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Slot Car Buyer’s Guide

First time customers often inquire about the differences, advantages and disadvantages of the varied slot car manufacturers, so we have decided to dedicate a page to the subject and we will do our best to explain and define the characteristics of each slot car company.

Scalextric
The oldest of the slot car companies, Scalextric has been producing quality slot cars since the 1950’s.   We believe that the modern Scalextric slot cars offer the best value to performance and looks ratio.  For under $45 Scalextric offers cars with excellent detail inside and out, earth shaking performance right out of the box, and many of them have working headlights.  They also offer an economy line of cars that look great and perform flawlessly for $19.95 – $29.95.

Great Scalextric cars to consider:  MG Lola, Ford GT40s, Formula One cars, IRL cars

Slot-Car-Buyers-Guide Slot Car Buyer's GuideFly
Fly, a Spanish company, has been around since 1996 and is largely responsible for the growth in the slot car market as it stands today.  Fly was the first company to introduce the extremely detailed (diecast quality) and extremely fast slot car.  In a single stroke Fly became the premier 1/32 scale slot car maker.  Since that time, however, the other companies have caught up to Fly and Fly’s standards in performance and detail have lagged as their prices have gone up and up. Retail prices for new Fly cars start at $64.95, however, we do still carry a large variety of older Fly cars at the retail price of $44.95.  Many out of production Fly cars have become desirable collector items (check Ebay) and this trend continues to this day as older cars go out of stock.

Carrera
Carrera is most noted for their track system, which is the favorite of many slot car enthusiasts.  Their cars are a great value usually costing under $35.  They do not perform at a Scalextric level, and they tend to look a bit toy-like in overall appearance but they do have a quality all their own and are very fun in their own right.  All Carrera 1/32 scale cars feature one adjustable magnet and their new releases feature two!  Carrera is also the only company at present producing 1/24 scale slot cars.

Some cool Carrera cars:  D-type Jaguars, vintage Stock Cars

 

Slot-Car-Buyers-Guide Slot Car Buyer's GuideNinco
Another Spanish company, Ninco is also famous for its track system.  Ninco takes pride in producing slot cars that are very “loose”, thus delivering very realistic driving characteristics.  The cars in their “Classic” line have no magnets and are a hoot to drive as they are very easy to slide out, or “drift” in the corners.  Ninco is continually improving in the detail department and their latest releases are quite handsome.  Their Formula 1 cars with front steering are very popular.  Prices usually range from $44.95 to $59.95.

SCX
SCX is an independent offshoot of the Scalextric company, hence the name S-C-X.  SCX was the first company to deliver the 4 wheel drive slot car, present in their rally …

Tips on Magnets

Many people ask us how can they make their favorite “non Fly” car go as fast as a real Fly car.  It doesn’t take people long to realize that a Fly slot car is one of the fastest out-of-the-box cars on the market.  But, most people don’t realize that the strong Fly magnet is what makes these cars so quick.  Fly motors are no faster than any other stock motor.  Replacing a car’s magnet is the easiest and most effective way to improve lap speeds.

So, to make your favorite “non Fly” quicker you need to swap to a stronger magnet.  We could debate which magnet is best all day long, but it boils down to finding a neodymium magnet that “fits” the underside of the car you are modifying.  Ninco makes a very nice round neo magnet but it is rather thick.  And, you can buy Fly neo magnets too.  Yet, some of our favorite neo magnets are by Slot-It and Professor Motor.

Tips-on-Magnets Tips on Magnets

Finding the right “neo” magnet and the right placement under the car takes experimentation and tuning.  We can make some general recommendations, but every car’s weight and balance is different so we recommend you experiment with double sided tape before you glue a magnet in place.   Some people like to place the magnet in the middle of the car (this tends to hold the front end down a bit and helps minimize rollovers).  Other people like to hang the magnet out the back so they can still power slide the around curves.

One warning though………Neo magnets are very strong and they do place added strain on the car’s motor.  Too much magnet can damage your motor.

SPORT CRAFT’S SLOT CAR “TUNE-UP” AND MAINTENANCE TIPS

The tips shared below are generally for racers who have not had a lot of experience with maintenance procedures of scale race cars.  You will see below that modern slot cars are very easy to lubricate and tune and that taking just a few moments to oil your scale race car will make it run better, faster, and last a lot longer.  We would like to hear from you too if you have something simple to add which isn’t already covered below.  For even more tuning tips be sure to go to our high performance modifications page.

If your tip is well thought out, well written, concise, and clear we may use it.

Racing Tip – Handling

If your slot car fishtails and is constantly losing the back end on curves (especially the weaker magnet cars), simply clean the rear tires with a mild solvent or just rub the tires down with some saliva (yes saliva)! The car will immediately show amazing improvements in handling and significantly improve your lap times.  (Santosh – South Africa)

Learn how to remove the slot car body for cleaning/maintenance

    The bodies of most new slot cars are fastened from the bottom with two to four small Phillips head screws.  Removal of these screws allows the body to be lifted off.  This should be done periodically for chassis and gear cleaning as well as inspection of all other moving parts, even for checking the freedom of movement of the front guide pin.

SPORT-CRAFT’S-SLOT-CAR SPORT CRAFT’S SLOT CAR “TUNE-UP” AND MAINTENANCE TIPS

This is a good time to do your oil/grease maintenance.

Tips on how to help your body posts last longer – When reinstalling the body screws if the screw seems tight as soon as you begin to tighten it, try turning the screw backwards a little bit and start it in a different position. I often find that the screw threads and body post have been mated to each other. If you start the screw in the right position and can find this same mating the screw will not rip plastic out of the body post when it is reinstalled. Also remember not to over-tighten the body screws. (in fact some slotracing pros say the cars run better if the body screws are left a little loose!)  (DT)

Oil Motor and Axles

    Oil…….change your oil every 3000 laps and use Mobil-1 synthetic….yeh right.   Really though, OIL, used sparingly, is your friend and should be used periodically in several important places on every slot car.  Oil makes every moving part work with less friction, less heat, and makes your slot car faster.  Need we say more?  Use your friend sparingly though because too much oil creates a mess, gathers more dirt, and seeps to places you  don’t want it to go.

Using a light oil, such as hobby oil or sewing machine oil and a pinpoint needle oiler, you should periodically oil the electric motor wherever exposed armature shafts protrude, often times this is on both ends of the motor.  Oil should also be …

Slot Car High Performance Tips

We suggest an inspection of the race course is the first order of business. This may sound too simple, but a dirty track will definitely affect the performance of every slot car in a negative way. Non magnet cars will tail-slide more easily and strong magnet cars will act more erratic than ever. To ensure fair competition and the best possible performance we suggest a quick vacuum job of the track. In most cases this will remove any room dust and more importantly any metallic braid or tire debris (rubber, silicone, etc.). 


Clean track is also critical to the life of slot car racing motors. Dust and metallic particles from pick-up braids can impede the flow of cooling air around the motors and clog up bushings and armatures. These same elements can collect on lubricated parts of the chassis. Just think about it for a second! Gears, bushings, axles, and any lubricated area of your car acts like a dust and debris magnet!!


Our first choice for routine maintenance is a dusting brush attachment on your shopvac or home vacuum cleaner. A damp cloth can also be used but we don’t recommend it because lint can be more destructive than dust. If a damp cloth is your only option, be careful not to litter the track with lint from your cloth. SCX and Ninco plastic tracks are quite abrasive by design and cloth can leave lint behind very easily. 


Many slot car enthusiasts like to improve performance of their cars. Lap times are generally the measuring tool used to check for better performance. We suggest any serious test session must be done on a clean track for reference purposes.

Slot-Car-High-Performance Slot Car High Performance Tips

Tips on Magnets

Many people ask us how can they make their favorite “non Fly” car go as fast as a real Fly car.  It doesn’t take people long to realize that a Fly slot car is one of the fastest out-of-the-box cars on the market.  But, most people don’t realize that the strong Fly magnet is what makes these cars so quick.  Fly motors are no faster than any other stock motor.  Replacing a car’s magnet is the easiest and most effective way to improve lap speeds.  

So, to make your favorite “non Fly” quicker you need to swap to a stronger magnet.  We could debate which magnet is best all day long, but it boils down to finding a neodymium magnet that “fits” the underside of the car you are modifying.  Ninco makes a very nice round neo magnet but it is rather thick.  And, you can buy Fly neo magnets too.  Yet, some of our favorite neo magnets are by Slot-It and Professor Motor.  

Finding the right “neo” magnet and the right placement under the car takes experimentation and tuning.  We can make some general recommendations, but every car’s weight and balance is different so we recommend you experiment with double sided tape before you glue a magnet in place.   Some people like to place the magnet in

Quality Controller Upgrades

We have put together a selection of high quality upgraded controllers from various makers for the model car / slot racer who is looking for better control or a better controller than those supplied with most sets.  This page features many different controllers that work with various brands of slot track.  First, Parma is a economical upgrade for your stock race set controllers.  Second, our Professor Motor controllers are superior to and will outlast just about anything else you could buy, and they cost about as much as a Fly slot car.  Professor Motor gets our highest recommendation.

Parma makes a variety of controllers to improve on the standard race set controllers.  Some Parma controllers come pre-wired with the correct plugs for Scalextric Classic track, Scalextric Sport track, or Ninco track.  They also produce controllers in more than one ohm resistance level.  Read the descriptions below to make the best decision for your needs.

Parma 3-wire 25 ohm (the lowest ohm rating we sell) Controller without connectors – works well for high performance cars.  3 wire design allows 3rd red wire to be connected as brake wire (optional).  Wiring diagram included with controller.  Can be wired for any brand.

Ninco-and-Scalextric-Sport-Tracks Quality Controller Upgrades

Parma controllers for Ninco and Scalextric Sport Tracks

We recommend a higher quality controller for Ninco and Scalextric race sets.  Scalextric standard 70 Ohm controllers are fine for their standard cars.  However if you like to run high performance, modified cars, or even a pair of Fly cars you will have better control and enjoy racing more with lower Ohm controllers.

We now offer fine Parma controllers already wired with the correct 3 post Ninco and Scalextric Sport track plugs.  Just plug these new controllers in and you’re ready to race.

Parma Controllers for Scalextric Classic

We recommend a higher quality controller for the older Scalextric race sets as well.  Scalextric standard 70 Ohm controllers are fine for their standard cars.  However if you like to run high performance, modified cars, or even a pair of Fly cars you will have better control and enjoy racing more with lower Ohm controllers.

We now offer fine Parma controllers already wired with the correct 2 post Scalextric Classic plugs.  Just plug these new controllers in and you’re ready to race.…