Slot car racing might be an unfamiliar term to most individuals not accustomed to the world of racing. Slot car racing is the activity of racing miniature automobiles within the grooves of a track. The slot cars themselves are actually modelled after real life automobiles. A slot car racing was most popular during the 1960s and the fad lost its drive during the 1970s. Vintage slot cars are derived from these golden eras of racing. Vintage slot cars are grouped by the fact that they were pre 1970s unlike the modern slot cars.. Vintage slot cars are not modelled after the modern day auto mobiles as it is rooted in the nostalgic genre of slot car racing.

 

The idea of vintage slot cars is to produce the cars from the materials of the slot cars made for racing in that sixties. The scales of these vintage slot cars are related to the size of the course on which they would race it. Some vintage slot cars are 24 times smaller than the actual vehicles and were therefore quite large, the course required for these cars are not suitable for home enthusiasts as they can be too big. There are smaller vintage slot cars though; theses miniature models were a ratio of 1:32. HO sized vintage slot cars. HO sized cars have variations in their ratio as compared to the actual automobiles ranging from 1:87 to 1:64, despite that they all can function on a track of approximately the same width.

 

There is high competition between the manufactures of vintage slot cars. There is high promotion of this brand of cars that were famous during the "golden age" of slot car racing. These brands range from those based in the United Kingdom such as Airfix. While Revell is a home grown U.S based company, Scaletrix though is a worldwide organization. Indeed vintage slot cars seem to be a lucrative business when one sees the amount of manufacturers out in the market. Even in the state of Kansas a proposed plan for a casino by a company named Global gaming has the intention of having vintage slot cars race on a circuit run by the casino.

 

Vintage slot cars are attractive and are also a collector's item, which makes it quite expensive to purchase especially with the current financial climate. However there is the fact that vintage slot cars are considered prized possessions especially from those looking back to the good old days. It marks a time of simple pleasure with no graphics, where the top racers would place their cars in fishing tackle boxes. Vintage slot cars remind us of a time when the world was bereft of major problems and it was indeed a vintage time.

 

Automobile racing enthusiasts exist all over the world, each involved in different types of racing. The most popular being formula one and rallies, other less popular racing such as slot racing has been around since the beginning of the 1900s. Slot cars are miniature models of race cars that are primarily used for racing. The slot cars are run on tracks which have slots in them that guide the cars along the track, hence the name. The slot cars have contacts in the form of pins or brushes that are used to send electricity from the slotted track to the car. This allows the user to control the speed of the car through a wired controller. The power to the track is usually taken from a standard power outlet through a transformer. Varying the voltage with the help of the controller is what regulates the speed of the slot cars.

 

While some cars are custom made by serious slot car racers, most are scaled models of real cars. The most common scales for slot cars are 1:24, 1:32 and the H0 scale. As implied the 1:24 scale means that 1 unit of the slot cars is 24 times smaller than the actual car. While this may make the model slot cars seem small, they are in fact quite large. They are so large that tracks that use 1:24 slot cars are too big to be used in most homes. As a result, most of the 1:24 scale slot cars are used in commercial establishments for slot racing. For home users, the most popular scale is the 1:32 since they conveniently fit into most homes while maintaining a reasonable resemblance of the actual car. However, they are also used commercially. H0 scales are much smaller than 1:32 and originally followed the standardized H0 scale of 1:87. Now, however, this scale has had to be adjusted to around 1:64 to meet the higher standards of racing. Very often the cars are made disproportionate to the original cars to accommodate bigger working parts, mainly motors.

 

The tracks for the slot cars are made in two types. The more popular of the two is plastic tracks. These are relatively cheaper compared to the other type, though it does not offer the same quality. Plastic tracks come in pieces which have to be connected together which can be a problem for the electrical system. When a large number of pieces need to be joined together, a large amount of voltage tends to be wasted at the joints. Router tracks prevent joining many pieces by using a single piece of material such as plywood or MDF. The slots are cut into the material and the power strips placed in them. Router tracks are mainly used by professional racers.