2 FEB 2015
a long time slot car hobbyist, the look of the original AFX stockers
were always indelibly etched into my mind as the cars for which all
other cars were to be compared to over the years. So when I stumbled
across the latest AutoWorld XTraction renditions of the perennial
number 43 and number 11 cars, I took a closer look.
Fortunately, I was getting a friend started out
on an AFX 69 Shootout set and took the opportunity to pick up “Release
15” of the XTraction "Legends" stock cars. There’s no mistaking the new
AW cars for the classic AFX cars but what captured my imagination was
the particular colors they chose for these newer versions. The
off-the-hook baby blue of Richard Petty’s #43 car is fantastic. Couple
that with the lipstick red #11 of Buddy Baker’s third-generation B-body
Charger and I am hooked into a purchase. Oh wait, there’s also the
subtle gold and red Daytona along with an almost-purple 69 Dodge
Charger. All four combined make for an irresistible four-car matchup.
Luckily I have four lanes waiting for these new releases.
Like most hobbyists, you really have to get under
the hood of your cars to ensure that they run properly and last for a
long time. Quality control of the total of eight cars I purchased
recently tells me you would be well advised to take your chassis apart
and inspect it for proper alignment of the brushes and the commutator
before you apply any power to the car.
What I discovered was that one of the brushes had
slipped onto its side and was sandwiched into the tube. I found this to
be the case on four out of the eight cars I purchased and all were
factory sealed. Of course, to a hobbyist, this is routine maintenance
but for those of you lacking the experience, this could make or break
the fun of the moment. Luckily, after a few minutes of fiddling with
the chassis and dropping a touch of oil on the armature shaft the cars
were ready for racing. And what a thrill that turned out to be.
Call me a traditionalist, aka: OLD, but I am not really a fan of
excessive magnet power for handling. Knowing this, these cars tend to
be a little more stuck down that I generally like but as I was racing
with someone brand new to the HO hobby, I knew the extra holding power
would be a real help for the newcomer. In time I fully expect he may
want a little less traction but for now we just have to accept that
speed is the thrill and the more speed, the more thrills. It’s just the
way it is. And boy did we have fun.
We had enough track to make some 10-foot
straights and these cars were
built for that kind of length. You could get up to top speed on that
length and then have to determine which driver was going to shut down
first coming into the turn. It was great fun.
Overall, I think AutoWorld hit the mark on these particular bodies
coupled with their XTraction chassis. Quality control issues aside, all
the go fast stuff is there waiting for you to go toe-to-toe with your
slot racing buddies. And the colors will definitely help keep track of
who’s who at racing speeds. While perhaps a little different in shape
and proportions compared to the original Aurora AFX cars, I view them a
little more like how real NASCAR cars were only similar to their street
car cousins with enough variations to make them completely different.
If you are like me and get the urge to put the rear bumper on the front
of a 68 Ford Torino to make it a Talladega, then these cars will fit
the bill nicely for your HO NASCAR aspirations!
fun and stay in the slot!
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