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Racer Sideways Toyota Celica Rodenstock

Racer Sideways Toyota Celica Rodenstock.

The car:
One of two recent releases from Racer Sideways, the other being the Nissan Skyline.
The pandemic does not seem to have even broken the stride of this company at all.
The question is "Does it have the same quality as prior releases?"


• The car is packaged with a polycarbonate transparent inner shell.
I've not seen any other manufacturer package an inner sleeve like this.
The sleeve would prevent damage if the car broke loose of its crystal case mount in transit (good) but obscures the view of the car in "mint and boxed" condition(bad?)

The crystal case base has the motor pod's optional ride height parts taped beneath.

The Build.
• Flawless paint and decalwork.
• The car was locked up tight when removed from the box.
All screws turned really tight which is a shame considering that the car is factory fitted with collared screws and washers.
The body and pod screws were loosened, but the body was still stuck tight.
The tight body turned out to be a result of the chassis/pod and chassis/body interfaces which interfere with each other.
To set up for racing, trimming and sanding will be required.

• The guide did not self centre.
• The Mirrors were fitted but not glued.
Good if you want to keep them aside for racing instead of them being lost in an on track incident, bad if you are home user who just wants to de-box and run around home track because you are sure to lose these.

• Power, Transmission and Wiring were sub optimal.
The motor wires were not routed through the guide routes or chassis routes except for the front two, see pics.
The motor wire routing was the root cause of the non centring guide. A little additional attention to detail in the build process would have been good here but given that this is a Chinese factory build, the quality of the build is still much better than most chinese builds I have seen recently.

The axle was set too loose with excessive play left and right.
In an angle winder setup , a loose axle is better than a tight one, but setting the the axle up correctly would take no time in the factory build.

The ride height was quite high. For home use, its a good compromise to have high factory ride height because a car that is supplied so that its rear wheels don't touch the track will probably end up in the bin.
For club racers and tuners , ride height will need to be optimised for your track.

The guide did not self centre out of the box.
More about that later.

Left to right:M1 Celica Capri
Dimensions, and overhang.


Rear body width

Front body width

Rear track width

Front track width

Guide length

You can see from the chassis comparison pictures that the celica has more overhang than the M1 but less than the Capri which puts its polar moment right between the two. Both the M1 and Capri are good performers so the signs are good.



Rolling Road testing.
I put the car on the RRV2 rolling Road.
The car ran and performed in a similar way to the Capri and M1 but given the identical motor spend gearing, this is not a surprise.

Track testing
I had no opportunity to properly test the car.
Club track closures shut down any opportunity to test the car in "right out of the box" mode or to prep for club racing.

Given the triangular styling of this car wide the rear and narrow at the front, even without track testing, some predictions can be made.
Those who like their cars set up in an "outrigger" configuration might hate this car and might find it prone to roll-DeSlot and understeer.
Those who like their cars set up in "triangular" configuration will love this car.

In Summary
Another good car from RacerSideways, albeit if some small (easily corrected) defects were found in the factory build process.
Whether a shelf queen collector or a rabid club racer, this car has something for you.

My car will be initially set up with a slot it anglewinder offset pod with the factory fitted FlatSix motor and running gear.
If the 1st setup does not show promise, the car will get the "Fully modified inline conversion" treatment with a boxer style motor.

Only when the clubs open again will I be able to determine whether this model is a competitor.

Full set of photos on :

[+] 8 members Like Nonfractal's post

Thanks Alan, nicely detailed review. To be continued?

But who knows when...
[+] 1 member Likes JasonB's post

Thanks for the review. Mine was exactly the same. The pod screws were overtight and the body screws had been grauched up so hard that the front wheels wouldn't turn. The mirrors were so loose that one had fallen off inside the box.

Not really good enough on a model that cost £60 plus which should at least run reasonably well straight out of the box. The problems were easy for a club racer to fix but if anyone bought the car for home racing with a view to upgrading from Scalex cars I think they would have returned the car to the dealer.  

I suspect that some of the Chinese factories are cutting corners on quality control while no one is able to travel to China to check up which is unfair to the brand that commissioned the model, the retailer and the customer.
[+] 2 members Like autoavia's post

(21st-Oct-20, 05:04 PM)Nonfractal Wrote:  Packaging
• The car is packaged with a polycarbonate transparent inner shell.
I've not seen any other manufacturer package an inner sleeve like this.
The sleeve would prevent damage if the car broke loose of its crystal case mount in transit (good) but obscures the view of the car in "mint and boxed" condition(bad?)
Most Slot.its have had this full polycarb, or a half-shell version (allowing better viewing of the car in the box) for about a decade.

Specialist slot car shops  are few and far between now so, as most cars are bought by mail order, I think it is better to have packaging which gives best protection during shipping. The retailer can always take out the inner packaging to display the car in a shop and replace it when it is sold.

 When I worked in a shop that sold Hornby trains we used to take the trains out of their box and display them in a cabinet. It definitley helped sales particularly to younger customers because they could see exactly what they were buying. We did the same with some of the diecast ranges that had boxes which didn't display the models very well.
[+] 1 member Likes autoavia's post

First test at the Racewars venue in Milton Keynes, (Buckinghamshire UK. )

The celica was tested "one on one" against the sideways  ZakSpeed Capri. ( )
On the wood surface "Egypt track".

This is the first track test since the car was purchased (damn you pandemic) so no time at any other track has been put in. 

Both cars ran, factory fitted apart from NSR red tyres.

First run for the capri showed some slight shuddering under acceleration. 
Its likely that this is caused by the nsr reds coming away from the rims. 
The capri was tested on tyres that were fitted a long time ago and even though they have not had much track time, the superglue (cyano aka Krazy glue) does have a tendancy to become brittle and let go over time, especially if lighter fuel (zippo) is used to clean the tyres, 

The Celica was tested on newly fitted Reds that had never been cleaned.
Smooth fast, no bad behaviours at all. 
Seems like the factory fitted flatsix motor is "A good un" , by no means a given when it comes to motors. 

Cannot wait to get this car on the track at NascotWood (Ninco track surface) 
Rock-on " freedom day ". I hope...

[+] 2 members Like Nonfractal's post

A year since I wrote the initial review.
Can't believe how time has flown.
Back to the story and on to track testing. 

Last Friday at NWSCC I had the option to run the Capri or the Celica.
Both cars were doing comparable lap times in practice.
The capri, rock solid predictable as ever.
The celica, a little twitchy and tetchy if pushed too hard.

In the end I elected to run the celica because sometimes you just have to race the car in order to improve it.

The predicted roll DeSlot did happen, a consequence of the narrow front track width. 
The car also had a tendancy to lift the front off start line, right out of the the slot.

A small amount of putty is  now added to the car just behind the guide and the float in the front axle has been restricted to mitigate these bad behaviours.
At NWSCC , no suspension is permitted in this class, so the Slot.IT motor mounts in both cars are set up in a springboard mode. 
The front two screws locked down, the mid 2 very loose, the rear 2 not used. 
The car would benefit from a lightweight interior ( lowering the centre of gravity) but NWSCC do the allow that in this class.

In summary A top quarter finish , a very good result. 
With more tuning, care and some luck, I could do even better. 
[+] 2 members Like Nonfractal's post

You're right, I have a Racer Lancia Montecarlo..."that's never going to handle nicely, too narrow at the front"...

Add ballast in the appropriate places, fix the front axle in place, prep the tyres and guess what, it's actually really competitive even against the 320i.

Print It, Build It, Race It, Improve It, Repeat...
[+] 2 members Like Kevan's post

Timely bump of this thread.

I bought one yesterday at the Orpington swapmeet and wondered what all the bits of plastic in the bag with the allen key under the base were.

Quote:The crystal case base has the motor pod's optional ride height parts taped beneath.

Now to get Group 5 picked as a class at the club again to give it a run.
[+] 2 members Like Mr.M's post

A more detailed description of the sideways factory fitted motor mount in my earlier review of the zakspeed capri.
I also cover the reasons I changed the mount to the 6point Slot.IT version (which may or may not apply to you, depending on your track)

[+] 1 member Likes Nonfractal's post

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