Scalextric started producing slot cars back in the 1950’s. The name came from the combination of Scale and Electric. This is what they were scaled cars motoring on electricity.
When i think of Scalextric myself, i think of asking the question, have you ever sucked your thumb? Well i have never sucked my thumb but at the age of four i did suck my middle fingers. Now that’s not a bad thing as it was this habit that scooped me my first Scalextric set.
To my dad’s delight we ended up with the Scalextric Set No. 50
The Scalextric set must of been from the mid 1960’s. It came with two Formula 1 cars, a green Lotus and red Cooper. The hand controllers were like something out of Star Trek and the large transformer would get so hot you could iron your cotton shirts with it after a few laps, normally the carpet started smouldering if you went for a 100 lap race!
One of the most memorable parts of my Scalextric days as a kid was the smell. That burning electricity or burning dust on the track is a smell that to this day has Scalextric written all over it.
Other memorable things i had as a child were the following:
- One car was always faster than the other so it was impossible to have a fair race
- A pet cat would insist on sitting in the middle of corner 2
- The plastic white barriers kept unpinging from the corners
- The track struggled to provide a complete circuit so you get the Brillo pad out and keep rubbing the metal contacts.
- Uneven carpet caused a lump in the track that made a see-saw effect
In all, Scalextrics is awesome fun and a dream for every kid, though when TCR came along it all changed TCR (Total Control Racing) meant you could change lanes on your own accord. It promised a lot but disappointed, and Scalextric lived on.