Inspired by an early toy train, set in a slot between rails in 1912, slot cars made their first patented debut in March of 1936. Now, back then they were quite different than the slot cars you see today as they were much larger and were powered by small combustion engines. At the time there was no “driver control”, meaning the operator had no control of speed or steering. Slot car racing was performed in timed races as the cars were tethered to the center of a circular track.
Overtime, many countries began to experiment with various types of slot cars. Both slot car tracks and slot cars themselves took on many types of materials as well as internal components. As a hobbyist, you may be familiar with Minimodel’s Scalextric which crazed manufacturers and hobbyists into electric slot car racing in the 1960’s. Overtime more and more manufacturers release their sets of the increasingly popular slot cars, with the most popular of the early 60’s being the Aurora Thunderjet-500.
Unfortunately during this time, slot car racing like anything else was just a fad. With the excitement being over and done with in the 1970’s, it wasn’t until computer design methods surged in the 90’s that slot car racing’s popularity was on the rise again. Cars became more lifelike, and manufacturers created replicas of the earlier 60’s or 70’s models. In 2004 racers abilities had surged into a much more lifelike perspective.
To this day slot car racing is still a very popular hobby. At Nankin Hobby, we offer a wide selection of HO, 1/32, or 1/43 slot cars, slot car tracks, or slot car accessories. Contact us or stop into one of our three locations for more information on slot cars!