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A guide to slot racing
Magazines & catalogues
Banners & logos
Weird & wonderful
All types, sizes & scales
The unseen shots
Classic car art
Using the Scalextric app
Britain's airfield tracks
Published by JasonB on Sep 24, 2023 in Digest
Our weekly round up of news from the slot car world.
Fly Porsche 911S – Bathurst 1970
George Turner Models 1905 Daraq
May 5, 2023
Dec 12, 2022
Nov 30, 2022
Jul 20, 2022
Published by JasonB on May 5, 2023 in Features, Updates
We have a new and fairly substantial motor racing history section which we’ve added to the site. It could be encapsulated by just three letters, BRM, but in truth the full story would make a decent sized book.
The inspiration for our new section came from a British Racing Motors team mechanic, Dennis ‘Sheriff’ Perkins who worked for the team for well over a decade from the mid 1950s onwards, and who took photos throughout his time with the team.
Of course Perkins wasn’t a professional photographer, he was first and foremost a BRM mechanic. In fact he was so good at his job that he was elected to membership of the BRDC, being proposed by Graham Hill and seconded by Jackie Stewart.
But he took photos of some important motor racing events, and he took his photos from a different angle to the press, or the spectators. He snapped his pics from behind the scenes, from the oil stained pit boxes, from the workshops, or even from the team transporter which he drove across the continent in his slippers.
Through his photos we will tell the story of British Racing Motors, from the disastrous and all too obvious failings in the early days, through to being world champions and one of the most consistently successful teams in Formula One at their peak, before they were brought back down to earth with a bump, as the team declined.
BRM had always set out to match and beat the best in Formula One. To do that, they absolutely insisted that they should build their own engines as well as the chassis. They wanted to take Ferrari’s approach, and when it worked, it really worked, but when it didn’t, it really didn’t.
Nowadays of course, we can expect a netflix documentary for every F1 race, no matter how insignificant. But in those days there were a very limited cohort of press reporters and photographers. So this little treasure trove of photos from the pit lanes and paddocks of the 1950s and 1960s are important.
We’ve tried our best to tell the stories of not just BRM, but of the individual races for which we have photos, many of which have their own fascinating tales to tell.
We’ve tried to tell the story of the BRM drivers and the BRM cars. We’ve used a wide variety of sources for all of the information, including contemporary reports.
We’ve also included slot track plans for every circuit, and a comprehensive list of BRM slot cars.
So there you go, that’s a rough outline of what we’ve got for you, hope you enjoy having a look and a read.
Many thanks to John Perkins, son of Dennis, for his kind permission to use these photos. Many thanks also to Dennis ‘Sheriff’ Perkins himself, not just for his sterling work with BRM, but also for recording his time with the team.
BRM, the Inside Story
Published by JasonB on Jul 20, 2022 in Features, Slot Cars, Updates
Slot car racing has a fairly long history now, having been around for over 60 years. During that time many manufacturers have come and gone, and many products have been presented, only to disappear.
Of course, some of those manufacturers and products fully deserved to fall by the wayside. But then there were the others that perhaps deserved more, the ones that are fondly remembered, sorely missed, and still collected to this day.
Lost & Found is the story of the enterprises that, with a little good fortune, a fair wind, and following seas, might just have had greater, or more prolonged success. We’ve even included one famous manufacturer from the past, that has bucked the general trend and been successfully relaunched.
STS – Super Track System was an exciting and possibly unique slot car and track system, based on the Paris-Dakar rally, with rough, sand coloured track, and an impressive range of inclines, obstacles, and hazards.
Manufactured by the Spanish Scalextric company Exin from 1985-89, the combination of the smaller scale track and 4×4 cars was unlike any other slot car system before, posing a huge range of unusual challenges, making it great fun to play with.
Victory Industries, or VIP, may not have been quite the household name that Scalextric became, but the company was at the vanguard of commercial slot car production, beating it’s more famous rival to the basic idea, and going on to make products that many considered to be superior.
It was 1956 when Victory presented their first prototype of a commercially viable slot car set, and it is the journey from those early days, through to being one of the best slot car manufacturers around, which we will be detailing here, with Malcolm Parker’s definitive history.
The fine detail, finish and exclusivity of a hand built model, plus all the fun of a slot car
If you should Google Maxi-Models today then an awful lot of sites promoting the modelling services of fuller figure ladies will predominate, but delve a little deeper and you should come across some references to a range of slot cars. This is their story…
Vanquish surpassed even Fly with the interior detailing and the cars were about as close to a static diecast display piece as a slot car could get. This level of interior detail certainly made them stand out from the competition and that wasn’t all as each car had a fully functional rear differential!
Despite their deficiencies they were a star in the firmament which burned brightly for far too short a time. We take a look at the short lived Spanish manufacturer who produced some very innovative slot cars in their brief period of existence.
G. & R. Wrenn Limited were already well established as a model railway specialist when they turned their attentions to slot cars in 1959.
Their were several totally unique features of the Formula 152 system which they presented to great acclaim at the Brighton Toy Fair in 1960. First, it was produced in the unusually small scale of 1/52, hence the name. Secondly it allowed three cars to be independently controlled on each lane. And finally it allowed cars to actually change lanes.
We’ll point you in the direction of several sources where you can read more.
In Italy, Policar was the brand which defined slot cars in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, much like Scalextric in the UK. To the general Italian public, a slot car is simply a Policar, and a slot track is still often referred to as a pista Policar.
Policar was the brand name for a range of slot cars and track produced from 1963 to 1993, which has now been resurrected by Slot.it.
So Policar are one brand here that are no longer lost. With Maurizio Ferrari leading the way, and a range of fantastic products on offer, it’s difficult to imagine the company being in safer hands. Just for once in this section, we can say that the future looks bright for this famous old brand.
Lost & Found
Published by JasonB on Oct 17, 2021 in Features, Updates
If you are looking for ideas and inspiration for your track build, or if like me, you just like seeing what others have done with their layouts, then perhaps we could guide you towards our Members’ Tracks section.
You’ll find a hand picked showcase of forum members’ tracks there, with details, photos and links to the full forum threads should you wish to see more, ask a question, or make a comment.
Each one of these tracks is fantastic in it’s own right, but when you put them all together, when you see the range and diversity of ideas, and the talent of the makers, I think it makes a fantastic advert for our hobby. If you ever wanted to explain slot car racing to someone, you could do a lot worse than show them these tracks.