Weighing Slot Cars

Somewhere on the deepest, darkest depths of eBay I stumbled across this little digital scale for about £5.


So, somewhere in the deepest, darkest depths of my mind I decided that it might be interesting to weigh some of the slot cars to see how much variation there is in the weights between cars of different materials and ages.

Let’s start with a typical Scalextric starter car; the Bugatti Veyron. The Veyron is an all plastic body and chassis with no lights or any complex electrics. There’s no interior per say but there is a plastic sheet inside the car that links back to the engine details at the rear of the car. It weighs in at 88 grams.


This Opel Calibra would have been a starter set car in the 90s. This too is made out of plastic but isn’t as thick as the Veyron. There is also no interior and no magnet to worry about.  That saves 19g. Doesn’t sound like a lot but in context it’s a fairly big difference!


Two other cars I own from the 1990s that have a full interior and magnets. They weigh in at about the same as the Bugatti, 85 and 81g respectively.


The Bugatti is made out of a thicker material than the two other cars though which I think is where our variation in weight comes from. That does make sense as the car is from a starter set and so was made for small people to play with. So maybe it would be a fairer comparison to see how the 90s cars stack up to a modern, more detailed car such as this Mercedes 300SLR.


Now this Mercedes has a full interior including two full occupants, lights and a magnet yet weighs (rounded) 10g less than the two 90s cars. so maybe the materials have improved!

The variation in Formula 1 cars is roughly the same too. Here we have a modern Lotus Type 49 and a 1990s generic F1 car (Petrobras). The Lotus is significantly more detailed yet weighs over 10g less!


Kit built cars tend to vary quite heavily. Here we have a Ferrari/Lancia D50 Penelope Pitlane kit with brass chassis, an OCAR Ferrari 275GT and a Pendle’s own MG Midget at between 75 and 80g. Roughly the same as a standard Scalextric car.


However some of the chunkier kits do weigh a bit more, as you can see from my George Turner Bentley and Jaguar (I think Pendles made the shell but I was the third hand owner so I wouldn’t like to say that’s definite). The Bentley has it’s own resin chassis and the Jag has a Penelope Pitlane.


The prewar kits tend to weigh a bit more. This Penelope Pitlane Bentley Birkin has a lot of white metal details which all add to the weight pretty quickly.


Speaking of metal, if you want a light weight car don’t convert a die cast toy into a slot car haha! The Trabant weighs a tonne!


That’s not the heaviest in my collection though. The Airfix converted Omnibus came in just under 200g!


On the other hand the lightest of my collection was also a scratch build. This isn’t a model per say but it moves under it’s own power and therefore it counts. This foam board monstrosity only weighs 41.5g


I reckon I’ll do some more with this little contraption. Doing a direct comparison between the weights of motors or individual shells or maybe the models of the same cars from different manufacturers. The possibilities are endless!

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