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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Of a sorts...

I found the stuff in the similarly named topic about the cars in the sixties fascinating, and it is obvious that that car had tremendous influence.

Wonderful though it is, the world of professional paid racers with hand built cars is a million miles away from what I or loads of other people are into now, so the relevance of this car to MY hobby is genuine but minor.

What got me into the hobby? Last time I looked (in the eighties) slot cars looked like cheap christmas cracker gifts. Suddenly here are hyper-real better than many die-cast racing machines, with very good performance. What happened? I wasn't looking when things changed.

So what car caused this arms race for detail? was it a Fly? a Ninco? SCX????

for me this was the most important slot car, does anyone know what it was?

cheers

Dave
 
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I think that Philippe is right, and it must be the FLY Viper, because I could not believe how good the first one of these was when I saw it at a Model show. This model was a Huge step forward and really pushed the goal posts forward.

RR
 

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If your looking for that point in time when I think they 'Upped' the game,

... I'd say one point was certainly when the people at the Spanish Scalextric Factory
( need a Brit to insert correct name of factory here please) started to produce cars like these....



while the English factory was still producing these...



The cars at the top made a huge impact when they started to appear in Australia. The Mclarens still pull upwards of $100 AU when they appear at the Annual Scalextric Auction every now and then..



The cars below also made an impact when all of a sudden the Ferrari GTO and BMW m3 turned up and proved more than a match for the Scalextric GT40 and Porsche in the handling department.



Plenty of differing opinions I'm sure but I reckon this one is right in there if a line were to be drawn in the sand..
 

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Even though I'm certain in my head that it ain't 1:32 I'd agree with the Fly Viper being the first with super detail although, as with Squeezy above, I think SCX or Exin or whatever they were calling themselves were doing a better job of producing decent looking and decent running machines long before.
 

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UKSqueezya, with all due respect, all of these F1 and other cars look like maladroit toddler toys to me. The Viper does at least pretends to correct body proportions and decent wheel representations and a certain research in actual performance, not the case for any of these plasticky thingies (I DO like the Jordan, best of the bunch).

I also believe that such cars actually desecrate your own track that has very realistic features, even if you have chosen to use the worst possible make of track in the history of the hobby for your layout. Even Artin is many times better than that plastic excrement of design.

Please feel free to disagree, it's just the opinion of an obsolete old half-blind expatriate Spaniardo-French has-been.
Best regards,

Dr. Pea
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys.

The Fly Viper is obviously one of the new breed of modern detailed slot cars - assuming the first issue looked akin to the Fly Vipers that are on sale today. This was released in 1996?

I agree with TSRF that the SCX Exins pictured above still have that very toy-like quality, however (after much reference to the pics of the competition and the scx f1s) I can see where Uksqueexea is coming from,the drivers are much better proportioned and the car slightly more refined, and these differences much more obvious at the time I presume. Do you know what yeat this was, Uk?

I have heard people claim that it was ninco who raised the bar, will no one make a case for them? Some liveries of their Mclaren F1 are very impressive, but I don't know when that was released or what was around at the time.

Cheers

Dave
 
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It's true that Ninco did help to start the ball rolling in the right direction But when FLY introduced the Viper this was a huge leap forward and lead directly to the great scale cars we have today.

RR
 

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Not too sure Astro, I think the ferrari F1 87 ( maybe 88ish) was first but there were definately two types of Scalextric cars, one type being the Plastic Scalextric and then the Spanish Scalextric type.
What I was eluding to with the cars like the McLaren, Ferrari and Jordan is when these cars appeared that some extra manufacturers began to arrive shortly after.

As for the worst track, we have ONLY ever had Scalextric track here in OZ since 1960. (Ninco arrived 1997ish) So for us, broader picture, it appeared that Fly and Ninco were making new cars that you could only use on Scalextric track. But the Viper did certainly make an entrance.

I suppose this Hornby Slot car Hobby is a journey and its more interesting to see the changes over the years rather than to make harsh comments about which is better or worse.

It's pretty much all good though I think.
 

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I think we already had this discussion in length last year on another forum, but here we go again (since nobody listened to me the first time).

Ninco, absolutely. By coming up with first (modern era) decently detailed and engineered 1/32 slot car in 1994 they woke up Scalex, proved there was a market for this type of car and paved the way for Fly, Slot-it and all the other jean come latelys. Fly may have raised the bar or whatever, but they were following in Ninco's footsteps.

I also say this from personal experience, since I was already reinvolved with modern slots at the time, and Ninco was the one that reawakened my interest in 1/32 home set cars...

By the way, this is not to excuse the stuff that Ninco claims in their 10th anniversary book where they pretty much invented slot racing according to them... But give them credit for their very real accomplishment.
Don

PS: personal regret: MRRC could have played this role, but like in 1957 they missed the boat by deciding to remain a specialty firm - maybe not such a bad idea after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks dgersh, do you remember which models ninco released around then which made people say 'oooooo'? cheers
 

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Right! This is just my perspective and a rough view of the events in the way they affected my view of the slot car hobby!

1992- Found out through a local model shop that I wasn't alone in my fascination for these small racing models/toys and there was a racing club on the outskirts of my village. Went along and was totally hooked. At the time (RTR wise), there was English Scalextric and Spanish SCX. That was it! The vast majority of race classes being used were the SCX cars. There were some Hornby classes. The GroupC Le Mans cars were good but most Hornby stuff was considered more at the kids toy end of the market. The members were all pleased because Exin had just started the SCX brand and cars were much more easily obtained. Previously it had been a case of importing from Spain yourself (Holidays & business trips etc) or paying a premium to some of the more interested model dealers ,who I think had deals going with their like-minded Spanish counterparts. Hornby eventually launched their product under the Superslot brand in Spain.

1993- SCX were sold out by Exin and bought by the large toy group under the Tyco brand name, who also had bought the Matchbox name and used this as a draw for the people who were perhaps shy of an unknown product by adding a British household name to the packaging. Production of the SCX range moved to China and a lot of the old favourites were dropped from the range. This was met with a mixed reaction. First, joy at the amazing price reductions- as an example the Ferrari F1/87 had an RRP of £27.99 under Exin, but Tyco offered the same car for just £9.99- but then slowly a realisation that the quality had slipped and the cars were not as great straight out of the box as they had been!

1994- News started to filter through about a new all Spanish company formed by ex-Exin employees and this was the first time we heard the Ninco name. One of the members found out (through the NSCC, I think) that P&J Models were importing the first Ninco cars, a Renault Clio in two liveries, and ordered three pairs. As soon as they arrived, they proved to be excellent racers and a hit with all the members and luckily Richard Kohnstam, the model importers/distributors tied up a distribution deal with Ninco and they became widely available! They soon followed the Clio with a range of DTM cars of the time-Alfa 155, Mercedes C-Class & Opel Calibra. Every new ninco car that came out was immediately bought up in groups of four by the club (which had now become club cars only) and they still have all of them and still going strong.

1995- Another new manufacturer comes along from Spain. Fly cars make their entrance into the Slot world and everybody is amazed at their fantastic detail. Despite that they weren't well received at my club because of their total reliance on magnets for their performance. On our Wood/copper tape track they were pretty awful, tramping under power and destroying propshaft mounts and gears for fun. Even on the Scalextric track at the newly opened Farnham club they were viewed as a bit boring as you could hold the throttle flat out all round the track apart from the R1 hairpin! Ninco strengthened their hand with the first of their vintage range and possibly their best ever car, the McLaren F1 GTR. We actually welcomed the light magnet they had fitted just behind the guide, because the car was still a fantastic runner on the boards at Liphook and the bumpy Plexytrack at Farnham didn't cause the usual deslots.

End of History lesson part one (Mr M's history that is)

Mr.M
 

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Don,
With all due respect, the first Ninco cars did not look much better than the previous Exin cars, and still looked very toyish. As far as I am concerned, they may have made SOME impact in the enthusiast crowd ("tout nouveau, tout beau, all new-all beautiful") but the general public oh-hummed.
The FLY Viper changed all that and brought a whole new generation of hobbyists into the fray.

So if I were to decide WHICH cars are the "most important" for the home-racing crowd which does not care where the technical achievement comes from, I would place the Scalextric pair of tinplate Ferrari-Maserati as #1, and the FLY Viper as #2.

And on a lesser note, the COX "SuperScale" magnet-traction cars of 1973 as #3 because they were the world's first to use a magnet specifically designed for the function of applying down force. Take THAT, Mr. Chapman...


Regards,
Dr. Pea
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cheers John for the pics

Mr M - great bit of recent history, and filling in of the SCX-ninco relation which I was previously unaware.

Looks to me as if the 90s had a definate trend for more detail, with Ninco pushing the envelope. The Viper was definately a breakthrough car though, it sits happily with todays detailed cars, and it surprises me that this change happened in one car, not a more gradual curve.
 

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Can't see the fascination with the Viper... I thought the Joest Porsche (earlier) was at least as detailed if not more, they look stunning. And the Venturi...

Ah... just clocked on. Was the Viper the first Fly car? Cos they re-released it with a different chassis, and that's the one I'm thinking of...

Anyway, hate the Vipers, don't run without magnets.

Lotus

PS. Love the SCX F1 '87 and McLaren MP-something
 

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What started the "detail arms race?" A small blue Fly Viper although I have a few HO scale AFX cars from an earlier period that are quite remarkably proportioned and detailed considering their small size.

I'm hopeful that the new Scaley Vanwall and Maserati GP cars will be important cars that start a new trend...detailed, scale vintage F1. I'd wait in line for a "scale" Lotus 49 complete with crisp tampo printing and photoetched bits. They had better get rid of the "tumour" under the front of the nose though.


Bob S.
 

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Actually, for anyone thats interested, One of the MP4/3's is a Scalextric and the other is a SCX.
They are a story unto themselves.

Just before the Mclaren arrival was of course the Scalextric F1 87 Ferrari, really leaps ahead of the then current slot crop in the handling department. So good in fact it could run with the then first magnet cars ( Honda's Lotus and Williams) in the hands of the better than average Racer. I think it probably even started the first magnet arguement and battlelines were drawn to decide if this car should run against its own kind or throw up a wild card entry in a field of some 22 magnet racers here, way back when. Ahh the old days.
 

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QUOTE The Viper does at least pretends to correct body proportions and decent wheel representations...

Is this the same "obsolete old half-blind expatriate Spaniardo-French has-been" that recently ranted against Fly for their Daytona model's inaccuracies??

Hmmm, interesting stuff and thanks for the history lessons. I think Ninco do indeed deserve a big pat on the back for introducing good looking cars capable of running well without recourse to ferrous fiends - their Alfa was a must have, Margate's was not.
 

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Nice little story about the SCX and Scalextric McLarens:

The SCX ones were made and released with the RX motor as standard as had the Ferrari beforehand. But when it came to Scalextric releasing the English versions with the Mabuchi motors, there was a problem. I'm not sure if it was licensing or what, but they were never allowed out of the factory. So they had loads of them just sitting around, waiting to be sold, but they weren't allowed. Slowly the number decreased until there were none left, as each of the workers nicked a few and started selling them.

Because the production run was nowhere near what it should have been, there are very few Scalextric McLarens so they are very rare, and very expensive to buy these days. I managed to wangle one for £26 last year, but I have seen them selling for £45 - £60 and one even reached £92 on ebay about 6 months ago!

So if you look at your McLaren and it saya Scalextric on the bottom, you need to go back in time, don't take it out of the box, and you'd have a mint one ready to sell....

Actually, I'd say keep 'em. I've raced mine, and I'm sure I'd prefer to have it as a car than £50 in my pocket any day.

Lotus

PS. That story could be complete crap, but I've heard it from about 5 different people now, so I assume at least some of it is true...
 
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