A few weeks ago Craig Hamnett very kindly sent me over two ‘loft find’ slot cars. One was a Datsun 240Z and the other was K.I.T.T, or a black Pontiac Trans-Am.
For those of you that don’t know K.I.T.T is an abbreviation for Knight Industries Two Thousand. It is an artificial intelligence plugged in to the modified body of a Pontiac Trans-Am. It features in a TV show called Knight Rider which is well worth checking out, even if just for the 80s fashion!
In 1987 Scalextric released the Knight Rider “Pursuit Mode” and “Turbo Boost” sets in honour of the show which featured both this car and the blue Datsun. They were both only available in the set and so don’t have a ‘C’ number identity as most Scalextric cars do.
K.I.T.T itself has survived the past 30 years fairly well. The tyres were of course shot, the braids were missing and the gear on the end of the motor had snapped allowing the axle to move freely.
The body itself had survived well though. Whenever I get an old slot car though they are always filled with dust and hair around the rear end haha! Nothing a quick wash won’t sort out though.
Now, in the program, K.I.T.T was incredibly fast so it seemed a shame to me to keep that puny little Scalextric motor in there. Luckily I had a NSR 40,000 rpm shark motor sitting in a box doing nothing…
It sadly didn’t have a gear on it but I managed to find a Slot It orange can motor with one. Getting a gear off of a slot car motor can be a right pain in the backside. My advice would be to invest in a Ninco gear puller. In the side of this puller there is a cut out for the frame of the puller to sit between the motor and the gear. You then wind in this little do-hicky which presses against the shaft of the motor and pulls the gear off! Even if you only need to use it once it is well worth the investment.
The puller can also be used to install gears too. Put the motor into the long section of the tool. There is a tiny hole on the inner wall for the shaft of the motor to go through as the do-hicky pushes on the motor to run it through the gear.
Now to swap the electrics over. Since they are already cut to length I’m going to use the standard wires that came with the car.
With a little magic and solder!
You may also see that I’ve cut two new lengths of braid. This car didn’t actually come with any but it is always worth while putting some new on whenever you get a new car. Obviously the more conductivity the better.
Another must with old Scalextric cars is tyres. After a while in storage the tyres start to go hard which means they don’t have any grip. Replacements are readily available from Pendle Slot Racing or Scalextric Restorations. The wheels on this car had also worn free of the axle so you can turn them individually. Obviously if the axle can turn without turning the wheels then you won’t be putting all your available power to the track. Easily fixed with a drop of super glue!
Now it’s just time to put it all together!
There was no particular work to be done on the body. Washing it with water took away most of the dirt but I decided to go over it with a little Autoglym polish just to make it nice and shiny again!
It’s always nice to get an old car, regardless of size running again. That new motor has really given it some punch too. With the wide tyres it actually handles fairly well too considering how basic the chassis is.
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