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Scalextric C4322 Bluesmobile
#1

Well Jake it hasn't actually got a cop motor, cop suspension or cop brakes but it does have a dirty great loudspeaker on the roof:
   

Scalextric are really mining a rich seam of TV/movie releases at the moment and the 1974 Dodge Monaco Bluesmobile is their latest offering. Now many 'purist' racers look down their noses at this sort of thing but I really fail to see why - they are not obliged to buy one and they don't seem to have the same disdain for the Pioneer Bullitt and Dukes of Hazzard cars.

Scalextric have been doing it since the early days of the firm with the 007 set from 1967 being one of the most sought after items in the collectors' market and such things  have proved highly profitable in recent years. If it keeps them in business and enables them to spend money on the rest of the range then I am all for it.

The Blues Brothers movie is a true comedy gem, I have watched it many times and the Bluesmobile is an icon amongst movie cars so it had to be added to my stable. So how does it stack up?

As a model
Absolutely first class, they have captured its very essence - faded paintwork, assorted debris on the dashboard with a mini Jake and Elwood in the front seats.I would have preferred it not to have the roof mounted loudspeaker as it only appears in a small part of the film but it does have a certain charm. You could remove the loudspeaker if you wish but it would need some cosmetic surgery to cover up the holes left by the glued in attachment pegs.

Quality control
I know I keep banging on about this but we have yet another pretty dismal effort with this one. Faults as follows:

1) Body not attached properly to the chassis with gap down one side and another one between the bonnet and lights.
   
   

2) Rear axle bearing not fitted properly:    

3) Windscreen mounted spotlight not glued in, fell out as soon as I removed the car from the box.

4) The reason the bonnet was lifting was that the two screws at the front were too short and didn't reach the relevant receptacles so the front end was not actually fixed to the chassis at all!

All easily fixed but nowhere near acceptable for a £50 plus car. I found an even worse example on t'internet with a car bought directly from Hornby:
   

Having sorted that lot out and run it in at low voltage for a while I put the car back together again ready for its first outing on the track. Incidentally, it is a bit of a pig to reassemble so don't take it apart unless absolutely necessary. Apart from the chassis and body shell the bumpers and bull bars are separate mouldings and it is quite fiddly to get them all back in place without dislodging the light bars. The loudspeaker ropes are also a nightmare to retie unless you have child size fingers.

Performance?
Don't be silly, this is a huge car with a high centre of gravity. The motor is mounted on its side which seems a strange thing to do. Presumably to fit in with the full interior but there is plenty of room in the rear and it wouldn't take much design skill to fit it in the normal fashion. Doesn't seem to make much difference to the performance though.

By its very nature I doubt many of these will actually see any track time and most will spend their lives in a display cabinet. Mine will certainly only get the occasional fun outing and never be seriously raced but, for what it is worth, the results of a short track test are as follows:

First thing to note is that Scalextric have actually fitted some half decent tyres at last with a reasonable level of grip on my wooden track, on a par with the Slot.it C1 plastic track variety. Good adhesion on the straights but still plenty of tail out action on the corners which is exactly what the Bluesmobile should be like.
   

In spite of the high centre of gravity it showed no real tendency to roll over which was a bit of a surprise and it would happily lap without drama in around 7 seconds on my 50 ft track which is pretty slow but much better than expected. Due to the weight it takes a while to reach top speed and even longer to slow down but normal Scalextric saloons are only about a second a lap quicker so that is not too shabby for something the size of a bus.

Conclusions
If you are a fan of the film then this car is a must buy. Quality control issues aside, I love it and can't wait for Scalextric to bring out the full police version so I can chase it round a shopping mall.

In the meantime ............... It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses. Hit It!
[+] 8 members Like CMOTD's post
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#2

Shocking QC from Scalextric.
Most of us can remedy the issues with a little time, but TBH what we should be doing is sending it back so Scalextric are aware.

Still, it looks good once you've fixed the issues.
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#3

QC can be absolutely pot luck.
My example was absolutely spot on, no issues in any way at all. Infact I have only ever had two Scalextric models that the QC was an issue,  since 2003, so pretty good.

I purchased the Pioneer Dukes of Hazard Dodge Charger re release a few weeks back.  Great looking model, but the QC on my particular car was genuinely awful, whilst the Mustang Notchbacks I have were brilliant straight out of the box.   Pot luck sometimes,  but as Brian so rightly points out,  not acceptable for a near £50 purchase.

Great write up, and fully agree with the performance notes.  Surprisingly good for such a big car. Thumbup
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#4

This was never going to make my shopping list even before your review.
Strictly a shelf queen display car. Probably best left unopened. Not my thing at all.
LSCC is the birthplace of NSCC but the club is as far away from that scene as its possible to get these days.
Alan.
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#5

(4th-Sep-22, 05:27 PM)Savage GT Wrote:  Most of us can remedy the issues with a little time, but TBH what we should be doing is sending it back so Scalextric are aware.

You are correct but................if you could return it to your (non existent) local model shop at zero cost that would be fine. However, I am not inclined to spend a fiver on return postage when I can fix things myself in ten minutes.


(4th-Sep-22, 10:54 PM)Gpa113 Wrote:  QC can be absolutely pot luck.
My example was absolutely spot on, no issues in any way at all. In fact I have only ever had two Scalextric models that the QC was an issue,  since 2003, so pretty good.

I must be Mr Unlucky then. This particular car is the worst of the lot but 75% of the cars (from five different manufacturers) I have bought in the last two years had at least one QC fault needing attention. They are all things which enthusiasts like us can remedy fairly easily but I wonder what the effect on future sales might be when less knowledgeable customers buy a car that doesn't work and they have no idea how to fix it. Not a good look for any manufacturer. Scalextric are the worst offenders but I have even had a Slot.it car needing major attention before it would run.
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#6

Fully agree with you Brian. 
We can usually fix these silly problems, and most often they are really simple. 
But if you are new to this hobby, or buying a set for children, the problems would very likely put you right off.  
All manufacturers seem to struggle with QC, some more than others.  In the old days a decent local model shop would often sort these silly issues for customers, but of course the world has moved on.  Progress??
[+] 1 member Likes Gpa113's post
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#7

(5th-Sep-22, 10:41 AM)Gpa113 Wrote:  All manufacturers seem to struggle with QC, some more than others. 
Production back to Europe?
[+] 2 members Like rallyhub's post
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