Ever since my friend Rick Schonfeld got his orange and green Powerslot Lola I have wanted one, the car and the model are very sleek and attractive racecars.
What I had read and what Rick soon discovered was that the lovely body disguised Flintstone wheels, a poorly designed chassis and an arcane anglewinder motor pod.
Rick immediately ordered a Slot-it HRS chassis and tuned it to be a front runner in our "Sidewinder" series, a class of mostly the best Slot-it and NSR classic LeMans and Can-Am type cars preceding the GroupC era. Recently I got pretty excited about the car again when I saw that Rafael and Vasco Cunha of Nationalracers announced that they would be offering a 3D printed chassis for these through Shapeways.
So I located a blue car.
I ordered a chassis the day they announced the release and pretty soon Shapeways sent me a package "from the future". At first glance it seemed right on but then I noticed that there was no recess for the motor pod screw head on the right rear corner. I thought it should be easy to fix on the mill so I did a pre-assembly to see how everything fit and found that the front axle spherical bushings were much too tight in the uprights and would not move at all when installed.
I contacted Rafael and sent him that picture and suggested that I may have gotten a prototype and asked if they would send me one once the bugs were worked out of the design which they most graciously sent at no charge after verifying everything with Shapeways. That was pretty awesome and great customer service and I certainly recommend their product.
In the mean time I tried to fix these issues and see what else I needed to make this work. I like the 7mm Scaleauto guide flag for the routed tracks we race on and after trimming the guide post to length the screw head hit the inside of the very sloped body. This has nothing to do with NR, they designed the chassis for the stock push in guide and it would fit. Knowing how strong this material is I decided to take a chance and mill the guide boss down to the webbing and cut my guide down even further. It works and hopefully will still be strong enough to survive hard racing. (It has so far.)
To fit the front bushings I found that a Dremel # 107 Engraving Cutter had a ball head very close in size to the concave inner surface of the uprights.
I sat down and very carefully carved the channels until the bushings would slide and rotate without any slop.
Do not do this with a powered moto tool. Use a handle or just hold the cutter by hand unless you are a Dentist or a Brain Surgeon. You could destroy the chassis in a split second!
I made it work and when the new chassis arrived I did a bit of clean up on the uprights because even though they were better the fit was still too tight for my preferences.
The only other mod needed to mate the chassis to the body was a slight grinding to the underside of the engine detail. No modification of the cockpit was needed with a 1.0 offset Slot-it sidewinder motor pod.
I like to mill the magnet pockets out of the floor of the Slot-it pods and lay a piece of brass in there for a few grams of weight and now that they are available I also add a Slot-it tungsten magnet shaped ballast in the mag pocket behind the motor as a starting point for balancing the car. With this one it was right on without anything else. I used a 21.5K Piranha motor from Cloverleaf Racing and Slot-it 15 X 8 wheels with Slot-it Sauber GroupC wheel inserts. The rear tires are Supertires 1402R-C silicones and the front tires are very stretched Slot-it PT19 Z1 compound 15.5 X 8 Racing Tires for the Slot-it Ferrari 312PB and other cars using the 14 X 8 front wheels. This was due to the same front end issue that affected the guide flag. Even the Slot-it Low Profile Zero Grips hit the inside of the wheel arches on the low front end.
The end result is a really well balanced car that ran so well that I decided to try it in our last Sidewinders race. I finished second, a few feet back but on the lead lap in a field that included well tuned Slot-it Matras and NSR P-68s and Rick's Powerslot.
This may have been the first race ever in which more than one of these cars were competitive!!!
P.S. The new Thunder Slot Lola T-70 wheel inserts would look appropriate on this car...🤔