Racing slot cars is an exciting hobby in which anyone can engage. Enthusiasts can be found all over the world and there are slot car racing clubs found in nearly every major city. Most slot car racing clubs rules state that having fun is their primary objective. Slot car racing can be enjoyed by people of all ages, male or female.
Slot cars are very simple little devices. They are miniature models of real racing cars, usually on a 1:24 scale. Power is supplied to the slot car via metal strips which are situated next to the slot on the track. This is then picked up by contacts alongside something called the guide flag which is a blade that swivels and is located at the front of the car. This voltage is varied by a resistor found in the hand controller which the car’s “driver” holds. This forms the basic circuit. Other optional features like electronic devices are available.
HO cars work somewhat differently, but the premise is the same. The current is slot passed through metal rails which project just above the track’s surface and which are set out farther from the slot. The car has electrical contacts which are called “pickup shoes” which are mounted directly above the slot car’s chassis. A small round guide pin is usually used rather than a swiveling flag.
In many scale slot car racers, traction magnets are often used to give the car something called downforce. This helps the car maintain its relationship to the racing track when traveling at higher speeds. It provides greater enjoyment for the driver because the car will not slide or “drift” outward when racing. This provides a more realistic visual impact for drivers.
Slot cars are more than just mini versions of their full sized counterparts. Some are built from scratch and are beautifully hand-crafted renditions of their creator’s favorites. Some are even further modified to give them an even better performance edge. Other than the small swiveling flag there is nothing to keep the car from flying off the track when rounding curves. This is what gives the hobby such an exciting appeal to those who participate in it.