp 1966

The combination of Slot.it and classic racing has delivered many great slot cars over the years and this 2E is near the top of that list. The history of Jim Hall and this car is one that auto racing aficionados are very well acquainted with it.  If you are not then by all means give this page a read. See? This is a pretty impressive classic.

As impressive as it is, veteran 1/32 enthusiasts may not be that excited. There has been several versions of this car offered in the past and almost all of my local racing friends have at least one if not more.

Want one? CLICK HERE

But we sometimes forget that new enthusiasts arrive almost everyday. They read about some of these great models and they want to join in the fun. Sadly, sometimes the cars in question are long out of production. This is why this model is important in my eyes. A fresh release ready for the newcomer to experience.

Eye Candy

The model itself is very well done. Nothing is ever perfect in our hobby, but Slot.it did a very acceptable job for my eyes. I am not the hardcore rivet counter though. I am one of those “middle of the road” sort of people. If it’s very close and represents the 1:1 car well enough at speed on our track it’s more than acceptable to me. Many of my friends have zero issues with any scale inaccuracies as they didn’t purchase it to sit on a shelf. 

Continue reading

Scalextric Ford Daytona Prototype

The Daytona Prototype series seemed like an odd choice for Scalextric to choose. This series is not the most popular, but there are those that follow it with a passion and having a new player in scale is a welcome sight.

One reason for the lack of a large fan club is most people simply do not like the look of the cars. And I cannot argue that because they certainly have a very unique shape. Just one of those types of cars that either you like or you don’t with no middle ground.

If you are not up to speed (ahem) on this series, here is an interesting overview. With the series going through a dramatic change for 2017, this mold by Scalextric will have limited liveries to produce, but with some creativity I can see it lasting for quite awhile.

This car represents the “Gen3” series of DP cars and the last of the series as we know it. As it is Scalextric did a fair job in 1/32nd scale. Nothing is ever perfect of course, but a clean and acceptable job all around for my eyes.

Quick Data
Height – 34 MM (36 MM @ Rear Wing)
Length – 145.5 MM
Width – 61.75 MM
Wheel Base – 87 MM
Weight – 74.8 Grams

Continue reading

Carrera Ford Torino Returns

Carrera Ford Torino Talladega ‘Wendell Scott, No.34’ and ‘Benny Parsons, No.98’

ctpair3

Although these models are based on older molds from years past, they are likely the most important 1/32 releases of the year for many of us. From newcomers to veterans, these American oval classics are truly a sight for sore eyes.

ctpair4

Why so important? Well, just look at them. Here are two legends of NASCAR’s past that have long been needed in our hobby. Each one has their own important place in the history books and we now have them to enjoy.

If that were not enough (which it is), then look at what American race car enthusiasts have been asking for.  More classic American iron. OK, done.

Finally, the part that hits closes to home for me: OVAL RACING. These are literally the only two models coming to us this year. The most popular form of racing on this side of the pond does not get nearly enough attention.

Sadly we have only one brand that acknowledges the appeal for it, and Carrera has at least earned high marks for that. I won’t bother rambling on about the 1:1 cars or the legends that  drove them. You can easily do a quick Google on that and trust me, you will get PLENTY of material to sort through. When you do, you will see how close these are. Take into account that some images are older scans of original photos and that colors/decal placement varied greatly. Most of these cars changed from race to race, so this must be also taken into account.

The Parsons car is special in another way as it is the ARCA version. I like seeing that series featured.

On the outside, the cars are about as nice as you can ask for. Markings and paint on both are very clean, opaque, and sealed nicely with a dust free clear coat.

ctwend1

ctwend3

ctbenny3

ctbenny1

Colors and markings match most prototype photos close enough. Nothing is ever perfect, but credit is due to the Carrera design team for producing more than acceptable accuracy.

It is worth noting that these models were decided upon over a year ago. Our toys do not come to us overnight as some might expect. Most of the credit for reviving them goes to Dave Kennedy of Carrera of America. Having a true enthusiast presence in the USA that actually has influence on what models we see is what sets Carrera apart from ALL the rest of our slot car brands. I was fortunate to learn of these models being revived back then and to say I was excited was an understatement.

ctwheel1

Wheels and tires are the same as on all recent releases. Fine by me as they work well enough in stock form.

The Goodyear markings are replaced with Decent Decade logos and I have no problem with it. As soon as they start turning, you cannot tell and racing them is what I want to do most.

ctchassis2

ctchassis1

The chassis is all new due to the new digital system, but it is close enough to the original to provide even racing. Especially for those of us who enjoy non-magnet style. Standard Carrera motor with 9/27 gearing and polarity switch for direction changing if desired.

 Paul Gage 22103XD tires are the ones I use on the rears.

These cars ran fine out of the box although a little chatter was present of course. That’s to be expected non-magnet and no surprise or concern. With just a little tire sanding front and rear, they smooth out well enough for my racing.

Not many models for this year hold as much appeal as these do for me. I expect many others will be showing them off very soon as well.

Thank you Carrera for bringing us more American Classic NASCAR!

LEB Product Review: Carrera D124 BMW M1 Procar slot cars, #23821

While the BMW M1 didn’t make a huge impact on the racing world back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the looks of the car and the drivers that raced them left a small mark in the racing history books. BMW hoped to compete with the Porsches of the day, but failed to succeed. While the M1 wasn’t much of a race car, it is hard to not do a double take at the body design and eye-catching liveries they donned on the race track. We’ll take a look at Carrera’s version of the car driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck in 1980, Carrera D124 BMW M1 Procar BASF, No.80 (item #23821).

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Driver_Front_3-4_Small

For those with experience racing Carrera slot cars, the fact that this car looks great is no surprise. While there may be a sponsor logo missing here or there for licensing reasons, the artwork that is present is clear, crisp, and brightly displayed. Although with the BASF livery, you may have to give yourself a shake to snap out of the trance you’re in created by the red and white paint scheme!

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Aerial_Small

I don’t want to jump ahead of myself, but when taking photos for this review, I happened to notice something that, while it makes no difference to the performance of the car, it does show just how detailed and to scale Carrera slot cars are. So imagine yourself following this M1 down the racetrack just hoping to get to the inside of the next turn. Too bad you won’t be able to because Hans sees you in his rear view mirror! Look closer!CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Driver_Rear_Small

Speaking of Mr. Stuck, the other details in the cockpit are impressive too!

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Cockpit_Small

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Cockpit_2_Small

Looking at the underside of the car shows the guide setup that has become the standard on Carrera D124 cars, which includes a double braid system to insure good contact to the track while racing. You’ll also see the small, white dip switch that changes the car from digital to analog, as well as the IR sensor for digital operation. One other thing to notice is the part number stamped on the bottom of the chassis in white, in this case ‘23821’.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Chassis_Underside_Small

Removing the body from the chassis is quick and easy by way of four screws, two near the front and two in the rear. With the body removed we can see the simple wiring that is nicely routed to and from the digital chip.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Chassis_Topside_Small

The front and rear lights are each on separate boards and are held in place by housings made into the chassis.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Rear_Wiring_Small

Taking a quick look at the parts that make this car go, we see the standard motor and gearing from Carrera, a 14 tooth brass pinion on the motor shaft and a 50 tooth spur gear on the rear axle. This gear combination give us a 3.57 gear ratio which is a nice setup for good top end speed as well as some quickness out of the turns.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Gears_Small

The half tray interior can be seen from the underside of the body as well as the mounting posts with threaded brass inserts and blacked out areas that prevent light from showing through the red body where it isn’t wanted.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Body_Underside_Small

Now that we have taken a look at what makes this car not only look great but run great, let’s talk about how it runs on the track.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Headlights_Small

Since the majority of folks that race slot cars do so with a car that is unmodified and raced on a plastic track, that’s how I did the testing for this review. I removed the car from the case, made sure everything moved freely, checked that the tires were on the rims correctly, and began testing.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Rear_3-4_Closeup_Small

Right out of the case the car was smooth and quiet. All the lights worked as well as the digital functions of the electronics inside the car. The tires have sufficient grip and with help from the single bar magnet located just forward of the motor, the car zipped around the turns with ease.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Front_3-4_Closeup_Small

While the Carrera D124 slot cars are quite heavy compared to most cars that are geared to organized racing, this BMW has no problem going from zero to fast. Throttle response is very good between the controller and the car. Braking (completely letting off of the plunger of the controller) nets a stop in less than 24”. The combination of acceleration and deceleration makes for a very responsive car in both the straight sections of track and the twisty technical sections too.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Driver_Rear_3-4_Small

As with all of the Carrera D124 cars that I own, this one performs well. The quality is top notch in all areas and one would be pleased with adding this one to their collection. For those that are interested in scale racing, the Procar series was limited to the BMW M1 so your only option for a competitor car is the other livery of this same model that was just released, the Regazzoni, No.28, 1979 (item #23820). There are two more BMW M1’s scheduled for release sometime this year though, so a nice lineup of four of these cars racing around the track will be a great sight to see! You can see all four liveries being offered by LEB Hobbies HERE. Grab an M1, or two, and enjoy some friendly competition on the slot car track! And remember, when racing slot cars, if you’re not having fun you’re doing it wrong.

CarreraD124_BMW_M1_Driver_Rear_3-4_Closeup_Small

by Jeremy ‘bibbster’ Bibbee
3/4/2016