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· ParrotGod
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12,512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I started slotcar in 2014. I started straight in to scalex digital and magnets were my thing.
Then came Mr Flippant, the International Slotcar Competition and Mr Modifier, and I removed the magnets from my scalex cars, put on urethane tyres and learned that a car out of the box is no good. I started doing some analog on wood and more hobby-grade cars joined my collection...and I learned that I have to sweat and swear to make even pro cars decent on a wood track.
So, I got to believe that there is no slot car out there that can be raced out of the box.
In the meantime, my collection of cars grew but there was a huge gap: I did not have any Ninco cars.
Now, I heard a lot about Ninco and its cars. Especially around their classics. But I never had a thing for them.
A couple of years ago, I got a Ninco Corvette '56. I tuned it a bit (adding some weight, and glued and trued the original tyres).
I was not totally impressed but still, I have to say that despite being more than 15 years old, those tyres were holding up pretty well.
But given that Ninco sank into oblivion and these cars are hard to find, I just moved on.
Fast forward a couple of years and a global pandemic, and here I am with a bunch of Ninco cars.
I got some classics and something a bit different: the Raid trucks.
I have to say, it is nice when you get notified while at work on a Friday afternoon that you got a package waiting for you at home

Car Motor vehicle Toy Wheel Tire


Now, by just taking them out of the box and looking at their motor, gears, wheels, chassis and tyres, these things should not even complete a single lap around my track without a magnet. Come on, how can these Spanish people of the past create something that could lap on a Scalax Sport track which is known for its lack of grip?
Surely the boys at Scalex and Hornby know better but their cars cannot do a decent lap around their own brand of track without magnets. If you want to use Scalex chassis under they beautiful bodies, be prepared to spend lots of hours, fiddling with front and rear wheels, remove and bin the original tyres, deal with their unorthodox guide and super crappy braids, use glue everywhere to correct issue even inside the rear axle bushings. Etc, etc, etc,

Well, it seems that those Spanish people knew how to bend the laws of physics.
 

· ParrotGod
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12,512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok, let's start with the classics. In the pit, I got a couple of cars that are straight out of the box: the Healy and the Ferrari. The other threes have been lightly tuned.
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What I mean with lightly tuned? Well, I did the following steps.
1) Removed the magnets if present (not all of them have one)
2) True original rims
3) glue original tyres on original rims
4) True front and rear tyres
5) Add a pit of plastic card under front axle to provide support (HRW)
6) Use hot glue to fix the motor and rear bushing
7) Add some lead
8) Cut the original braid shorter and do the Mr Flippant twist.
It takes 30 min per car max. The most of the time is spent waiting for the CA to cure.

In the video below, you will see (if you really squint) me doing 3 laps with each car in analog at 10 Volts.


By the way, all of them have the big NC5 motor except for the 356 where I installed a MRRC 16K short can motor.
I have to say that I am bloody impressed! But wait, there is more.
 

· ParrotGod
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12,512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The raid trucks! These things are hilarious! You look inside and they have elastic belts with little shock absorbers.
The tyres have tracks and they are huge.
So no way that they can stay on the track without magnets.
But they do! In the video below, I have removed the magnets in all of them. Added some LEAD and oiled the bushings (they have 4 per axle).
As you can see below, I have almost all of the Ninco raid trucks with different wheelbase and height.
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The pro-truck (the pick up in the front of the line) is only a two wheel drive. All the others are 4WD.


These things are great fun. It takes me 5 min to prep them from out of the box and put them on the track to do laps.
Of course, I could spend hours to tune them to gain a 100th of sec a lap...but for what I have in mind (some laps by myself) with these, 5 min work is all that I need to enjoy them.
 

· ParrotGod
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12,512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, since I could not resist, I wanted to see how these raids work with some uneven terrain.
So I took some cardboard and started creating some simple obstacles to put on the track with some double side tape - easy to remove as I have GT3 racing on Wed on the same track.

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This stuff I easy to make but each obstacle needs to be taken in a different way.
If you do not pay attention the truck will deslot.
And because you can easily make new and move then around, you can give a different character to the same track...it could make for a nice racing format.
 

· ParrotGod
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12,512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here a small video with the MX5 going over some of these obstacles.
As you case, if you are not consistent the car will deslot.
 

· ParrotGod
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12,512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Coming back to the title of this post: why on earth with today cars we have to spend so much time and effort to make complete a lap?
If you want to know what I mean, here is a small comparison: a chassis of a raid truck (pajero) vs a scalex C8R chassis.


Both of them out of the box and without magnets.
Both of them at 10 V analog.
Do you see a difference? I do. The scalex car struggle all around the track to get power. Mainly I think is due to the poor design of their guide.
And to be fair, on the scalex chassis I did unfurl the braids and do the Mr Flippant twist: still the contact with the rails remains poor.
The chassis is very hard to control. it wants to lose the rear end all the time and in the last lap it does.

Now I understand why people that have been around for a while and maybe experienced some racing with the Ninco cars, are so upset when the cars from other manufacturers cannot do even a lap without magnets unless you are willing to put a lot of work and in same cases even throwing away half of the cars.
It is such a pity that Ninco has ceased activities in the slotcar market. But then who knows, maybe if they were still around today they might have outsourced all their manufacturing in China with all the consequences we can imagine.

Something new learned. And I really enjoy these cars.
 

· Registered
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333 Posts
I'm starting to see a trend, here on the forum and elsewhere, of what I would call Ninco nostalgia. And I think the brand deserves it. At their peak they made some fantastic products. Around 10 years ago they recieved a lot of flack for not being competitive with Slotit etc. In it's own right of course, because the market moved on. It's like Nokia mobile phones, they were great but suddenly people bought other stuff and they couldn't keep up with the change.

In 2006 I picked up the Ninco catalogue and was blown away with was on offer. They started my way into the hobby and I will always cherish their products. Today I have 86 of their cars in my collection. The thing with their cars is just what you describe Grunz. Did they look best? No. Did they run the fastest? No. But was it a good functional slotcar that you with minor adjustments could run for 100 laps with out any deslots? Yes!
 

· ParrotGod
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12,512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To be honest, if they were still around, I would not want them to change....to be another Slot.it, NSR, or TS (just to mention a few).
I like my Slot.it, NSR, and TS but despite the fact that they have all quality component inside, you still need some work to make them go. And when they go they can go fast.
But the beauty of these Ninco cars is that even if you are not going super quick, each laps is a nice one...it is hard to explain.
But since I have got these cars, I got the hitch to spend more time in my garage doing laps with them (even after dinner!).
 

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I had several Ninco WRCs. They were great little cars, but they didn't fit-in with the majority of my other cars so I moved them on. It did them no favours that they were all slightly over-scale. But they handled very well, as Grunz says, with minor fettling. IMHO good chassis with nicely detailed bodies - although pre-2005ish cars weren't quite so we'll detailed, the Porsche 996 for example.
There must be lessons to be learned from their chassis design - "Ninco hop" excepted.
 
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· ParrotGod
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12,512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I also agree on the level of details. Maybe the do not have fancy etched parts or anything crazy, but the quality of details is there.
They look nice and because they are not that quick you still enjoy looking at them going aroung.
The other night after our digital race I show the Jag to the guys at my club...one said "She's pretty". We usually do not say things like that about the cars we race!
 

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Older Scx Rally cars and many Ninco cars are now fetching good money on the bay, they were pretty well detailed and rather robust, although not as fast as today's racers they went very well, Scx and Ninco, home circuit brands,always handled better than the UKs leading brand.

Remember as a kid my red C41 330 GT and white C46 917K were better than the C 15/16/17/18 Scaley sports cars.

We ran a run what u brung fun night a few months ago at the club, grouping cars by approximate lap time, some folks ran Spirit 936s with 3d chassis and RS flat six motors, some folks brought scaley BTCC with 3 d chassis etc.

Digging in a cabinet I took out a couple of SCX SRS2 cars, white 787 B and purple XJ 14, bit of a nostalgia fest as I'd seen these at Silverstone and Le Man's in period.
The XJ 14 only ran in FP/qually at the Sarthe.

I ran the Mazda and was in group 3 of 3 for lap time, came second in class of 5 which I was pleased with, the car looked good, was very stable, just lacked a bit of grunt on the long N Staffs straight, a really fun evening, totally different.
Said it before, say it again, not every car has to lap in 6.9 seconds
 

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This thread made me go down in the cellar for some Sunday slots and drive some Ninco cars 😄.

Should you ever have the opportunity to buy a Ninco Porsche 911/934 I recommend you try one. Sometimes I get the question which is your favourite slotcar. When you have around 500 cars that's not entirely easy to answer, but I often mention the Ninco 911/934 as one of the candidates. So far I got six of them.
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It is in no way an accurate model of the 911, but as a slotcar it really does the job. It has performance matched with forgiving and predictable handling. The rear track is very wide and it also has the rally suspension.
 

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I,ve upgraded a few Ninco cars and they still get a regular run out , especially as i have now put Angelos 3d chassis in one of them the XK 120 loved the car but it hated me especially doing the Ninco hop hop hop, only way i could cure it was the 3d route.
Now we get on really well , no longer does she languish in the bottom drawer , right up there with the fast Ferraris ith her 18k H&R Hawk motor .

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Then we have Graham out for a Sunday drive, present from Ember many of you may remember from a few years back, and this is standard still has the original Ninco 2 long can and for some reason this one does not do the hop hop hop and i have no idea why it does not.

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And last but not least is my Ninco Citroen rally car , standard car with Ninco 5 motor with better wheels and tyres built for the OZ rally down under but never had the chance to run, cured the hop hop hop on this by aralditing bracing on the back axle mounts and along the chassis tray , so i quite like Ninco except for the hop hop hop.

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You are so right Gio, these Ninco cars are really fun, we have used them mainly on the scalextric sport rally section, including some raid cars and they went very well. Now on my ninco oXigen tracks, the cars that we run most are Ninco BMW's, so much fun out of the box. PS I like your cardboard temporary card board solution. When we raced on scalextric sport we also added the jump ramp, easy to place and remove for extra fun, you just click it in the rails.
 

· David H
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4,388 Posts
Ninco is the reason I now own 2000+ slot cars.

In 1996 I was competing almost full-time as a racing cyclist, and slot cars were merely a hobby I'd dabbled with off and on since 1968. Driving one day to a race in Bedfordshire from my home in West Sussex, I was caught in a long traffic delay on the M25 which meant I couldn't reach my destination in time to make the start of the race, so, thoroughly fed up, I turned round and drove home, taking a detour via a model shop in Reigate to see if they had any new Scalextric cars to add to my then Scalextric-only collection of cars. They didn't, but they had an unboxed yellow Ninco Ferrari F50 on sale for £9. Intrigued, I bought it. It was a revelation. It performed so much better than the majority of my Scalextric cars that I bought another, then another.

Three years later I broke my back in a car crash driving home from another bike race, paralysed myself from the chest down, and my life as an athlete was over. Enter slot cars again and the Ninco F50s, which led first to me buying a few more Ninco cars, then some Fly, then moving on to other brands too. Scalextric still holds a big place in my heart, but I buy very few of their cars now.

Ninco drove the first nail into Scalextric's coffin for me, and more have been added since by all the other competitor brands we have today. And it's not just cars either, it's track too. I went from Scalextric track to Ninco and now Policar.

My first Ninco car, the yellow Ferrari F50, and a selection of my other Ninco favourites.
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BMW M3 GTR
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Ford GT GT3
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Ascari KZ1
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Lamborghini Gallardo
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Lancia Stratos
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Lancia 037
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Corvette C1
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Renault Megane Trophy
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Porsche 934
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· Gary Skipp
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6,770 Posts
I'm starting to see a trend, here on the forum and elsewhere, of what I would call Ninco nostalgia.
You can call it nostalgia, but people only usually get nostalgic over things that were good 😉

Gio, highly recommend you pick up a copy of the book “Ninco - 10 years” if you can track one down. I think you’ll appreciate it.
 

· Jim Moyes
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As a relative newcomer (last 3 or so years) I have really enjoyed reading this topic, thanks very much for the post Grunz & to those who've posted since. I certainly don't have anywhere near the same level of experience with Ninco slots as you all, but one of my absolute favourite runners is a Ninco XK120. Made for running on our slot clubs wooden tracks in the classic front engine sports race category, it runs beautifully. Not the absolute fastest, but very competitive as it just handles like a dream. Not only that, but back on my home track which is scalex sport, it also runs as well as any no-mag car that I have. It's the car I tend to give to any non-slot car mates to have a drive of when they come over, very forgiving.

The trouble is though, having come into this hobby about 10-15 years too late, finding any Ninco to add to my collection, is verging on impossible (at a reasonable price anyway). Which is rather sad.....
 

· David H
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4,388 Posts
Ninco drove the first nail into Scalextric's coffin
Interesting sentiment considering the current state of both outfits.
You've quoted me out of context. What I said was: Ninco drove the first nail into Scalextric's coffin for me

Scalextric still holds a big place in my heart, but I buy very few of their cars now.
Ninco drove the first nail into Scalextric's coffin for me, and more have been added since by all the other competitor brands we have today. And it's not just cars either, it's track too. I went from Scalextric track to Ninco and now Policar.
 
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