With a few topics around and lots of us thread crapping Komm’s amazing thread HERE I’ve decided we need a thread for slot cars. Komm’s thread is worthy of being it’s own thing, but for the rest of us, slot cars aren’t really popular enough to need a new thread each time, just a bumpable thread once or twice a year AHAH. Vintage, modern, small or massive scale, played them somewhere or doing your own setup it doesn’t matter. Ask questions, do reviews, post photos etc. We better not do any trading in thread, but PM’s are accepted as far as I’m concerned for meetups and races which are pretty popular in the slot car community. A little History: The earliest known commercial Slot cars were made by Lionel (Famous for their model trains) in 1912. and were basically cars on train rails. Over the next 40 odd years numerous other methods and systems from both hobbyists and companies came and went. I might get into brand history later, but for now, this is enough. Minimodels in the UK made tin ‘Scalex’ models at 1:30 scale. Eventually cars were fitted with clockwork motors and proved unpopular. Then in 1957 they added ELECTRICITY, Rubber tracks with grooves and a central gimbal on the cars. Controlled with a simple button. This was the start of the rise of slot cars The slot car as we know it today is basically from the 1960’s. when the tin models became plastic, rubber tracks also became plastic and the scale of most models was changed to 1:32. And due to the popularity of this configuration, for the first time there was a standard in the industry. And one that has been in place ever since. In the 60’s Everyone joined in. This was the peak of slot cars. But leading the charge were Aurora Plastics in the U.S. with their smaller 1:64 and 1:87 scales and Scalextric in the U.K. with 1:32. (We’ll get to scales later) By the late 70’s, the boom was well and truly over. And things settled down. In the late 80’s and early 90’s cars started to look really good, but nothing major had happened for a while. By the 00’s something new was coming, with digital technology being worked on, and a few different systems were soon to be on the market. Tipping the scales: Like all models, basically every scale from 1:1 to 1:100 has been attempted by serious modelers at some point. But today 3 scales are known as standard throughout the slot car world: 1:32 is by far the most common worldwide (both in home and commercial raceways), and many models have been made in this scale by many brands. 1:24 is favoured by lots of serious racers and hobbyists. Bigger cars mean bigger tracks and bigger motors and often more details on models. This is what you go to if you want to get really serious. 1:64 is the current small standard, great for kids or setups where space for a track won’t allow a bigger scale. This smaller 1:64 scale was often confused by being labelled as “HO” by brands like Tyco and Aurora AFX… (FYI HO is 1:87 and always will be) so these days most smaller ones are just 1:64. Not limited to kids or small spaces though, some people just love the insane speed these cars can go and stay on the track. As a note: Carrera also have a product called ‘Carrera GO’, which is 1:43. And while not a popular scale in history, it has been growing. If you’re looking to buy a Brand new smaller set, I would be getting this above Micro scalextric and AFX etc etc as track parts and cars are easier to find separately than things from 1:64. and it can grow with kids, you can start with wacky loops and jumps. There are Mario kart and pixar’s cars themed sets, and if the kids don’t lose interest, you can get some nice looking supercars, GT’s and even go Digital up to 3 people as well. If you insist on less than 1:32, this is what I’d be getting today. So why slot cars? Let me start by saying this: Slot cars are a comparatively cheap hobby. I know people who collect model cars, model trains, RC EVERYTHING, computers, video games and at many times, I’ve been involved in all of these things. I’ll use model trains as an example.. Mainly because model trains are more expensive than writing off classic Ferrari’s while on cocaine.. If you or someone you know has ever been a model train enthusiast, $300+ for a decent locomotive. $1000+ for truly special. You can get a decent slot car for $50. and something truly special for around $250. And unlike traditional models, you can get some absolutely stunning cars to put on a shelf, and can actually drive them! In the real world, I could never Drive a Mclaren F1 but now I can not just look at a static display behind glass.. I can drive them when the mood strikes. And that’s not to mention competing with them. Where to try AND buy: There are lots of places around with Tracks. You can rent (or buy) a car and bang around on a track for a little. Places I’ve raced and liked: Armchair Racer (NSW). Hands down the BEST place to get started. They’re friendly and knowledgeable, do sales, races, servicing, parts and everything. I cannot comment on their new address or what tracks they have for racing ATM, but it’s the same people who are basically walking encyclopaedias with probably the biggest range in the country. http://www.armchairracer.com.au 7/19 Hotham Parade, Artarmon NSW 2064. Mr Slotcar (VIC). These guys focus more on racing and custom track building, not a huge range of stuff, but they can order stuff for you, and have some great tracks if you want to go for a race or 2. http://www.mrslotcar.com 3/42 Hallam South Road, Hallam Vic 3803. Slot Shop (NSW). Some great tracks and a great range of new and used cars. I found some nice cars here that I couldn’t find anywhere else in the country. I went in for a single car, stayed for 3 hours and walked out with 3 cars and a stack of track in late 2017. http://www.slotshop.com.au 293 Princes Hwy Arncliffe 2205. Hobby Boss (VIC) A bit out of it in Shepparton, but a great raceway, they even had a digital track last time I was up there. Lots of spares and racing who also have R/C tracks as well as slot cars. https://www.hobbyboss.com.au 37 Lockwood Rd Shepparton, Victoria 3630. A block away from them is a toyshop/hobby store http://www.prohobby.com.au where I picked up some nice LONG discontinued Scalextric stuff. Hornsby slot cars (NSW) These guys have a massive track and a pretty good range of cars. I only happened upon them because they had a Lancia and Audi I couldn’t find anywhere, so a bit of a happy accident. http://hornsbyslotcars.com.au 126A James Lane, Waitara NSW 2077. Where to buy: There’s tonnes of hobby shops around with slot cars, but since I’m in Victoria, I can’t really help with other states: Metro (Box Hill/CBD) https://metrohobbies.com.au/slot-cars.html#page=0&top=1& Brunel (Cheltenham)http://www.brunelhobbies.com.au Hearns (CBD)https://hearnshobbies.com/collections/slot-cars Hobby Man (Narre warren) http://www.hobbyman.com.au If you’re going to be buying used: You can save a stack of money with used, but you have to be careful as a lot of stuff has been poorly maintained and will need lots of work. Rust isn’t a problem so much as kinks in the tracks and broken connectors. Assume anything used will need rebuilds/restoration. I will be expanding on this section a bit in the near future with guides and maintenance advise. I’m leaving a tonne of stuff out of this post, But I’ll be adding some pictures soon, and will from time to time do reviews and guides/projects here and there. so feel free to add or talk about anything slot car related.