I’ve been interested in getting some lorries for Scalextric for some time now and when I saw some new ones were coming out, I knew I’d have to buy them.
They appeared on the Scalextric website earlier this year at the £24.99 price point and I bought them in mid August. Of course, it was no good just having the one- truck because racing vs a car wouldn’t be so much fun so I had to buy both.
When they arrived, I was a bit disappointed that they were in cardboard boxes rather than in a plastic display case. However, having taken them out of their boxes and had a good look at them it wasn’t surprising – they are a lot taller than any other Scalextric models I’ve ever seen. I suspect special display cases would have been needed which would have bumped up the price probably to unacceptable levels. I did try to fit the trucks in to the standard display case and also the Peugeot 205 T16 case which has a much lower floor to it’s display case (to enable that rear roof tall wing to fit in). Neither worked as can be seen from the two photos below.
The Trucks are mounted on a cardboard surround and they’re held on to that surround by the normal screw and washer. Both trucks arrived with some protective plastic attached to the sides of the cabin which I can only imagine is there to avoid scratching/rubbing against the cardboard surround whilst in transit. Also included (as normal) are some free guide-blades in a sealed plastic bag with instructions on how to change the guide. The cardboard did seem a bit flimsy and I worry about it’s longevity given that they’re going to be in and out of their boxes and it’s a very snug fit, I’ve already managed to tear the front lip off one of the surrounds due to the amount of force that is required to pull the truck out of the box.
Both trucks have blacked out windows which I guess reflects the fact they’re classed as “Super Resistant” on the website. It’d be great to see a version of these in High Detail, I can imagine the inside of the cab with a driver would look great. Regardless, there’s no skimping of detail on the rear of the truck, I was quite impressed.
Somewhat out of focus in the picture on the left, you can see the rear wheel mudguards. The rear tyres are a pair on each side directly attached to the motor which sits in the rear as well. There is also a mounting point for a trailer and the mounting plate comes off if pulled on gently. I wonder if there are plans to produce a trailer that can be added to the trucks at some point in the future?
You can see this more clearly in the rear wheels detail picture on the right. The tyres are quite the biggest I’ve seen on a Scalextric model so far. In the early eighties, Scalextric produced some other trucks. There was C301, Leyland Roadtrain and C302, Juggernaut Lowloader. I’ve recently managed to get hold of C302 and I compared the new Trucks with C302. Everything is larger, but the tyres on the new Trucks are much bigger.
The Trucks come as analogue, but a quick look at the underside of the model shows that they are digital plug ready and it should be just the normal few minutes to convert them to digital. This is good news and I do think that all models should now come DPR unless there really isn’t the space.
Notice in the photo above where the motor and the magnet are placed. They feel a long way to the rear and I think this does change the handling characteristics somewhat.
So, the all important bit – how do they perform? Well, I’m happy to say that I and my sons thoroughly enjoyed our session with them. They were great to run round the track and had different performance characteristics to the cars so took some getting used to, but were no problem.
Given the height of the Trucks and therefore the higher centre of gravity, you’d have thought they would de-slot frequently, but that wasn’t the case. They were quite “tail-happy”, but in a reasonably controlled way in that you could catch them and get back on line if you were quick. If you missed them and the tail went all the way out, then it was a fairly graceful exit from the track. Although more often than not once out of the slot, the back-end stopped turning and the Truck would then go back across the track. The vast majority of cars I have will continue away from the track once they’ve spun out, but not the trucks and for one reason or another, it actually felt realistic. Not sure why.
There are some limitations when running these trucks and on the website it states that the Trucks are incompatible with the Elevated Cross Over (C8295), but given that they’re easily double, if not triple the height of most cars and wider than most, this isn’t surprising. A Radius 2 curve worked fine, but even then rear tyres were hanging off the inside of the curve for the inside lane and they weren’t happy on anything tighter. If you had the space, I think a track made using Radius 3 curves would be superb for them.
The limitations were not a drawback on enjoyment though, the layout just has to accommodate the size of the trucks and that should be seen as as challenge rather than a problem – it’s clear that a good truck-racing circuit will be different from a good car-racing circuit. A great buy, but you do really have to buy both of them to get the most out of the experience of Truck racing.