Slot car sets you can drive to survive lockdown with
You can’t leave your house, you can’t go for a drive, so how does a car-loving enthusiast get through the lockdown? Here are some of the best slot car sets you can get to survive isolation.
The simple slot car set has been with us for years, and anyone old enough to remember the sound of the spring compressing inside a trigger as sparks lit underneath passing slot cars is probably not aware that new sets can do some pretty neat things, like overtaking and multiple car racing. Here’s a collection of new sets that are ready to go right out of the box.
Bathurst Legends: L34 Torana vs XY Falcon
Price: Around $300
It’s Red vs Blue on the mountain in your house. This set from Scalextric will recreate classic Bathurst racing dramas on your living room floor, like in 1992 when Jim Richards crashed on the last lap and still managed a win, or when John Fitzpatrick and Bob Morris incredibly scraped together a narrow win from a two-minute lead just a few laps from the end of the race. The only proviso is that you’ll have to make do with two classic Holden and Ford racers, the L34 Torana vs XY Falcon. Oh, and the track doesn’t actually look anything like Bathurst (there are eight different layouts).
Hot Wheels carrying case slot car set
Price: Around $85
To keep the kids busy is this 2.8-metre long track from Hot Wheels, powered by AA batteries and folding up neatly into a carry case…which will be great when lockdown ends. The track looks like there’ll be cars flying off everywhere, but given the slot cars themselves aren’t very inspiring, you won’t mind crashing them.
ARC PRO Platinum
Price: Around $450
This is the latest digital App Race Control (ARC) from Scalextric which can have up to six cars racing at once – with multiple cars on one lane – using wireless controllers to also perform overtaking manoeuvres. The track accommodates a longer grid than normal, and using an app on your iPad you can see lap times and car positions. It is, of course, also one of the most expensive Scalextric sets you can buy.
Micro race karts
Price: Around $140
A smaller track that’s great for kids, this go-kart Scalextric set is perfect for inspiring racers. It’s affordable, the slot cars are quick, and the track has some interesting variations.
Carrera GO!!! WRC Super Rally
Price: Around $150
If you don’t fancy racing on a ‘normal track’, this Carrera 4.9-metre-long rallycross layout adds a dirt section (which will be much more fun with soap on it) and comes with two Citroen DS3 WRC racing cars, covered in the liveries used by Stéphane Lefebvre and Mads Østberg.
Carrera Digital 132 Formula Rivals
Price: Around $450
Another digital slot car, this time by Carrera, the setting is a ‘classic’ rivalry between Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz (though the F1 cars here are 100 per cent regulated), wrapped in liveries for Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel – so just be careful not to spin out. Measuring 6.9-metres long, there’s a good amount of track to race on, and the digital set comes with a double lane change section that drivers can attempt overtakes with. The cost of that cool feature means this is a pretty pricey set.
AFX Police Chaser
Price: Around $300
Old school slot car-look on a budget, this AFX set is a recreation of what happens if you go for a cruise during lockdown. Measuring over nine-metres long and with some nice, curvaceous layouts, this AFX set is good bang for your bucks and comes with a 22-volt Tri-Power pack, which means the cars get along pretty fast.
Slot Cars and Architecture book
Price: Around $100
If most of the tracks in this list are beneath you, then you might consider building your own Nürburgring Nordschleife at home. Doubtless, such a task will take months of your time, but this book explains exactly how to do it, and we all have plenty of time.