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Scalextric BMW M3 E30 BTCC
#1

A game of two halves.  
[Image: clearspacer.gif]Scalextric C3782 - BMW M3 E30 BTCC 1991 Donington Steve Soper.
Scalextric C3739 - BMW M3 E30 BTCC 1988 Brands Hatch Roland Ratzenberger.

   

These M3s have been out for a few years now but various liveries  are still available so a review may be of interest.

I was a fan of the super tourer era of the BTCC, went to many of the rounds and the rivalry between Cleland and Soper was legendary but I wouldn't normally have bought these two cars. Thirty plus years ago saloons were a lot narrower than the current crop so any slot version close to scale dimensions is likely to be a real tippy handful round the twisty bits. Couldn't resist at the silly prices in TopSlots n Trains recent sell off though and got two for the price of one. I like having matched pairs of cars for my home races so thought I would give them a try. Was this a good idea? Read on.

Top half
Lovely, lovely bodies! They look right and the tampo printing is just about spot on as you can see with the side by side comparison with the real thing. The BMW Finance and BTCC fonts on the Soper car could both have done with a touch of bold but nothing major to quibble about.
       

The real Ratzenberger car does look a slightly different shape but I think that is a wide angle lens shot which tends to distort things a bit.
       

Top marks also for the rear wings, they are made of more bendy plastic than the rest of the body so should be less prone to breakage.

Unfortunately Scalextric blotted their copy book by fitting incorrect drivers' heads. They have lifted one from their rally cars so we have a microphone attached which was never there in real life. Why they keep doing this is beyond me, they have plenty of correct ones they could have used.

A dropped point for that gives us 9 out of 10 for the bodies then.

Bottom half
The chassis is the standard Scalextric inline one so I lubricated the relevant parts, changed the tyres for urethanes and set both of them off round the track for an hour at 4 volts for some running in. Incidentally everything worked first time with no quality control issues so full marks on that score. I liked the correct wheels on each version as well.

However, it was at this point that I began to suspect something was amiss as the Ratzenberger car was lapping over a second slower than the Soper one at exactly the same voltage. The gears seemed just a bit notchy so I gave it the toothpaste treatment which smoothed them out but didn't radically improve the speed.

I know that motors can vary a bit but this discrepancy was way wider than normal so it was time to put the bodies back on and give the cars a proper run. Ratzenberger first and it confirmed my suspicions, the proverbial rice pudding skin was in no danger with this motor and lap times around 6.5 seconds was near the bottom end of performance on my track. On the plus side though it handled reasonably well within the limitations of its narrow track and was nowhere near as tippy as I expected. Slowish cars don't bother me so long as I have another of similar speed for racing purposes.

Soper car up next to see if I had anything like a matched pair and this is where things started to fall apart. The motor was obviously a lot more powerful but, lo and behold, welcome to our old friend the Ninco hop! The thing bounced down the track under full power like a demented pogo stick and resisted all attempts to set a representative time.

A full strip down soon revealed the culprit - the rear of the chassis round the axles was about as rigid as a paper napkin so any normal motor would twist it under acceleration and a good deal of gluing and bracing would need adding to firm it up. The weak motor in the other car meant that it never accelerated hard enough to cause problems.

So, after a very promising first half, team Scalextric fell apart in the second and receives the dreaded nil points for the chassis although it would probably be perfectly OK for magnet racing. All of which leaves me with a dilemma - is it worth replacing both chassis with a 3DP version or should I just find a slower motor in the spares box for the Soper one?
[+] 7 members Like CMOTD's post
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#2

Swap the motors between the cars?

I love puttering with gears
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#3

Why aren't Scalextric in touch with select 'racers', for not much extra work these chassis could be so much better.

Life is like a box of Slot cars... Cool Drinkingcheers
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#4

We are racing an 80s Hornby touring car class at Bolwextric currently. It's the second time this year they have been chosen. We have had several instances of BMWs with the left hand rear axle bearing holder in the chassis being quite weak, allowing the axle to pop out in a crash. Some have even been found already out in their boxes due to over tightening of the fixing screw. A bit of glue normally sorts them out.

We decided to have them as the subject of our end of year fun night, as they were due to be run for the first time at the start of this year.

25 minute stints over 4 of our 6 lanes.

I managed to capture a (poor) 6-odd minute video of them on my phone after I had done my driving.

If you can stand to watch through the entire thing, perhaps try to count the offs to make the time go quicker.

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#5

There’s a Scalextric PCR chassis for the BMW (and the Sierra). They are £4.99 at Pendles, although I picked up a couple for £3 at a pre-covid swapmeet. Most of us here will have enough parts lying around to build a nice car for a wood track.

PCR was a racers’ solution. Brian has chronicled other rather wayward Scalextric attempts to please racers here: https://slotracer.online/chronicle/scale...-tuned.php. What PCR - and the subsequent licensed Slot.it 3DP chassis - did was to piggyback on a tried-and-tested performance platform. The 3DP cottage industry has continued and expanded that format. These Scalextric/Slot.it/3DP hybrids win races - so job done with negligible outlay from either Scalextric or Slot.it. The PCR chassis have never flown off the shelves, suggesting the demand for a racer-spec Scalextric car is extremely limited. That’s a reminder that club racers represent a tiny proportion of the potential Scalextric marketplace - although we do like to think we’re really important.

I take my hat off to those tuning a Scalextric car to run on wood track.  A car designed for collectors’ display cases and magnet racing on Scalextric home tracks will need a lot of work. However, it can be enormous fun - tweaking Scalextric models is what drives our successful digital club… albeit not racing on wood.
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#6

Two of the cars in the video - the BMW and the blue Sierra - were new out of the box that day. Loosened body screws and off we went. We even insisted on the original tyres remaining to be the same for everyone, evidenced by them all doing that little kick out sideways as they go away from the filming point up the straight.
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#7

(16th-Jun-22, 06:42 AM)woodcot Wrote:  a reminder that club racers represent a tiny proportion of the potential Scalextric marketplace - although we do like to think we’re really important.

I take my hat off to those tuning a Scalextric car to run on wood track.  A car designed for collectors’ display cases and magnet racing on Scalextric home tracks will need a lot of work.

I accept that most of their sales come from magnet racers, collectors and TV/Film related stuff but why neglect any sector of the market when it is so easy to cater for different tastes? It costs no more to design and produce half decent chassis and tyres than rubbish ones. Club racers are indeed a small minority but there are an awful lot of people out there who race at home sans magnet, whether on wood or plastic, who would happily buy more of their product if they improved it a bit.

Plenty of Scalextric cars are perfectly happy on wooden club tracks though, so they can do it when they want to. Over the years the club I used to run have had many classes for box standard Scalextric cars - Japanese GT, American muscle, NASCAR, standard GT and BTCC etc with just a change of tyres allowed. All of them produced good close racing and, looking at previous lap records, they were no slouches either. They have been running impact resistant Ferrari F430s as a club/handout class for many years and they are little rocket ships. I have a couple at home which can give a Slot.It car a run for its money.

Jim has shown with his videos that Sierras and M3s can run at club level without modification although I can't quite see how they managed that. I would be grateful if he could give us exact details of their preparation and full specs of the track they run on.

Returning to the subject in hand I gave my Ratzenberger M3 another run this morning and something apparently clicked in the motor which suddenly acquired full power. It now exhibits the same wheel hopping characteristics  as the Soper version so I have two demented pogo sticks to contend with instead of one. Either I have a pair of rogue cars or I am missing a trick somewhere.
[+] 1 member Likes CMOTD's post
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#8

Hello Brian,
Dunno if this would work with these chassis...
The quick fix for Ninco Hop is to hot-glue a U shaped brace between the top of the motor and behind the axle bearings. If you have some 13amp twin & earth cable strip out the copper core and use that.

Leo

Forum Precepts:  Don't hijack or divert topics - create a new one.   Don't feed the Troll.    http://www.scuderiaturini.com
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#9

What sort of thing do you want to know, Brian?

It's 6-lane (obvs Rofl ), 130ft MDF surface, copper tape. DS power supplies and Stop/Go boxes set at 12v.

As I said two of the cars were new out of the boxes that day, so probably no more than the screws slackened off half a turn. The black Sierra has been run the most out of the cars and I think Dave is a tyre truer (and a true trier!  Bigsmile ), my red Sierra, may have the motor and axle glued in as well as slack body screws. But as you can see in the video the cars are quite evenly matched.

If there's anything more specific you would like me to add, just let me know.
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#10

The PCS chassis is the easiest way to go, but obviously chassis cost+ motor pod cost + axle cost + gear cost.
If you are lucky to have round wheels and carful removing them you can remove and reuse the wheels on slot it axles with a drop of glue.
Re-use the stock motors.

Pendles part No.s if you wish to go that route:


SIGI27BZ x2
Slot.it Inline Crown 27t Bronze

C8547 x2
Scalextric BMW E30 M3 PCR Chassis

SICH110 x2
Slot.it Inline Motor Mount 0.5mm Offset Classic DTM

SIPA01-45 x2
Slot.it Steel Pro Axle 45mm

SICH106 x1
Slot.it Motor Mount Screws M2.2x4.5mm
SP101003 x1
Sloting Plus Universal EVO Guide PCS


With discount and postage, will work out around £20 per car.
Granted, this now makes each (in your case) a £50 car, but it will at least perform adequately.
You will need to trim the length of the guides down.

I have done this on my Sierra/BMW E30 pair, but I also added alloy wheels and an SRP 16k motor  Wrench
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