Monday, December 10, 2007

Sloter Ferrari 312-#1 reviewed

Straight forward and exciting. Sloter's cars have given enthusiasts one cool little car after another, adding to that list is the latest 312 Ferrari.

The finish on the car immediately grabs your attention. Bright red with bright yellow striping. All perfectly done, no fading, no runs. There have been many liveries done by Sloter of this car but this may be the best...heck it's "No. 1" after all!

A walk around to the back of the car and we see a well detailed representation of the tail pipes and a very thin horizontal yellow tail wing.

The interior of the car lacks fine detail but gives you a good sense of the cockpit without going overboard with difficult to see (and expensive to reproduce BTW) dash details. The Jacky Ickx driver is less stiff looking than some drivers, which is a subtle detail I'll grant you but it does add to the overall feel of the car. The windscreen on the car is the usual clear/greenish plastic and is nicely done.

Deep dish gold wheels hold those surprisingly sticky Sloter tires.

Under the car we see the standard Sloter chassis with it's podless design. Gear mesh is smooth and spins easily when you give it the in you hand "thumb spin". As an aside, this is probably the first thing most slot racers do when they pull the car off the plinth and hold their new slot car for the time. There's nothing like a nice, smooth spin of the back axle is there? A lot can be gotten from this simple "test" of a slot car.
Does the axle spin easily? In this case, yes it does. Do those gears mesh smoothly? Yes, again. Is there sideplay in the axle... well yes, a bit. So there might be a spacer in this slot cars future, just to make sure there's not too much gear noise going around the turns. And in this case the axles are .098"...I just thought I'd throw that in there for reference.

A spin of the front axle and you can tell a lot as well. The axle spins well. The front tires do wobble a bit as do the wheels. There is a fair amount of sideplay on the front axle as well. But not much up and down float, I like this, it tends to make a car more stable in the turns. It would be nice if the car had less sideplay in both front and rear axles.

On the track at East New York Raceway wood track the 63 gram car (which is 2.47" at its widest point...again, just for reference) had some issues making fast laps. We got times for this car in the 6 second range. Which by standards of many other non magnet cars isn't terribly fast. We trued the tires a bit and the car smoothed out a bit but still I feel it would benefit from at least 15 grams of lead.

Sloter cars have quite a following. If you have a Sloter collection I'm thinking that no amount of verbage I or anyone will write really means much to you...you want this car I'm thinking. If you don't have any Sloter cars the Ferrari's have a nice feel to them and they have a very appealing body, and in this case the finish is another reason to grab up the latest Sloter 312.

Dave Kennedy
Publisher, Slot Car News

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