Friday, 30 December 2016

Bathurst 1989 in 1/32: The Scalextric Sierras..

...yep, seriously.

In my ramblings about late-80s/early-90s Group-A ATCC Ford Sierras in the previous post, I'd reminded myself that I had an old Australian "Bathurst" Scalextric set with a couple Ford Sierras, given to me as a present as a kid.
Not having Sierras of any form sold here new; seeing any Sierra = instant memories of those Scalextric Sierras specifically...
..So spending a couple hours writing about Sierras, followed directly by a week-or-so off due to Christmas holidays? What would you think I'd do?

The SCALEXTRIC "Bathurst" Slot Car Racing Set.

For any international readers confused-yet-still-curious at this point, I'll save you a little Googl'ing:
Bathurst is the name of a town ~200km west of Sydney. This town is the home of the very much loved Mt. Panorama circuit.
A special 1000km race is held here towards the end of the year, outside of the normal Australian Touring Car Championship. In the late Group-A era ~1987-1992 (when this race was known as the James Hardie 1000, then the Tooheys 1000), the Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworths that had dominated so many of the Australian Touring Car Championships, unsurprisingly did very well: an RS500 was on Pole for all years except 1991, won 1988 and 1989, and was 2nd for 1990 and 1992.

So in 1989/1990 when the English slotcar manufacturer Scalextric styled a set after the track... was obviously no surprise to see it feature a pair of very successful Sierras. Winning sells, and these things were a big deal.

The two cars included... in the adverts above: Peter Brock's 05 Mobil 1 Racing car, and Dick Johnson's Shell Ultra Racing number-17!

Damn I loved that white 05 Brock car as a kid.

The two cars, controllers, and enough track to do a figure-eight. As shown above, to build a replica of the Mount Panorama circuit would require quite a few additional pieces...

Close-up of one of the cars; showing the fin that slots into the track, and the brushes that connect the power to the electric motor driving the rear wheels. Between the motor and rear wheels you can see the "Magnatraction" magnet that helps hold it to the track, while the front wheels' only job is to stay out of the way...

One of the track pieces...

..and one of the little clip-on railings: all made in Great Britain.

One of the controllers, and its basic clip-on connection to the underside of the track.
I'm surprised/amazed this all works so well, with so many open-air 12v connections required to make it work at all...

...but work it does! Well, other than the hour or so of delicate track adjustments to get the damn cars to stay on!

Done. Good fun.

*looks at list of cars newly available for 1989* ...ooh, now where can I get that Porsche.....

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