I now have 4 Spirit cars and my experience has been generally positive:
1. Black Martini Porsche 936: All I did with this was to add urethane tyres: that is it! Not the best sounding slot car out there nor (remotely!) the fastest in a straight line. But on wood, it runs really, really well. Not lap-record-turning, race-winning well, but a very smooth, beautiful handling car. I pretty much enjoy running all my cars but this one is guaranteed to bring a smile to my face every time I run it. No nonsense, nice, fun car. 8.134 second lap time on Luf's Targa.
2. Kumho Tyres Courage C65: this one is a bit of a disappointment performance-wise. I was really expecting great things from this but I have so far not been able to really get it to meet my expectations. It is slidey and I have not been able to cure this with normal tricks and tweaks. Best lap: 8.151. OK, so it is marginally quicker than the Porsche, so why, may you ask, am I deliriously happy with the Porsche but not with the Courage? Higher expectations I suppose. It has a more powerful motor (MUCH!), more sophisticated chassis and what I thought were better proportions: I really expected a sub-8 second lap from this.
Urethane tyres and a bit of lead only.
Note that this has a great suspended pod but there is a minor glitch: the motor presses up against the interior, so it is impossible to get the movable pod to move! Not that that wories me a great deal: I tend to tighten the pod down in any case. But it just seems rather... pointless?
Oh well: more tweaking to do!
3. BMW 2002: Gobs of fun! Like a 2,000 horsepower motor in a VW Beetle, but great! This runs better than anybody has the right to expect from a narrow, upright little car. I regularly use it in our TransAm races (B sedans are still TransAms, aren't they?). Obviously, it gets totally out-handled by the Scaley Camaros and Mustangs. But I make up some distance on the straights (unfortunately the tracks we race on are more handling, technical tracks so no long straights) and at least I get to put a scare into the more conventional fast TransAms.
Urethane tyres, body float, little bit of lead: that's it! This has a best lap time of 8.77 seconds (about 0.2 seconds slower than my Scaley Camaro).
Always good for a giggle, and we are in the hobby to have fun, right??
4. Latest addition: Peugeot 406 Silhouette. What a blast! Received the car an hour before I had to leave for racing on Friday night: slapped some urethanes on it, lubed it and off I went! Wow: best lap time of 8.177 seconds, screamingly fast in a straight line and handles rather well. OK, so this one hops, but based on Kurt's comments I was expecting that. The chassis is as flexible as a piece of Saran, pod not much stiffer, so bracing the pod is a no-brainer.
So since Friday I have braced the pod, removed the slop from the front axle, adjusted the front axle height (I actually shimmed down the guide a bit as I did not want to raise the front axle too high for fear of the tyres binding on the body), glued the motor, put in a 5g piece of lead, trimmed the rear axle to bring the wheels a bit closer inboard (one wheel was sticking out from the body and hence ran the risk of fouling with decent body float), got the body to float properly and glued the rear tyres.
I will be running this in our Open class racing on Monday: I will be very surprised and disappointed if I do not get this to turn a sub-8 second lap.
And it looks great!! Love it!
No, they are not up to Slot.it technical quality. But they make some unique, pretty cars that, with a bit of TLC, go extremely well. Choices are good!
A few weeks back I ran an untuned black 936 with urethanes on a super-technical routed track (which also had a 20' straight), against a field of tuned Fly cars with drivers who already knew the track. The Spirit car smoked the field, was the top qualifier, and set a new track record. I'd say these cars are WAY under-rated.