Natassa, the young lady who I run the ‘Eating Disorder Recovery & Mental Health Support’ Facebook group with brought me this little Scalextric Mini off of a popular online auction site for the grand total of £5.
In real life the 1275GT was built on the Clubman platform and was designed to replace the standard 998cc Mini Cooper. It was introduced in 1969 and ran for 2 years alongside the 1275cc Cooper S (with the normal body styling) until the Cooper S was discontinued in 1971 and the 1275GT took the reigns as a flagship car until 1980.
The Scalextric one is a C112 which was introduced in 1976 (as per my reference here: http://www.scalextric-car.co.uk/Catalogue/1970_1979/Catalogue_17/Catalogue_17_1.htm ) That means that if it was opened by a young whipper snapper on Christmas 1976 it would be 40 years old!
This one’s body has survived the 40 years fairly well but sitting in someones loft or basement for the past god knows how many years has not done it too well.
As you can see the tyres have hardened, cracked and perished, the inside of the motor and axles are all covered in rust and for some bizarre reason the wires had been unplugged from the guide.
First thing to do is to test the motor to see if it will turn. You can do that with a 9V PP3 style battery or I have this thing from Maplins. It plugs into your house mains and has a dial that can be turned between 3,6,9 and 12 volts and one for polarity. There are numerous wires coming off of it, one of which is the same style connector as what you would find on a 9v battery.
I put the wires to the connection and bam the motor spun right away! I sprayed some electrical contact cleaner into the old armature and wiped it away to get rid of some of the rust before giving the motor a good run.
Now to deal with those old tyres!
One can buy replacement silicone tyres from scalextric-car.co.uk. Often when you buy an older scalextric car the tyres have perished. This certainly isn’t uncommon! You only really need good rear tyres on a slot car as the fronts are merely there for cornering stability rather than actual grip. That makes this bit of the restoration super cheap! Easy too as the old tyres just pull off the rim and the new ones push on.
Finally we need to sort this wiring out so it will run on the track!
The pickups look fairly knackered and these are easy to change. The guide simply pulls out on a car of this age and having it out of the car will make it much easier to work with.
These are the new pickups. scalextric-car.co.uk will put a set of these in with a purchase and it’s always handy to have a little supply of them as they do wear out.
On a 1970s guide there will be a hole at the front of the guide where the pin on the wire makes contact with the pickup. The pickup goes up that hole then loops over the top of the guide and down a hole at the rear where it meets with the actual bit of the pickup that meets the track. Hopefully this pic will explain it better haha!
Underneath it will look like this. The long bit of copper touched the track.
Wiring is super straight forward. The positive (red wire) goes to the right pickup and the negative (normally black but in this case white) goes to the left.
The wires are held onto the guide with little metal pins (the round metal things in the picture). As you can see the wire runs down the middle of the pin and barbarians like to crush the pin so the wire doesn’t come out. Fine but then it’s b***** difficult to get into the top of the guide! If such a savage has molested your car then fear not. You can coax them back into the shape god intended them to be with the very gentle application of some needle nose pliers.
Now with a working motor, new pickups and the wiring put back into place it should run nicely once more! These Minis were never meant to be the quickest slot car ever built but they are a lot of fun! They do take a little bit of skill to master in the corners and a pair of them can make for some fantastic close racing!
Finally, I had to jazz it up a little by painting in the detail on the wheels. No one likes flat bland wheels!
Big thanks to Natassa for buying me a cool little car that’s kept me out of mischief for an hour or so and has given me the oppurtunity to show you how easy these things are to restore. Thanks to you as always for reading and be sure to follow me on Twittube and Faceagram!