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In the late 2000s Scalextric produced a range of “Pro Performance” kits aimed at club racers.
The line has been discontinued in favour of the “PCR” chassis upgrades for off the shelf Scalextric models which allow you to put a Slot It running gear under your Scalextric body shell.
Because they’ve been discontinued the kits seem quite hard to get a hold of and people also seem to want a lot of money for them. So when one of the shops at Brands Hatch had two of these Aston Martin DBR9 kits in clearance for £20 each I just had to get one!
Even at the full price of £50 the kit is incredible value for money! The kit contains:
The body shell. A plastic piece which is to the great quality you would expect of Scalextric. There are no deformities and no modifications needed to be made to the shell at all. Even the holes in which additional details need to be added are nicely formed and did not need reaming.
The chassis does come slightly pre-assembled. The front axles are in place and guide and wiring are already fitted. There’s nothing overly special to write home about here. The front axle, wheels and tyres are exactly the same as on a regular Scalextric DBR9. The guide is the standard round type guide with the quick release braids as found on all modern Scalextric cars.
There is also a motor fitted. One of three that comes with the kit.
Yes, you read that right, there are THREE motors that come with this kit. The unit fitted is a 20,000rpm unit and the two that come extra are 25,000 and 30,000rpm. The higher revving motors are better for top speed builds but the lower revving motors have more torque. Since I’m only going to be racing at home on a short track I’ve opted to go for the motor with the most torque.
There’s also a huge amount of gearing options with some spare gears too. In the kit you get 5 possibly pinions to use along with a spare of each ratio.
Along with 5 spur gears. Each of different ratios.
Each spur gear also comes with it’s own metal centre section too so you can change them quickly without having to get the spur off of it’s metal centre section.
Everything that’s held onto the rear axle (spur gear and wheels) are held on by 1.5mm grub screws. Normally the grub screws holding slot cars together are a lot smaller so it’s quite interesting to see Scalextric using a fairly heavy duty screw to hold the rear end together. Because the metal grub screw is going through a metal thread onto a metal axle also means you can put a bit of torque onto it as the individual pieces holding the construct together are tough!
There are numerous different lengths of axle including in the kit as well. The only one that seemed to fit this car was the longest so I assume the others are for the other cars in the Pro Performance range.
As I mentioned earlier the front wheels are the same plastic units as what would be found on a standard Scalextric DBR9 but the rears are single piece alloy wheels. They have super grippy tyres and are held onto the axles by the 1.5mm grub screws we mentioned earlier.
The last part to complete the chassis are the bearings for the rear wheels. On a normal slot car these are simple single piece plastic units that hold the axle to the chassis. The axle slides through the centre of the bearing and spins at it’s own rate.
In the Pro Performance kit however, you get proper little ball bearings to reduce the frictional force on the axle as it turns. I’m really interested to see if these make a difference to the car. If you can buy these little bearings from a third party or from Scalextric themselves please do let me know I’d like to use more of these in the future.
The chassis itself goes together really easily.
One thing that is worth noting is that the front bumper is screwed onto the chassis rather than attached the the body. It’s a little strange but the way it’s moulded gives depth to the upper front grill. Having the bumper seperate allows you to take it off of the chassis to spray and then you can add any internal details (not that there are any, on the real car the inside of the grill is just black) before putting it all back together.
With a click of the fingers it’s all in colour!
As you can see the driver is full length.
With another click of the fingers he is now fully painted!
As with the normal Scalextric DRB9 because the motor is transverse mounted you get a full interior. This comes as black plastic with moulded details for the switches in the centre console and gear stick.
The roll cage, seat and steering wheel are all separately fitted details.
If you make this kit it’s worth putting the roll cage in first, then the seat, then the steering wheel and the driver. I put the seat and driver in first then had to work around them which was a bit of a pain in the bum! That’s why I’m here though, you can learn from my mistakes.
With the interior done I could fit the windows, interior and light lenses to the car than screw the chassis to the body.
Airfix made a kit of the DB9R in Gulf Racing livery. Being as both are models of the same car and Scalextric and Airfix are both owned by Hornby I assumed that the two kits would come from the same mould and so I got in touch with the Airfix spares department who sent out a Gulf Racing decal sheet to me.
There were some differences though. The Scalextric car has an additional vent in the bonnet which isn’t represented on the Airfix model. The main grill is also a slightly different shape.
With some delicate application and with the help of some touch up paint they have been applied and are passable.
The spoiler, mirrors, aerials and wiper blade all slotted into place perfectly!
All in all it was a fun little kit, especially for £20! It was quite good fun to do a modern GT car too as that’s not normally the type of car I would model.
The kit itself has a huge amount of options in terms of running gear which is amazing and as a kit it fits together really nicely.
The decals were the hardest bit. I can’t really complain about that though as they were designed for the Airfix kit and not the Scalextric kit. Being as both companies are owned by Hornby I am somewhat surprised that they didn’t share the cast for this model.
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By Richard Francis