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#1 Dennis David

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 06:44 PM

On a recent visit to Sidewinder Raceway a family brought their home set Scalextric cars to the track and the kids, boy and girl, were having all sorts of fun racing their cars on the routed wood track. The cars went reasonably well and it seems this was not their first time coming to the raceway.

What does this all mean? Not sure except that the connection between home and raceway may have some merit. Talked to some of the regular racers there and none of them raced slot cars before the raceway opened. Sacramento, with its weather is home to a lot of R/C activity though the guys said, what we already know, that they preferred racing slot cars over R/C.

I'm no expert but I would guess we've lost more racers to slot cars than the other way around. Funny thing they don't seem to do birthday parties, and do not need that business.


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#2 sportblazer350

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 04:15 PM

I have raced homeset 1/32 scale Slot.its on commercial tracks with success. They handled surprisingly well. To my surprise was the fact that we never raced them again.

 

So I don't see any reason why we can't get together with the homeset racers and get them and their cars over to the larger commercial tracks. Not much spray glue is needed, and there are great foam rubber rears to fit on the market. I like the Scaleauto rears myself for the homeset cars.  


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#3 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 10:01 PM

We used to have races for Ninco, Fly, Scalextric, and Slot.it cars on the Engelman (180 feet) at my raceway. We ran the cars in stock configuration including the tires. After a while we switched to the Slot.it guide for routed tracks. Track prep was a simple cleaning. No sponge tires so no spray glue needed. The cars were just that little bit loose enough to keep everyone on their toes.


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#4 BugleBoy10

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:49 PM

I know this is an old thread, but I visited Buena Park Raceway a couple weeks ago to test out some cars for an event a friend is set to host there soon. One of the regulars peeked in my box and said he doesn't race "homeset" cars, which was the first time I've heard that term before. The cars he was looking at was an NSR and three Slot.its. Of course, I was using their flat track while the regulars were testing their drag cars and families were renting cars for the blue King. I overheard a father on the out comment that my cars must require more skill because you have to slow down more for the turns. It made me laugh, because although I don't think of types of cars as more or less difficult to drive (whatever the car's ability, you have to do it faster than the other guys with similar cars), I do have my reasons for preferring "homeset" cars over Lexan-bodied cars... specifically "wing" cars.

1) I like the detail on the plastic bodied cars. Lexan cars have almost no detail except maybe some stickers, and the wing cars are just wedges of Lexan with paint, usually without functioning front wheels even!

2) When I raced wing cars, there was very little "driving" going on. It was a game of tuning your motor, making the chassis stiff but light, and applying the right weight and amount of glue at the entrances to the turns. I know that there are tracks and classes that require more driving skill, and that magnets have a similar impact on homeset cars, but it was no magnet 1/32 racing that really put a smile on my face.

 

3) Cost. It's rare to spend more than $100 on a "homeset" car, allowing me to build up a collection of highly-detailed cars. Many are even dream cars I would own in 1:1 scale if I was filthy rich. I would own far fewer 1/24 cars and still spend a lot of money maintaining them, and they would all look rather generic.

I am in no way knocking any particular type of slot car, and everybody has their own preferences. But I think the differing preferences makes a strong argument for a commercial raceway having facilities that accommodate the various types. If I were to open one (see "filthy rich comment above), I would have at least one 1/24 eight-lane raceway (probably a blue King), a four-lane routed 1/24 flat track that would also be well suited for homeset cars, a drag strip, an HO track (probably Brad's Tracks), and maybe even a plastic 1/32 track (Scalextric or Brad's Tracks) for the magnet guys.


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#5 Dennis David

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:56 PM

A track for home set cars should have some grain so that the rubber tires will work well. On a normal commercial track surface the grip is too high for Scalextric or Carrera and they'll hop. I don't consider Slot.it or NSR as homeset cars. A better term for these cars may be club cars or club time cars.

The tracks at Sidewinder Raceway near Sacramento have the perfect surface. There, home set cars run well right out of the box.


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#6 Dennis David

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 10:09 PM

While I like 1/32 and race them all the time, I find 1/24 scale cars more compelling though they are over twice as expensive.


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#7 BugleBoy10

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:19 AM

I like "club cars." Really want to find a reason to go up north so I can check out Sidewinder. 


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#8 Dennis David

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 11:01 AM

You definitely do but let me explain why I am moving from 1/32 to 1/24. I still collect and run 1/32 but I feel that the "dynamics" with regards to the handling and how the car moves around a corner when not under aerodynamic control is more apparent to the driver in the larger scale. This may have something to do with size but definitely has to do with increased weight.

In my own opinion that when you remove downforce you improve the "feel" of the car as it moves around the corners which besides improved appearance is one of the benefits of hard body racing.

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#9 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 12:06 PM

There are ways to make homeset cars more compatible at 'commercial' raceways. Homeset manufacturers have for a long time ignored the original 1958 Southport track standards. Because of this, their flags penetrate the slot very shallow. 

 

Slot.it and others do make a deeper flag that helps a lot. Most plastic track has a slightly raised pickup with no flag adjustment and a great many commercial tracks have braid more than 0.010" below the surface. If a commercial store has room for multiple tracks, they can cater to the homeset crowd either with a table with Carrera plastic track or a routed wood track with flush magnetic braid.
 
Carrera is the only modern plastic track with a slot correctly sized to work with commercial guide flags. Scaley and Ninco are very narrow and bind a full flag.
 
I race homeset cars without the 'evil' magnets and a bit of ballast... like we did in 1960.


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#10 Dennis David

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 01:46 PM

Changing the guide shoe is an obvious requirement but with Scalextric cars you would also need to use an adapter because of their guide shoe design. Another problem is that with true homeset cars, not Slot.it or NSR, you cannot adjust the front ride height and often the running gear is misaligned or not straight which is masked by the magnets. Many homeset cars now have a 3D chassis replacement that allows you to use a Slot.it motor pod that will help with the "hops." Running on plastic track at a commercial raceway seems like an oxymoron to me unless we're talking about a large four-lane Carrera or eight-lane Ninco layout like you see in Europe.
 
With regards to a routed track, I see very few routed tracks at commercial raceways that IMHO would even want to run a homeset car on. Definitely not on a Hillclimb or blue King, though a Paperclip or an MTT would be fine. 
 
FYI, to make my Slot.its run on our flat track I had to use suspension, sponge tires, and weight up the car to approximately 120 grams.

 

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#11 MSwiss

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 02:12 PM

Slot.it cars run great on my flat track, with just the addition of sponge tires, especially since we haven't run with the esses in four or five years.


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#12 eshorer

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 02:49 PM

I race three distinctly different classes (1/32 club: Slot.it, Fly, SCX, Ninco, Racer), 1/24 hardbody: model car hard plastic bodies on brass and piano wire chassis, and 1/24 Retro: Lexan bodies on brass and piano wire chassis. There's no question that 1/32 is much cheaper to run per car, but the problem is it's pretty hard to resist buying all of those beautiful cars!

 

When I started club racing I was only going to buy one car for each class. Over 70 cars later, and half of them in various degrees of disassembly due to "mining" parts for a faster car, I'm still buying cars. Each day of racing I spend $10 and that sometimes includes food, and always drinks.

 

Contrast that with my 1/24 racing: Hardbody cars can cost $100 or so, while a race-ready Retro car can run $350 (much less if you have the skills to build 'em). The motors are cheap, but tires can add up if you're starting off with race-ready size.

 

Hardbody cars seem to require far fewer replacement parts (compared to Retro), except for those $30-$50 dollar bodies, which take replacing after a few good wall shots.

 

I'm always surprised at how much it costs per day to race Retro cars. Seems I'm always needing parts which add up. But there's no way to get that "large track" racing experience without a large facility, and it takes racers support to pay their rent and utilities. I'm glad I have the choices I do for all three. Each takes a different driving style, but I enjoy all three equally. 

 

Brian was referring to Mike Low's upcoming "Outlaw" class. It will be a challenge to come up with a 1/32 hardbody car on a plastic chassis with a maximum 21.5k motor to run on Buena Park Raceway's flat track. It will be interesting to see the variations that people come up with. 

 

Eddie


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#13 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 03:35 PM

When I had Raceworld in McHenry, I had a 6 lane HO Bucktrax as well as a 6' X 20' table with Ninco track in the INDY F-1 layout.  We could race anything and I stocked everything I could afford.  6000 sq ft and 52 lanes.


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#14 Dennis David

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 03:44 PM

Ed the Porsche GT1 would run on that flat track no problem. No crazy spoiler on it either. Uses a Flat 6RS motor, wonder rubber on NSR rims, spring suspension set ultra soft and a couple of brass square tubes to stiffen the chassis though an ergal anglewinder pod would probably be better.

 

Larry, the Ninco track actually works quite well and is used all over Europe

 

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#15 eshorer

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 04:23 PM

Dennis: No long can allowed, but I'm guessing it wouldn't make too much difference. I've never played around with suspension. I'll probably run a Slot.it sidewinder pod in something or other. But I'd be happy to try anything you want to send or bring down here. The BPR race isn't till Sept. 24.

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#16 Dennis David

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 04:43 PM

Anglewinder needs to run with long flat can because sidewinder won't fit. Let me think about sending a car. Are sponge tires allowed?

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#17 BugleBoy10

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 05:40 PM

Changing the guide shoe is an obvious requirement but with Scalextric cars you would also need to use an adapter because of their guide shoe design. Another problem is that with true homeset cars, not Slot.it or NSR, you cannot adjust the front ride height and often the running gear is misaligned or not straight which is masked by the magnets. Many homeset cars now have a 3D chassis replacement that allows you to use a Slot.it motor pod that will help with the "hops." Running on plastic track at a commercial raceway seems like an oxymoron to me unless we're talking about a large four-lane Carrera or eight-lane Ninco layout like you see in Europe.
 
With regards to a routed track, I see very few routed tracks at commercial raceways that IMHO would even want to run a homeset car on. Definitely not on a Hillclimb or blue King, though a Paperclip or an MTT would be fine. 

After running so many of Big Lou's classes (huge 4 lane Scalextric track), I have gained experience in modifying homeset cars. Depending on the model, you can drop a deeper Slot.it or Sloting Plus guide directly into a Scalextric, Pioneer, or Carrera chassis. Sometimes just a little filing or trimming is needed. At that point, adjusting the ride height is a matter of spacers and truing the tires (or replacing the front axle/wheels/tires). Same with the drivetrain in the rear. Of course, this quite often brings the total cost of the car + modifications even or above that of an out-of-the-box NSR or Slot.it car.

The club Eddie is referring to runs on a handful of routed wood tracks, and the rules don't allow alternate guides. This does get a little frustrating with the Fly/SCX/Ninco cars, but it's doable.


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#18 BugleBoy10

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 05:42 PM

For the race Eddie and I are talking about, it's short can 21.5k only. No long can/boxer/flat 6 motors allowed.


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#19 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 05:59 PM

Our Greatlakes Club allows any length motor with many classes being RPM limited and silicone tires  Check track photos on facebook or website and several have been featured in Model Car Racing magazine.

 

Ninco #1 tight turn will not allow a standard 1" long flag or any wide flag like Parma.  Slot averages <2mm wide instead of 1/8" or 3mm wide.


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#20 eshorer

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 06:01 PM

The club Eddie is referring to runs on a handful of routed wood tracks, and the rules don't allow alternate guides. This does get a little frustrating with the Fly/SCX/Ninco cars, but it's doable.

I've never felt like the lack of a deep "wood track" guide was a hinderance on any of our routed tracks in the club. I'm thinking it would make more of a difference on a commercial track due to the increased speed, and the long turns with a large radius. Fortunately we can use them in this class.

Eddie


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#21 Dennis David

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 06:51 PM

What about sponge tires?

 

Also I was talking about replacing the quick change Scalextric guides. I always used an adapter.

 

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#22 eshorer

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:11 PM

Yes, sponge tires OK for that class.

Here's the THREAD for the series coming up that we're discussing. We can maybe continue over there discussing specific car configurations.  

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#23 BugleBoy10

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 09:43 AM

I've never felt like the lack of a deep "wood track" guide was a hinderance on any of our routed tracks in the club. I'm thinking it would make more of a difference on a commercial track due to the increased speed, and the long turns with a large radius. Fortunately we can use them in this class.


Last weekend, on your track, my car acted like it had no guide at all on the turn going into the long straight. That was probably because I'm stubborn and refuse to add weight on tracks with elevation. I'm pretty sure the uphill approach to a curves that turns downward carried my lightweight car just high enough to clear the slot.
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#24 BugleBoy10

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 09:46 AM

What about sponge tires?
 
Also I was talking about replacing the quick change Scalextric guides. I always used an adapter.


Yes, that works.

But as an example, a slight opening of the hole and shortening of the guide post allowed me to run any Slot.it guide on my Scalextric NASCAR COT. On my Carrera C6 Corvette, a Sloting Plus guide fit right in with no modifications whatsoever. Sometimes the adapter isn't needed (sometimes it is).
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#25 Dennis David

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 10:54 AM

Thanks, the only Scalextric I buy these days are the F1s and I leave them stock.

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#26 Dennis David

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 10:57 AM

Adding weight also depends on the grip level of the track and your tires. Low grip and more weight may cause your car to slide more.

One reason I like a track with more grip.


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#27 bbr

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 11:06 AM

Last weekend, on your track, my car acted like it had no guide at all on the turn going into the long straight. That was probably because I'm stubborn and refuse to add weight on tracks with elevation. I'm pretty sure the uphill approach to a curves that turns downward carried my lightweight car just high enough to clear the slot.


Tuning a car on race days is always problematic. The most successful racers, I observed, have multiple cars with different setups.


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#28 Dennis David

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 11:51 AM

Unless you're James Grandi...


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#29 BugleBoy10

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 02:14 PM

Adding weight also depends on the grip level of the track and your tires. Low grip and more weight may cause your car to slide more.

One reason I like a track with more grip.

 

Adding weight also depends on the grip level of the track and your tires. Low grip and more weight may cause your car to slide more.

One reason I like a track with more grip.

Agreed. I figure a little more weight but with the same balance point would have done the trick, but didn't have enough practice time to test it out. The car still did well, but I cost myself at least one place by not driving those elevation curves more carefully.

 

Tuning a car on race days is always problematic. The most successful racers, I observed, have multiple cars with different setups.

Also agreed, but there is such limited tuning time when you're racing on people's home tracks that aren't available all the time. I look forward to having the home track advantage on occasion once I finish my track at home.


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#30 Dennis David

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 02:47 PM

Then you need to build some obstacles that only you know about LOL


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#31 eshorer

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 04:01 PM

Last weekend, on your track, my car acted like it had no guide at all on the turn going into the long straight. That was probably because I'm stubborn and refuse to add weight on tracks with elevation. I'm pretty sure the uphill approach to a curves that turns downward carried my lightweight car just high enough to clear the slot.

 

That turn (the lead-on) is tricky, especially on the Yellow lane, which is super tight. If you were popping out there it was due to one of following: 1. the guide being too shallow (correctable with truing front tires, just not too much so they don't hit the track), 2. stuck guide post 3. rear tires too grippy, causing you to tilt out. 4. Car is too light. 5. Some combo of some of the above. 

When I'm back from traveling (mid-July), come over on some non-race days and get a little of that home track advantage here!

Eddie


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#32 bbr

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 05:07 PM

The barometer is to know what is a fast car is for a particular track. Then use your knowledge to get your car there.

Example: I been playing with group f wing cars, but have not much of a clue. I got my hands on a first class car, now I know what its like, so I can use what tuning knowledge I have to get the car to that level of performance.

Like turn 1 at Indy, a good car should be flat out with no lift.
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#33 Samiam

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 11:04 AM

"... while a race-ready Retro car can run $350."
 
THIS brand new race-ready one can be had for $130.

Add $15 for tires and you're good to go.
 
edit: Too late.
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#34 Dennis David

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 10:30 PM

Personally I think the $350 price tag is $100 too high.

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#35 Bill from NH

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:15 AM

Even at $250 for the going price, if I was going to race Retros, I'd learn how to build chassis and paint bodies. :)  Collecting might be an entirely different matter.


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#36 Dennis David

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:19 AM

That's you, but if you look at the tech sheets there are a lot of people buying chassis at least and I can tell you from personal experience that Noose stays pretty busy painting bodies!

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#37 Dennis David

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:48 AM

Getting back to "homeset" cars, most of which are miss-categorized, what are they really?

For people who race them I would say the determinating characteristic is a single-piece chassis and press-on plastic wheels. Once you have added a motor pod and metal set screw wheels you've priced the car beyond what would go in a home set.

Now while you can race this car on a home track it would be better called a club car or a 1/32 car or a 1/32 hardbody. These cars are made to be collected or raced in clubs. The fact that most clubs in the US race on tracks in people's homes not withstanding the US is not their largest market.


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#38 Dennis David

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:54 AM

Now a 1/24 BRM or Scaleauto definitely can not be called a homeset car but that should not mean that 1/32 cars are all homeset cars. It's like calling the Lexan cars that most of us race "bubble" cars but that's exactly what they are called in some countries.


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