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The History of the HO Slot Car Set




Ever since the 1960ís, HO slot car sets have been a staple underneath the trees of little boys every Christmas. There is something fascinating about racing that starts at a very young age.

The early commercial race sets were produced by Aurora. The first cars they produced were not very successful since they did not perform well. The vibrating motors didnít generate much speed. When they introduced the T-Jet to the market that is when sets started flying off the shelves. The track itself was made by connecting two lane plastic sections together with alignment pins and a clip. The clips had a tendency to break. The next generation of track would snap together without pins or clips.

Aurora had competition from Eldon and Tyco. The cars from Tyco were faster. The motor was a separate unit made by Mabuchi, unlike the T-Jet whose chassis and motor components were all integrated. It wasnít long before the popular sets sold at Christmas were by Tyco.

This facilitated a major change in HO slot car design. The next generation Aurora slot cars were called the AFX. This car had a hotter motor with stronger magnets that extended down close to the steel power rails of the track. They dubbed it, magna-traction. Now these AFX slot cars could corner at many times the speed possible before. Tyco soon followed suit with their X2 cars. Soon we were seeing commercials featuring race sets that went up walls and upside down.

The HO hobby really changed, when the G-Plus cars were released. These were very similar to the HO cars available today in a typical set. Back in the mid 70ís however, eye blinking speed like this was unheard of. It was a huge leap in performance.

Today, there are new manufacturers carrying on with production of HO slot car sets. The cars are all very fast and are very attractive. No matter what type of car racing you like, you can find it represented in HO.

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Tags: slot car, aurora slot cars, AFX slot cars, magna traction, ho slot car sets

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