Over the past few years, I have been building slot car frames for old friends and new friends alike, and supplying some to various slot car raceways around the US to support the growth of 1/24 scale Retro slot racing.Frames are time-consuming to build, as each one is totally hand-made (apart from the steel guide plate I use). I make the motor brackets for inline cars, I cut brass strip and tube to size, trim lengths of piano wire, and then solder it all together, so each frame takes between 10 and 15 hours to complete.
In my Photobucket Slot Cars album (see link to the right), there is a section for Customer cars that shows a lot of what has been done over the past few years.
To augment these frames and provide even more superior performance, I have designed and am now marketing some extra products.
Ball Bearing Front wheels: Retro slot cars support a lot of weight on their front wheels, unlike some other forms of slot cars. Ball bearing-equipped front wheels help to minimize rolling resistance, and therefore get higher speeds, especially in banked turns where the frame is carrying extra load. There are a number of such designs on the market and they work well, but I felt there were some basic problems to iron out. I designed my wheels to use a bigger bearing than the competition and to fit onto a sleeve rather than run directly on the axle. This way, I could provide a wheel that locks in position with a setscrew, and requires no soldering of retainers and therefore no flux or solder to contaminate the bearings. I also developed an improved method of cutting the hard foam tire so that these wheels run more concentric than most others.
These wheels are available now in many Raceways, as well as directly from me, in two widths and four diameters to suit all the various Retro classes being run around the world.
“Harry’s Nuts” These are a multi-class product, useful for any slot car guide flags that have a 3/16″ diameter post. Over the years, slot racers progressed from locking the guide in place with a collar, to using a washer and a screw, then to melting the screw into the guide, and finally started using #10-32 nuts to hold the guides into the cars. Each iteration provided more precise control of free play and easier adjutsments, but each had its drawbacks.
Back in the early 1980s, a talented engine machinist from what was then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) emigrated to South africa and joined our slot car club. His name was Harry Odendaal, and he was the first to produce this design of guide nut. He made them in his spare time and we used them with great enthusiasm, in fact I still have one or two of his originals. They were much more accurately made than a regular nut, and the top-side drive meant they were much easier to assemble.
I decided to have these made in quantity and release them to what turned out to be a hungry market, and they have been an instant hit all over the world, including back in South Africa, where they had been struggling to maintain the quality and price level I can now provide.
As with the wheels, these are available from various raceways in the US and from me direct. Soon they will be available in the UK via a local distributor as well.
“Clip-Rite” Controller saver
Ever had your car run away or a controller fuse blow because you got the hook-up wrong? “Red-to-red, black-to-black, white-to-white” sounds so simple, but in the heat of the moment, and especially on a strange track, this sort of thing happens. Here’s a solution:
Called “Clip-Rite”, it helps you hook up right each time. Just set your wires in the rubber buttons to match the track sequence once , then after that it’s plain sailing!
The rubber cable clips accomodate wires up to 5/16″ diameter, which is as big as any I have seen on a slot car controller. The wires do not come out esily, but it is quick and simple to change the order for a different track.The base plate is clear lexan, and the whole thing is 5″ long by .800″ wide, so it does not take up a lot of space in your box.
Soon to be available at selected raceways around the USA, and already available from me direct.
“Mix & Match” Numbers
Others may be like me, in that I like to use the same number on all my cars, so I tend to end up with lots of sticker sheets all with one number missing. So, I have made sticker sheets from high quality adhesive vinyl with 12 numbers and meatballs, all the same number.
But there’s a difference. The numbers are cut from the sheet, and also from the meatballs surrounding them, so it is possible to use just the number or just the meatball:
Of course, by buying a few different colors, the mix and match combinations are endless too, blue numbers in white meatballs, black nubers in yellow, etc.
I have the following colors available: Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Red, Silver, White and Yellow.
Number sheets of any number from 1 through 0 (12 numbers per sheet) and sheets with three each of 1 through 0 are available, in two fonts for now, a block font as in the shots above, and an italic font like this:
On special order, I can do reversed numbers for use as masking, or multi-digit numbers.
Again, these will be available through selected Raceways soon, or direct from me.
“Flex-Rite” Tweak Board
This is a slot car-size version of the famous tweak boards used by RC racers back when RC cars had no suspension. It allows you to quickly identify any twist in a slot car frame. or uneven weight distribution from left to right.
The Flex-Rite is adjustable for wheelbase all the way up to the 4.5″ needed for Retro stock Cars, and down to the shortest 1/32 car. there are engraved alignment marks set at 2.5″, 3″, 3.125″ and 3.25″ to center all widths of retro cars and others.
The Flex-Rite is packaged unassembled, with a set of assembly instructions. It is simple to use and will provide quick and easy checks for performance issues such as pulling under braking, different cornering to left and right, tire size inequalities, etc.
Available now from me directly and from Raceways once the word gets out.