If you have not had much experience with slot cars or it was more than a few years since you last raced them in your younger years, it can be confusing working out what to buy to get started. My aim is to provide an overview of these cars to help you in choosing the slot car set that is right for you.
There are two types of slot cars, there is the analog cars and the new digital ones. If you raced slot cars when you were younger you will have raced analog cars. With these you were limited t OBOR138 o one car car to slot and they stayed in that slot for the whole race.
With digital sets another dimension has been added to the racing action. You can race more than one car per slot and change lanes, make passing moves or blocking moves, program in pits tops, ghost cars, yellow flags etc. This is much more like the real motor sport. In some of sets available it is possible to rave 8 slot cars on only 2 lanes. They are more expensive than the analog sets.
Slot cars also come in different sizes. The smallest size is HO or 1: 64 scale. Initially they made to work with model train sets but they are now definitely made for racing – they are quick and can race over some fantastic track layouts. The next size up is 1: 43 scale and is designed for the younger racer with many fun features and character cars. The 1: 32 scale has a big range of sets and is a favorite for in home slot car racing. The biggest size car is in the 1: 24 and are usually raced at clubs rather than in the home because of their size.
Slot cars of the same scale from different manufacturers can race on the same scale track. However, tracks of the same scale from different manufacturers will only go together by using a special adapter track piece, that can be bought separately.
There are several different makers of slot cars. The most popular ones are Scalextric, Carrera, AFX, Life like, Revell and SCX. You can get these models on line from sites like Amazon or ebay who have a large selection or from your local slot car raceway. Scalextric, Carrera and SCX have the widest range of cars including analog and digital sets.
One of the areas of slot car racing that can be frustrating to someone new to the hobby is that the cars will come off the track if they are driven too fast around the curves or too slow through some of the obstacles. This is something most people get the hang of pretty quickly.
Traction magnets are now included in cars to help keep the cars stuck to the track when racing around the tracks at high speeds. Because of the magnets the cars can climb vertically and race upside down for a time.
For the younger beginners and those without much space the Carrera Go range will make a good place to get started. There is an interesting selection of cars and being 1: 43 scale you can fit a lot of action into a relatively small area. They are an analog slot car set and this helps to keep the cost more affordable.