Slot car racing was popularized in the 1960s although the hobby has been around a few decades earlier. The first commercial slot cars were made during 1912 by an American company called Lionel. From then on, it was only a point of time until mass output of slot cars were fully realized.
Several decades after the first slot cars were produced, people are rediscovering the hobby.
Slot Car Scales
Slot cars are essentially miniature versions of actual models of car. The only difference these have with other commercially available miniature models is the fact that it is a specialized toy that requires specialized tracks.
While slot cars come in different scales, the hottest fall into the 1:24, 1:32, and HO scales. These designations indicate the number of units in length that is represented by a unit in the actual model. Say, the largest scale is the 1:24 scale. This shows that for every 24 ins or millimeters on the actual model, there is 1 unit represented on the scaled down version. The same is true with other scales.
One should take note that the HO scale is a generic scale that covers from 1:64 to 1:87 scales. In this scale, slot cars would often measure anywhere from 2.5 ins to 3.5 ins, making them the most commonly raced slot cars in home racetracks. Larger scales are often impractical to race in home racetracks thanks to their overall size. Therefore, they are often commonly seen in hobby clubs and shops in addition to commercial tracks.
Slot Car Components
Slot cars, similar to real race cars, are derived from many various components.
The shell of the slot car represents the outer of the motor car it was duplicated from. Most commercially accessible slot cars have decent detailing which in some manner represent the particulars of the actual model. High-end slot cars, alternatively, often have intricate details.
The motor of the vehicle, although not exactly the component that gives it its power, is what it uses to process the power it receives from the rails on the track. This is oftentimes coupled to the chassis to gain better control of the car’s body.
The guide is that small plastic component that hinges to the rail or ‘slot’ on the track. This is partially what gives the slot car its name.
The gears, , are the components of the automobile that dictate how the vehicle would perform.
An alternative ingredient of the vehicle is the magnet. This is attached anywhere on the automobile, giving it the downforce to keep it stable.
Slot Car Track
As was mentioned previously, slot cars run on special racetracks called slot car tracks. These are usually made of plastic, cardboard or wood and have layouts that can resemble actual racetracks made use of in popular racing tournaments. Such layouts are specially designed by the builder.
Although looking somewhat like other miniature racetracks, slot car tracks are distinctive from common racetracks as these have parallel rails that run throughout the entire track. The parallel rails have two different purposes – one keeps the motor car coupled to the ground while the other gives it the power to run.
Individual components of the track can be bought in various slot car shops. Nevertheless, these can likewise be made from scratch using common materials used for creating slot car racetracks.