Product: MrSlotCar.ca, a new manufacturer, is offering its first 1:32 slot car – a model of the Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B.
Mazda campaigned the 787B in Europe and Japan in 1990 and 1991, and to date it is the last rotary-engine car to compete in this top tier of championship racing. MrSlotCar.ca is offering the car as a white-bodied kit and in different paint schemes, including the popular Le Mans green-and-orange Renown livery. Our matte-black sample depicts Mazda’s "test" paint scheme. The car remains popular today since it appears in racing video games such as Gran Turismo 5.
Performance: MrSlotCar.ca’s Mazda is in the upper end of the slot-car market in design and performance. Ernie Mossetti, a noted slot-car racer and designer, has lent his expertise to the design of this Mazda.
The car features quality components such aluminum rear and front rims fixed with set screws, an in-line 22,000 rpm motor, bronze axle-bushings, a screw-in guide, and a diamond-shaped adjustable motor pod with a bar-type magnet that gives this model a road-hugging suspension.
The lightweight plastic body features a partial interior tub (no sides) and a detailed driver. The longer you look at the car the more you notice exterior details like the side exhaust (only one; this is a rotary-engine car), a satin black etched-metal grille in the nose, and see-through louvers above the front wheels.
My favorite exterior details are the red mirrors, specifically the mirror faces. The faces have a reflective surface; so yes, you really can see things in the mirrors.
The rear spoiler looks fragile, but it's not. Its rubberized flexible brackets can bend repeatedly without breaking. The spoiler, along with the flexible mirror stalks, held up well after several hundred laps of testing (and a few crashes) on a home Scalextric Sport layout.
The car is extremely quick, smooth, and stable, and I found its performance similar to cars manufactured by the well-respected Slot-It company. The track guide is fairly deep. I had no problem operating the car on Scalextric Sport track, but other brands with shallower slots, such as SCX and older Scalextric Classic track, may require you to trim a fraction of an inch off of the guide's bottom with a hobby knife or rotary tool.
Marketing: This is the first slot car model from a new company with no track record (excuse the pun), so shop owners will need to do more than add the Mazda and its clear-plastic case to a shelf of Scalextric, SCX, Ninco, Carrera, and other brands of cars.
The car is designed for intermediate and advanced hobbyists. When showing the car, be sure to point out its light weight and the flexibility of the mirror stalks and the spoiler brackets. And also turn the car over to display the open-case 22,000 rpm motor (most cars come with 18,000 rpm motors) and the chassis’ diamond-shaped motor pod. That pod will cause advanced hobbyists to drool.
Add-on products include light oil in a needlepoint dispenser, a tube of plastic-friendly grease, and a hobby-size Allen wrench for the setscrew rims and the crown gear. The manufacturer suggests a no. 1 Phillips screwdriver for the body and motor-pod screws, which are made from fairly soft steel.
Our sample model appeared to lack lubrication from the factory. Advise customers that grease is used for gears and oil is used where smooth surfaces make contact, such as where axles pass through bearings and on the ends of the motor armature.
The rear rims are a slot-car standard "15 x 8" size, so silicone or urethane tires are another add-on product sale. The Mazda’s front tires fit on the same rim size but are smaller than the rears. Our sample came with three rear tires and only one front tire, so check your inventory. Magnets, for use with plastic track, are another add-on sale.
MrSlotCar.ca has announced plans for a line of slot-car parts and accessories following the release of its first models. Stay tuned, this may be a company worth shelf space in your store.
Product: 1:32 Mazda 787B slot car
Stock No.: MR1002
MSRP: $67.50 (black test car scheme)
Availability: Professor Motor; call Andy Smith at 734-462-4226
New company; innovative design
Appeals to mid- and upper-level hobbyists