Shop   |   Log In   |   Search    
Shop Site

Fly Ferrari GTO Roadster

October 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Slot Car Tech News

Fly Ferrari GTO Roadster Final Report

It’s finished! It really is!

We would love to see this in 1:1 scale diving through the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca or powering up the hill toward start-finish at Road America. We can just imagine the Ferrari V12 wail amid all the rumbling Ford and Chevy V8s. We could imagine it at the Pebble Beach Concours with pride of place as the rarest and most desirable Ferrari of all time. That’s one of the truly cool things about the slot car hobby — you can build and race cars that never existed but should have.  We had so much fun creating this “phantom” car that we have even written a unique history for it. It isn’t true but it could have been. First, however, a recap of the project. We built this car to the Slot Car Challenge 1 rules, starting with a Fly E1801 250 GTO as specified. Here’s a list of the performance mods we did to it:

  • Fly B243 and B244 front and rear wheels and front tires. $13.98 for both. We retained the stock rear axle, bushings, and crown gear.
  • Indy Grips IG1308 tires on the rear.  $4.50.
  • Slot It SICH07 guide.  $5.99.  This guide, made for wood tracks, is actually too big for Scalextric track, but using it allowed us to trim the blade down to take maximum advantage of the Scalextric Sport slot’s full width and depth.
  • Scalextric W8475-2 traction magnet. $5.19.  As installed, the Scalextric magnet only delivers 264 grams of downforce vs. 352 for a stock Fly GTO with the original magnet.  The difference in downforce is due to the Scalextric magnet sitting higher in the chassis than the stock one. The advantage of the Scalextric magnet is that it provides downforce over more of the car’s width, making it more drivable.  The Scalextric magnet certainly could be moved lower to deliver comparable downforce, but it would require some carving on the chassis which we simply ran out of time to do.  Also, with the Scalextric magnet where it is the car is legal and very competitive for a local race series we can run it in, so we just decided to leave it as is.
  • Scale Auto SC006 motor. $14.79. We retained the GTO’s stock lead wires and drive shaft assembly.

Those parts, along with the $39.95 price of the car, bring the total cost to $84.40.  That wouldn’t have won the BFB prize, but the the car is great fun to drive. On our test track, with the same layout, power, and controllers as used on the official layout for Challenge 1, we got a 60 lap run out of the car and decided that was enough.  There is more development potential, especially if we lower the magnet, but it’s time to move on to other projects. Appearance-wise, the main thing we did, of course, was the coupe-to-roadster conversion.  This has been the most satisfying part of the project.  We are really pleased with the way it turned out and we think we have come very close to what a full-size GTO roadster would have looked like if Ferrari had ever built one.  But there’s much more to the car’s looks than just that.  We lowered the front of the body over the chassis to get the fenders snugged down over the smaller-diameter front wheels. On the stock GTO the body sits too high even for the original wheels and tires so as you can imagine the lowering we did was pretty radical.  As a result, we had to convert the interior tray extensively.  There was still room for a full-depth interior and driver figure but we would have had to rebuild the whole drive shaft tunnel, so to save time and keep things simple we just made the interior tub half-depth.  It really isn’t that noticeable on the finished car. Other appearance mods include:

  • Driver’s head replaced with a more period-correct one.
  • Roll bar structure fabricated from wire-filled plastic tubing.
  • Stock windshield cut down to a low windscreen.
  • Fire bottle from a Scalextric Corvette.
  • Shift lever and rear-view mirror from the junk box.
  • Decals from assorted sources, including some from all the way back to the 60s.

We painted the car with Tamiya X7 red acrylic and Testor Glosscote, wet-sanding with 600-grit sandpaper between coats.  We think the Tamiya red is just about the perfect shade for a Ferrari.  You can see how it compares with the color of a stock Fly GTO in the nose-to-nose photo below. Also, check out how much lower the front end of our roadster sits. We mentioned above that we wrote a history for the car.  Here it is, along with more photos.  We hope you enjoy reading it and looking at the photos.  We certainly enjoyed all the building, testing, photography, and writing that has gone into the entire project.


The Back Story
(Every good phantom model has one)
We all know the Ferrari factory never built a GTO roadster. When the GTO first appeared its critics, and they were many, called it a “Testa Rossa with a roof”. It was not, they said, a true GT car within the spirit of the rules, even if it did barely comply with the letter of them.  A GTO roadster would have lent too much credibility to that criticism.
That doesn’t mean that the Commendatore wouldn’t have liked to see one built, and thereby hangs a tale.
Toward the end of GTO production a few of them left the factory with 4-liter engines in place of the usual 3-liter unit, making them 330GTOs.  In 1965, after the GTO’s competition heyday was over, the factory had several tired examples, including a 330, gathering dust in the back of the competition department.  Remember that in those days old race cars were just that – old race cars.  The vintage racing movement was still far in the future.
In the Fall of 1965 Samantha Hill, whose company, Sam Hill Realty, had made her a fortune in the California real estate market, toured the Ferrari factory.  Ms. Hill was an enthusiastic, if only modestly talented, amateur sports car driver who had been racing an Austin-Healey in Cal Club races and had visions of competing in the upper production classes.  Somebody at Ferrari saw her coming and convinced her that one of the castoff GTOs, specifically the 330, would be the perfect vehicle for her introduction to the faster classes.   She wrote out a check on the spot.
In early December her racing shop, housed in a nondescript building on Sepulveda Boulevard, took delivery of the refurbished 330GTO.  She immediately filed an entry for an upcoming SCCA Regional at an airport course in Arizona.
Her first unpleasant surprise came when the SCCA officials classified Samantha and her GTO into the modified class instead of one of the production classes. Instead of racing with Corvettes and Cobras as she expected she found herself on the track with Lola T70s, McLarens, and other mid-V8-engined rocketships.  The next came in the first practice session.  The factory rebuild apparently did not include much of anything in the way of proper suspension setup.  Samantha headed for the pits after only three laps, wide-eyed with fright at the car’s diabolical handling and big-engined modified cars blasting by her at enormous speed differentials.
Samantha’s mechanic, Stanley Spanner, spent the whole weekend trying to find the problem without success.  Then, in Sunday afternoon’s race the GTO snapped into a lurid slide beyond Samantha’s ability to get out of and ended up upside down in the weeds.  The factory roll bar was little more use than the aluminum top itself, and Samantha emerged from the wreck with a concussion and a newfound appreciation for life that prompted her to end her driving career right then and there.  She was still a sports car enthusiast, though, and soon moved on to Group 7 cars, hired drivers, and the USRRC.  The GTO, its top utterly flattened but otherwise only lightly damaged, sat ignored under a tarp in the back of the building.  Then one day in March of 1966 Bonham Neville walked into the Sam Hill Racing shop.
Bon, as he was known, was a natural-born automotive genius.  He spent his high school years and several thereafter building an increasingly wild assortment of coupes, roadsters, rail dragsters, and other creations that defied classification and racing them on California’s drag strips and dry lakes.  By 1959, at age 22, he was already something of a hot rodding legend and had a thriving car-building business.  That year a customer wanted to convert his Corvette from a drag racer to an SCCA road racer and invited Bon to a race at Riverside to check out the sports car scene.  One look at sports cars and Bon was hooked.  He jumped in with both feet and soon was racing a Corvette against Dick Guldstrand, Bob Bondurant, Andy Porterfield, Skip Hudson, Tony Settember, Dave McDonald, and Paul Rinehart, among many others who populated the huge big-bore production car grids of the era.  Bon won frequently and his business prospered greatly.
By the mid-60s production car racing had changed radically with ever-larger engines being stuffed into the cars.  Neville, gradually turning into an advocate of light, nimble cars, was becoming profoundly dissatisfied with his big-block Corvette.  Some say he was the one who coined the term “plastic pachyderm” to describe what he considered the  Corvette’s brute-force approach to battling the Cobras.  He had even less liking for the 427 Cobra, which he had driven and freely denounced as handling like a pig, much to Carroll Shelby’s displeasure.  He was looking for an outside-the-box alternative when he visited Samantha Hill’s shop that day to drop by some parts he had fabricated for her new Lola.
“What’s that?” he asked when he saw the canvas-shrouded shape in a dusty corner.
“Oh, that.” Spanner answered, “That’s Samantha’s old Ferrari.”
“Mind if I look?” Bon asked.
“Help yourself.”
Bon Neville spent the rest of the afternoon minutely examining the damaged GTO and asking questions.  It didn’t take him long to spot the reason for the car’s terrible handling.  Both the Ferrari factory mechanics and Spanner had failed to spot a frame tube in a critical but easy to miss location that had completely broken at one end, allowing the rear suspension to do bizarrely unpredictable things.¬†He also noted that with the exception of the crushed top the body would be easy for his fabricators to repair.  Wheels began to turn in his head.  He said nothing about the broken tube.  When Samantha came into the shop he pointed to the GTO and said, “How much?”  Samantha, thoroughly disgusted with the car ever since that race weekend in Arizona, named a figure.  Bon couldn’t believe his ears.
Bon was, among many things, an avid reader of rulebooks. Two he had studied thoroughly were the SCCA General Competition Rules and Production Car Specifications and the FIA GT Class Rules.  At the time they were still at least tenuously connected.  The GTO was homologated with the FIA as a variant of a Ferrari production road car.  That allowed it into FIA GT racing even though nowhere near enough GTOs had been built to satisfy the minimum production requirement.  Those same Ferrari road cars were recognized by the SCCA for production car racing.  Some were even being raced. They were almost, but not quite, fast enough to stay with the Corvettes and Cobras.  The GTO, Bon realized, was a big step up in performance.  If he could get it ruled legal for production class racing and develop it to the limit of the SCCA rules the possibilities were truly delicious.
Bon spent several weeks writing and rewriting a formal petition to the SCCA Competition Board.  When he had it honed to perfection he sent it off.  The petition, surprisingly, generated little debate among the Comp Board members, who did not see in the nearly obsolete GTO quite the same potential Bon did but did see the possible advantages of bringing Ferraris into the production class wars as something a bit more than spear carriers.  They sent Bon a letter informing him that his petition was approved.  He had his outside-the-box alternative.
Bon called Samantha, accepting her offer on the GTO.  The next day he had the car in his shop, a few miles down Sepulveda from Samantha’s.  He totally disassembled it and began putting it back together his way.  The engine went to Traco Engineering to have that firm’s legendary magic worked on it.  The frame was not only repaired but lightened wherever possible and stiffened and reinforced as needed.  The chassis rebuild included a very stout and liberally braced roll bar that not only exceeded SCCA specs but also increased chassis stiffness by a very respectable percentage.  All the body damage got fixed except the flattened roof.
Bon had sent a letter to the factory describing his plans for the GTO and inquiring about the availability of spare body parts, in particular a new roof.  Weeks went by with no reply while the rest of the project forged ahead.  Then one day a large, thick envelope with a Maranello return address arrived.  Inside was a letter.
“Dear Mr. Neville,” it began, “I regret to inform you that the GTO body parts about which you inquired are no longer available.  However, I heartily approve of your project and want to help you.  I believe you will find the enclosed documents useful in pursuing your goal.  I wish you every success in defeating the Cobras. Please be assured of my continuing interest and warmest regards.”
It was personally signed by Enzo Ferrari.
The “documents” accompanying the letter turned out to be a set of beautifully rendered engineering drawings, specifications, and manufacturing instructions for a complete GTO roadster rear clip, dated 1962. They also included a copy of a letter from the FIA confirming that the projected though unbuilt roadster was covered under the GTO’s FIA homologation.
When Bon hauled the completed car to Willow Springs for its first test it was 300 pounds lighter, 50 percent stiffer, and had 30 percent more power plus a torque curve much better suited to the shorter, tighter American race circuits where it would be competing.  The roadster body, with the low Plexiglas windshield Bon made for it, reduced drag substantially and made the rear “duck tail” spoiler more effective.  The chassis sat much lower to the track on American Racing Equipment 5-spoke magnesium wheels fitted with the widest, lowest-profile Goodyear tires the rules would allow.   The first day it ran below the A-production lap record and revealed only a few small problems to correct.
Two weeks later Bon entered a National at Riverside.  Even with more power and better aerodynamics he was losing ground on the long back straight to the big-block cars but he still beat all but two of them.  The following weekend he towed north to Laguna Seca, where the car was in its element.  Bon pulled out to a 20-second lead over a 40-car field and then cruised to the victory.  The rest of the season went the same way.  Wherever the Corvettes and Cobras had enough of a straightaway to use all their Detroit horsepower the GTO was at best a top-five car.  Everywhere else it killed them.
The American Road Race of Champions, or ARRC for short, posed a problem, however.  At the time the event alternated between Riverside and Daytona, both of them horsepower tracks.  In 1966 at Riverside Bon qualified sixth and finished fourth.  In 1967 at Daytona he qualified only eleventh and finished seventh.  On the infield portion of the course he could easily pass any car in the field but as soon as he reached the flat-out oval section the bigblocks blew right by him.
Bon had also discovered another problem.  The Corvettes, with their fiberglass bodies, were a lot better at handling body contact than the Ferrari was, especially those with the bumper brackets left in place, reinforcing both ends of the car.  As long as Bon could get clear of the field and away into the lead he was fine, but back in the pack it could be brutal, especially since some of the Corvette drivers were not squeamish about using their weight and durability to maximum advantage.  On the first lap at the 1968 ARRC he was hit from behind and then from the side.  The other cars, both Corvettes, continued on but the Ferrari needed major repairs.
In 1969 Bon went TransAm racing with a Camaro and had no time to race the Ferrari.  Over the course of the year his shop rebuilt it with further upgrades and detail modifications, including the Minilite wheels it wears to this day, but the car saw no action.  At the end of the season Bon decided he didn’t like all the travel required to compete in a pro series.  He decided to go back to SCCA National racing and just run on the West Coast.  When the SCCA announced that it would hold the 1970 ARRC at Road Atlanta, where Bon thought the GTO had a real chance to win, he had an idea.  He decided to try to qualify for an ARRC invitation in both A-production and A-sedan, even though the two classes always ran in the same race group everywhere but the ARRC.
He carefully studied the 1970 schedule, calculating where the GTO would be most competitive in its class and where he stood the best chance of a good points day in A-sedan with the Camaro.  He entered and qualified both cars in each race.  That paid off on a couple of occasions when the car he intended to race that weekend broke in practice or qualifying and he was able to drive the other one and add to its point total.   At the end of the season he had his two ARRC invitations.
At Atlanta Bon set the fastest A-production times right from the beginning of practice, much to the chagrin of the assembled Corvette racers.  The Gulf Oil Company, seeing the possibility of an epic upset, signed on as Bon’s sponsor for the weekend.
Knowing the Ferrari’s susceptibility to body contact the Corvette contingent began playing head games with Bon.  One of the Corvette drivers known for his aggressive driving appeared at the track in a t-shirt with “Designated Hitter” printed on the front and back.  Throughout the days leading up to the A-production race Bon kept hearing subtle comments intended to unnerve him, but he simply wasn’t having any of it.  He sent shock waves through the paddock when he qualified the GTO on the A-production pole, setting a new class lap record.  He knew the start would decide everything.  He and his crew spent hours trying to determine what speed, gear, and RPM would give him the best jump at the start.
In the A-sedan race he finished second in the Camaro after a race-long battle in which he swapped the lead several times with the eventual winner.  He went straight from the A-sedan podium to the A-production grid, determined to make a perfect start.  He led the field to the green at exactly the speed and RPM he had decided on.  At the drop of the flag he nailed the throttle.  He got a huge break when the other front-row driver, in a Corvette, got wheelspin and fell back.  Bon led into turn one and just kept extending his lead.
But on the last lap, with 15 seconds on the field, he felt something go terribly wrong at the back of the car, nearly causing him to crash.  The GTO was suddenly almost undrivable.  He nursed it around to the checkered flag, but half a dozen cars caught and passed him before he got there.  It turned out to be a broken part in the rear suspension.  It was one of the few rear suspension parts not replaced after the 1968 crash.
That winter Bon bought a Formula 5000 car and took both it and the Camaro to the ARRC in 1971.  He went back to what became known as the Runoffs many times, but never again with the Ferrari, though he continued to race it and even win with it every once in a while, especially after the SCCA dropped it down to B-production.
Unlike most racers, Bon Neville has kept many of the race cars he ran back in the day, including the Ferrari.  He is still active and highly revered in vintage racing where he regularly exercises his favorite race car of them all, the world’s only Ferrari GTO roadster.  He maintains it exactly as it looked on the day of its last B-production victory except for a set of big Gulf decals to commemorate his near-triumph at the 1970 ARRC.  He often receives multi-million-dollar offers for the car, but he always replies that it’s not for sale at any price. And when he drives it he wears an old-style open-face helmet so everybody can see the big, wide grin on his face.
If you have any questions or comments on this article please e-mail them to

What’s new in the Electric Dreams Store?

 New Items In Stock

Racer RCR40

Racer RCR40 Porsche 935 K3, LeMans 1980 – $265.99



 Scalextric  C2889


Scalextric C2889 Corvette L88 vintage racing – $47.99

Scalextric C2885

Scalextric C2885 Peugeot 307, H. Solberg – $47.99

SCX 62880

SCX 62880 Williams F1, Nico Rosberg – $45.99



slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

We all know there are lots of not-so-well designed slot cars on the market.  I’m
not talking about the common gripes, such as knurled axles and press-on plastic
wheels, too-delicate wings and mirrors, or guide flags too long, thick, or deep to
fit the slots on some brands of track.  Those can be aggravating, certainly, but
what I mean here is cars that have chassis, and sometimes bodies, so ineptly
designed that no amount of aftermarket parts or routine tuning will ever make
them run or handle right (and in some cases, look right).  These cars need a
complete redesign.  Probably every reader of this article who has been in the slot
car hobby for a while has his list of nominees for a complete makeover.

Not too long ago we heard from a customer who decided to take the car at the
top of his hopeless design list and rebuild it the way he believes it should have been made to
begin with.  What’s interesting about his project is that he didn’t go the usual
route of mounting the body on a Slot It HRS chassis or replacing every moving
part on the car with NSR components.  Instead, he used production replacement
parts from cars of various manufacturers, along with most of the original chassis,
to create a car that performs a whole world better than it did originally but could
have been produced in volume and sold at a normal retail price.  In other words,
his redesign could have been the original design and would have performed much better.  He wishes to remain anonymous in order to
avoid the possible wrath of the manufacturer, so we won’t tell you his name but
we’re going to let him tell the story…

"Have you ever taken a good look at a Ninco Cobra?   The body is beautiful. 
They did a great job on it, not only in modeling the overall shape but also in
capturing all the details from the raked-back windshield and the roll bar to the
side pipes and the jack brackets.  But then they stuck it on top of a chassis and
running gear that somebody should have been fired for.  Of course, that was
quite a few years ago, and the state of the art then wasn’t what it is now, but
even then they could have done a lot better. 

slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

For starters, that big lump of an NC2 motor, sitting approximately amidships,
weighs too much, takes up way too much space, and doesn’t leave any proper
location for a traction magnet.  Of course, if you’re a rabid non-magnet zealot that
won’t matter to you, but a truly well designed chassis provides the option of
racing with or without magnets. Many non-magnet racers refit these cars with NC-1 motors to get the power down closer to what the chassis can handle.

Then there are the wheels and tires, which are grossly oversize.  The wheel diameter is a scale 18.56 inches, which is about
what you’d find on a present-day tuner car, not a 60s sports car.  The tires,
however, have a typical 60s profile, which means the chassis sits ridiculously
high off the track on what looks like truck tires.   Finally, they put a too-deep
interior tray into the body.  That meant they had to jack up the body to clear the
motor, leaving a big gap between the tires and the fenders. 

The result is a car that looks like a cartoon of a Cobra or, perhaps, a Cobra set
up for offroad racing, but definitely not a proper 427 Cobra race car. It’s also a
car that essentially can’t get out of its own way on the track.  It’s like a committee
hashed out the packaging of the car’s various parts on a Monday morning.

Still, that body really is nice, which set me to thinking.  What if Ninco were to
redesign the chassis, fixing all the mistakes, and re-release the car?  Since I had
just acquired two Ninco Cobras I decided to explore the idea.  I set a goal of
making the Cobra into a car that could be both legal and competitive in my GT-1
class for 1960s and 70s SCCA production cars and sedans.  This class includes
Scalextric TransAm cars and L88 Corvettes. It also allows kitbashes using the
chassis and mechanicals from these cars.  The only non-stock part allowed in
this class is a pair of Indy Grips 1009 rear tires.  If I could make the Cobra
competitive in this class it would mean a huge performance improvement over
the original design.  Making it legal for the class would ensure that it would be a
design that could be mass-produced and sold at a reasonable price.

My first idea was simply to transplant a shortened and trimmed Scalextric
Mustang chassis into the Cobra body.  The Mustang’s front and rear axle
assemblies are the perfect width to fit under the Cobra’s fenders, and the wheels,
at a scale diameter of 15.68 inches, are much closer to the proper diameter.

slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

Size comparison between Scalextric TransAm car wheels/tires and stock Ninco Cobra wheels/tires.

However, it soon became clear that this wouldn’t work, because the Mustang’s
guide sat too far forward to clear the Cobra body’s short nose.  The same proved
true of all the other possible replacement chassis I tried, including the front-motor
setup from the L88 Corvette. 

My next idea was to install the complete Scalextric sidewinder setup in the
Cobra’s original chassis.  The problem here was to install all the necessary motor
and axle mounts and then make them solid enough to withstand the hard knocks
of racing.  Scrounging through my parts bins I found the perfect solution in the
form of a Fly sidewinder rear pod.  This part goes by several different stock
numbers, including B34, B104, and B108.  They are all the same except for the
color plastic they are molded in.  The Scalextric motor and rear axle assembly fits
perfectly, delivering a smooth gear mesh with the stock Scalextric sidewinder

slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

Before installing the pod I had to grind off the original Ninco motor and rear axle
mounts, along with some additional material from the chassis, using my Dremel
Moto-tool with various cutting bits.  Because the chassis curves upward aft of the
rear axle I had to contour the bottom of the trailing edge of the pod to match.  For
this I used my bench-mounted belt sander, but it could also be done with a
Dremel or even a file.  Emery boards came in handy for cleaning up edges.  I
also cut off the triangular extension from the front of the pod that includes a
mounting tab for Fly chassis and a housing for a Fly disc magnet.  Since the pod
was going to be glued in the tab wasn’t needed.  Also, I was going to use a
Scalextric bar magnet just forward of the motor so the disc magnet housing was
in the way and needed to go. 

Once I had the pod and chassis shaped for a good, close fit I applied CA glue to
the bottom of the pod and positioned it in the chassis, clamping it in place until
the glue set.  I also wanted to get rid of all the up-and-down slop in the front axle
installation, so I cut a piece of 5/32" brass tubing and epoxied it into the chassis. 
The tube also serves as a reinforcement for the guide mounting. 

slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

The next step was to snap in the motor and install the axle assemblies.  A visual
check showed that the bottom of the chassis now rode at a much more
reasonable height above the track.  However, when I test-fitted the Scalextric
magnet in just forward of the pod I could see that all the material I had cut away
to fit the pod in place had compromised the structural integrity of the chassis. 
The magnet literally pulled the center of the chassis down to the track.  Clearly,
some reinforcing was in order.  I cut some small pieces of Evergreen strip
styrene and assembled them into two L-shaped structures that could be glued to
the outer portions of the chassis and to the ends of the pod to restore the lost
strength.  (See photo.)  Of course, a chassis molded in one piece with the pod as
an integral part of it wouldn’t need this.

slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

I retained the Ninco guide and lead wires.  In soldering the lead wires to the
motor I deleted the little capacitor Scalextric always ads to prevent interference
with TV signals.  This component is largely redundant in the US since almost
everybody has cable. 

In order to mount the body the interior tray had to come out and with it came the
windshield, roll bar, and gas cap.  The body posts needed to be shortened to get
the body snuggled down over the wheels and tires where it belongs.  The rear
ones only needed to have about 1/16" taken off, while the front ones had to lose
about 1/8".  I also had to trim about 1/16" off the top edge of the vertical panel at
the front of the chassis that carries the radiator screen detail.  I actually cut too
much off the posts, which is why you see washers glued to the chassis in the

With the body now sitting properly on the chassis the interior tray no longer fit
over the motor.  I cut out just enough of it to clear the motor and pod and used
Evergreen sheet styrene to make a boxlike structure to fill in the opening, as
shown in the photos. 

slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

I painted the new portion of the tray black to match the rest of the interior.   I could
no longer use the original driver figure, so I scrounged through my parts boxes
for a lower-profile driver that would fit on top of the modified interior tray and still
not stick up above the roll bar.  I finally used the arms and shoulders of one
figure and the head of another to make a driver that not only fit the space but
also looked period correct.

slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

I also made two other modifications that weren’t essential but enhanced the car’s
appearance and functionality.  I cut the windshield down to less than half its
original height, as was common practice on SCCA production sports cars back in
the 60s.  This gives the car a more authentic race car look and also makes the
windshield much less vulnerable in crashes.  I also replaced the roll bar with a
new one made of a Plastruct product that consists of 1/16" diameter styrene
tubing with steel wire inside it.  The new roll bar is bulletproof and looks a little
heftier than the original, which I thought looked a bit on the spindly side of scale. 

On the track the rebuilt Cobra is much faster and better handling than before,
even without the magnet.  With the magnet and the Indy Grips it’s fully
competitive in my GT1 class and a lot of fun to race, the magnet increasing its
limits without sticking it down so much it becomes boring to drive.  It actually
drives very much like a non-magnet car with very high cornering limits. 

slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

Best of all, the car looks like a 427 Cobra should – low, wide, and aggressive
with the wheels tucked up into the fenders and the revised windshield and roll bar
providing just the right competition car touches. 

slot car, slot cars and slot car racing

There is nothing I’ve done to the car that Ninco couldn’t incorporate into a revised
version of the car for sale today.  In fact, what I’ve really done is rebuild the car the way
Scalextric would have done it.  In the process, I’ve given it the same excellent
out-of-the-box driving qualities that make Scalextric cars so good for giving new
hobbyists the best possible experience with the hobby and brought it up to a level
of performance fit for a model of one of the fiercest production sports cars ever
raced.  Perhaps it’s time for all the slot car manufacturers to take another look at
their earlier creations and see if they could be reissued in new and improved

Well, that’s our customer’s story.  Your opinions may vary.  If you want to do this
project yourself we have the cars and all the parts you need right here at Electric
Dreams.  And, of course, this article will probably give you new ideas of your
own.  That’s one of the things that make this hobby so much fun. 


Have you done a car building project you are especially proud of?  Send us some photos and a description of what you’ve done at , and watch for your car to appear in a future newsletter.  

Thanks for shopping with us!

The Electric Dream Team 


1/32 Slot Cars, 1/24 Slot Cars, Vintage Slot Cars, Slot Car Track Sets, Slot Car Accessories and much more!

Slot Cars by Brand: | Scalextric | Pioneer | 1/32 Carrera | 1/24 Carrera | Cartrix | Fly |Revell |
| Ninco | MMK | Proto Slot Kit | NSR | Racer | SCX |1/32 Auto Art | 1/24 Auto Art |
| Sloter | TSRF | Spirit | Dreamslot by Ostorero | Pink Kar | |

Vintage Slot Cars by Brand: | AMT | Atlas | Cox | K&B Vintage | Vintage Monogram | MPC |
| MRRC | Vintage Pactra Competition | RehCo | Vintage Revell | Russkit | Vintage Scalextric |
| Strombecker | Testor | Unique |

Slot Car Accessories & More: Parma Slot Car Accessories | Slot Car Race Sets | Slot Car Track and Accessories | Slot Car Power Supplies | Slot Car Controllers |
| Slot Car Kits | Vintage Slot Car Parts | Slot Car Tools | Slot Car Supplies | Slot Car News | Slot Car Reviews | Slot Car Tech Help | Vintage Slot Car News |
| Slot Car Racing | Slot Car Newsletter Archive |