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.