A Quick History of HO Model Motoring; 1960- Present

HO (literally Half-O Gauge) Scale is somewhere around 1/87th to 1/64th in size. About the size of a typical Matchbox toy. An English designed AC Electrically Powered, 'Vibrating' Slot Race Car literally Electrified the USA in 1960-1961 with Slot Car Racing! A very-close-to-true HO Scale Vehicle was born to drive alongside the train in the Family Layout! Around 1962, America switched towards D/C Power & along with it, came the Aurora ThunderJet, Pancake Motor Equipped, T-Jet, which fell closer to 1/64th scale, in order to accomodate the larger motor & magnets. Many vehicles subsequently released took liberal use of the 'HO scale,' namely the Motorcycle, Snowmobile & later AFX Issued Peace Tank!

Aurora Plastics Co., from West Hempstead New York is generally considered to be the Originators of HO Scale Electric Table Top Racing. The original Vibrator in 1960 & later Thunderjet of 1962, were followed by the AFX Line in the early 1970's. Improved upon with Magnets & later a Rotary-Engine G+ Style, Aurora WAS, HO Slot Car Racing until their demise in 1980 or so. Alongside Aurora for much of their HO Racing Rise was, TYCO Industries of New Jersey! Originally releasing the TYCO-S in the 1960's, The later TYCO-PROs & Curvehuggers were side by side with Auroras releases. Fun Stuff. TYCO later issued the 440-X2 in the 1980's, well after Auroras demise... sort of.

TOMY Co. Entered HO Racing in the 1980s by buying up the rights to the Aurora AFX brand. Releasing the TOMY Turbo, & Later Super G+ Chassis, positioned another equal competitor, to the TYCO 440-X2 Stranglehold! Late in the 1980's & into the 1990's saw the coming (& mostly going) of a variety of HO Slot Car Manufacturers such as Bachman, Marchon, Cox, AmRac, Rokar, LIFE-LIKE, MAXX, Lionel, Ideal & several others. What survived was the TYCO 440-X2 (now being released by Mattel Toys) & the TOMY Super G+ (& now the SRT upgraded version.) Both Platforms offer Superb Racing. Lots of speed, lots of Torque, Lots of Rubbin' & Racin'. The relative new comer, since 2000 or so, is the LIFE-LIKE Branded 'T' Chassis. SUPER-DUPER Torque, Blazing Top End & decent handling properties make this the third equal qualifier, in the TOMY-MATTEL-LIFELIKE Consumer-Rated HO Slot Car Racing World.

& Then Came The Patriot! Ahh; Lexan. There is something quite satisfying knowing that your HO Racer, is the Lightest of all! Add a stupid fast motor, a killer chassis & super pickups while slapping a 'Paint-Job' of Silicone on the Hollowed out Rear Wheels, & you have one freaking F A S T HO Slot Car! Wow; I never knew HOs could go SO Fast! Absolutely Amazing what $35-$125 will buy these days! Wow. So hard not to race them until you literally BAKE The Motor! What the Brass-Panned, Hopped-Up, Knuckles-Bare racers of the 1970s found in Dynabrutes & Riggens, can be found today in a Wizard.

For todays New or New-To-Return, HO Racer, there are several ways to get the smell of fresh spun Oil in your nostrils again! TOMY is the best (& most expensive) Consumer-Grade, Commercially Available HO Slot Car Race Track. Much More Widely Available, TYCO/Mattel & LIFE-LIKE make a very broad range of Tracks & Cars that interchange, with available adapters. TYCO Makes a good racing surface & LIFE-LIKE is another inexpensive decent system. A pair of HO Track Adapters, generally run about $10. You can use TYCO track from 1975 to present, as well as Aurora Quick-Lok from 1972 to 1982. Additionally, the TOMY & LIFE-LIKE styles also convert over. There are no current manufacturers for the Aurora Lock & Joiner Style from the 1960's. Aurora did release some LOCK & JOINER to AFX QUICK-LOK adapters that can be found ofetn on e-bay. Almost All HO Scale, Electric Vehicles, from 1960 to present day will run on a present day Track System.. Some better than others; Just like 'back in the day.'

Physics, My Boy, It's all about Physics! HO Slot Car Racing is undergoing a renaissance lately as families strive for good quality, home entertainment. An alternative to the Tube, Slot Car Racing offers competition, comraderie & also some valuable Life Lessons as well. The multitude of skills needed to compete, is surprising vast, yet simple to fist learn. Setup, Strategy, Handling & Competition all play a role in Success! Along comes some great Physics Lessons for FREE! Motors, Gears, Wheels, Surfaces, Speed, Velocity, Handling & such. Oh My! All good stuff though. Now Go Play With Some Toys! Regression Therapy is Fun!

Happy Motorin from bob@SlotCarCentral.com in Syracuse, NY 315-214-4792