Chevrolet 100th Anniversary Set
Chevrolet was founded by Louis Chevrolet and ousted GM founder William C. Durant on November 3, 1911. General Motors acquired Chevrolet seven years later in 1918 to compete directly with Ford. 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of this historic name in the automotive industry and Auto World is releasing a commemorative set celebrating the Chevy centennial. So let’s check out the details as Auto World starts up their own run at 100 years.
So What Do You Get???
The Bowtie Raceway comes in a nice collector’s box with some slick, eye catching graphics. The box can be reused to store the set when not being used and has a nice carry handle. Opening the box you see the track, accessories and those two very cool chevy hot rods (more on them in a bit).
Here we see all the goodies as they are arranged in the box. Everything is tightly packaged and immobilized. All of the parts, track and cars were secured well and had no package wear from storage or shipping.
So let’s take a closer look at what’s under all that plastic and tape. The track lays out into a 4 foot by 5 foot layout as the example on the box and has 14 feet of lap length. You get a pair of 9 inch cross-over tracks, 2 nine inch straights, 3 15 inch straights, 8 nine inch radius turns, 13.5 Volt power pack, two plunger style thumb controllers, 8 silver guard rails and 9 track supports, flags and poles, sanding pads to clean the track and a 15 inch terminal track with the “100 Years of Chevrolet stamped across it. I am really glad to see the stackable track supports. They keep the track in place and do not snap across the racing surface as some of the newer version do. They also allow you greater flexibility in how you raise and lower sections of your raceway.
Auto World supplies you with an illustrated parts list and a layout map for the track design pictured on the box. The instructions were very easy to follow and the track went together with no issues. There were no warped pieces in this set and the track’s electrical connections were all good from the first assembly. Guard rails and track supports went in place with no issues. Controllers and power plugged into place and worked fine from the start.
Here are a couple of views of the layout, following the instructions included with the set.
Here are the controllers and 13.5 Volt power pack. The controllers are the same units offered in the earlier drag race sets. They are comfortable in the hand and are easy to use and do not cramp the hand. The range of control using the Thunderjet cars from the set was a nice wide band of power with no bursts of speed when starting up.
Here’s a nice close up of the “100 Years of Chevrolet” logo on the terminal track.
So if we are celebrating 100 years of Chevrolet, where are the cars? Well, here they are! Auto World chose the ‘57 Chevy Bel-Air in hot rod trim with chrome red across the body and a classic flame job around the grill and spraying back across the fenders. Touched off with a blower and the “100 Years” logo on the rear deck lid. The ‘57’s companion car is one we have not seen in a while. Auto World has brought the ‘62 Chevy Bel-Air Hardtop back for this special set. The ‘62 is also tricked out with a dark silver chrome finish with white and red flames dazzling the hood. It too has the street rod blower treatment and the “100 Years” logo on the trunk.
Chassis are Auto World Thunderjet Ultra-G versions and the samples with this set ran very well and equal right from the box. They both had some excess grease on the gear plate and you may want to clean some of that off before getting into some serious lap times, to avoid collecting any dirt in between the gears. Both cars ran equally well and showed similar handling and speed. Let’s take a peek at these up close.
The ‘57 Chevy Bel-Air is a sight to behold in the chrome red and flamed layout. It proudly displays the “100 Years” logo and as one of the many key historical cars Chevy has produced over the years, it’s earned its place!
The ‘62 Chevy Bel-Air shows off its clean lines with this dark chrome silver set off with bright white and red flames. With a slight drag style stance it look ready to tear the asphalt right off the road.
At the line and waiting for the green flag to drop!
You can’t get much closer than this to nail bitingly close racing!
And there’s some close calls in the cross over track!
Don’t be dingin’ my ‘57 Dude!
The Out of the Box Experience
This is not to be confused with an out of body experience, but I must confess as a slot car nut for 40+ years now, that when the cars and track run great right out of the box, I’m right inside that little car zipping around the track. This was a terrific experience, not to have to track down dead spots or tinker with the cars to get them to run. As stated earlier, these cars ran very much equally right off the line. The track went together easily and stayed together throughout a couple of hours racing. Disassembly was easy as well. The 13.5 Volt power pack was ideal for the Thunderjet style chassis that are part of this set. The cars ran at controllable speeds but were still fast. Given the 14 foot lap length, the power is perfect. The Auto World Thunderjet Ultra-G chassis has greatly improved in the quality control and assembly. The extra effort has really shown in the last few releases in all of Auto World’s cars. The examples with this set were smooth and fast and took no extra effort to make them competitive with each other.
The 100 Years of Chevrolet is a celebration of a unique part of American automotive history. The Auto World Bowtie Raceway has brought that celebration to the HO slot car world with a very unique and special race set. The Bowtie Raceway will be a collector’s item not only for it’s ties to Chevy’s 100 years but also for the excellence of the contents of this set. The Bowtie Raceway will be available at hobby shops on September 30, 2011 and the SRP is $129.00 USD. Get your quick, like the Chevys they celebrate, they will move fast.