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The Dallara arrived this afternoon - I'll give you the only "negative" I have for it right off the bat, the little red hook on the nose, well it reminds me of our ditzy cat when her tongue hangs out...not really a "negative" so to speak, but a laughable distraction!!!



Okay, enough of the nonsense - the folks behind Spirit have got to be slot car racers first & business people last because their cars just keep on getting better...period.



First change I noticed is that they got rid of the plain old brass screw to hold the car in place in the case with a plastic doohickey like the other slot car makers use...oh well, so much for the rustic charm!

The next thing I noticed is how light weight this car is...I don't have a scale to measure the difference, but it "feels" about as light as the race-version Reynard...and considerably lighter than my Olive Garden Lola.

Without tearing it apart yet I noticed three things - it uses the same type of chassis (separate motor/drive-train assembly) and "sticky" tires as the race-version Reynard and the chassis to body uses only 2 screws to mount...and it seems as "solid" as a 3 or 4 screw mount.

I know, I know...one is supposed to lube & oil the car before putting any power to it and then spend some time breaking the motor in at slow speed...yeah, yeah, yeah I know all of that...but what the heck...itsa new car - let's see how fast it goes outta da box: DAMN FAST!!!!!!

Lap record on Da T is 2.9 and change by my Scalextric TA Mustang...and we that like "driving" our slot cars know how boring the the TA's are...well, I did do about 10 slow laps with the Dallara and then decided to just let it rip...best lap was in the low 3.3's and it is very easy to run 3.4's all day long and more importantly you do HAVE to drive it!!!

Now for those that do like the TA's and cars of that ilk - don't get this car - the heavier, but more magnetized Lola will lap at 3.0's on Da T...of course if you like that then save yourself a bunch of $$$'s on a controller upgrade since you can just wire it to an "off/on switch"...me, I like to use the whole throttle range...but that's just me talking.

After smiling for about 50 or so laps, I decided to see what was underneath the "clothing"...very, very nice indeed!!! What you get is the same as the race-version Reynard except for the set-screw aluminum rims and hollow axle. Same 26K RPM motor with brass pinion, set-screw crown gear, brass bushings, and the dual magnets. Also on the positive side, and maybe for just the Dallara, the guide/motor wires don't have to be perfectly in place to put the body on - anyone who has a Spirit Lola knows what I'm talking about...there's a reason "why" they didn't secure the interior to the Lola!!!

Now lapping in the low 3.3's to me was great...however, after opening it up I found that one of the motor/guide wires was about to break off at the solder point on the motor and one of the rear wheels was extremely loose on the axle. At this writing I haven't fixed either (I will, just ran out of Super Glue for the wheel) - but it just makes its quickness even more amazing to me.

Notice that I haven't said one word about scale accuracy or detail...well, that's simply because I don't have a clue if it is or isn't and frankly madam I don't give a damn! It looks fine to me (except for that red tongue
) and I like the low gloss finish on the body and it seems nicely detailed to me...the only thing I'd add are some racing number decals...

Final opinion - this is one fine and very fast driving machine...great acceleration and brakes, and nice handling from the tires...as I began, they definitely are slot racers at Spirit and I'm certainly looking forward to their future offerings.

I'm Bruce Kraemer and I approve this post...
 

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Hey there!

Wow!

Cool review although you do realise that you have just forced me to buy another slot car!!

at the cat tongue.

Cheers,

Julian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all for the kind words - I'll be "updating" it with pictures tomorrow as well as a comparison between the three - Dallara, Lola, and Reynard (race-version).

I did solder that lead, glue the wheels as well as motor & bushings, and did a little grease & oil (the crown & pinion were greased either by Spirit or where I got it) and all my efforts were rewarded with slower lap times!!! It still does consistent laps in the 3.4's very easily, but now I can't crack the 3.3's anymore??? Maybe that loose wheel was acting like a limited-slip differential??? Anyway, still a very fast & predictable car...I hope all enjoy the same experience I have with it...actually all 3 of the Spirits.
 

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Alan Tadd
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Great review Bruce.

I think Spirit are one of the most underated manufacturers out there.

Although I don't have any of their Lola's I do have all their 512 M's and they are superb. I know some people have an issue with their appearance, perhaps not being 100% acurate, but mix them in with Fly Porsche 917's, Lola T70's and Ferrari 512 S's and they look great, and run very well.

Regards

Alan
 

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Thought a "comparison" of the three different in-line Spirit's would be interesting.



(Note: I've put all the cars back to their "stock" configurations and Da T has been totally repainted so lap times are a bit slower than previosly recorded for all the cars as the track needs a couple of weeks of racing to get nicely "seasoned".)

I understand Spirit has only been making slot cars for about two years and to me the evolution of their in-line chassis bodes very well for the future offerings.

The Lola represents their original in-line chassis...pretty straight-forward and with it's strong magnet it is a very fast car - once one gets the gear-mesh straightened out (I had to grind the motor shaft down a little since it's tip rubbed on the crown and adjust the crown over a little too, also sanded off all the "flashing" from the crown & pinion). As mentioned, it is a very stuck down slot car and performs the same as the Scalextric TA's - what the magnet "robs" in straightaway speed is more than made up through the turns so it easily will beat the other 2 Spirit offerings - lapping easy (and boring) in the 3.1's.

Now I don't quite understand Spirit's thinking with the "regular" Reynard using the same type chassis as the Lola, yet the "racing" Reynard and the Dallara getting the new one with the seperate motor pod, dual (less strong) magnets, and better tires. The only reason that seems to make sense is that they are slot racers at heart and wanted a running mate for the Lola...just my thoughts. Anyway, both the Dallara and the race version Reynard are equals on the track even though the Dallara lacks the aluminum wheels, hollow axle, and the simple Lexan interior...that both use a lighterweight body seems to be the key that makes them perform the same. The 26K motor in each is very fast with good brakes even with the lighter magnetic downforce - definitely blows the doors off any of my other slot cars with the exception of very light Legend car. Lap times for both are consistently in the 3.4's and their handling is very predictable...and very much enjoyable cars to race.

As mentioned, I had done some changes on the cars earlier...because I was planning to enter the Dallara in a proxy race that limited the rpm of the motors to 23K, I had swapped the Spirit 26K motor for a Scalextric and performance was basically unchanged on my layout (I did note that the nylon pinion gave a quieter gear mesh than from the brass one). Since I wasn't happy with the Lola, I replaced it's stronger magnet with a tweaker in the same location and swapped out it's motor for the 26K unit...that change upped it's lap times to the low 3.3's, but it did have better acceleration and had to be driven through the turns now.

My suggestion for Spirit running mates would be the Lola & the standard Reynard if you like flat-out fast cars, and the Dallara & the race-version Reynard if you like to drive them...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An important note I discovered last night: Be very gentle with the wheels on the Dallara & Lola as they will get out of round very easily by twisting them.
 
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