Tuesday, 30 June 2009

IMMORTAL: Scalex Mustang

Scalextric Boss 302 Mustang

From time to time, ManicSlots is going to take a look at some of the 'immortal' slot cars that have been produced since the 'Fly' revolution of 1996. In 1996 Fly released the Viper, a slot car that would change the direction of the 1/32 slot car industry forever! Fly let us know that slot cars could actually resemble a racing car and introduced the slot car industry to the 'D' word, detail!

Scalextric really knew what they were doing when they decided to release the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang. The Boss 302 Mustang and Camaro have to be Scalextrics most liveried slot cars and therefore arguably, their most successful.

Of all the Mustang liveries that Scalextric have released, the Parnelli Jones and George Follmer Red, blue and white Mustang from the Trans Am races of the 1960s have to be some of the most popular. Scalextric released both of these cars in Sport and Standard editions, a mint Sport edition, (limited to 4400, this is no. 1874) is becoming quite hard to acquire.

This from Wikipedia: 'The SCCA Trans-Am series (from which the famed Pontiac Trans-Am gained its moniker) was hugely popular in the late 1960s. A version of "stock-car" racing, the five-liter class saw Detroit build some impressive handling sedans to compete. The Boss 302 program was part of an effort by the Ford Motor Company to win the coveted SCCA Trans-Am Championship in 1969 and 1970. The factory effort was headed up by the famed Bud Moore, who fielded two cars in the 1970 season, and won the championship that year, edging out the entries of Roger Penske, who leading driver Mark Donohue lost out to George Follmer. The Penske cars had triumphed in 1968 and 1969. The Boss 302's direct competition in the 1970 series were the AAR Cudas, the Pontiac Trans-Am, the AMC Javelin, and the Penske Camaros. As the cars had to be homologated to compete, the Detroit auto builders came up with interesting models to go racing with. The Ford entry for 1969 and 1970 was the Boss 302 Mustang.'

Graham Smith (Unique Cars May 1998) - 'It exploded into view like a brilliant red starburst and roared past in a blur of colour and noise. It was like nothing ever seen before and along with its driver would rock Australian motor sport to its very foundations in the years to come.'

"The time was April 1969, the place Sandown and the car was a 1969 Trans Am Mustang, the most advanced touring car to race in Australia up that point. At the wheel was Allan Moffat, the first truly professional racing driver to compete here, and on its flanks were Coca-Cola stickers suggesting he had the million dollar backing of the world’s largest soft drink manufacturer.

Rival racers feared the potent Mustang, they feared the determined Moffat, and they feared the Coke money. Their fears were well founded for Moffat and the Mustang would recast the mould of Australian motor racing.

The Sandown meeting was a relatively minor affair, but it pitted the tin-top heroes of the day against each other in a series of three 10-lap sprint races. Against the best Australia could offer, Moffat won all three races in what was a perfect start for a car that would go on to win 101 of its 151 race starts. Sandown was also the world debut of the ’69 Trans Am, and Moffat’s was its first win. Moffat’s rivals were shocked by the ease of the wins and struggled to come to grips with the reality of the car’s potential."

The no. 9 Moffat Mustang was released by Scalextric in 2008 as a limited edition run of 3500, this is car 268. Regardless of its racing history and Australian connection, this slot is one of the most impressive liveries to ever grace my track. If you can acquire one I strongly suggest you do so, the Moffat Mustang is one stunning slot.

The C2574 Scalextric 1969 Street Mustang was released in 2004 and quickly became a collector’s item.


  • Front axle width: 54 mm
  • Front tyre diameter: 19 mm
  • Front wheel width: 8 mm
  • Gear ratio: 11/36
  • Lights: Front only
  • Magnatraction: thick bar magnet, 3 positions
  • Motor orientation: Sidewinder, Rear wheel drive.
  • Motor: Mabuchi-S, 18,000 rpm
  • Overall length: 147 mm
  • Drive: Plastic axle bearings
  • Rear axle width: 54 mm
  • Rear tyre diameter: 20 mm
  • Rear wheel width: 8 mm
  • Guide: Self centering blade
  • Weight: 95 g
  • Wheelbase: 85 mm

You can read more about Allan Moffat Here

ManicSlot's Collectability Score: #9 Moffat Mustang - Extremely High.

ManicSlot's Collectability Score: #15/16 Parnelli/Follmer Mustang - Extremely High.


NEWS: Slot.it Mazda 787B

Slot.it Mazda 787B
Will this be the top selling slot for 2009?

Slot.it will soon be adding the Mazda 787B race car to their already impressive line-up. Slot.it seem to have made an art out of picking the right car to release and the 787B is no exception - I love this car particularly in the famous Renown livery.

The number 55 787B won Lemans in 1991 so we can expect that Slot.it will be releasing this slot in a limited edition box. If you're into collecting slot cars and have the means, I strongly recommend buying one of the Renown liveries to put away and one to enjoy. Engineering looks pretty standard for Slot.it so we can expect the 787B to be impressive on the track, how impressive only time will tell.

In their wisdom, Slot.it have decided to release the Efini livery first. Despite the Efini being what I would class as a rather boring livery, the slot is bound to sell very well as it is the first release of the new Mazda 787B model. Even though I would love to get my hands on the new 787B I think I'll be waiting till the Renown livery is released sometime in September.

Slot.it have also released what will be the third livery for the 787B, the Mazdaspeed number 18 which came 6th (7 laps behind the winner) at Le Mans in 1991.

The 787B is a striking slot car and is bound to be a top release for 2009.

You can view more photos of the 787B at Italia Slot Here


NEWS: Racer 935 Joest

Racer RCR50A&B Porsche 935 Joest
'Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft' 1980

Racer have just released a variation of their ever popular Porsche 935 K3, the Porsche 935 Joest. The variations from the K3 are not immediately obvious without studying the two cars side by side. The most obvious variation between the models is the rear wing and more angular rear profile.

There are also slight changes to the front spoiler, namely the lower lights and intakes, side intake vents are also different on the Joest and bonnet detail is varied from the K3.

The cars look striking as a pair although that would represent somewhat of a significant investment. Detail levels look truly excellent, (as we would expect from Racer) and the racing liveries are impressive too. The cars ran in the World Sports Car Prototype DRM, ('Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft ') series in 1980. The number 6 car was driven by Rolf Stommelen and the number 7 car by Volkert Merl.

You can read more about the World Sports Racing DRM Series Here

You can view more photos of the slots on the Racer Website Here


Monday, 29 June 2009

NEWS: Fly Strikes Back!

Long Live Fly!

For those of you that are in morning, (tightens black arm band and holds back a tear) with the news that Fly Slot Cars have ceased production fret not, new Fly models will be on the shelves before you know it. After what looks primarily like a production and distribution restructure, the brand that is solely responsible for the revolution in slot car detail we all enjoy today will trade again under the brand name of ‘FlySlot’.

Fly has setup a distribution partnership with Artin slot cars but fear not, Fly is NOT owned by Artin so we should see Fly’s high model standards maintained. There is an even rumour of improving Fly slots from a RTR perspective which I’m sure you’ll all agree is a good thing for the brand.
An exciting part of the FlySlot restructure will be the introduction of an entry level line of cars under the new brand ‘Madness’, (I’m not too sure about Madness as a slot brand name?) This is something we have seen Racer recently do with the introduction of ‘Sideways’ brand, unfortunately an economic reality in tougher times. This will allow Fly to produce a cheaper alternative, perhaps aiming at the SCX, Scalextric end of town. Only time will tell if these new cars will be able to compete with Scalextric in terms of detail, quality and RTR performance.

The rumour is that FlySlots costs to the consumer will not be reduce significantly, the introduction of the cheaper alternative Madness brand seems to confirm this. If this is the plan, hopefully Fly knows what they are doing. The recent Ferrari F40 war between Fly and Slot.it should have taught Fly a valuable lesson. You cannot continue to produce pretty slot cars with average RTR performance and average engineering and hope to charge a premier over companies that are producing 'industry best' slot cars. FlySlot and Madness must place their products realistically with respect to top end companies like Slot.it and NSR, lower end companies like Scalextric and SCX if they are to survive. If FlySlot/Madness can do this and continue to produce the Fly models we have always loved, (the highly anticipated upcoming Williams FW07 for example) the future looks bright for FlySlot/Madness.

You can find out more about the Williams FW07 Here


NEWS: Scalex Jaguar XKR GT3

Scalextric Jaguar XKR GT3
New Model Released

This from Scalextric, "Jaguar XKR GT3 Apex Racing Team - This Digital Plug Ready (DPR) car can be converted for use with the Scalextric Digital range in under sixty seconds using the C8515 Digital Plug. This superbly detailed car features working lights front and rear, adjustable Magnatraction™ positions and easy change pick-ups."


  • Motor: Mabuchi SP 18k rpm
  • Gear ratio: 11:36
  • Chassis: Rear Mounted Motor, Sidewinder, 2 wheel drive
  • Magnet: Rectangular 2.5 mm
  • Down-force: 278 gm
  • Overall length 147 mm
  • Wheelbase: 85 mm
  • Axle/Hub width: 56 mm Front, 57 mm Rear
  • Tire diameter: 21(ext), 15(int), 8 mm Front, 22(ext), 15(int), 10 mm Rear
  • Weights: Car 93 gm, Case 156gm

The new Jaguar XKR looks very impressive but then I'm a huge fan of the street car, you can really see the Aston Martin DNA in the cat's lines. I had to have at least one of the Scalextric Jaguar XKRS Trans Am slots when they were released as they are very impressive to the eye. The only thing missing from the XKRS was working head and tail lights, of course the 1:1 car has no lights. Still, one of the really nice extras you get with a Scalextric slot is the lights so I'm really looking forward to getting a Jag with lights.

Detail looks fantastic, (especially the rear) livery is impressive and it looks like it will come with a rubber aerial too. Looks like this one will be popular.

You can read more about the new Jaguar on the Scalextric Website Here


Saturday, 27 June 2009

REVIEW: Slot.it Audi R8C

Slot.it CA12a Audi R8C Reloaded
Snetterton Roll-out 1999


For those that aren’t aware, the R8C was officially launched at the Snetterton Race Circuit in the United Kingdom by Audi in 1999. The 3.12km clockwise circuit is fast and its design makes it very suitable for Le Mans testing. In fact Bentley, Audi and Williams BMW have all performed testing at Snetterton.

The circuit dates back to 1951 when the Aston Martin Owner's Club organised the first race. Very interestingly, the original 1951 track consisted of a network of runways which were used by the 96th US Air Force Bomber Group during the 2nd World War, but I digress.

The Audi R8C was a prototype designed for the 1999 Le Mans 24hr endurance race. The more familiar open Audi R8R spyder was simultaneously developed and both cars were short lived being replaced by the updated 2000 Audi R8.

This from Wikipedia;

“Unlike the R8R, which performed the bulk of the testing due to being completed first, the R8C had very little time to test prior to the initial group test for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in May. At this group test, the cars unfortunately suffered numerous setbacks and lacked the pace of the open-cockpit brothers. Although they were capable of hitting speeds upwards of 350 km/h (217 mph) on the Mulsanne straight, they lacked the handling ability and overall speed for a full lap. While the R8Rs managed the 8th and 11th fastest times, the R8Cs could only muster 22nd and 28th fastest. The R8Cs mostly suffered from aerodynamic problems, especially in the build-up of air underneath the engine cover. This caused the R8Cs to lose their rear engine covers while at speed on several occasions.”

“For the race itself, the R8Cs were unable to find much improvement over the month off. Qualifying was more of the same, as the R8Cs managed a mere 20th and 23rd places, while the R8Rs were still 9th and 11th. Unfortunately during the race, both the R8R and R8C suffered numerous gearbox difficulties. One R8C was forced to drop out of the race after just 55 laps, while the second R8C would succumb to gearbox failure after the midpoint of the race. Even though the R8Rs suffered gearbox difficulties, both cars managed to finish the race, taking an impressive third and fourth place.”

“Following Le Mans, Audi decided that they would concentrate on only one of the two types of cars for the future of their program. The dismal performance of the R8C, along with the exodus from the LMGTP class by most major manufacturers, lead to Audi to develop an open-cockpit car - the R8.”


Well even if you prefer race liveried slot cars you couldn’t help but be highly impressed with the appearance of the Audi R8C Snetterton Roll-out release by Slot.it. The updated version of the first RTR slot car Slot.it ever produced comes in a matt black as opposed to a high gloss black of the original 2002 release. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the matt black being quite used to seeing the original release, it seemed to look more like a model car and less realistic. However, after a few months I have changed my opinion and now prefer the new matt black colour.

The Audi R8C comes in Slot.it's standard packaging which I still feel is the industry’s best packaging by far. Although the car is firmly secured to the box base, Slot.it ship their cars with a clear plastic spacer which protects the car from damage should it come away from the base. If you've ever experienced what I term a 'slot car milkshake', (where a slot comes away from its base during transit) you'll also appreciate Slot.its packaging efforts.


· Crown Gear: 26 Tooth
· Pinion Gear: 9 Tooth
· Motor Pod: SICH24 - Reverse offset mount
· Tires: SIPT02 (comes with an additional rear set of S1 rubber)
· Motor: Inline 21500 V12/3 with 170g.cm at 12 volts
· Magnatraction: Dual position, (magnet supplied in rear position)
· Side-winder or Boxer (Long Can inline) motor pod compatible
· Weight: 72 grams


As always, Slot.it continue to produce slot cars built to very high standards and their attention to detail is excellent. The paint finish of this model is absolutely top-shelf. Unlike the 2002 Snetterton release, the large Audi emblem is not present on the rear wing, (See above photo) and some smaller Shell brandings are also not present. I don’t feel this detracts from the release.

The Audi’s original wheels have been replaced by the McLaren GTR’s wheels. These look fantastic on the Audi and I’m happy to report my rear inserts were countersunk very well unlike the wheel inserts I received on my Slot.it Goodwood McLaren and Ferrari F40.

Front detail is very nice including remodeler lights, windscreen detail, vents and Audi emblem. The bonnet of the Audi is a bit longer than the original and has been strengthened via to supports in the front intake, (a good thing as this area can be subjected to some big hits).

Rear detail is good with exhaust pipes, diffuser detail and clear rear lights. Side intake detail is excellent and I welcome the small painted body clamps and windscreen fixings. The rear tail is glued in place and has some flexibility ensuring it should withstand all but the heaviest of impacts.

Overall the body of the R8C is more pronounced, the cars looks even more aggressive. Of particular note is the redesigned nose and roof which looks excellent.

The model comes with two rubber aerials which is great for longevity. Slot.it have produced this model without rear view mirrors or a windscreen wiper. Upon checking some photography of the R8C on the track Slot.it have it right, the prototype has no windscreen wiper or rear vision mirrors, (see very top photo). However it does look like the prototype did only have one aerial but this is not an issue for me. I note that the Orange CA12R1 Audi R8C Racing Anglewinder slot comes with rear view mirrors but no windscreen wiper.

The driver figure is impressively painted and decaled and can be seen in many of the photos. The body is removed from the chassis via 2 screws which is standard for all Slot.it cars, body removal and reassembly is very easy. As you can see this chassis is side-winder motor pod compatible and comes with the SICH24 reverse offset motor pod. The Audi comes with a Slot.it standard magnet in the rear position. The chassis can be upgraded to Anglewinder or SSD Sport Digital system.

One of the first things I do to any Slot.it I’m lucky enough to own is to loosen the motor pod screws half to one full turn thus allowing a degree of chassis/body role. This allows you can hold more speed through corners, although be careful not to loosen the screws too much, as the rear rubber can rub on body work causing drag. It also looks like Slot.it have designed the entire body to roll on the chassis as the chassis is completely contained within the body. Slot.it have even cut two curved slots in the chassis (just behind the front wheels) to allow the side vent detail to not touch the chassis. The 'Reloaded' chassis is the bottom chassis shown in the below photo, the original 2002 Audi R8C is above it for comparison.


I’ve read some negative things about the new Audi’s track performance from several sources. When I first put my Audi on the track I couldn’t help but feel as if the slot was running slow, as if it was limited to 80 percent of its potential. Don’t be concerned, this was a temporary situation and the slot was running very quickly after a few simple mods.

As with most recent Slot.it offerings, I found the guide to be too tight and unable to move freely. This is not a big issue and as with my other Slot.its, I removed the guide from the chassis by carefully levering it out from underneath the chassis using a small flat head screw driver. To fix the tight guide post issue, I used a low RPM cordless drill and a 9/64 drill bit. After removing the guide, slowly drill the guide hole, (make sure you're drilling perpendicular to the chassis). You won't need to drill very much, just a few seconds at very low RPM to remove a little excess plastic. Reinsert your guide and test, you should find that the small issue is fixed.

Once I had fixed the guide and inspected the internals to ensure everything was alright, I loosened the motor pod a little allowing the body to roll through the corners. I then set about putting some serious laps on my Audi. It is almost true for all slots that they improve with laps but the Audi came to life! After an hour of driving the Audi had freed up and lost all its performance issues. I decided to swap to the supplied Slot.it high performance rear rubber and the Audi quickly became the one of the fastest slots ever on my track. I would have liked to do a time comparison against one of my original Audis but they are setup for non-magnetic running.

As most modern Slot.it cars, the Audi has very strong acceleration and braking and is very quick in a straight line. Handling is excellent through even the most testing of corners as well. Now that Slot.it have released a ‘white kit’ Audi, I think this car will become a very popular slot for club events as it goes very well and looks fantastic on the track!

On my plastic Carrera track, the Audi does not have too much magnetic down force which I have found with the Slot.it McLaren. Out of interest I removed the magnet to see how the car would run non-mag. As you would expect from a Slot.it, the Audi did not disgrace itself and ran beautifully around my track. Weight distribution is excellent and I doubt if I’ll even need to experiment with some added weight in the future.

Slot.it has stuck to their 'magic slot formula' and produce a slot car that is destined to be fiercely raced and highly collectible. The Snetterton has all but sold out from most slot shops so get one if you can as they are a beautiful slot car the drive and alot cheaper that one of the original Audis. As I've commented before, Slot.it continue to produce slots cars that have a high level of engineering, are as fun to drive as they are stunning to look at and are without doubt very collectible.

Manic Score Breakdown

· Sex Appeal: 7th Gear
· Collectibility: 7th Gear
· Build Quality: 7th Gear
· Attention to Detail: 6th Gear
· 'RTR' Performance: 5th Gear

Overall Manic Score: 6.4 Gears.

The Slot.it Audi R8C ‘Reloaded’ goes straight into 'Manic's collectible slotcars' list.

For more information about Slot.it slot cars, see the Slot.it Official Website here