Monday, January 14, 2008

TRU-Grip Tires and Classic F1 cars

Some of my favorite new cars are the classic F1s from the 1960s and 70s made by Fly and Scalextric. They are absolutely beautiful, but the way they run leaves a bit to be desired, in my opinion. This is due to the high torque, “slim can” motors, hard tires, and relatively light weight of these gorgeous cars. When I first got the Scalextric Ferrari and McLaren set, I ran them stock, but found the magnets too powerful and resultant speeds too high. The Fly March was the same story. I tried smaller magnets, no magnets, even with lead weight, but could not find a happy setting until I received some replacement tires from TRU-Grip!

TRU-Grip tires are molded from Urethane, similar to the infamous Ortmans from Germany, but are made right here in the USA. They are a new company, but have many applications available and if they don’t have the tire you need, they may just make some for you!? This is the reason I contacted them about the classic F1s, I hadn’t been able to find tires for them anywhere else. But I was pleased to find they had tires for the 312 Ferrari, McLaren M23, Fly March, and the ‘60s Cooper and Ferrari 156!

I was skeptical after all the trouble I had with these cars, but after installing the TRU-Grips, the cars were transformed! They are now great fun to run non magnet, while before they had been virtually undriveable, and this is with no added weight. They will still spin the tires, but now transmit most of the power into forward thrust. This is on my painted Scalextric Sport track, but they also should work well on other tracks, including rough ones like Ninco because they are very soft. They almost feel like the motor has been changed to a more controllable one. Also, although most TRU-Grip tires require gluing to the rim because they are so soft, the thick profile of the F1 tires seems to make this unnecessary.

I also got some for the little Scalextric 1.5L Cooper and Ferrari 156. These are much thinner, but still grip great, however the motors were just a little too powerful, so on these I changed out to a milder slim can motor. These also did not need glue to stay on the rim. The TRU-Grip tires are molded right from the original tires, so they are very similar in appearance, except the back sidewall has some irregularity since these are hand poured into molds. I think this is not very noticeable and they look great to me.

So if you have some of these wonderful cars or some other cars which are in need of some more “Grip”, try some TRU-Grip tires. They have a brand new website:

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