Sometimes the planets align and it’s clear things were just meant to be.
Today is one of those days.
That’s because today Scalextric launched their 2018 range which was sprinkled with a few retro racers. So it seems like an appropriate time to launch this site with a quick look at some of the classic cars we can look forward to in 2018.
LEGENDS JAGUAR E-TYPE 1963 INTERNATIONAL TROPHY TWIN PACK – LIMITED EDITION
First up is another tie in with the Goodwood Revival, commemorating, erm, 55 years – Note: that’s the emerald anniversary – since Graham Hill and Roy Salvadori took to the Goodwood track in their Jaguar Lightweight E-Types and battled it out with Mike Parkes in his Ferrari 250 GTO and Mike Salmon in Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato.
In what was reportedly a closely fought race, Hill, driving the No.47 car, took the chequered flag from Parkes in 2nd and Salvadori completing the 250 GTO sandwich by coming in third.
Footage or even pictures of the original race seem hard to come by, but to give you an idea of what the Lightweight was like in action, here’s Top Gear’s Chris Harris at the 2014 Revival (skip to 1m35s for race footage):
And if you’ve got 40 minutes to spare and want to know what it’s like to be in the driving seat, here’s a thrilling video of Sam Hancock driving a Lightweight in the 2016 RAC TT. Accompanied by that beautiful smooth note of the Jag engine:
The Slot Cars
I’m *whispers* not a huge Lightweight fan but these models, using the same tooling as last year’s 65 Bathurst Bob Jane E-Type, look great, In particular, there’s the charming detail of Hill’s moustache. Though I noticed the close pic of the No.47 car on the Scalextric site looks a little rough around the grill and has a scuff mark on its nose. Maybe it had a knock in the pits?
My only other gripe is that it would have been nice if the set included the Ferrari 250 GTO rather than the second Jag (we had the 1967 Le Mans Triple pack with a GT40 and a couple P4s last year after all!). I guess the realities of licencing/development & production costs/pressure to get cars on shelves etc. means we should be happy with what we get.
JAGUAR E-TYPE – NURBURGRING 1,000KM 1963
Much like buses, you wait ages for a Scalextric Lightweight E-Type commemorating a classic 1963 race, then two come along at once.
So here’s the second of them, the No.67 car entered in the 1963 Nürburgring 1000km by the German Jaguar importer and racing driver Peter Lindner. This is the car he co-drove with fellow German, Peter Nöcker.
The 63 edition of the race on the Nordschleife was the 7th round of the mighty 22 round World Sportscar Championship and a veritable Who’s Who of 60’s sportscar racing. Alongside Lindner & Nöcker on the grid were John Surtees (who went on to win with laconic Belgian Willy Mairesse in their 250P), Phil Hill (crashed his Porsche 718 GTR), Mike Salmon (finished 8th with Chris Kerrison in their 250 GT SWB) and Mike Parkes (crashed his 250P).
In what sounds like an eventful race, begun with a calamitous false start, Lindner & Nöcker led the very competitive field for 25 laps before oil pressure forced the pair to retire.
Lindner also entered another car in the race – the No.68 Lightweight E-Type driven by Werner Fleck and Klaus Vehling – which also failed to finish the race (though for reasons seemingly lost to the annals of history).
The Lindner/Nöcker car later returned to Browns Lane for modifications to the bodywork and engine. The result was, what’s undoubtedly the most beautiful of the E-Types, the Low Drag Coupe.
The Slot Car
Feelings about Lightweights aside, and despite the lack of a charming moustache, I prefer the styling of this car to either of the 2 in the International Trophy pack and the Bob Jane car. The Nürburgring car looks great in silver and the racing number in roundels and even the slightly longer reg plate make the model visually more interesting.
Of course, never being satisfied, I’d love to see Scalextric follow this up with the Low Drag Coupe next year.