Scale slot cars are miniature models of actual auto vehicles which are guided by a slot in the track on which it runs. Generally a blade or a pin is attached to the bottom of the car to keep it attached to the slot. In most instances scale slot cars are used as a hobby of slot car racing.

 

The history of scale slot cars runs back to the year 1912 where the first commercial slot cars appeared in the catalogues of 'Lionel Corporation' in the United States. Since then scale slot cars have been an American phenomenon throughout the year. Technology has revolutionized and enhanced the appearance of scale slot cars. In the 1990's computer designs and printing assisted in creating much detailed and authentic models. In 2004 slot car manufacturers were able to introduce digital control systems which enabled added features such as multiple cars running in the same lane and change of lanes at certain points on the course.

 

Scale slot cars are of three common sizes. They are 1:24 scale, 1:32 scale and HO size (i.e. 1:64 to 1:87 scale). These scales are also denoted as 1/24, 1/32 and 1/64. The details of the three scale slot cars are described below:

 

1:24 scale slot cars:

This type of scale slot cars are built so that one unit of length of the model will be equal to 24 units on the actual car. For e.g. a Jaguar XK-E which is 4.7m in reality will be built as a model which is 19.6cm long, i.e. in a scale of 1:24. This dimension of the car makes it practically impossible to be used at home. Hence most scale slot cars of this size are being raced at commercial or club tracks.

 

1:32 scale slot cars:

This scale indicates that one unit of the model will be equal to 32 units of the actual car. This scale is practical for home-sized race courses. It is also identified that this scale is the most popular in Europe.

 

HO scale slot cars:

The HO size varies in scale generally according to country. In the United States this scale is close to 1:64 even though in the past the scale was 1:87. These sized models are generally referred to as HO slot cars. It has been identified that HO racing occurs mostly on home tracks.

 

An individual who is interested in scale slot car racing has to own a slot car track or at least be a member of a club. Slot car tracks are either made out of plastic or sheet material such as plywood or MDF.

 

Once a person has access to the above mentioned slot car track and scale slot car, the hobby of slot car racing can be carried out in a casual form or even in a much serious manner by participating in competitions which lead to the level of national championships.