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1:32 1967 Mercury Cougar Trans-Am, No. 98 Dan Gurney from Scalextric

By Mark Savage
Published: May 2, 2014
Scalextric Mercury Cougar
Scalextric Mercury Cougar2
Stock No.: C3418

MSRP: $54.95

Availability: Hornby America

Target consumer: Slot car and Trans-Am enthusiasts, likely Baby Boomers and younger racers who love retro cars of the 1960s and 1970s; Cougar collectors, who get little love in the slot or die-cast market

First impression:
Scalextric delivers a nicely detailed and quick version of the Dan Gurney–driven No. 98 Cougar prepared by NASCAR’s Bud Moore and campaigned in the popular Trans-Am series. This series featured Mustangs galore, plus Chevy Camaros, Plymouth Barracudas, and AMC Javelins and AMXs. Cougars were more rare, but Gurney was successful with this model, as was Parnelli Jones in a team car.

This racer is digital-ready; there’s a door on the chassis bottom that easily opens and allows you to add a digital chip. But the Cougar is quick out of the box for the more prevalent analog racers.

I ran it with a best lap of 5:02 seconds on my track while my similar (in wheelbase) Scalextric NASCAR Chevy did it in 4.96. Once I put silicone tires on the Cougar, its best lap improved to 4.75 seconds, making it very competitive with similar racers. It is about a quarter inch narrower than the NASCAR racers, so it’s slightly more tippy on corners. But this Scalextric chassis mounts the traction magnet directly under the rear axle, giving the car better rear-end grip than many models.

That’s a performance plus you should share with your customers. Advise them to add a touch of weight to the nose, too, as this car is light up front, which causes it to de-slot on tracks with elevation changes. A plus, though, is the easy-change pickup — and two extras are provided.

The car’s looks and finish are up to current slot car standards too. It has a reddish-orange body with a silver roof and just a few sponsor decals on the body, plus the No. 98. There’s a silver pinstripe atop the fenders and a red and white Team Cougar decal on the C pillar. A couple nice small touches include hood and trunk pins that are painted on, plus white tape stripes on black headlights. Gurney, one of the most versatile and successful drivers of the day, has his name painted on the roof, too.

There’s a driver figure inside, along with a roll bar, plus the Cougar has five-spoke racing wheels with blacked out centers. Very racy looking!

Why you should stock it: First, it’s a new Trans-Am car, so for racers who enjoy this category, it creates a new option. Second, it’s fast and looks great, so it’ll draw attention on the shelf.

But this Scalextric chassis design is one of its best, so you’ll be creating happy buyers. Plus, you can still sell silicone tires as an add-on sale.

Additionally, it’s rare to see a Cougar, the Mercury version of the Mustang, in the slot car or die-cast market, making this car a unique sell.