Fun With Fumes: Diesel-Powered Slot Cars Need A Comeback

Slot cars and slot car racing are one of America’s biggest pastimes but they, unfortunately, don’t have the popularity they used to. If you’re into motorsports, chances are you’ve heard of them or even seen them. Something I stumbled upon earlier that I found particularly interesting was that some of the earliest models were actually propelled by miniature diesel engines.

Slot cars have been around for decades. The ones we know and love today are typically powered by electricity. In the video below, check out some of the earliest diesel-powered slot cars in Britain dating back to 1956. Imagine this, firing up little miniature diesel-powered cars and racing them up to 60MPH. Yes, you read that right. These cars could travel up to 60MPH.

Wouldn't it be cool to have all of your friends over to your "track" and they all brought their own diesel-powered cars over? Hell, even the electric ones would be fun come to think of it.

The problems with little diesel cars, although they would do an incredible 60MPH, are that they were smelly and once the engine was started, the driver had no control over its speed. These 1/12-scale, metal-bodied cars could end up being a hefty projectile if it decided to leave the rail and head out. Thanks to Slot Car History for some of the reading material and for some cool mid-week fun.

What do you guys think about these cars? I’m really wishing these would make a comeback but something tells me the emission police may have something to say about indoor miniature diesel car races. Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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