Rally racing is a difficult sport to follow in North America. It doesn’t receive nearly the television air time that it deserves which tends to keep it out of the public eye. Still, I’ve managed to end up with a few rally cars in my collection. Thanks to the popularity of this sport in Europe – home base to most slot car manufacturers’ head offices – slot car racers have quite a few interesting subjects to draw upon. Recently, the club at Mini Grid in Toronto started a bi-monthly series for rally cars so I needed to find the most effective tool for racing there. To do this I’ve reached into my collection a pulled out a cross section of 12 rally cars. Read More
Thanks Paul. These are not the most popular cars on this side of the ocean but with the rally championship revving up at Mini Grid it seemed like a timely review to write. It was interesting to get all these cars apart and just compare between the different manufacturers.
For anyone in Toronto, the next round of the Mini Grid championship is tomorrow night. We will be racing non-mag rally cars (10g downforce limit) and Group C (100g downforce limit).
Great review Van with lots of good info. The Renault (most memorable car I ever owned) will be on my buy list based on your review. As you noted Rallying is not big here and I am no exception but I can see the attraction. The group you race with in Canada comes up with the most interesting classes and it is always fun to hear the stories. Thanks for sharing.
Very cool, thanks for the great read, Van. There's a growing interest in our area to build a wood rally track so we can properly appreciate these nifty cars. I have a healthy respect for all racing drivers, but the rally guys (and girls) just boggle my mind with their talent.
Quick question about the Alitalia Lancia Beta Montecarlo -- wasn't that a Group 5 car? I'm thinking that was the road racing adaptation that won the works championship in '80 and '81, beating out the Porsche 935's and the like. The rally adaptation of the Beta was the 037, I think.
Van, very nice work (or play), with solid technical info and high quality photos. Thanks.
I'm wondering if the mirage-like, low-rev "15k or 18k" Scalextric Mini slim can is really just the same old ~22k slim can we find in the F1 cars. And, as the proud owner of an SCX Alpine, I find its ability to corner without rolling over or spinning out gives it an edge over plenty of other low power cars that like to tip over or otherwise leave the slot.
I also note that no lead weight was added to these cars, a subject which should bring cheer to the ever changing crew of new guys who ask where to obtain lead. Lead is pretty much a last resort, in my tuning book.
Fly’s model of this ubiquitous rally car is true to the prototype’s motor layout in that it is placed behind the rear axle. Out of the box with the traction magnet removed the car is undriveable. Only with the addition of lead up front was this car tamed. Otherwise its nose was happy to bounce right out of the slot under acceleration.
Just a little additional FLY 911 info, since these are some of my favorite slotcars
There is a magnet pocket in the front just behind the guide. This is placed so high over the track that a big round Ninco magnets gives just enough downforce to keep the guide in the slot without making it a magnet car. This is an "easy fix" to keep it in the slot (if you race on plastic and are not prohibited by club rules) that makes them very fun to sling around the corners.
Another little bit of info is that the chassis and lightweight interior from the FLY Racing version is a direct fit with the standard 911 SC body (the wider rally car from the late 70's). It's a simple and very effective conversion if you want a classic 911 that handles as good as it looks. The older style 911 S/R/RS (as pictured above) can also be fitted to the racing chassis, but will require narrow hubless alu wheels to get the tire under the fenders.