Carrera Slot Cars have grown to be one of the largest slot car manufacturers. They were founded in Germany in the early 1960s by Josef Neuhierl. Like all manufacturers of slot cars they did struggle after the downturn suffered by the hobby in the second half of the 70s.
Although nowhere as popular as it was back then, there is now more interest in the hobby than the lean years. This is partly due to a return to quality and innovation by the manufacturers and also due to parents introducing their children to the pastime. Carrera is helping in promoting the hobby with their extensive product range catering for beginners, people with a casual interest and those who are much more dedicated.
In this article I am going to be focusing on providing an introduction to la carrera panamericana for those who are not that familiar with them and in particular their analog or traditional style of sets.
Carrera has 5 main ranges covering two type of slot cars – digital and analog. Analog cars and tracks are like the ones you might have raced in the past – this is where the cars race along parallel slots around a race track. You can race one car to one slot only. With digital sets you can race up to 8 cars on a 2 slot track as the cars can now change lanes to overtake and block your opponent(s). As they use digital technology you can program in pit stops, ghost cars, yellow flags and more.
The analog ranges available from Carrera are:
Carerra Go Range.
These sets are designed with children in mind. The manufacturer recommends the sets for children aged 8 and over. However, many reviewers online do say they are OK for children younger than this age.
They are in 1:43 scale, so are quite small and this means you can fit the tracks into a relatively small space, so the house isn’t taken over. Some of the sets include Disney Cars 2, Dune Buggy Action, Spongebob, NASCAR Talledega etc,
The manufacturer describes these sets as suitable for teenagers, adults and enthusiasts with a minimum age of 8.
The sets include cars of 1:32 scale and tracks of 1:24 scale which allow for more room for sliding and drifting round the corners. The sets include tracks that include 2 slots but they can be expanded up to 8 slots wide.
The cars are tampo printed for realistic detailing. There is a wide range of sets available including Disney Cars 2 World Grand Prix, Racing Legends, Speed Race etc.
Both these ranges come with a wide range of accessories and the track can be expanded for longer racing circuits. So you can start off with a basic set and add to it as more interest develops.
As to what set is best for you it will depend on your reasons. If you are looking for a child and you are unsure of their overall interest, a set from the Go range is worth looking at. You can pick up a good set for under $100. If you are looking for yourself or someone who is interested in racing or slot cars then a set from the Evolution range is a good place to start.