Scalextric Camaro 1970 'Jim Hall'

Scalextric Camaro 1970 'Jim Hall'

Postby wixwacing » Tue 02 Jun, 2009 3:33 pm

Scalextric Chevrolet Camaro 1970
Jim Hall



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by Phil Wicks

The subject matter nor the driver, I’m sure need much introduction. The Chevrolet Camaro is one of the icon muscle cars from the early seventies and this model is a much awaited rendition of the Jim Hall ‘Chaparral Racing’ car. Once again, unless you’ve been living on a desert island, Jim Hall too will strike a note in most over forties’ memories. The man who took on the might of the factory teams in the Can Am series and using then revolutionary techniques to suppress the opposition. How much we owe to Jim regarding aerodynamics is immeasurable but I suspect there is more than a significant percentage.

The Trans Am series though wasn’t about ground effects and technology. It was about set up and more importantly, driver ability, and although there are one or two names from Classic Trans Am that come to mind before Jim’s , he was there doing it as always and in doing so, gave other competitors a reason to lift their game.



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This model from Scalextric is another great RTR slotcar. Out of the box it is well balanced and tenacious from the word go and there isn’t much to do to get the model competitive. I would even go so far as to say that it is a match for the ‘up ‘til now’ dominant Mustangs. There, I’ve said it. I suppose I’ll have to back that statement up one day!! But I am confident.

This model was bought by me as a replacement for the Scaley ’69 Camaro I have campaigned for more than several years now. That model started life at breakneck speed on the old Mt Perrorama Super speedway. Almost new and its first serious competition, the model drove flat out into a racing incident under the monitor, where upon the entire driver’s tray broke loose and the chassis deformed, dragging the side pipes along the track.



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With the front of the model being well smashed and fighting back the tears I put the model back in the race box and down the track I bought the Hornby kit body. This I reliveried in Wixwacing yellow and white. The model was then campaigned hard for several seasons until finally it couldn’t hold its own on plastic tracks. The motor well passed its use by date and the model battle scarred and worn in general, it was placed in the Classic Muscle class at the Eggdome a few weeks back. With fate on my side and possibly a guardian angel or two watching over it, I managed to win the race overall. Many thanks also to the marshalls that night to who it must be said, helped me immeasurably too!

So the fried egg has retired and now it’s up to Jim Hall to bring the laurels back home. But having said it’s more than good SOOB, what is it really like. The model is first class and as we expect not only from Scaley but all mainstream manufacturers these days it is well turned out tampo wise. The paint jobs get better and better and small details like the bonnet and door clips are not only painted but moulded into the detail. The text of the SCCA badge is readily and clearly defined even if I did have two pairs of specs on to read it.

At the front is a beautifully etched metal grille and the bonnet (hood) badge clearly reads ‘Chaparral’! the front and rear bumpers look a bit vulnerable and I promise not to cry when they eventually, sooner or late, get lost in the fray. A novelty to me is a rendition of an acrylic air dam to the lower front. I can’t dispute this isn’t a faithful reproduction as I cannot imagine Scalextric making anything but the proper job!.



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A full roll cage to protect Jim and a good Jim too! This has to rank among the best Scalextric driver figures to date and just outside his window is a good flexible door mirror. This, I’m sure, will far outlive the bumpers! At the back of the model are round tail lights which are a feature of this era. The body ends in a very nice ‘duck tail’ spoiler and a rear bumper which might well outlast the front one. Wheels and tyres are very similar to the earlier Camaro but I suspect the front tyres are actually bigger. Being almost if not as big as the rears.

There is very little similarity between this model and the previous one. The chassis is a ‘Digital Plug Ready’ chassis and internally differs from the early model. Dimensions are different and the shape varies too. When removing the body it is necessary to be careful at the rear. Remove the front and rear screw and the two countersunk drivers tray screws before attempting to remove the chassis. Pull it out from the front and when at about a third open, waggle the chassis carefully from side to side and the rear of the chassis, which dovetails into the body, will work its way out. Any attempt to pull it directly will result in damage to the rear valance and the bumper. Putting it back is another story too!



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Once inside the usual items are ready for attention. The motor is tight and the traction magnet is firmly in place and quite strong too. Unlike the earlier Camaro there is only one other magnet position. Again, the front axle is solidly mounted and strengthening webbings and mounting posts restrict the opportunity to put ballast in the more useful spots. The new guide fits deep into the slot on my test block unlike the early model which had to be shimmed down a good amount to get a good depth. Interesting to note too that there are extra reinforcing webs inside the chassis especially around the motor mounts. Not being aware that these models had a chassis problem, unlike the V8’s, it bodes well that Scaley are keeping vigilant when it comes to weak spots in their models. The track and wheelbase are comparable with the ’69 model and dimensions in general are similar but what is it like on the track Mmmmmm? Let’s find out!

My first opportunity to run the model was ‘sans magnet’ at the new Paul Stevens track at Mt Ommaney. A good sized four lane board track (See features) which is technical but fast. A ten second lap being good for GT’s and Le Mans cars. Out of the box the tyres were wanting but that was to be expected. I spent a bit of time and a lot of laps cleaning up yellow lane until it had a good amount of grip, I then sanded the tyres lightly to remove the uneven tread flash and after putting cleaning the fresh rubber with some shellite I was ready to get a bit more serious. Having started off out of the box at about 15 seconds and reducing it to about thirteen it was a pleasure to see the model drop into the mid twelves for its best shot. Yellow lane must be the hardest on this track and I’m sure with urethane tyres in place the model will come good to the point of low twelves or even a high eleven! optimistic? I don’t think so.



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Next track test was to be the gargantuan proportions of the SEQSCC’s mega track at Graceville. At more than 70 metres (215 feet in old money) there is no point actually racing on this four lane Scaley sport track. By that I mean that you don’t set out to go lap after lap only tenths apart. The track is far too long per lap length. The idea is to tour it at high speed. Much like the bike racers at the Isle of Man TT.

Race night was busy at the ‘Ville but I managed to steel a few laps between events and form a reasonable opinion as to what the model was like. Still very slippy on its original treaded tyres it was still capable of some hard cornering and still had that Scaley muscle car zip out of the bends. Braking was good and eventually when the deslots came, they were roll overs as the magnet let go and the tyres dug in. So, a bit skittish but still, from memory, very much like its uncle the ’69 Camaro. The old guy was one of those rare cars that took little to set it up for board / non magnet racing and I see no reason why this one shouldn’t be the same.



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Statistics

Wheelbase 86.0 m.m.
Front axle width 57.5 m.m.
Rear axle width 57.7 m.m.
Guide to rear axle 97.0 m.m.
Overall weight 84.0 grams
Rear axle load 54.0 grams
Front axle/guide load 30.0 grams
Front / rear weight dist 35.7 / 64.3%
Body weight 30.0 grams
Pinion 11z plastic
Contrate 36z nylon
Final drive ratio 3.27 : 1
Rear wheel diameter 20.0 m.m.
Progress 19.22 m.m. per motor rev.
Rear tyre tread width 8.00 m.m.
Guide length 18.5 m.m. median
Guide depth 6.0 m.m.
Guide thickness (median) 1.90 m.m.
Motor Mabuchi ‘S’ (18,000 rpm @ 12.00v)


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The only essential mods in my view are firstly, to choose the tyres to suite your track, and secondly, to get the body to float a little with loose screws, scrape or file around the rear valance 'dovetail'. This will allow the body to move more at the rear and will also ease chassis removal and installation. So, hopefully, more a story of same old same old, but time will tell. With the old ‘fried egg’ ensconced in a prominent position in the display cabinet, this model has a huge reputation to uphold, and do you know, I think it just might!
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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wixwacing
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Re: Scalextric Camaro 1970 'Jim Hall'

Postby wixwacing » Sun 08 Apr, 2012 3:22 pm

In spite of being a great livery, on the track this model proved to be a bit of a disappointment! The issue was the traction magnet. When Scaley designed this model, for some unknown reason they decided to mount the magnet noticeably higher than the early Camaros. One solution was to sand the tyres down, but by the time there was enough grip generated, the spur gear was dragging along the track and top end was lost!!.

The model does now go well. I have Dremelled the magnet position until it is a little deeper and combined with loose body screws, I have managed to get a contour on the chassis which presents the magnet a bit better in relation to the conductor rails. The model has always gone well on board and indeed has been a winner more than once in the past, but now it can hold it's own against the Scaley Mustangs! An achievement indeed!!
Image

When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
User avatar
wixwacing
Marshal!!!
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu 10 Jul, 2008 8:22 pm


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