Scalextric – Old and New

 

Scalextric slot vehicles were initially created within the Fifties by British firm Minimodels. The company had in 1952 launched a range of clockwork powered race automotive techniques known as Scalex, which had been then tailored into electric techniques and renamed Scalextric, combining the phrases Scalex and electric.

Initially specializing in 1:32 scale models of Grand Prix racing vehicles, Scalextric automobiles became a landmark hit throughout the burgeoning slot automotive racing market, a lot so that Minimodels was unable to meet the demand for its common range and was incorporated as a subsidiary of Triang. At this time manufacturing of Scalextric autos modified from metal to plastic, which was both cheaper and simpler to mould.

 

The first Scalextric tracks were made from a rubber compound and had two parallel grooves working alongside the course to allow two vehicles to race against one another at a time. In the Sixties production of the tracks themselves also switched over to moulded plastic, and this type of plastic observe with a brand new attachment system remains to be in use today.

As slot automotive racing grew to become more standard in the course of the Sixties, Triang opened additional factories in Spain, France, Australia and New Zealand. One notable prevalence was that the Australian manufacturing facility produced some vehicles with apparent color variations from the father or mother company’s guidelines. These included a black Mini Cooper and an apple inexperienced Lotus, which was speculated to be British racing green. That is believed to have been accomplished by native factory staff to spite its British parent company. These models are extremely uncommon and well-liked with collectors.

Towards the beginning of the Sixties, Scalextric 1:24 scale fashions have been introduced to meet demand within the US and Europe. Sadly, these vehicles were not financially profitable, and as a result of excessive production prices were discontinued in 1970. One other monetary disappointment was the ‘You Steer’ line of Scalextric automobiles, which allowed racers to steer the automobile left or right just below an inch alongside the slots in the racecourse.

By the Nineteen Eighties, Scalextric’s parent company had collapsed and one in every of its subsidiaries turned Hornby Railways, which to this present day is the producer of Scalextric vehicles. By this time slot automotive racing had lost some of its widespread attraction and Scalextric saw a few of its biggest opponents, like Fleischmann and Märklin, stopping production.

The Nineteen Nineties marked computer design and 3D printing methods create more authentic and detailed models than those of the preliminary slot automotive boom. New replicas of slot cars from the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies appeared in the marketplace, giving lovers the option of racing modern and traditional cars towards every other. The Micro Scalextric range was also introduced, utilizing 1:64 range automobiles racing on devoted Micro Scalextric tracks.

Towards the end of the last decade slot automobile racing saw something of a resurgence and Scalextric were joined by new youngsters on the block like Nico and Fly, whose automobiles can race on Scalextric tracks with out modification.

Right now Scalextric is as synonymous with slot cars as Hoover is with vacuum cleaners or Tannoy with loudspeaker systems. Scalextric Digital vehicles have been introduced, with digital control methods that allow as much as 6 automobiles to race in a single slot with more realistic passing. At this time’s vehicles are normally based on racing autos from F1, A1, NASCAR, Le Mans, touring, rallying and strange road cars.

One distinguished Scalextric fanatic is Top Gear presenter James May. In 2005 he attempted to set the land speed record using Scalextric slot vehicles and a scale measured-mile, inviting forty two of the world’s finest Scalextric racers to break the then-present record of 458 mph. He himself used an off-the-shelf 1:32 scale Scalextric Ford GT to achieve the equal pace of 392 mph, which is faster than the real Ford GT’s pace of 212 mph. The winning speed was 696.6 mph, which was in 2008 overwhelmed by actor Dallas Campbell, who set the current record of 983.88 mph utilizing a Scalextric Honda F1 model.

The longer term for Scalextric is promising, with franchises such because the Scalextric James Bond Quantum of Solace and Scalextric Lewis Hamilton ranges expected to remain massive sellers, and different franchises comparable to Micro Scalextric Disney Automobiles, Need For Speed Scalextric and Micro Scalextric and new Scalextric MINI ranges launched in 2009.

 

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One Response to “Scalextric – Old and New”

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