Slot Cars – Their Components And Scale Sizes

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There is more to slot cars than just being miniature mock-ups of real race cars. Most of them are lovingly made from scratch by slot aficionados and most of these cars can be modified to achieve better performance. Driving skills matter a lot in slot car racing because nothing’s really keeping the car on track aside from the blade or pin in its bottom. So you really need to be proficient enough to make sure the cars don’t fly off in the track’s twists and turns.

Slot Car Sizes

Slot cars are available in different sizes including:

1:24 scale size – slot cars with this size need large course, making them inappropriate for home use. Most of the time, 1:24 racing is held at commercial or club tracks. Cars included in this type come seven to eight inches long.

1:32 scale size – this is the most popular slot car size. These cars come smaller than 1:24 scale cars so they are more suitable for home enthusiasts. These are also a common choice for racers and hobbyists out there. Most 1:32 slot cars measure five to six inches long.

HO-sized slot cars – these cars differ in scale, ranging from 1:97 to 1:64 scale sizes. No matter what their size are, they operate on track with the same width. A typical HO-sized slot car may come 2.5 to 3.5 inches long.

Aside from these three major scales, 1:43 slot cars are also available in the market as toddler’s toys. In the 1960s, 1:48 slot cars were also marketed.

Slot Car Components

Body
Also called shell, this component is made up of solid molded plastic and is fitted over the car’s chassis. Much like in real cars, the weight of the vehicle’s body as well as the distribution of the said weight are considered in building a slot car. Attached to the body is an interior portion which oftentimes contains a driver figure. To make room for the motor and other components, most slot car interiors come only half the body’s height.

Electric motor
This component can be positioned in front, in the middle, or in the rear of the slot car. Motors are rated by means of their speed or their revolutions per minute. This factor is determined by gauging the quantity of voltage received by the motor.

Guide
Dubbed as guide flag, this is the plastic piece placed under the vehicle’s chassis to assist the car in running along the slot. This guide, which holds the braids, pivots in the slot.

Gears
These components play a major role in the slot car’s acceleration and speed. Standard gears, including the small gear that’s connected to the motor, can be upgraded using aftermarket components to deliver better performance.

Magnets
These components are installed in the front and rear portion of the slot to provide the vehicle with downforce. This makes sure the vehicle does not fly off the track. Some racers prefer slot cars without magnets and favor the use of lead weights. Some even want to race without magnets or weights at all.

Microchip
Not all slot cars come equipped with such component. The microchip allows the slot car to follow a car in the same race track or to change lane at a pre-set portions on the track.

Most components of slot cars can be modified, upgraded, or improved for better performance. However, without a track, your slot car will look nothing more like a car model.

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