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This is a how-to for converting a Scalextric Lotus 49 into a Policar racer.

Background

The Scalextric Lotus 49 has been around for about a decade now and although I've designed conversions for most other F1 cars on the market (Scalextric, Fly/Slotwings and SRC) I overlooked the possibility of these earlier cars being convertible.

Two things happened recently to change that:

1. David Lawson did his own scratchbuild style conversion documented on SFI and I had the pleasure of studying it at Gaydon whilst running the UK Policar GP 2019.

2. Simon of Scalextric approached me at the UKSF (Gaydon) with a preproduction prototype of their new Lotus 25 model and asked me if I would be able to design an aftermarket conversion once they released it.

So I went home, took one of my Scalextric Lotus 49s off the shelf, took it apart and began to design this:

Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle

This makes a really nice, smooth and quick handling car.

So this is how I did it and should form a clear guide to anyone wanting to do the same.

Bare in mind that the Lotus 49 changed a lot during the years in which it was used. The Scalextric model range started with the Lucky Strike with no wings from 1968. At that point in history the front wheels were narrow and large diameter. Scalextric, no doubt to save tooling costs, have stuck with those front wheel and tyre diameters even for the later cars.

This conversion will work for all cars however it is really best suited to the later, 1970 cars. By this time the front tyres had reduced in diameter and the nose sat slightly lower as a result.

1. Parts you will need:

A. Policar:

Although it is possible to build this conversion by buying individual Policar parts:

Complete gearbox (without outrigger screw positions)

Narrow Screws to fix gearbox

Gearbox top and DFV engine parts

Rear wheels

Rear tyres

Front wheels

Front tyres

Front and rear wheel inserts

Front axle

Guide, wires, grub screws and pick ups

It is likely to be cheaper to use a donor Policar Lotus 72 and, in addition all the parts will therefore be painted and decorated. A cheaper option, but requiring decoration, would be a white kit.

The Lotus doesn't come with the narrow head screws part PCH 07 so these will be needed purchased separately.

B. A donor Scalextric Lotus 49 (suggested a later model with the low wings).

C. A compatible chassis bought from here:

https://www.shapeways.com/shops/arco_chassis

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A NON REVERSIBLE PROCEDURE!

2. Preparation of the Policar parts:

Separate the body, remove the chassis from the gearbox by undoing all the screws.

Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Space Auto part

Cut off the outrigger screw points from the gearbox pod.

Automotive tire Gas Auto part Asphalt Musical instrument

Cut off the plastic soldered joints holding the windscreen onto the main body.

Pull the windscreen off.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior Tool

Cut the bottom off the two soldered plugs that hold the DFV to the main body and separate the two.

Remove the airbox by cutting out the back of the prong holding it on.

Cut the link piece off the DFV to form a flat back.

Satellite Font Asphalt Automotive lighting Space

Auto part Automotive wheel system Font Motor vehicle Fashion accessory

Toy Satellite Spacecraft Astronomical object Space

Depending on which Lotus you wish to convert (early late etc.) you may want to fix a rear wing or if the Lotus 72 matches the Lotus 49 livery you may wish to leave the attached wing. This would be particularly the case if making the Gold Leaf or Bob Walker cars as both those used the tripartite rear wing that comes on the Lotus 72 models.

If you don't want the Policar donor car rear wing, pull it out, or if it is glued in like mine, cut it off flush with the top of the water tank. Fill the holes if necessary and paint them over matt black to match the tank.

Automotive tire Circuit component Automotive design Motor vehicle Wheel

Given my 1970s obsession I'm converting the John Love car. I wanted a really simple way to fix on the rear wing to avoid making things over complicated.

I drilled a 1mm hole at an angle down into the back of the tank and glued a short piece of 0.81mm brass rod into it.

It turns out that the two fixing prongs of the Scalextric rear wing fit almost perfectly the width of the top of the gearbox on top of the brake disks. I just needed to trim very slightly the inner edge of the bottom of the prong.

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Finger Bumper

I then glued the the rear wing prongs to the top of the gearbox brakes and the brass rod. Its not super strong and others may come up with better fixing but I'm happy with it.

3. Preparation of Scalextric Lotus 49 donor:

Undo the screws and disassemble

Pull off a front wheel and remove the knurled axle

Cut off the plastic soldered plugs holding the rear engine and gearbox detail to the main body including the backs of the radius arms and separate.

You will be left with this piece:

Gas Auto part Metal Automotive design Automotive exterior

Unfortunately the water pipe running past the DFV fouls the exhausts on the Policar so cut as shown in the above photo.

Gently ease out the driver by rotating off his hands from the steering wheel. He needs cutting as shown in the photo above.

Put the driver back in ensuring he grips the steering wheel as before.

Remove the roll over bar from the engine by cutting the joints.

Clip the roll over bar onto the main body and glue or solder to it to keep it in place.

This is you donor body complete as shown above.

4. Assembly

Screw the motor pod to the rear DFV and gearbox assembly using the small screws part number: PCH 07 and the rear grub screw.

Take the 3D printed chassis. Cut off the two 'spacers' from the chassis using a craft knife. These sit either side of the screw point for the gearbox so you can't miss them. You won't be able to screw on the gearbox until you've cut them off underneath. Trim off any sprue remaining and set aside.

Screw the gearbox assembly to the 3D printed chassis.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Circuit component Tire

Thread the wires through the wire manager and fix the guide. The chassis can be used with the guide from the donor Policar or a wood guide can be fitted.

Screw the body on top using two of the Scalextric donor screws.

Assemble one side of the front Policar axle with a spacer inserted into the hub. Push that through the body hole. Check that it spins. If necessary slacken off the body screws and adjust body alignment to ensure smooth spinning.

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Put on the second spacer and the other front wheel.

It should look like this:

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Vehicle Motor vehicle

Go and race it!!
 

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What you did with this Lotus does it also apply to the Scalextric McLaren M7c or is the wheelbase 76mm vs. 75mm impossible to bridge?

Thanks for any reply.
 

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Many thanks, that is excellent news. Please keep us posted on this.

I just bought that McLaren and also the 49'er and I plan to do the conversions.

So cool, these cars...................
 

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Interesting conversion. I have to say that my Scaley 49 is one of my favourite runners but I don't have a Policar 72 (I am working on a 701 white kit but that's a year away ....I'm slow)

So I'm interested in knowing how the the Policar is better than the stock Sacley?
 
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