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"Die Cast X", October 1, 2012


Auto World “Slot Stars” 1957 Chevrolet Slot Car Kit


1:25 | $50

You’ll need:

• Model cement

• Instant glue

• Small Phillips screwdriver

• Needle-nose pliers

• Modeling knife

• Emory board and file

• Dremel and cutting wheel (optional)

• Safety glasses

• Ruler

• Pencil

• Mallet

• Paint (optional)

• Bare Metal Foil (optional)

• Clear lacquer (optional)

Before the nearly supersonic “thingies” became the rulers of the neighborhood track, build-your-own slot car kits from companies like K&B, Monogram, Strombecker, Revell, and Cox (to name only a few), gave slot heads like us the thrill of assembling, tweaking, and running our own cars on a track.

The models usually followed the same formula — a glue-build body over a screw-together metal chassis — and if you were handy with a tube of cement, and could use a screwdriver, the result was a car that ran fairly well, and looked good doing it.

Few feelings could match the pride of watching your latest build circle the banks of the local rent-a-lane, which, because we’re such nostalgic softies, made the idea of tackling Auto World’s retro-feel 1:25 slot kit all but irresistible.

Auto World makes a few kits in 1:32 as well as 1:25, and we decided on the ‘57 Chevy, just for old times’ sake. Up top, the car’s Bel Air body is a direct lift from the AMT 3-in-1 kit that we’ve all built at least once, and below, Auto World includes a uni-fit pan frame and all the accouterments needed for an honest-to-gosh slot car, all wrapped in an old-fashioned window box that positively smacks of days gone by. The bait was taken; we gathered up our modeling chops, and swore on our old Professor Motor controller that we’d keep the build as close to box stock as we could.

We’ve boiled down about a week’s worth of nighttime building and painting - around 15 hours, all told - into a few photos; check out DCXmag.com and our Facebook page for a more complete set of detailed shots.

All in all, the model was a good challenge, and a rewarding build that’ll see some track time, soon. The plastic part’s got to be at least 40 years old; prepping the body took a bit of time. So did getting the chassis locked down. If we had decided to step outside the box and build the car in our own way, we’d have used alternative methods and parts for the wheels and gears; and the body (originally designed to be glued to a plastic chassis, not screwed to a completed frame, like some other re-purposed slot kits) might have gotten attached with clips, or pins. But as a box-stock build, the occasional frustration was more than offset by the hands-on fun of building a scale race car. And for most of us, that’s the kind of fun we’ll take, any chance we can get.


Round2Models round2models.com

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