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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
During the research for the book, this is the earliest hand control we found, still belonging to the rail racer who used it along with some of his original rail cars. Does anyone know of an earlier one?

RR

 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, they used bell pushers, light switches - or anything else that could make and break the current.

RR
 

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I remember seeing an article on Japanese slot racing in one of the mid-60s slot mags. The popular controller was a modified foot pedal (squeezed with two hands) from a sewing machine. I think Japanese technology made considerable strides after that.

mp
 

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Interestingly, in D J L-D's book he says that the first tracks used variable resistors but the operators soon found that by using an on/off switch they could go considerably faster.

What goes around comes around.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The hairpin on the Brookland rail track would make it almost inpossible to use any kind of on/off switch controller. As the inside lane is very tight.

RR
 

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QUOTE The hairpin on the Brookland rail track would make it almost inpossible to use any kind of on/off switch controller. As the inside lane is very tight.

Yes, and I imagine that it would have been even tougher using cars with early worm drive railway gears. Worm drive locks the drive wheels when the power is off preventing the car from coasting gracefully - I know this from racing model railway trains in my younger years


DJ L-D goes on to say that they then developed a middle ground controller which had both a fixed resister for slower speeds and a full on button. This would solve the problem by enabling the car to coast in corners under low power.

I wonder RR, did you run a class for worm drive cars at Brooklands? If so, what were your experiences?
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I own a couple of worm drive rail cars including the one raced in Abergavenny at the last summer rail race meeting.
This car was built and raced by John Jenner and is a copy of early ERA rail car. The car raced very well and was not much slower than the gear drive cars.

The advantage it had was their are no brakes on the rail track and the gear drive cars take a long time to slow down. If this car had been higher geared say 3.5/1 instead of the 6/1 it was it would have been hard to beat.

When Rail and slot racing ran side by side in the early 1960s it was rail racing which was the faster system by far.

RR
 

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QUOTE When Rail and slot racing ran side by side in the early 1960s it was rail racing which was the faster system by far.
This quite surprises me!
Were they the same scale?
What were the significant differences?
 

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... adding to that, in Vic Smeed's 1965 book he refers to a "war of words between protagonists of slot tracks and devotees of rail". Dramatic stuff!

He goes on to say something along the lines that the balance of opinion swung towards slot as people realised that slot tracks were no harder to build than rail tracks and significantly, that slot cars could be made to go as fast as those on rail.

I would be interested to see RR's take on this but this does sort of support his remark - at the time there had been more development put into rail.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rail cars were both faster down the straights and quicker around the corners. They were far more exciting to race and build and far more accurate scale models
( how that for no bias as I am serious historian)
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They really where much faster down the straights and round the corners and used more powerful motors. Both systems were 1/32 scale.

This is a historical fact read From "Rail To Slot" by Jose Rodriguez, Jr.

Slot cars took a long time after rail racing finished to reach the same speed.

RR
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Being serious rail cars were quicker because they used faster motors and you really can lean the car against the rail when racing, this is the quickest way around a rail track.

Also the first slot tracks had very shallow slots and were not thought suitable for the more powerful motors then used in rail racing.

These are just a few of the reasons why their was a lot of passion in the rail against slot discussions with a lot of rail racers leaving the sport rather than change to the dreaded slot system.

Personally I think the wrong system won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (
only kidding)

RR
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Requiem for Rail. By Mrs V. Whitbread

Oh dark the days that lie ahead.

No more the gleaming rail,

That stuffs all out of date they said,

And must lie beyond the pale.

Forgot were the glorious deeds thereon,

As the waves of commerce grew,

And they now engulf and feed upon,

The ashes we once knew.

The cars were made with loving care,

and raced with rightful pride;

They were all their own affair.

Not commercail supplied.

It's followers with one accord,

Could see the end was nigh,

So they dug a slot in the old baseboard,

And laid it to rest with a sigh.

Who Knows what the future years may bring?

Who knows what lies in store?

Is it a far, far better thing

Than we have done before?

This shows the passion rail racer felt for their sport.


RR
 
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