Scalextric buyer's guide

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Scalextric Types

Scalextric Sport Vs Scalextric Classic Vs Scalextric Start

I am confused with the various types of Scalextric

Is the Sport track slot deeper than Classic track?

Is it possible to run modern cars on the old style track?

Scalextric ARC One

Scalextric ARC Air

Digital

Scalextric Digital Pit Lane

ARC Pro

Compare ARC One, ARC Air & ARC Pro

ARC Wireless Controllers

What is DPR Digital Plug Ready?

A Brief History of Scalextric

Why are there two power inputs on a Scalextric Sport Powerbase C8217?

Scalextric Track Layout Design Service

 

Scalextric Types

Scalextric is divided into two main categories: Micro Scalextric and Scalextric. The latter is often referred to as 1:32 scale, standard Scalextric, full size (I don't agree with this phrase but it is widely used) or even 'normal Scalextric'. Scale simply means the cars are 32 times smaller than the real thing.

Scalextric cars scale comparison

Here are four types of Scalextric track: 

Classic / Vintage 1:32

Sport / Digital 1:32

Start 1:32

Micro / My First 1:64

Scalextric Sport cars are generally around 5 or 6 inches long.

Micro Scalextric or My First Scalextric is smaller with the cars at around 3 inches long. Micro Scalextric is Suitable for age 4+.

Classic Scalextric or vintage is pre-2000 and usually from around the 70s, 80s or 90s.

Scalextric Sport or Digital are the same track types and are the current models. It is only the powerbase and throttles that make them differ from each other. Digital track has crossovers allowing the car to change lanes. Cars need to be fitted with a Digital Plug to make use of this feature. These are the most popular sets. Easier to join together tracks and a nicer feel.

Scalextric Start is the same size as sport and classic but different connectors.

Scalextric Track Types


Scalextric Sport Vs Classic Vs Start

Here is a brief guide explaining the comparison of Scalextric Sport, Scalextric Classic & Scalextric Start.
Any reference can be searched on our website by simply typing the name of the part or the ref such as C8222 into the search box at the top of the page.

Scalextric Sport

Suitable for age 5+

The main advantages of Sport compared to the old Classic (vintage) sets are that the track sections are much easier to assemble, the track surface is smoother and gives better grip levels especially when using cars with Magnatraction (a magnet inside the car). There are a wide range of variety of track sections available along with borders and barriers. The track slot is deeper allowing cars with deeper guides to be used. You can power each lane independently by adding additional transformers. Throttles also have dynamic braking. The slot of the Sport track is deeper than Classic.

Sport advantages

•    Dynamic braking (when you take your finger off the throttle, the car slows down)
•    Easier to assemble
•    Better grip
•    Variety of track and accessories
•    The slot of the Sport track is deeper than Classic - Deeper slot (will suit most cars, even other brands)
•    Easier to change braids (metal brushes underneath the cars).

Scalextric Digital

Suitable for age 8+

See further information below.

Scalextric Classic

Suitable for age 5+

Scalextric Classic track ran from the 60s to the 90s. More info is available in our brief history section. It is still very popular and works very well.
Classic advantages

•    Cheaper
•    Some track pieces that aren’t available in Sport such as hump bridge, long chicane, obstacles, crossover straights, loop the loop, rev start and rough terrain

etc).

Scalextric Start

Suitable for age 5+

Start is no longer in production.
The track types are quite limited and only has one curve radius and one type of straight length. There are no borders or barriers available. The material is a harder plastic than SPORT which makes it a little better to build bridges but this firmness also makes it more brittle. There is a converter piece available to connect SPORT and START together. 
The speed limiting controllers have an adjustment to keep beginners from pressing down the trigger all the way. They can also be used as normal throttles with full speed. These controllers are also available for Sport.
The Start cars’ guide blade is slightly longer and squarer.
You can run START cars on SPORT track (and vice-versa) with no problems.
Start advantages

•    Beginner's track

Other points to consider

Classic track’s slot depth is not as deep as Sport and so for cars of other manufacturers, this can be a problem.

The Classic, Sport and Start labels only apply to track. Scalextric Cars will generally be compatible on all three types.

Sport track will connect to either Scalextric Classic or SCX track by using adaptor sections part C8222.
Start track will connect to Sport track by using adaptor sections C8525.

All three track types can be cleaned in the same way. 

I am confused with the various types of Scalextric

With Scalextric, you have five choices, starting from the cheapest - analogue, ARC One, ARC Air, Digital, ARC Pro

Basically, they all use Scalextric Sport track, it is only the powerbase, throttles and mains lead that make them analogue / digital etc. Analogue is just the modern track version of what was available pre 2001.
ARC One is analogue with wired throttles and the option of connecting with an app on your iPad / tablet for weather conditions and tyre changes etc. You can run it without the app though.
ARC Air is analogue with wireless throttles and the option of connecting with an app on your iPad / tablet for the same features as ARC One and a few additional features too. You can also run ARC Air without the app.
Digital, in a nutshell, means you can change lanes and includes braking.
ARC Pro has all the benefits of digital / wireless throttles and the optional app features too.
If you look at the bar across the top of the website and click on layouts, you will see all our layouts are grouped into categories.

Is the Sport track slot deeper than Classic track?

Yes. The Sport Track slot is slightly deeper than the Classic track by approximately 1-2 mm. The reason Scalextric have lengthened the guides is to increase performance on modern tracks and club tracks. See our section below on how to adjust cars to suit.


Is it possible to run modern cars on the old style track?

Yes it is possible. If you are using the old style track or 'classic' track (as it is more commonly referred) then you can use modern cars but modern Scalextric cars have a deeper guide so they may catch in the groove. The easiest solution is to trim the bottom of the blade by a couple of millimetres. This can be done with a pair of cable snips, for example, by cutting a couple of millimetres from the bottom of the guide fin and then the front at a slight angle. Then use sand paper of a file to smooth the edges. It may be worth removing the guide fin from the car to prevent damage to the car.


Scalextric ARC One

Scalextric ARC ONE system unlocks the power of the revolutionary ARC ONE app. Personalise your race by selecting features such as race type, driver names and number of laps. Customise and save your race settings and car setup before you head out on the track to test your skills and challenge your opponents!


Scalextric ARC Air

Scalextric ARC Air's exciting new features such as wireless controllers with rumble pack and braking, plus new app features such as weather conditions and race incidents. ARC Air can be used without the app. ARC AIR Powerbase is compatible with any analogue Scalextric set, unlocking a whole new world of slot racing!


Scalextric Digital

Why switch from Scalextric Analogue to Digital?

Race multiple cars on the same sections of track, switch lanes (the lane change is controlled by a button on the throttle), overtake and perform blocking manoeuvres. All to satisfy your competitive spirit.
Also, with digital, you can race more than two cars simultaneously.
Digital Cars are compatible with Scalextric Sport & Classic Track.

What is the difference between Scalextric Analogue & Digital Track?

The standard track is the same in both sets. For example a standard straight C8205 is the same whether it is digital or analogue. A standard curve C8206 is the same on both sets. What makes the difference is the powerbase, throttles and adaptor (also adding lane changing track at a later date if required).

Below is a standard Sport powerbase set:

 Scalextric Sport Powerbase

Below is a standard Sport Digital powerbase set:

Scalextric Digital Powerbase 

The above image, of the digital powerbase, is what turns Scalextric Sport track from analogue into digital.

Convert Scalextric Sport into Scalextric Digital

This requires a digital power base, power supply (transformer), lane changing track (to utilise the full benefits), and digital controllers.
You can convert analogue cars using a digital decoder which is installed underneath the car. This is quite easy if the car is Digital Plug Ready (DPR).
Otherwise many of the original Scalextric cars can be fitted with a digital decoder depending on available space within the body shell. Performance of converted cars on a digital system can vary, but enthusiasts have been able to successfully convert a wide range of cars, both from Scalextric and other brands.

Compatibility - Analogue and Digital

Digital cars will work perfectly normally on an analogue power system but analogue cars do not work on the Digital power system. Analogue cars may be permanently damaged if used on Digital track.


Scalextric Digital Pit Lane

Left or right hand pit lane?

There are two types of Digital pit lane; left hand C7014 and right hand C7015. You will need a left handed pit lane if you want the pit lane on the outside of a clockwise circuit and a right handed pit lane on the outside of an anti-clockwise circuit.

Scalextric digital circuit showing which pit lane for a clockwise or anti-clockwise circuit

What difference does it make?

Each pit lane consists of two pieces of Y shaped track. The piece of track that leads into the lane change has a 'flipper' similar to a pinball machine or points on a train track. This flipper moves from side to side to guide the car into the choice of lane that the driver chooses by pressing the button on the controller. This piece of track also has a sensor at the beginning of the track to pick up whether the driver has pressed the controller button. The Y piece of track that guides the car out of the pit lane has no movable flipper and no sensor.

Scalextric digital pit lane track sensor

Image showing the digital track lane sensor on the entrance to the pit lane.

 

Scalextric digital pit lane track flipper

Image showing the 'flipper' that guides the car into each lane.


ARC Pro

The ultimate digital slot car race control system. Scalextric ARC PRO is a digital slot car race control system that allows users to wirelessly create and manage races using a handheld smart device (not included).

Using Scalextric’s revolutionary new ARC PRO powerbase in conjunction with this app, users can seamlessly merge the excitement of real-time, on-track racing, with the thrill of on-screen gameplay.

Race up to four cars at the same time (when you purchase two additional throttles). Race up to six cars at the same time (when you purchase an additional four throttles and mains lead adaptor. Purchase here


ARC PRO app takes racing to the ultimate level with variable weather conditions, tyre wear, fuel usage, brakes and post-race statistics.

Vibrating wireless controllers
Roam around the track without crossing wires with your opponent! The controllers contain a rumble pack which alerts you to race features such as if your car needs to pit or the weather changes, plus a braking button for more control.

Customise your throttle profiles to perfectly suit your racing style.
ARC wireless hand controllers require 2 x AA batteries (not included).

- Ergonomically designed
- Power level control
- Easy to bind to powerbase
- Feel the race with the rumble pack (easy on/off switch)
- 5m range with 2.4Ghz wireless technology

Take App Race Control to the next level with ARC app - See table below to see which features are with ARC One, Air or Pro.

App Functions

8 Racing Modes:

1. Quick Race
This mode allows you to create several events of any type which can be accessed quickly in the future.
2. Practice
This is a non competitive mode in which drivers try to achieve the best lap time over a number of set laps.
3. Grand prix
Competitive mode in which drivers race over a set number of laps.
4. Endurance
Competitive race mode in which drivers race for set amount of time.
5. Tournament
Competitive mode in which drivers race head-to-head over a set number of laps or for a set amount of time.
6. Drag Race
Competitive race mode in which drivers race on a long straight. The pit exit on the powerbase represents the finish line and the drag strip can be as long as you want.
7. Arcade
Each racer acquires a “powerup” as they pass through the start/finish line which automatically applies to
their opponent. This allows you to actively sabotage your opponent’s race by timing your "powerups" and
reducing them to a crawl each time round.
8. Pace Car
Computer controlled car

Lap Counting & Timing
See your current and remaining lap times
Tyre Wear
Add another dimension to your race by monitoring your tyre wear and choosing the right time to pit
Fuel Usage
When your car runs out of fuel pit stops will be required - miss the pits and risk disqualification
Jump Start Penalty
This allows you to define the number of seconds a jump-starting driver will be penalised
Race End Type
This defines when the race will end. Standard ends the race once every driver has crossed the line after the winner. All finish will only end the race after each driver has completed the full race distance.
Qualifying
Determine your grid positions.
Start Type
Dead or Live. Live: Cars can roll before start lights go out. Dead: Standing start.
Weather
Sun, rain or thunder! Throttles rumble for thunderstorm conditions.
KERS
A short power boost for when the driver needs it.
Yellow Flag
Decide how long the race pauses when there is a yellow flag alert.

Social media

Twitter race statistics update
Facebook race statistics update
Post-race statistics
Post-race statistics graph

 


Compare ARC One, ARC Air & ARC Pro

Comparison table showing the features of the Scalextric ARC systems. All ARC systems connect with Scalextric Sport track.

Scalextric ARC Compare

Scalextric ARC Compatible Devices


ARC wireless controllers

Features of the Scalextric ARC wireless throttles

Scalextric ARC throttle features


What is DPR Digital Plug Ready?

DPR means Digital Plug Ready. It means that a car has a small plate or 'door' under the car in the floor pan. To convert the car to digital, you simply remove the plate and replace with a digital plate. The removable plate makes it very easy to swap from analogue to digital and back again. See our YouTube channel for a video. For saloon cars the digital plate is ref C8515. For F1 cars it is C8516. You can also purchase C7005 to retro-fit but this is more complicated. If you need to swap a saloon car digital plug to analogue then the part ref is ML-01608.

Click here for our DPR cars 

Click here for C8515 digital plug (This is the most common plug and used for saloon cars)

Additional products

Click here for ML-01608 analogue plug (To convert digital back to analogue)

Click here for C8516 F1 digital plug (For Formula One cars)

And for those who are feeling a little more adventurous and wish to convert a car to digital that doesn't have the easy-fit DPR plate (requires soldering):

Click here for C7005 F1 car, retro fit, digital plug

Click here for C7006 Saloon car, retro fit, digital plug 

Scalextric DPR door


A Brief History of Scalextric

Scalextric is a brand name for a range of slot car racing sets. The brand is owned and distributed by Hornby. Scalex was the first incarnation of the slot racing system which was invented in 1952 by Fred Francis. Scalex was a range of toy racing cars with a clockwork motor which was activated by pulling a chord out of the steering wheel. In 1957 he substituted the clockwork motors for electric motors and Scalex-electric became Scalextric which he sold through his firm Minimodels Ltd.

The original Scalextric track (Mark 1) was made from rubber with electrical connectors, and held together with separate metal clips. This track had white lines between the lanes.

In 1958 Fred Francis sold the Minimodels company to Lines Brothers (who operated as Tri-ang) which thrived through the 1960s.

In 1962 with the Mark 2 Scalextric, the material became plastic, electrical connections were wider and the track was held together by two spoon-shaped pins and sockets moulded into each end. Converter pieces were available to link the two types. It is now known as Classic or vintage track.

In 1964 Tri-ang was merged with Hornby to form Tri-ang Hornby and the tinplate bodies were replaced with plastic bodies.

In the 1970s Tri-ang was disbanded and the company focused on Slot Cars and Railways.

In 1996 Micro Scalextric was introduced.

Scalextric Sport was introduced in 2001, another plastic track, but with a smoother surface. The track connectors are square. Converter pieces C8222 are available to link Sport to Classic track.

Scalextric Sport Digital (SSD) was introduced in 2004, Scalextric Digital is compatible with Sport. It allows up to 6 cars on a 2 lane track at any given time, with each car fully controllable either by the user or by a computer. In late 2010 Scalextric released a revised six-car digital powerbase, C7042. This powerbase includes a separate screen which aids set up and also displays race information such as lap times. Also includes features such as yellow flag options for dealing with crashed cars, ghost cars to race against which can run and change lanes automatically, and the ability to race in analogue mode for older models that have not been converted to digital.

Scalextric Start was released in 2010 which aimed to be a basic track for children but at the same size as Scalextric Sport. It had only one type of straight and corner. The cars included in the sets were fantasy models to reduce manufacturers' licensing costs. A converter track piece C8525 is available to allow cars to cross from Start track to Sport and back again. These are quite rare.


Why are there two power inputs on a Scalextric Sport Powerbase C8217?

Why there are two power inputs on a Scalextric Sport Powerbase C8217

There are a total of four inputs on the powerbase. Two are for throttles. The other two are for mains leads (adaptors). Any standard Scalextric set is supplied with just one adaptor which will work fine for two cars. For this setup, slide the blue switch to the left.

Alternatively, you can use two adaptors. If you use two adaptors, slide the blue switch to the right and this will distribute power to both tracks independently. This means that you get more power if you have extremely long circuits (I have gone round large rooms with just one adaptor) and it also means that if one car de-slots (comes off the track) then the other car will not suddenly get a power boost.


Scalextric Track Design Service

See this page for full info:

Please click here for full information

We can design your dream layout. Please email us with your requirements.