As we are fond of saying here at Fundemonium, we are much more than a toy store. We are a fun family experience. And we’re much more than your typical hobby shop or hobby store, as well. We are also a safe and friendly place where children and adults of all ages can enjoy interactive and creative fun.
However, that being said, Fundemonium happens to be a premium hobby store in Sonoma County, too! And one of the hobbies we love to engage in with our Fundemonium friends and neighbors is slot car racing.
Although slot car racing has a long and well-loved history, not everyone today is familiar with the venerable slot car.
The Storied History of the Slot Car in America
The slot car came into being within a few decades of the automobile in America. In fact, less than 10 years after Henry Ford rolled out his Model T in 1903, the first slot cars were being sold.
As one blog article tells it,
“Slot car history goes back to 1912 when the Lionel Train Company introduced the first models as an accessory for model train sets. Their model cars were similar to their trains in that they ran on a pair of elevated platforms with an electrified track in a little trench down the center.”
Two subsequent world wars and a global economic depression seems to have delayed the inevitable rise of slot car popularity. But by 1960, fans of the British-inspired hobby of slot car racing turned the activity into an international phenomenon.
Apparently, the American scale model kit manufacturer, Aurora, obtained U.S. marketing rights for a popular British-made line of slot cars. And the rest is slot car racing history.
The same blog story explains that,
“Due to Aurora capitalizing on the appeal of slot car racing, the years 1961 to 1966 are considered the golden age for slot cars. The Wall Street Journal estimated the worth of the slot car market in 1963 to be around $100 million. Across the U.S., there were approximately 3,000 commercial slot car tracks built in corner stores and hobby shops, with various slot car track types.”
What are Slot Cars Anyway?
For those who have never seen or raced a slot car, it may seem a bit vague. “What’s with the slot?”, you might wonder.
Simply put, slot cars are miniature, scaled-down models of racing cars that are powered by small electric motors without batteries. They’re raced on a slot car track that features a groove for each car lane. The slot car is built with a tiny metal blade or pin that extends out from under the car chassis and fits inside the groove. The groove is where the electric motor gets its power.
Contact brushes under the slot car pick up electricity from metal rails in the slot and sends this to the motor, which powers the car. And the guide pin or blade keeps the slot car on the track. The speed of the cars is controlled by the drivers using hand-held controllers to increase or lower the voltage of the electricity traveling through the track to make their car go faster or slow down. Typically, this means you squeeze the trigger to go fast, let it go to slow down or stop.
Clean, simple, fast – and huge FUN!
The three most popular slot cars scales are: 1/64, 1/32, and 1/24. Of these, 1/32 scale slot cars are the most common.
So, how big is a 1/32 slot car? Most measure approximately 5 3/4 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide. That makes these zippy race cars a perfect size for hands of all ages. In addition, one of the largest slot car sizes is the 1:24 scale and a favorite for racing. The length of these cars is about 7 to 8 inches, and they often have much more powerful motors.
And the best part is that slot car racing can be enjoyed at home as well as at popular racing destinations like Fundemonium. This is why we offer a variety of slot cars for sale.
For example, the START GT America Race Set comes with two damage-resistant cars and a simple track assembly that offer five circuit layout options. In addition, you can check out the Scalextric Speed Shifters slot car set that features two amazing Scalextric Rasio Supercars and comes with 17 feet of track with several track layout options to choose from.
And did we mention that there’s slot car racing here at Fundemonium?
Slot Car Racing at Fundemonium: Fast Fun for Everyone
One of the great ways to enjoy slot car racing, especially for newbies and beginners, is to have a Slot Car Racing party here at Fundemonium.
Guests can race scale slot cars around our custom wooden track and are shown how to drive slot cars and get to practice driving around the race track. After some practice time for each guest, the racing begins. Up to four guests at a time can race while the other guests act as “Turn Marshalls” placing wiped-out or crashed cars back on the track.
In addition, we have several weekly sessions for both beginners and veteran drivers to have fun racing 1/24 scale and 1/32 scale slot cars!
Fundemonium: Your All Ages, All Family, Joy Store!
We have it all here! Fundemonium is Rohnert Park’s premier toy and hobby headquarters for fun. This is where you will find tons of fun, exciting, and engaging toys, games, kits, hobby items, and the thrill of slot car racing, as well!
Forget the video games; come on down to Fundemonium in Rohnert Park, and discover the center of the “Fun Universe” in Sonoma County! There is so much to see and do for kids of all ages.
Fundemonium is more than a toy store – it’s a fun family experience and a place where families and fans of science and technology hobbies and activities can meet and explore all the exciting ways to enjoy them.
And Fundemonium is more than a hobby shop. We are a safe and friendly place where adults and children of all ages can enjoy creative fun. In addition, we have an excellent selection of RC cars, board games, toys, and hundreds of hobby products for your entire family.
You can also be sure that our friendly and knowledgeable staff pride themselves on helping you have fun because our mission here is to put the “Fun” in Fundemonium!
We always do our best to quickly respond to website inquiries, and you can also find answers to your questions by calling us at (707) 540-0701.
Just give us a call during our business hours if you’d like to speak directly with one of our Fundemoniacs.