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Concours-level slot car class created for ISVC


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 09:29 AM

From today's Hemmings Daily:

Concours-level slot car class created for International Scale Vehicle Championship
 
slots.jpg

Photo by Kurt Ernst.

 

Whatever you do, don’t call them “thingies.” Now that concours-level slot cars have earned a spot among other handcrafted small-scale vehicles at one of the country’s largest shows for model and scale cars, enthusiasts who built the high-end racers have made it a point to distance themselves from that term.

 

“There are a good number of builders who are constructing highly-detailed scale slot cars and that was enough to pique our interest in such models,” said Mark Gustavson of the GSL International Scale Vehicle Championship and Convention, which for 2017 will add a class dedicated to concours slot cars.

 

“Thingies,” on the other hand, refers to about the opposite of a concours-level scale car: stripped-down, beefed-up slot cars without bodies and sometimes without front wheels. As Gustavson discovered early on in planning for the new class, some slot car builders view “thingies” as a pejorative term “and probably offensive to those deeply interested in competitive slot car racing.”

 

So to make sure the class only applies to non-thingie slot cars, the rules for the class stipulate four rolling tires, full body work, and a full interior that may or may not include a driver figure. In addition, the class entrants must also run, so the class organizers will have a sample slot car track on hand for the cars to run on. Beyond those basic rules, the concours slot cars can represent any production or non-production car or truck, can use commercially available pieces, and can be two- or four-wheel drive.

 

Other classes at the event include Box Plus, Common Kit, Light Duty Commercial and Military vehicles, Heavy Duty Commercial and Military vehicles, Straightline Competition vehicles, Circle Track or Road Course Competition vehicles, Custom vehicles, Factory Stock vehicles, Custom vehicles, Street Rods, Street Machines, Motorcycles, 1/43 Scale vehicles, Replicas, and Dioramas.

 

Founded in 1979, the GSL International Scale Vehicle Championship and Convention includes competitive classes, seminars, tours of the International Model Car Builders’ Museum, and a trade show, all geared toward scale vehicle modelers. Next year’s event takes place April 27-30 in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit GSLChampionship.org.


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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap





#2 Garry S

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 11:44 AM

It's good to see any aspect of the hobby promoted, but I'm not actually convinced that this qualifies. Scale advocates have always protested the "performance at the expense of scale," and they had a valid argument for those who see the sport as a firm tie between full-size car and slot car racing. They race slot cars that are accurate scale replicas of real cars, and I can understand the attraction.  

 

But this "concours" class seems little more than a strained effort to call scale models "slot cars" by including the ability to move - not race - on a "sample" track. It appears that all performance has been sacrificed at the expense of "scale accuracy," and I find this amusing and ironic. The "scale" vs "thingie" division has always been about racing, but this new development would seem more at home with model trains than slot car racing, because it disregards racing.

 

Don't misunderstand me, I'm happy to see any hobby promoted, and I applaud those who support it. I'm just laughing a bit at the "pot-stirring" content of this article, and wondering why they feel it necessary to add the connotation "slot car" to their models by including a nominal electric motor.    


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Garry Stoner

#3 Cheater

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 12:40 PM

Well said, Garry.

 

I too was a little dismayed by the inclusion of references to the thingie vs scale, modeler vs racer divisions. Didn't think it was necessary in promoting the contest nor does it IMO reflect positively on the event or the organizers.

 

Where I will gently disagree is with this: "this new development would seem more at home with model trains than slot car racing, because it disregards racing."

The term I prefer is 'competition,' which encompasses a much broader sphere than the term 'racing.' And there is competition in the MR world, aspects like the number of cars a locomotive can pull on level track or on a grade, slowest smooth running speed, etc. Competition infers a much larger range of actions than just speed and going fast.

 

Don't forget that some of the earliest racing series in the '60s often combined racing results with concours results to determine the overall winners.

 

Note that 1/24 slot drag racing, which would fit within your racing category, is very invested in having cars with realistic appearance.


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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#4 Garry S

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 05:12 PM

Certainly all are competitive, but I actually intended the more narrow scope of "racing" since that is what both scale and thingie advocates have in common. Though scale racers demand an at least somewhat accurate reproduction of an existing full-scale car, both groups participate in actual races. It appears this new concours class will not, and cars need only demonstrate the ability to move on a sample track. To me, this removes them from the current definition of "slot car," and makes me wonder why they need this association.  

 

Somewhat off-topic but still related, I always wondered why the scale guys who are so quick to condemn thingies as "unreal" never insist on scale speeds for their cars...   :)    


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#5 Dave Crevie

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 05:44 PM

The home set, or basement racers, have been building excellent scale 1/32 cars, and they race them. The tight turns of the tracks keep speeds down, but they are racing, not "parading." Some pics get posted on "Home Racing World." I used to do this, and have build some pretty well-detailed cars (the curse of being a model railroader).
 
And yes, the fine detail sometimes gets broken off. But the same thing happens with real cars.



#6 MSwiss

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 05:56 PM

This would be the closest thing to what I think they are talking about;

Hardbody with scratchbuilt chassis

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#7 Jairus

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 08:20 PM

I do not understand why Mark and staff included slot cars in the mix of what has become the "Premiere best of the best model car contest of all time" since 1979. I have competed many times and won a few awards.

I understand what they are looking for, but the rules are far too general at the moment to ensure the entries are actually capable of running a lap. And they gave up on the idea of installing a track just for judging.

 

That is why I am attending the show this April in order to help and aid the judges in what to look for, as opposed to what is really... just a lame excuse for a slot car.

Let's accept this laurel wreath for now and just see what happens. Okay? :unknw: 

 


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#8 Dave Crevie

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 05:52 PM

That sedan is close to the line that separates models from slot cars.

 

There is a group of oval racers who used to post on HRM, from the southeast I believe. Their rules call out replica chassis made as close as possible to the real racers. Several of the sprint cars they showed had exact copies of Gambler chassis, made from brass rod. The stockers had copies of Banjo Mathews type chassis. All cars had to have full front and rear suspension. The cars were front motored with a flexible shaft to the rear wheels, using springs for universals like the old Pro-Track hardbody chassis.

 

I wish I had paid more attention to their postings, as I am afraid they got lost when Harry changed hosts.



#9 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 07:49 PM

"Don't forget that some of the earliest racing series in the '60s often combined racing results with concours results to determine the overall winners."

 

Some still do and many of the proxy races have separate concours awards.

 

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