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1:32 1964 Monte Carlo Rally MGB from Scalextric

By David Popp, Model Railroader Video Plus producer
Published: December 14, 2011
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Product: The 1950s and '60s were probably the Golden Age of British sports cars in auto racing. Scalextric has released another of those classic cars in its new MGB. The car is decorated for MGB 7 DBL, as it appeared in the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally. The car was driven by Donald and Erle Morely, and the brothers claimed fame by winning the GT category and finishing 17th overall in the 7 DBL. From its wire wheels and detailed dashboard to its zippy handling on the track, Scalextric has captured the look and feel of this classic British sports car.


Performance:
The model is made from a number of plastic parts, and the body shell features molded and separately applied details. One of my favorite features is the detailed dash with printed dials, and the steering wheel even has the MG logo molded into it ­— a great touch! The interior also includes two painted figures (presumably the Morely brothers, but I couldn’t tell). The body paint and detailing matches the photos I’ve found of MGB 7 DBL, complete with printed Monte Carlo badges, MG logo and even the tiny Union Jacks on the front of the car next to the headlights. The printing is all crisp and clean.


The model is made from a number of plastic parts, and the body shell features molded and separately applied details. One of my favorite features is the detailed dash with printed dials, and the steering wheel even has the MG logo molded into it ­— a great touch! The interior also includes two painted figures (presumably the Morely brothers, but I couldn’t tell). The body paint and detailing matches the photos I’ve found of MGB 7 DBL, complete with printed Monte Carlo badges, MG logo and even the tiny Union Jacks on the front of the car next to the headlights. The printing is all crisp and clean.


Six screws hold the body securely to the chassis. Scalextric has done some nice things under the hood, as well, including LEDs for the head and tail lamps. To prevent the light from the LEDs showing through the body, Scalextric has painted those areas under the shell dark gray, which blocks the light effectively. The car is powered by a long, narrow can motor and the gearing meshes very smoothly, making for a quiet-running model. The wheels have simulated wire hubs with molded-on knock-off spinners. The molding here is very good and gives the wire wheels the proper airy effect.


Another great feature on this 1964 Monte Carlo is the built-in plug for easy conversion to digital racing. The plug is accessible via a trap door on the bottom of the chassis, held in place with a single screw. Simply open the door, plug in a Scalextric C8515 digital chip, close it up and you are ready to go. The entire operation should take less than two minutes to complete — and that’s a great feature for digital racers!


Perhaps my only disappointment is that the chassis has just one position for a standard Scalextric bar magnet. (On many of the firm’s other models you are given a choice of two or three magnet positions, so I’ll admit that I’m a bit spoiled.) The magnet sits under the rear portion of the motor approximately 1/2 inches ahead of the rear axle.


I tested the car on several tracks, including Scalextric Sport track and SCX classic. The car has great pickup and handling characteristics in the turns. Although the magnet isn’t adjustable, it appears to be well placed in the model to provide a stable racer. I plan to install silicon tires in the future (something shop owners can offer extra), but even with the stock tires it rides well and is fun to drive.


Marketing:
There are now a number of slot cars on the market that are decorated for Monte Carlo Rally events of the 1950s and 1960s, such as Scalextric’s C2919 classic MINI (the winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo event) and SCX’s Citroën DS19. With that in mind, it might be fun to pull together a Monte Carlo Rally display, featuring cars that have run the race. You might get your local slot car customers interested in running a Monte Carlo event. And if you have a track in your store, you may want to host one too, which should help sales of your featured cars.


There are now a number of slot cars on the market that are decorated for Monte Carlo Rally events of the 1950s and 1960s, such as Scalextric’s C2919 classic MINI (the winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo event) and SCX’s Citroën DS19. With that in mind, it might be fun to pull together a Monte Carlo Rally display, featuring cars that have run the race. You might get your local slot car customers interested in running a Monte Carlo event. And if you have a track in your store, you may want to host one too, which should help sales of your featured cars.


And, if you’re looking for another avenue, there are a couple of great videos on YouTube showing clips from Monte Carlo Rallys of the 1950s and ’60s. As a starting point, this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=paQWdbH8G-Y provides an overview of several seasons of races. If your shop has a website, you could link to this and other videos like it, helping to get your customers in the mood for racing.


As for the add-on sales, silicone tires are a natural, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a C8515 digital chip on hand for someone who wants to convert from MG to digital right away.


Scalextric has done an excellent job on the MGB. It’s a solid model, a good runner, and even if you’re just a sports car fan and not interested in the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, it’s a classic automobile that you’ll want to have in your collection.


VITAL STATS
Product: 1964 Monte Carlo Rally MGB
Maker: Scalextric
Scale: 1:32
Stock number: C3143
MSRP: $49.99
Availability: www.scalextric-usa.com


BOTTOM LINE
Detailed interior
Simple digital conversion
Working headlights, tail lights