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Scalextric Ford Escort RS1800 Ari Vatanen - 2022 Club Car
#1

       

As promised, the 2022 Scalextric Club car was announced in UK Slot Car Festival week. Sadly, we didn't get to inspect it up close at Gaydon, but here it - the MCD Ford Escort RS1800 'Black Beauty' as driven by Ari Vatanen on the 1982 Manx Rally. Those hints from the Scalextric team - of a short-term solution for rally fans - now make perfect sense!

Ari Vatanen had won the 1981 World Rally Champion driving an Escort for the privateer Rothmans Rally Team - albeit with heavy factory support from Boreham. Ford withdrew in 1982 and Vatanen - still under contract - was left without a drive in the WRC and unable to defend his crown. Instead he competed in the British Open Rally Championship, driving the MCD-prepared Escort alongside Phil Short for the first two events and then Terry Harryman for the final three - the Manx being their final outing...

       

Vatanen thrilled crowds and gained huge respect throwing the out-classed Escort around the forests and roads of the British Isles. Eventual champion Jimmy McRae has this to say in AutoSport...

Quote:Put simply, Ari is the quickest bravest rally driver there is. The press wrote off the Escort, but it can still be a competitive car and if Ari is in a good mood - or if his wife has just had a baby and he is on cloud nine - there is no touching him. I don't think there is an Escort that has ever, ever gone as quick as Ari did on the Manx. OK it ended in an accident but the way he motored that car was mind boggling.



Widnes-based MCD Services prepared Vatanen's Escort for the British Open Championship, with cars and parts from the Boreham stores. Pirelli supplied the tyres and the 2 litre BDA engines were taken care of by David Wild in Essex. In Vatanen's hands, the RS1800 had a fine final season - competing for podiums throughout the year, including an astonishing second place at the Swedish Rally in a David Sutton RS1800. By why did Vatanen stick with Ford? Well, there was a sense of loyalty - and the promise of a new world-beating Group B Escort under development. Alas that project collapsed and Vatanen moved to Opel, starting with the 1982 RAC.

   

The Scalextric Mk2 Escort is a bit of an ugly thing in my eyes - especially compared to the SCX model of the earlier 1975-79 RS1800 rally cars. However, the 81 and 82 Escorts looked slightly more 'boxy' and have pronounced flared rear wheel arches that matches the Scalextric car's shape quite well. The 3D rendered image shows a 'FORD' badge on the front, rather than the blue oval - and only the top pair of auxiliary lights are necessary for the Manx car. God-forbid, this really needs to be a left-hand drive Escort for Ari, with Harryman sitting on the right. But overall, I'm delighted - not perfect, but it's Ari Vatanen's Black Beauty.

The only way to nab your Escort is to pay out £40 to join the Scalextric Club: scalextric.com/community/scalextric-club  There is an Rest of the World (ROW) option for £56, but no EU membership at the moment - although hopefully this will change sooner rather than later. I guess there's always the option of using a UK address.

This is what you get...

  • A Club exclusive slot car and 2022 catalogue (dispatched January 2022)
  • 10% discount on cars and accessories at uk.scalextric.com (only on UK website)
  • Exclusive slot cars throughout the year.
  • A welcome note and regular product updates sent via email, plus competitions throughout the year.

Well, that's me successfully renewed for another year and waiting patiently for January. In the meantime, here's the ITV coverage of the 1982 Manx Rally - over to you Dickie Davies...

[+] 4 members Like woodcote's post
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#2

Nice report, Andy.

Finally a Scalextric rally slot car again. Cake  
On the photo it doesn't look wrong (except those strangely shaped auxiliary lights), but I know from previous versions that the shape of their MK2 Escort does not convince me.
The SCX MK2 is much better, but not perfect either. Nevertheless, I would buy the SCX version if it existed.
 
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#3

A new Scalextric MK1 version would be totally awesome. Sun
I am thinking about the winning Scottish Rally 1971 car of Chris Sclater / Martin Holmes (British Rally Champion 1971).
Another version could be the Rally of the 1000 Lakes 1974 winning Colt Racing Team MK1 of Hannu Mikkola/John Davenport.
It would be a fine tribute to the late Martin Holmes and Hannu Mikkola. 

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#4

Looking forward to this Club car. I received my first Scalextric Club magazine this week and to be honest I'm quite disappointed with the amount of slot car coverage. 

   
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#5

Me too... I'm not sure if it was meant to tempt Scalextric Club members into joining the Hornby Collectors' Club, they simply printed too many... or was a bit of a Margate mix-up.

I think the Scalextric Club will have to grow massively before our subs can pay for a magazine like that. It was impressive - and sobering.
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#6

Oh not just me then! If it was on purpose it seems odd that a company that has to put its prices up can also afford to send out magazines that we don't want and didn't ask for. Hopefully just a mix up.
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#7

'82 Manx...although I watched many stages all round the IoM, the one moment I distinctly remember was at Rushen Mines when Ari flung his car off the main road from the run up The Sloc, he was awesome in that black Escort!

...in fact those few short years in the mid 80's as far as the Manx is concerned was probably the best ever.

Life is like a box of Slot cars... Cool Drinkingcheers
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#8

Although Scalextric Club members' catalogues are arriving on doorsteps at the moment, the Escort Club Car has been delayed in China. The scheduled arrival for the Escort is now April 2022.

However, Scalextric have made another Club Exclusive model available...

       

C4292 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Candy Apple Red - Club Special. Price £49.99 (minus 10% club discount) from the Scalextric website here.

The Mustang is one of the most popular Scalextric models and new liveries sell quickly around the world - so these 300 cars shouldn't last too long. The same Mustang has been produced for the US-exclusive American Street Dual set, which will be available later this year.

       

This is the second high-detail set car to be packaged as a Club Special boxed car - the first being the Wynn's AMG GT3 at the end of 2020. It's a no-risk strategy for Hornby, which keeps the Club ticking over and pleases the members. What I'd really like to see is some of the super-resistant set cars given the high-detail Club Special treatment - that would be genuinely added value for club members.
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#9

January became April - and April has turned into May, but the 2022 Scalextric Club car is now officially imminent...

   

It certainly looks worth the wait - if you don't mind Ari driving from the wrong side of the car...

         

It'll be a relief for both club members and the Scalextric team to distribute these before any 2023 Club Car is announced at the UK Slot Car Festival at Gaydon later this month. And will that be a third Escort in a row? Or something else, maybe?

Many thanks to Scalextric for the latest images.
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