SlotForum banner

Motor racing board games - memories?

6932 Views 53 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  Coopdevil
I was having a look through a 1950's Eagle annual the other day and came across an advert for Subbuteo motor racing. Now I had the usual football version and a school friend had the cricket one. I also vaguely remember a rugby version but I had never heard of this one so I asked Mr Google and he informed me that there were four versions of the same thing - motor racing, horse racing, speedway and cycle speedway - all using ball bearings shot down a tube to move the vehicles! LINK Apparently none sold very well and they are 'Mega Rare' today. Has anybody got one or memories of playing with it?

While we are on the subject, I have a well used Waddingtons Formula One board game in the loft. This sold very well in the sixties and there are loads on eBay. Anybody still play with theirs or have distant memories of 'tyre wear 1, brake wear 2' on their little card dashboards?

There must be other motor racing board games out there - who can add to the list?
  • Like
Reactions: 1
21 - 40 of 54 Posts
No, tell a lie, I did keep a third

Turbo - Milton Bradley


This is actually a children's game, one of a series of licensed games that M-B did in the 80s based on Sega arcade games (there was also a Zaxxon and something else I forget about now). In this you spin two spinners but as they are marked up 1 to 6 we always rolled two dice instead. You move your car the score on one spinner, and the other one is used for a competitor's car or the ambulance (which basically overtakes all the cars like it did in the original coin-op machine. I suspect we may be simulating Formula E here where the track support vehicles are faster than the racing cars...). The ambulance is removed when it crosses the line so towards the end of the race you have to get tactical in the way you move the other cars.

Actually a really neat idea but slightly ruined by having to include the novelties of the original arcade machine (ambulance), the icy road in which any car can be moved in all 8 directions so the end game becomes a mess of reversing and side-stepping cars until somebody manages to roll a 6 and escape the ice field.

(The grey cars in this one just stand still as blockers to be driven around).

It's actually a very clever simulation of a slightly odd computer game.
See less See more
This Indycar-themed one went in the purge as we'd played it to death.

Formula Motor Racing - GMT Games

A card game with no board, you lay out 12 little rubber cartoon racing cars (6 of each colour) and proceed to play cards to adjust the order of the cars trying to work your own up to the front. The trick here is that each card that advances a car also advances the one behind it in the slipstream - again like Turbo and Detroit-Cleveland you are forced to help others as you help yourself.

This seems like a neat simulation of "draft racing" but after a bit I started to realise that, again, this was a game that had clearly started development life as something else and in this instance I'm fairly certain it began life as a game based around cycle racing's peloton - the way that a rider surges ahead, takes others with him but needs to be disciplined not to do it to early.

You play several rounds and score for both cars in your team. Ultimately it takes too long for what it is as the early stages of the race play no role in determining the final result - so very Indy 500 then.

Usually priced below £15 BTW so a cheap purchase.
See less See more
I was another Waddingtons Formula 1 freak. I also built a bigger track!

Right then, in the 1990s this was the absolute Daddy of motorsport boardgames

Formula De

But it's a sad tale of decline...



Gameplay is run via a series of 6 custom dice each of which equates to a gear. You go up and down a gear at a time and roll the relevant die for your move. Obviously 1st gives low results, 6th gives the largest results with quite a high minimum move. You need to ensure that in each corner you stop (I.e. end of a single move) in the corner the number of times in the yellow flag by the corner. This prevents you from bombing around Lowes Hairpin at 210 mph. If you fail you start taking damage to your brakes/tyres based upon how many spaces your overshot by although you can crash down multiple gears and take damage to your transmission that way which is just as bad but removes the risk of crashing. Victory is based upon getting the correct gear and the getting the "managed declined" of your car right such that you can get away with being in a gear too high, but not falling apart until after the line Lotus-style.

All through the 1990s and 2000s this game was expanded with lots of two sided boards with a real racing circuit on each side. A complete collection of Formula De was a object of lust for the much younger Coop in this period. Many full race seasons were run by gaming groups, competitions all sorts of things, it was the standard of racing games. People produced alternative cars in white metal so you could buy period F1 cars, and prototypes and the like.

So went wrong?

A second edition came out, and the publishers jumped on the the ridiculous Fast and the Furious nonsense band-wagon and insisted on bundling this nonsense along with the real tracks. Instead of getting real circuits on both sides you now get city streets and police chases, and tattooed hoodlums and toss like that alongside a real circuit so basically each expansion becomes only half useful.

Correspondingly you don't hear anything about Formula De in gaming circles any more.
See less See more
Speed Circuit - Avalon Hill

I've never actually played this, but I believe it's quite similar to the Waddingtons game. Originally published by 3M, the Avalon Hill version has a few rules changes. Used to be the enthusiasts racing game choice in the days before Formula De came out.

I'd never heard of this game, but the box art is great and reminds me of the weekends I used to spend in a caravan (often playing Formula 1) parked in various UK paddocks while my dad raced Clubman's Formula cars.

Anyone able to identify the photo? I'd make a guess at Formula 3 1973, Brands Hatch, but I'm by no means certain. The #57 Alpine Renault looks like an A363 or A364 and the #62 car that of Alain Serpaggi. 1970s F3 is a formula that I've long thought would make a great class for one of the niche slot manufacturers to take up.

Photos found via Google:

Serpaggi 1973

Tire Vehicle Wheel Car Automotive tire

Brands Hatch paddock 1973. Anyone remember it? If you got there early enough you'd get lucky and have the luxury of a tarmac floor and a roof. Too late and you'd spend the weekend being rained on.

Car Land vehicle Vehicle Tire Automotive tire


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
In the late '50s I made my own tracks on cardboard and raced Schuco Piccolo Mercedes, Ferraris and Porsches. Modified a pair of dice so that they each had a 3, 2x4, 2x5 and a 6 to keep the cars more bunched up. I would run a whole World Championship season.
I'd clearly be no use at pub quizzes. The box photo for the Speed Circuit game isn't Brands Hatch. A bit of googling makes me almost certain it's the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 3 race.

#57 Michel Leclère. Alpine A364. Retired.

#95 Masami Kuwashima. March 733. Retired.

#62 Alain Serpaggi. Alpine A364. 2nd.

The Waddington's F1 game seems very popular here. Much like the Speed Circuit game above, I reckon its success was in part due to it having just enough of a tenuous link to real racing to capture the imagination of any motor-racing mad young boy.
See less See more
None of the track layouts in any of the examples I have been able to find on-line are familiar and most are of a clearly later vintage. The game I recall is one we played in the 50's.

I offer the caveat that yes, it's Wikipedia we are talking about here, but Wikipedia states that the Waddington's game dates from 1962 and that the US title was "Grand Prix". Al's 50s vintage game must be something else then.

I have a well used Waddingtons Formula One board game in the loft. This sold very well in the sixties and there are loads on eBay. Anybody still play with theirs or have distant memories of 'tyre wear 1, brake wear 2' on their little card dashboards?
Me too, used to play full GP seasons with it :)
  • Like
Reactions: 1
As well as the aforementioned Speed Circuit, Avalon Hill were also responsible for "Auto Racing - The Official game of the USAC" under their "bookshelf games" imprint.
I have a copy on a bookshelf, oddly enough, but haven't looked at the contents for a good few years.

I can see what I'll be doing if the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend is a washout.....
My Dad used to drag out the Grand Prix board game for us to play on. It was never as fun as slot racing or r/c though.

I have seen several sets at car boots in the past year, last one was 2 weeks ago. So if someone is looking for a set, that would be where to head.
Has anyone come across this rally one from the mid 1980`s?
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Tire Automotive parking light
Rectangle World Urban design Font Map
Font Publication Poster Advertising Engineering
A complex set of instructions with it
Book Font Publication Paper product Document
Book Font Publication Terrestrial plant Paper
Stage or road rally variants
Book Font Publication Paper Paper product


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I vaguely remember ads for this in the rally mags at the time, but never met anyone with the game.
I found my Dads old racing game, it's more of a floor game than a board game. He always thought it was called Mini Monaco or something like that, he was never sure but it's from the 50's.

Canvas track (getting frail now, this is the first time I've opened it out for over 25 years.

All the pieces are wood and hand painted, the cars had their name painted underneath but some can't be read now. The dice are what I cobbled together and created my own rules (probably over complicated knowing me
). I would spend all day racing, of course I had a favourite car.

The overall layout:


A closeup of the cars (that's a 1p coin for size comparison):


Notes painted on the track:


Back of the grandstand:




My dice:


Marshalls post:


The stars of the show:


Cars - from left to right if I can read the writing underneath otherwise a guess would be helpful:

- I think it's a Nash-Healey (this was my favourite)

- Aston Martin DB2 'Works'

- Jaguar XK120C

- Jaguar XK120C

- Monopole

- D.B. (I presume that means Daimler Benz)

- Ferrari America

- Renault 4

- Lester MG

- Frazer Nash

- 3 Litre Delage

- Frazer Nash

I've never seen another and any more info would be great.

...I've just noticed in the photo of the grandstand it says Nash-Healey so that's probably the first car.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
It seems there are an awful lot more of these out there than I initially thought. Here are links to ebay listings for 5 more of them:

Isle of Man TT


Damon Hill

Alan Jones

See less See more
I remember playing the Silverstone game.
Fast 111's was a staple of my childhood. Dead simple, didn't drag on too long, and fairly resilient 2d plastic pieces.
Racing games I currently have in my substantial Board Game collection:

Formula De
Das Motorsportspiel
Detroit Cleveland Grand Prix
Daytona 500
Carabande / Pitch Car
Formula Motor Racing
Thunder Alley
Thunder Road
Dark Future
Speed Freaks
Car Wars

See less See more
21 - 40 of 54 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.