One manufacturer of slot cars who are really underrepresented in this blog are Carerra. I must admit although I have owned Carerra cars in the past I have tended to focus more upon Scalextric products which is somewhat of a sin as Carerra have a lot to bring to the table as a home racing system.
Most non-slot car people that read this blog would have heard of Scalextric though and maybe not Carerra which is unfortunate as both have been around for about 60 years, both have their products sold around the world and both have a long list of original licences from big manufacturers such as Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini.
The reason for this, I think, is that for whatever reason Scalextric was always the prominent force in the market during the 1960s and 1970s despite the fact that Carerra offered models in a variety of scales from 1:24 to 1:60 and created the first system where drivers could switch lanes. By 1985 the company had to fold and was sold to a third party. The companies founder Josef Neuhierl sadly took his own life and the company that took over made cheap and nasty models that were not match for their Scalex counterparts.
However, in 1999 Stadlbauer group took over and relaunched the company. They produce 1:24 and 1:43 scale cars and track along with the more traditional 1:32 scale cars.
As with Scalextric, Carerra produce a wide range of licenced products from DTM saloons to GT cars to road going super cars but a new, mass production Carerra car will set you back between £5 and £10 less than a new Scalextric car. So are Carerra cars cheap for a reason? To find out, I brought not one but two!
The first is a Mercedes W05 Hybrid as driven by Lewis Hamilton in 2014.
The second is a Ferrari F138 as driven by Fernando Alonso in 2013.
The first thing one notices about this pair is that both are strikingly beautiful models and incredibly well detailed. It’s the little details that seal the deal for me though. The suspension arms on both cars also have a scale carbon fibre look to them that is also textured and the tail lights on each also have each individual LED light modelled.
One thing I have noticed about the Carerra cars is that they feel very robust compared to other cars. None of the mirrors or and of the aerodynamic fins and stabilisers bend under moderate pressure or feel like they are going to snap. They feel like they were designed with racing in mind in comparison to some slot manufacturers who make models that are just as pretty yet very fragile.
One feature I like is that in the event of a heavy impact. the front wing is designed to come off. Certainly saves them snapping and writing off the body shell.
Underneath they are very similar to Scalextric’s most recent Formula 1 releases. Slim line silver can motors and big magnets mean they are very fast and responsive and grip to the steel rails of standard track like no other!
I’d say they are more suited to (obviously) Carerra track or Scalextric Sport rather than SCX or Scalextric Classic track due to the low ride height and deep guides. I’d be interested to see what they go like on a wooden track with copper slots where the traction created by the magnets isn’t applicable. That will be an adventure for another day though.
In conclusion are they worth £35? Absolutely! If the rest of their range are as lovely as these two then I will be getting more! They are certainly better models and race cars than some of the more “exclusive” and expensive brands and are certainly on a par with Scalextric cars.
As per usual Pendle Slot Racing have a wide range of Carerra cars available. http://www.pendleslotracing.co.uk/slot-cars.html?manufacturer=25
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