Thursday, 17 January 2008

REVIEW: Racer 412P

Racer Ferrari 412P Scuderia Filipinetti
Monza 1,000kms 1967


Ferrari built the 412P as the non-Ferrari team version of the famous 330 P3 race car. The 412P was built for teams like NART (0844), Scuderia Filipinetti (chassis #0848), Francorchamps (0850), and Maranello Concessionaires (0854). The 412P came with carburettor engines instead of the Ferrari factory Lucas fuel injection.

The #7 Scuderia Ferrari was driven by Herbert Mueller and Nino Vaccarella and finished the Monza 1,000km in 4th after completing 95 laps, (5 laps behind the winner). The race was won that year by a Ferrari 330 P4 co-driven by New Zealander Chris Amon.


I guess the first thing I should address is what most slotters would state as the excessive price of these cars. To put the price of this slot into context, a single Racer is worth around 5 Scalextric cars or 4 cars.

So why would you add such an expensive slot to your collection? For me, the answer has two parts. Firstly I already own well in excess of 5 Scalextric and 4 cars. Secondly and more importantly, Racer slot cars are by far the most visually impressive and amazingly detailed slot cars you can buy today. No serious slot car collection is complete without at least one.

Racer package their slots very well, the car is attached to a plastic display base via 2 long-thread screws. The crystal display box is similar in size and design to Spirit slot car packaging. Racer then package their crystal display boxes in a heavy cardboard box with branding, this is to protect the crystal display case in transit, etc. Racer branding and model details on the base, (see display base photo) are raised metal tags which is a nice touch.

  • Spur Gear: SIGS02, 36 tooth
  • Pinion Gear: SIPS11, 11 tooth
  • Motor: SIM06 Inline 21500 V12/3
  • Wheels: Rear wheel 22mm dia
  • Body Weight: 45 grams
  • Total Weight: 105 grams
As you would expect, the finish on the Ferrari 412P is absolutely top shelf! Racer slot cars are made from resin which allows even the smallest detail to be accurately represented. Small details such as rivet holes, hinges, paneling, air intakes and vents are numerous and give the slot a very high degree of detail. One thing I absolutely love about Racer slot cars is every model release is unique. And I'm not just talking about different decals but unique body detail specify to each 1:1 car.

One of the most impressive things about Racer slot cars is the use of photo etched parts. In the above photo you can see some of the wonderful metal detail used on the window surround and fuel cap. Racer finish painting their slots with a varnish layer similar to what is used on 1:1 cars. They then apply decals and finally seal with a high quality clear coat. The use of the varnish and special clear coat give these cars a very deep paint luster. I have owned hundreds of slots over the years but I have never seen a paint finish this good.
The model has other details such as black gaffer tape holding the front headlight covers in place. Rear vision mirrors aren't just painted silver, they are photo etched parts. The front intake grill is also photo etched and impressive.

Rear detail is excellent with twin-double exhausts, engine cooling vents, gear box, tail lights, spare wheel and straps. The rear wheel is made from resin so don't be concerned about the added weight. If this slot was ever raced in anger there is little that could be damaged or broken off. Rear vision mirrors are well designed and the 412P has no tail that could be potentially damaged.
No review on this car would be complete without talking about Racer's famous aluminum rims. As you can see from the below photo the aluminum wheels on this model are absolutely beautiful. You can purchase these wheels separately from Racer distributors and I often wonder what they would look like on a Fly Ferrari 512 or Lola T70?
Internal detail is also excellent with a hand painted full length driver figure. Dash and steering wheel detail is also very good. I particularly like the Ferrari branding in the center of the steering wheel. Removing the chassis from the body is via 4 screws and straight forward. The driver cockpit is separate to the body and can easily be removed, (see photo below).
However, getting the slot back together can be quite a test! If you don't place the drivers cockpit exactly right, there isn't enough clearance to get the body back onto the chassis. Also be sure not to crush the motor silicon wires when re assembling the slot.
What's obvious about Racer is their complete focus on attention to detail and model finish. Racer could have re invented the performance wheel and design their own race components but they didn't. Instead they choose to fit their slots with what might be arguably the best after market parts available, parts from Not only is this car fitted with gearing and motor but also a motor pod which makes this slot a formidable runner on the track.
The chassis has three magnet positions, (car comes with magnet fitted in the central position). When I first ran the slot, I thought magnetic down-force was too high on my Carrera track. I moved the magnet around and finally removed it all together but the problem persisted, the slot felt like it was being held back.

On closer inspection there were some problems, the first was that the motor's drive shaft was rubbing badly on the rear wheel acting as a brake. The tires needed a little truing anyway and once I had completely trued the rear wheels, the rubbing issue was fixed. Alternatively you could cut the extra motor drive shaft off with a Dremel, etc. Once this had been fixed the slot still didn't run very well, the slot still felt like the slot was being held back.
After quite a bit of frustration, (probably only 30 minutes) I observed that the inside corner wheel was rubbing as the slot went through a corner. This was especially happening on corners with vertical elevation. All that was required was to loosen the front body screws a turn and the problem was fixed. What's more I had a perfect slot on the track!
In all fairness, I was probably responsible for causing the front clearance issue by over tightening the front end while re assembling the slot.
I also had a small issue with track clearance with this model. In track sections of high vertical change, the gear-box at the rear of the slot drags on the track. This isn't a real issue but makes the running of the slot a little noisy. I ended up shaving 3-4mm off the depth on my slot's gear box to reduce the noise issue.

Overall, this is one special slot car. I can imagine that there are Racer slot cars all over the World that sit on shelves in pride of place, never seeing the anger of the track. I can understand slotters wanting to look after these cars and keep them as a collection piece. Still, Racer slot cars are made to race and if you're lucky enough to get one, I encourage you to run it on the track. While a Racer looks stunning as a static model, they are simply breath taking when raced!
Manic Score Breakdown
  • Sex Appeal: 7th Gear
  • Collectibility: 6th Gear
  • Build Quality: 6th Gear
  • Attention to Detail: 7th Gear
  • 'RTR' Performance: 4th Gear
Overall Manic Score: 6.0 Gears

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