Thursday, November 08, 2007

Slot Car Handbook by Dave Chang

Dave Chang's Slot Car Handbook is a comprehensive introduction to the hobby. With a decided emphasis on plastic track and RTR cars, the book touches on the basic mechanicals of these cars, with sections on truing tires, lubrication, tuning, motors, magnets, weights, and clever tips such as how to make washers fit on axles without removing the wheels. General how-to is well covered, with excellent photos of maintenance, and minor tuning procedures. Non-magnet racing is covered along with magnet racing, and wood tracks are mentioned, but only in passing. There is a nice glossary of slot car terms, and an index. Listed suppliers are all UK based, while internet resources are international, including the big forums such as Slot Car Illustrated and Slotforum.

Digital slot car racing rates a chapter, with capsule descriptions of SCX, Carrera Pro X, Scalextric SSD, and Ninco N-Digital. Internet racing is limited to Scalextric Sport World, with no mention of proxy racing based on internet forums, which appears to be gaining momentum as a way for far-flung slot car competitors to get their cars together to race.

This book would be a good companion to the first slot car race set purchased for the holidays; it answers most of the basic questions a person new to the hobby would ask, and provides sensible guidance on how to make the best out of the hobby, and where to turn if enthusiasm deepens. Photography is by the author, and is bright, clear, attractive, and informative.

Thanks to REH Distributing for providing the book for review.

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