Slot Car Components – What Are They?
America was in the midst of a cultural overhauling during the sixties. Among the fads that became very popular during this time was slot car racing. Decades after the craze over slot car racing has fizzled out, many enthusiasts are still stuck in the hobby.
Slot car racing miniature models of actual cars that are raced on shallow groves or channels integrated into the racetrack. These grooves act as guides for the car as they race. These make problems such as flying out of the track during difficult turns more manageable. also, these serve as power source for the car’s motor.
With new developments in slot racing, these groves have become a little less important than they were a few decades back. Digital slot cars no longer have to be constrained into specific lanes, unlike conventional slot cars. Instead, 4, 6 even 8 individual cars can now run simultaneously on 2-lane tracks, which make racing more competitive and skill-oriented.
Anyone can purchase a full set of slot car which include the body or shell, an electric motor, steel or copper braids, a guide, magnets, and for the modern varieties, a microchip.
The body or the shell represents the external make of the model car. This is often made of molded plastic piece which is fitted to the chassis of the slot car. Just like real cars, the weight of the shell is a huge consideration in creating slot cars. Weight should be evenly distributed throughout the entire model.
Some slot cars have significant level of detailing. Enthusiasts and hobbyists alike take pains to imitate the actual appearance of the car model they are copying from. Of course, there are always those mass produced slot cars that do not necessarily look like their real, full-sized cousins. Most of these are fitted for their substance, not their style. In other words, they are geared towards performance and not on appearance.
The Electric Motor
Just like in real cars, these are placed in front, at the rear or in the middle of the slot car. Most cars are rated according to their speed or revolutions per minute or RPM. These rates are determined by the voltage the motor receives.
The Steel Or Copper Braids
The braid is what gives the car the power. these provide power by allowing the car to make contact with the rails on the track.
The guide is the small piece of plastic attached to the underside of the chassis which keep the car stable relevant to the track below it. This is also what holds the braids.
The Gears Or Gear Set
Gears dictate how the car performs. It affects speed and acceleration. Standard gears, those that usually come with store-brought slot cars, are oft en removed to customize the car’s performance.
To race with stability and downforce, most drivers attach magnets in the front and at the rear of the car. This allows for easier maneuverability and control over the car, making it easier to take turns without the danger of falling off of the track while doing so.