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Home  >>  Reviews  >>  Cars  >>  1/32  >>  SCX

Sigma grand prix Monoposto F1 "Vintage"

Published: July 28, 2002


In the mid-'60's, Formula 1 engineering was so focused on horsepower, that the increases in speed far exceeded the handling and safety of the rest of the car. It's easy to understand that these advances in horsepower, and lack of focus on safety, tires and handling led to many fatal, and near fatal accidents.
In 1966 a movement was begun to make Formula 1 safer. In 1968, a program was put in motion to do just that. Scuderia Ferrari and body maker Pinifarina, along with scientists and experts in car safety founded the Sigma project.

Utilizing everything that was available to F1 in it's day, the Sigma featured a 400 horsepower V-12 Ferrari engine and a five speed gearbox.
Innovative were the side structures that provided some cushion in a side impact, a telescopic steering column that prevented driver penetration, and a six point safety harness that included a strap that held the drivers helmet in place in case of a head-on collision (the H.A.N.S. system thirty years ahead of it's time).

In 1973, SCX released their own version of the Sigma under the reference number 4047. The Sigma was produced by SCX until 1982. For whatever reason, it was gone from the slot car arena, but now, thanks again to SCX, we have a chance to enjoy it once again.
When I first heard about the new Vintage release of the Sigma, my reaction was "oh great, another Limited Edition". I personally feel that Limited Editions should be left to the diecast world, and slot cars should be raced. But one thing that attracted me to the Sigma was the $45 price tag. At under $50, the Sigma seemed like a great opportunity to examine a car from the past, and even run it. I could turn this one down.

The SCX Limited Edition Sigma Grand Prix Monoposto F1 is limited to only 4,444 units. It comes packaged in a very impressive tin finished in a dull silver, with an almost brushed look about it.
Inside, the box is lined in black velvet. The car is presented neatly in the center. Included is a information booklet with numbered certificate of authenticity.
When I opened the tin, my first reaction was "WOW". Painted in silver and black, the car displays very nicely against the silver and black of the box. The slight touch of orange on the rear bumper and drivers helmet and wing set this car off. Most impressive. SCX gets an A+ for their presentation.

Closer inspection reveals some awesome detail work put into this car. The driver is intricately detailed right down to the rims on his goggles. There is no sloppy paint work here.
The gloves and helmet are painted to exacting crispness. The motor features chrome intakes and white painted exhaust. The wing is solidly mounted, and the rear view mirrors are molded of a flexible material that should hold up to abuse (should you decide to run this car).

The wheels are painted yellow, and the tires feature white "Firestone" lettering. Thought the tires are not very scale compared to even the picture of the real car on the box, this is not really an issue since this is a reproduction of the original SCX release, not a reproduction of the real thing.
The tires are made of a soft rubber compound with rain grooves, and seem to fit nicely on the rims. Nothing seemed out of round here.

Underneath was a real surprise. No Mubachi style motor here. What is visible from the underside is a vintage appearing open motor of the style of old Revell motors.
When you buy a vintage reproduction, you expect things like this, but so often this is the one detail overlooked, often sacrificed for a more modern powerplant for the sake of cost. Again, I commend SCX for going that extra mile.
One more point that I want to make is that SCX has taken that one extra step. That is they not only included the numbered certificate of authenticity, but they also stamped the same number on the chassis of the car! Now, we not only have a limited edition BOX or certificate, the car is also a part of the set as well. Based on every point I've touched on so far, this car is well worth the $45 price tag. But wait, there's more!
Underneath the body, or in this case, in between the body and chassis, we see the motor in all it's glory. It is certain that to produce this car is by no means an easy task. A lot of work went into this car, even if all the molds were still available and in good condition. The use of several different colors of plastics to bring out details, all the molded details including the wheel struts make this car a cut above any other limited release available.
But does it work? Does this car actually run? I told myself I would do a few easy laps, just to answer those two questions. I applied a few drops of oil on the brass wheel bearings and gears, and placed it on the track. One lap, then two, a little more power, three laps... More power, and I was no longer concerned about whether this was a limited edition or not. This was a vintage race car, and doing laps with it only made me long for the good old days.
The Sigma, though lacking the torque that the new motors provide, still managed to get up to speed well, and because there is no traction magnet, could be made to slide around the corners like a sprint car.
I found myself truing the tires and applying more and more power, trying to squeeze every bit of speed out of the Sigma that I could. This car is an absolute blast to drive. There is no need for modifications other than wheel truing if you intend to play with this toy. It drives and looks great, and from what I've found, is very sturdy in a crash. The only thing that this car is lacking is something similar to race against.
The SCX Sigma is the one Limited Edition to get. At $45, you can NOT go wrong. It looks great, is packaged well, comes with car history, and numbered certificate of authenticity AND car, and it runs very well. It's not a Sport Edition car, but it performs very well none-the-less. If you're looking for something special, different, fun, and vintage, you found it. Now to convince SCX to start producing these in the regular line again! The SCX Sigma, a BLAST from the past!