Category Archives: Slot Car Overview

Scalextric Holden A9x Torana

Sometimes it’s not about popularity or performance. This one is all about HISTORY.

1978 Sandown – Peter Brock – #C3927

And some might wonder why a car and driver far away from Missouri USA would appeal to me. Well, I appreciate motor racing history. Not just in my own backyard. From friends I have met thanks to our forum, and many hours reading about the racing in Australia, it was hard not to become a fan.

You can search for the history yourself. I will not spoil it for you. I will include a video that sort of sums it up rather nicely.

So it was time to order the Scalextric model.

This is FAR from the first Holden Torana from Scalextric.

But it is for me. It is just that other releases always seemed to take priority. Veteran enthusiasts will easily relate.  As far as I can tell, nothing has changed over the years. Just the paint.

Nothing is ever perfect in our hobby, but Scalextric executed this one well enough for my eyes. Some fine scale collectors and die hard fans of the 1:1 have found issues and I am no position to argue. I am just not that particular in some areas, so what was delivered is fine enough for me.

I felt the detail level was more than enough to hold my attention. Markings are clean enough, but I noticed just a hint of fading in the rear. Also some paint smudges, particularly in the rear around the bumpers. Not even close to a disappointment for me, but have to call it like it is.

Looking underneath we see the now standard inline configuration. 

I noticed right away that this car had the “Slimline” FF-050 motor. Given the RPM difference (almost 8000) between this motor and the standard FC-130 shown here in the Falcons, it just gave me pause. Seems Scalextric should have at least put the same motor in both the classics for compatibility.

But what makes it worse is the other reports I read stating this motor is 18K. It has never been 18,000. Not even the standard FC-130 is 18K. So keep this in mind if you plan to race this car against that classic Falcon.

So given the age of this mold, it was no real surprise to find these wheels in the rear. Those that have asked if they changed them to the new “15×8” standard?  The answer is no.

The only tires I had on hand to fit were the Paul Gage urethanes shown above. They fit well enough, but they need a good sanding to prevent them from rubbing the fenders. I would also suggest gluing them on the wheel. This is for non-magnet, wood track racers though. The stock rubber is pretty good when sanded and cleaned.

With this high RPM motor,  the car is quite the rocket. It easily outpaces my recent Falcon. No matter, I will swap a milder motor in it and then it can be more of a match. Tuning is what we do around here and I actually look forward to it.

As a stand alone model, I cannot really complain. It worked out of the box on standard Scalextric track with the magnet working it’s magic. Non-magnet and wood track racers will need to do some tuning, but that can be said for just about every ready to run car produced.

For veterans of these models, you likely are very happy. I am a little ashamed of not trying one sooner. There are not many models I have not tried, but this was one of them and now it’s off that “list”. (finally)

Overall I am happy with my first car in the series. I am also pleased the models are offered by USA dealers. With more and more manufactures simply copying each other and releasing the same old tired molds, I am becoming more particular in my purchases.  I do not need yet another Porsche 911 or Group 5 Capri that has been done literally to death. There is more to auto racing than Le Mans and Scalextric has a great niche with this series. You owe it to yourself to check one out. 

-Harry

Review proudly sponsored by:

Scalextric GT40 MKII

Another iconic classic car from the past has arrived from Scalextric. Not just the 1:1 prototype past either, it has a lot history in our 1/32nd hobby. Ready for a trip back in time?

The 1967 World Sportscar Championship series started in Daytona. After Ford won the 1966 crown and still savoring the Le Mans trilogy win, a lot was on the line. The Ford Vs. Ferrari war was still raging.  The first race of the new season meant Ford had to reinforce their claim for fame. The result? FERRARI DOMINATION. So much for home field advantage.

Not a good start at all for Ford and the MKII. The second race in Sebring had to be the answer. Yet Ferrari was absent aside from private entries, and so the real rematch would come later.  This race would be historic as well. It would see the MKII to only be in the shadow of the next generation GT40 by Ford: The MKIV.

When the dust settled it was first win by the new MKIV. The victory wasn’t that sweet given the main Ferrari absence, but the podium was Ford’s nonetheless. Our MKII driven by A.J. Foyt and Lloyd Ruby took second.

This Scalextric warrior has some history all its own. It has been about 16 years since the first versions arrived here at HRW. Since about 1997 when Fly seemed to burst on the scene and treat us all to the detail level we had been waiting for,  companies like Scalextric had to answer the challenge.

In just a few years Scalextric had really improved. And not just in scale detail or fit and finish. The overall performance of this generation of slot cars is what really had quite a few enthusiasts very pleased. Stronger bar magnets, “Sport” versions with collector boxes and somewhat improved axles, and a chassis that would allow easy magnet location changes. Or additions depending on your taste.

The first generation releases of the GT40 were a really BIG deal. Here is a trip back in time to one of our early reviews. And the last time I picked a new one was back in 2012 shown here.

So veteran enthusiasts might look at this car and just say: “It’s just another GT40”.  And no denying it of course. But I still remember how fortunate we felt back then and feel the same way today. This is just one nice slot car.

On the outside, things look fine except the wheels. Yes, I know I am being picky. Some will really like the chrome. I just do not. These cars just did not have this level of chrome to them. It would have looked better using the 2003 gold wheels than these.  Researching this car even for 5 minutes should come to the same conclusion.

Aside from my opinion of the wheels, the rest of the car is very well done. Nothing I have not seen before, which is a good thing in my book.

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Slot.it Audi R18 ULTRA

1/32 Slot.it Audi R18 Ultra No. 4 – 3rd Le Mans 2012 #CA38a

I suppose I am more of an “old school” enthusiast and mostly enjoy the sight of the classics come race day. However, there are those times when a modern Le Mans Prototype car is just the ticket for an afternoon of fun trackside. 

And for my own personal taste nothing beats the value of a Slot.it LMP.  Consistently a well balanced and smooth running slot car that doesn’t break the bank.

Markings and overall finish are just fine to my eyes. They usually are with Slot.it. New body changes here compared to first release but the chassis is the same.

It is also 4WD compatible. So you could build it up like the E-Tron Quattro Shown Here

You might say that a car like this is almost wasted on a simple home racer like myself. This a good example of competition grade gear and in the hands of the skilled racer, it’s a major contender on race day.

Well I’m no skilled racer to be sure. But these models show their worth regardless. Sometimes I do not WANT to rebuild a car just to enjoy some laps. It’s nice to just take a car from the case, slip on some tires and GO. That is basically all I had to do and happy for it.

So there you have it.  Just a smooth running car and I’m not going through a lot of the advanced tuning that many competition enthusiasts do. 

One more modern LMP in the line up for Slot.it. Fans of the series should be pretty pleased and impressed overall.

-Harry

Sponsored by Scalextric/Hornby Hobbies USA

 

Scalextric AMC Javelin – Bill Collins 1972

Although it is January, one of the most appealing releases of the year from Scalextric has arrived. That is fine by me as I could not wait to add yet another one of these classics to my collection.

The paint and markings are done well enough for me. And detail level is more than enough for my taste.

Nothing has changed mechanically since the debut last year.  CLICK HERE FOR THAT REVIEW. 

Score another win for Scalextric in my book. Great classic slot car at a fair price.

-Harry

Sponsored by LEB Hobbies

Scalextric ARC ONE

There is nothing quite like the fun of opening a new slot car set. This is how most of us got started and choosing the right one can be the beginning of a very rewarding hobby. As we all know, that FIRST impression is a lasting one and this set from Scalextric delivered a positive one to say the least.

And sometimes the technology advancements this hobby has seen in the past few years can turn a once simple starter set into an impressive slot car experience.  That new technology was my reason for choosing this set.

The criteria I followed was short and simple:

  1. Low Cost.  A set that was under the $200 limit.

Set purchased HERE at LEB Hobbies

  1. Featured the ARC ONE system for quick race management/timing.

Please watch the videos as they tell it all.

I like to base my opinions just as a newcomer would when opening a new set. Imagine Christmas morning and this is the set you chose for that lucky racer.

  1. How easy is it to set up? That is a big deal isn’t it parents?
  2. How much fun is it? Isn’t that the goal? Can your new racers have some fun discovering this hobby with it?

My main reason for choosing this set was because it included the ARC ONE system or App Race Control. This is a simple race/lap timing system that works on your smart phone or tablet. I felt it could add some interesting aspects to  standard analog racing and although I was skeptical, it proved to accomplish that and more than I expected.

We will begin with looking at the ARC ONE system.

Here is a link to the Scalextric site which shows the 3 different ARC systems and shows you the differences. 

I just wanted the basic system. Something that added a little more to the standard analog racing without the added expense. So remember this is NOT DIGITAL. It is simple 2 car racing, but the ARC ONE has enough features to make it interesting.

The first thing we did was download the ARC ONE app. We were using our Apple iPad and iPhone but it also works with Android based devices.

Installation was easy enough. The instruction booklet included is simple to follow. My grandson had it ready to go in just a few seconds.

Tire wear and fuel strategy are not the only stars here. The lap timing is a major item of interest for me. We do a great deal of fast lap challenges around here and it was this feature I looked forward to the most.

Well, that was BEFORE we raced using the other options and having to pit. I must say this added a great deal of fun for simple analog racing. The ARC ONE version does not have all the full bells and whistles that the ARC AIR and of course the ARC PRO has, but the basic functions included are more than enough in my opinion, especially for just starting out.

My only concern was how easy would it be to connect? Nothing can frustrate you more than a system that needs advanced settings just to connect. Thankfully this one is as simple as it gets. Load the app on your device and the light on the powerbase will turn green. That let’s you know you are connected. Green means GO right?

Now to set up the track. Scalextric track is very easy to connect/disconnect.

We chose a track plan that would fit our table and in just a few minutes we were ready to race.

The power base is simple enough to connect as well. The connections are clearly molded to only fit the correct way. I left connecting the controllers and power to my 8 year old granddaughter. So I am sure that anyone reading this can do it as well.

You do not need the App to run the cars, although that is the main reason to choose this set. The transformer in this set is a new one as well. It is 15VDC with 1.2 AMPS output. This larger amp output was nice to see as it helps prevent that major increase of speed in one car when another crashes. With the speed limiter controllers, dialing down the speed is easily enough accomplished as well.

Now veterans might find this next opinion a little odd, but I have to say I am VERY impressed with the new controllers. The reason I am is the built in “governor” or speed limiter. These WORK GREAT and proved it the first time we set them up.

You can adjust the amount of control by turning the knob as shown in the video.

This has been a long time coming. It is just what our hobby needed to help the first time young racers. We can all say things such as “Just teach them”. But the real truth is that it’s nice to have an option built in to help us do that.

THE CARS!

Ah the highlight of any set. And for me there isn’t a better pair of cars than classic American Iron!

These cars have been in the Scalextric line up a long time. They have strong enough magnets to help keep the cars pinned to the track and they run VERY well right out of the box like they should.

Plus they just look great. Ford vs Chevy. It doesn’t get much better than this in a slot car set.

This video of my grandchildren and I racing says it all really.

Needless to say, I am VERY pleased with this set. It was easy to set up and in minutes we were all having a great time racing slot cars. The ARC ONE App adds so much to the racing that it is EASILY worth the extra investment over a standard set. From the tire wear and fuel strategy, to reaction times and overall lap timing. This is the one thing that most sets lack and what most enthusiasts look for. I have spent hundreds of dollars for timing systems on our wood tracks and although they are a bit more advanced for holding race events, this simple app does what most newcomers will want.

So if you are looking to get started in this hobby, I have to HIGHLY recommend this set. You should have a fun first impression and that is exactly what a good set should deliver.

-Harry

Set purchased HERE at LEB Hobbies