Lap times improved from 18.72 seconds to 6.44 seconds. Read on to find out how we did it…..
Frequently the older Scalextric cars can seem slow and difficult to
race by the standards set by modern Scalextric cars. This article shows
that in seven simple steps a typical Scalextric car from the 1970s can
be updated to give track times nearly 3 times faster compared to the car
when found. This was all accomplished with some basic servicing and
with some readily available replacement parts.
The older Scalextric cars from the 1970s and 1980s are great models
but can seem slow and difficult to race by the standards set by modern
Scalextric cars. Luckily these classic Scalextric cars can be upgraded
to greatly enhance their track performance making them competitive on
the track while not removing any of the enjoyment and skill required for
the older Scalextric cars.
This article lists seven simple changes to greatly improve your
classic Scalextric car. We have based this article on a 1970s
Scalextric C.052 Ford Escort RS1600 which was selected as being typical
of the Scalextric cars of the period. It was not prepared before the
test apart from ensuring the motor operated as expected and the car was
complete, electrically and mechanically with no obvious faults. The
tyres were not cracked or split to any great degree and still had grip
when run on classic Scalextric track. Our overall impression is that
this car had been stood unused for a long period of time.
The seven steps
The results are based on a Scalextric Sport track with a test circuit
specifically designed for this test. Built from the modern Sport
Scalextric track the surface offers little mechanical grip with a
smoother surface compared to the original classic Scalextric track. It
incorporated tight inner corner hairpin sections, long straights,
chicanes, corners that tightened, corners that opened out. Essentially
all types of challenges.
Step 1: After conducting a visual inspection we measured the best
lap times the car could achieve. The best lap time achieved was 18.72
seconds. Then the car was given an electrical service with new; copper
pick up braids, pick up pins and wires from the pick up assembly to the
motor. A retest gave a new lap time of 15.22 seconds which is an
improvement of around 18%.
Step 2: Then, the car given a full lubrication service with all the
motor and axle bearings given a small drop of oil each. Also, the gears
were lightly coated with Teflon impregnated grease. A retest of the
car gave a new best lap time of 13.77 seconds which is a further
improvement of around 9.5%.
Step 3: After the lubrication service slightly wider axles were
fitted and a little weight added to the rear of the chassis. Again the
car was tested of the track and this time gave a best lap time of 12.50
seconds which is an improvement of 9.2%.
Step 4: Next a set of high grip replacement SuperSlix tyres were
fitted to the rear wheel hubs. A retest gave a new best lap time of
9.99 seconds which is a further 20.1%.
Step 5: With the improvement made so far the next step was to
replace the original Johnson motor with a new Mabuchi motor. This more
powerful and lighter motor slightly increased the car’s lap time
probably due to problems in getting the power down to the track. The
best lap time recorded was 10.49 seconds which is a degradation of 0.5%.
Step 6: In order to give the car a chance to use the power available
from the Mabuchi motor a Neodymium magnet was added to the chassis of
the Escort. The best lap time achieved was 9.12 seconds which was an
improvement of 25.5%
Step 7: Our final change was to add MAX Grip tyres as some tyre slip
was clearly evident even with the Neodymium magnet present. These
replacement SuperSlix tyres are manufactured from a latex material and
give outstanding track grip. The best lap achieved a time of 6.44
seconds which was a further improvement of 25.5%
The overall improvement in lap times make this car competitive on the
track while not removing any of the enjoyment and skill required. With
these simple changes this car was almost a staggering 3 times faster
than when purchased.
A more detailed account of the parts used and the results of each step can be can be found at Scalextric Car Restorations.
About the author:
Gary Harding has been working with Scalextric cars for over 30 years
and now operates Scalextric Car Restorations in the UK. Scalextric Car
Restorations is a Worldwide internet based business that offers for sale
high quality Scalextric cars and Scalextric parts from the 1960s to the
present day. All the restoration work is carried out to the highest
standards with the highest quality parts available. Only the best cars
are selected and the final result is a car that is genuinely like new.
Further help and advice relating to this article or Scalextric cars in general can be found at: