Wednesday, 22 July 2009

NEWS: Best Slot in the World?

'The Best Slot Car Ever Made'
What elements would define its DNA?

It’s an interesting question and one that requires some thought and justification. What elements or characteristics would define the best slot car ever made?

Performance: The first element would be performance on the track. I’m not talking just about a quick motor combined with good gearing resulting in great acceleration and clean braking but more importantly, fantastic driveability and handling. The slot would need to define versatility with the ability to be successfully in both magnetic and non magnetic racing.

Detail: The slot would have a very high level of detail, accurately reflecting the 1:1 car at scale. Model components would have no sign of casting lines or residual flashing. The manufacture would research the 1:1 car and its history extensively, modifications would be made to release versions of the model where required. Paint finish would be rich and deep with no signs of runs or bleeds. Decals would accurately reflect the original cars sponsorship being sharp, highly legible and vivid. Driver and cockpit detail would be very high with driver helmet colours accurately reflected.

Engineering: Engineering levels would be industry best practice, leading the way for other slot car manufactures. The slot would need to be fully adjustable and upgradeable with easily availability and affordable components.

Value: Value for money is always important, more so these days. Given the slot’s high detail levels, engineering standards and on track performance a realistic price should be set by the manufacture to make these slot cars available to the majority of slot car racers and collectors. This means the slot car manufacture needs to stream line production and distribution processes and have a high focus on quality control.

Collectible Status: Slot cars are intended to be raced on the track but sometimes we appreciate them so much that we want to keep one in perfect condition. Perhaps there are times when we can afford to purchase two of the same amazing slot, one to race and one to collect. The last thing we want to see is a slot we paid $X for being worth $X minus $30 only six months later. As a highly desirable slot car runs out of production and shelf stock disappears, it’s only economics that its value will increase, the only question is “By how much?”

Customisable, (performance and appearance): As the slot would need to perform well on both magnetic and non magnetic tracks, the slot would need to be highly customisable. Motor specifications and configuration, gearing ratios, tire compounds, magnetic down-force levels, guide/pickup components and light weight interiors would all need to be customisable. These components would need to be readily available and competitively priced. The slot would have to be available in a wide variety of liveries for club racing, a white kit would be ideally available for user custom liveries.

Slot Soul: Till now I’ve talked about the quantifiable elements of a slot car but we all know that just with 1:1 cars, they don’t necessarily equal the sum of their parts. Some 1:1 cars have something special about them, something that captures the imagination of all who admire and drive them. Something I would like to refer to as a cars soul, slot cars have this too.

It’s the slot car that you eagerly await the release of, probably pre order, rush down to your local slot shop on release day, admire on the way home to your track, the slot you carefully examine as you unpack it. It’s the slot that makes you smile from ear to ear as you take it for the first lap.

The measure of a slots mass appeal can be a subjective element and a little varied to each slotters taste. It would be hard to put into word what makes one slot car a ‘must have’ and another just desirable but we certainly know the difference when I see it!

The slot that is awarded the title of ‘Best Slot Car Ever Made’ would not necessarily be at the very top of each category mentioned above. In fact there may be other slots that may beat it in individual categories. However, across all categories it would have the highest aggregate score. Additionally, none of the outlined categories could be deficient in the slot’s DNA.

Is it possible that such an amazing slot car could have ever been made? Could it be available right now as you read this, sitting on the shelf of your favourite slot shop? The answer is simple, “Yes, such a slot car does exist.”

ManicSlots will soon reveal what it thinks is the ‘Best Slot Car Ever Made’ and why.


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