On our recent trip to Lime Rock, I had hoped to bring something cool home for the kids, just like any good Dad is supposed to do. What was I going to pick up? Who knew. Until of course I was taking some respite from the sun while poking about in the Driving Impressions store and came across the Scalextric slot cars. I knew I had to bring home some slot car goodness.
Slot cars were a way of life for many car freak kids when I was a wee lad. Strangely though, while I spent hours and hours blasting my Stromberg 1/32 scale cars around my imaginary Green Hell, my friends never saw the coolness of these great big cars. Far more common were the 1/43 scale AFX cars that went like hell and stuck like glue. They even went upside down! For me though, the bigger cars offered more realism and more opportunity for the type of body mods a 10 year old would do.
In recent years, I’ve often read the GRM folks gushing over the Scalextric brand of slot cars. They even spend evenings at race events enjoying a beverage (or many) and racing slot cars into the wee hours.
As our boys are getting tougher to buy for in the ipod era, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to bring home a starter kit with a basic rectangular track and a pair of Audi TT’s. This way, birthdays and Christmas will be a breeze for years to come. Extra track sections are a given, but there is an unbelievable array of cars available. Not only are they as detailed as those in your diecast collection, but manufacturers go crazy releasing the most current race car liveries. Want a Lewis Hamilton Mclaren? No problem. Audi R10 Diesel? They’ve got you covered there too. I suspect it’s just a matter of time before a Team Polizei Interceptor is released. In a short period of time, I’ve already begun waiting daily for e-bay updates on what new cars are coming available through the virtual auction.
These modern cars come with smooth, accurate controllers that actually work every time, unlike the finicky units of old. Perhaps the only bugaboo is the wire contacts that plagued me 30 years ago. The current design offers unparalleled connection to the racing surface, but they are also a floating design which seem prone to vanishing into the depths of the unfinished basement when the inevitable crashes occur. Otherwise, the cars have emerged unscathed from each foray into the abyss.
So much for the kids, I’m just as addicted to these high speed miniatures as they are. Oh, I think my daily e-bay alert just arrived!