Scalextric
Ferrari 300 P4
By Tom Dandes

         Oh yeah, to hear the sound of a V-12 as it screams by you at over 150 mph. You see that red body color and the classic lines that could only be Ferrari!

 Ok, so I have a thing for Ferrariís is that a problem. Some people lose it over a Lola T-70, others the Ford GT-40ís, and still others the Porsche 917ís. But for me make it Ferrari red! When I saw Scalextricís new release list I lost it. Right away there were two new Ferrariís added to my ďmust haveĒ column the red #21 car and that yellow Ferrari that Scaley had listed.

Funny how that yellow car never made it out from Scaley workshop and I get the #24 car instead. Oh well itís gotta be red or dead right?

So sit back, get something cold to drink and Iíll tell you the good and bad about Scalextricís new Ferrari 330 P4. 

Exterior.

Body and paint.   Grade: A

The lines on the body of the Scalextric Ferrari 330 P4 are flawless and seem to be correctly proportioned to the 1:1 car. Take a glance and you can see the classic Ferrari lines that the P4 is so well known for and captured by Scaley.

The paint on Scalextric cars has always been superb and youíll be hard pressed to find any runs, dry spots, or orange peel on this one. I really have to say that the pictures (or my bad camera work) donít do the car justice. The Ferrari red paint really stands out and has to be seen. Iíd heard from others how well the car looked and now that itís out of the box I find myself picking it up time and time again. None of that ďToy like appearanceĒ you here about. 

Itís nice to see is that there is not much in the way of body parts to get broken off. So those pesky little mirrors should stay in place for a while.
 

Tampoís.   Grade: B+

      Lots of tampoís on the 330 and itís nice to see the Ferrari logo out there to be seen. I see that there is a license agreement on the box between Scaley and Ferrari so that explains the prancing horse logos. Looking over the car for the fifth time the only thing I found wrong was a slight break in the yellow stripe over the top of the car that is barely noticeable on the rear seam.

Driver.   Grade. C+

Now Scaley is known to have some of the worst drivers figures I have ever seen in a slot car. Take one look at the Sunoco Camaro and you wonder how they got the drivers head to fit inside the car. Now itís not something that I comment on other than to say that the car does or does not have someone behind the wheel. But because of past experience I have to run my mouth here a little bit and say that 330ís pilot is a lot better than the drivers of old. ItĎs better proportioned and more detailed but still can be improved by removing the seams on the drivers helmet.

 

Wheels.   Grade: A

 Before the Ferrari arrived I had seen all the slot pictures of the car without seeing the actual car. Now I will admit that the wheels looked totally wrong to me. ďTo smallĒ, ďScaley screwed this one upĒ.  Well I was wrong!

The more I look at the original 330ís photos the more I could see they are the right size. The wheels did have knock offs in the centers and they were that small. Itís easy to forget that street and race cars in 1967 didnít have these nice tall wheels and low profile tires that we see on everything today and that most wheels were 15 inch max.

Tires.  Grade: B 

Here again I had a problem looking at the photos. To me the rears skins looked like mud and snow tires just because of the lines you can see running down the sidewalls. But again looking at the real 1:1 car you see the same thing. In Scaleyís quest for getting it right they duplicated these lines. So with that the 330ís tires look correct for the car.

 Scaley still gets high marks for their tire logos also. Unlike some cars makers these donít wipe off the first time you try and do maintenance. Only problem I found is a couple of rubber nubs that needed to be removed. Minor item but I want that perfect car when I spend my money.

 Lights.   Grade C:

   This Ferrari has headlights and taillights just like itís Scaley GT-40 counter part. A small circuit board controls the flow of electrons and does a fine job, but I still would like to see a capacitor to make the on and off action of the lights go away. Looking straight at the head light lenses you can see the lights inside and it kind of makes the lenses look weird. I donít see how anyone could have done it any better so no down marks. But under power the lights appear yellow and there is some bleed threw around the rear taillights and that does bother me. Adding some black paint on the inside of the body will help stop the light leaks.

Inside. 

Blue is for chassis screws and yellow for the drivers cockpit.

 Chassis.   Grade A:

         Six screws will remove the body but be advised that there eight screws under the car. Those shown above in blue are the ones you want. The flush mounted screws marked in yellow release the driverís cockpit from the chassis. They are a different type of screw that will not interchange with the body screws unless you want to damage the car.

Once opened you will find that the chassis is also the lower half of the body just like the Scaley GT-40ís. Here you can also see the dash details are minimal but who cares since they canít be seen from the outside anyway.

  

Removing the two center screws will release the driverís cockpit from the chassis exposing the inner works of the Ferrari. Here you can also see the front and rear circuit boards for the lights and the noise suppressors soldered on the motor. There is also room for lead if you decide to remove the magnet.

 

Motor.   Grade A:

Motor is Scalextricís standard Mabuchi rated at 18,000 rpms. This motor is an excellent choice and will provide a good balance of speed and brakes for the home racer.

 Gear set   Grade A:

Gear set is the standard 11/36 with a plastic pinion and spur. Both are extremely quite at speed and should be more than enough to match the GT-40 and still give you good braking.

Bushings & axles   Grade B-: 

          Bushings for the car snap into the plastic chassis for the rear axle and are molded into the chassis in the front. What is surprising to see is the amount of side-to-side axle play for the front and rear axles. This is something that Scalextric is not known for and blew me away when I found it. It is minimal but more than I like to run with. Itís your decision on living with it or removing and shimming the wheels. But be advised the axles have knurled ends that may damage the wheels if you try to remove them. Iíll live with mine as is.

 I could not find any of the rear bushings spinning under load so no glue for mine. There is a solid axle up front and in the rear. Both run straight with no signs of being bent.

Magnet,   Grade B:

There are two magnet positions. One is just in front of the motor and the other is behind the rear axle these are shown above in yellow. Either area will allow the magnet to snap in. The forward one will lighten up the rear tires but not much. The car comes with the standard Scaley bar type magnet that is strong enough for anyone that likes heavy magnet cars. Set the car on a piece of track and youíll see that you can almost turn the car upside down before you get it to roll. Too much for me although others will like it as is.

Tires,  B:

The tires are nice and round and only needed a light sanding to get them trued. The sanding is more for me than it is for the car as all my toys get sanded. They are treaded and hook up well do to the heavy magnet. But if you want to go without the magnet you will need some added bite with aftermarket tires.

Wheels,   Grade A:

Wheels on the Ferrari are true and needed no sanding to get them round. Removing the tires I found no casting sprue to throw the wheels off and no broken centers.

Guide,   Grade C-:

The guide is Scaleyís newest style that is a hair deeper than their older ones. It also features the new quick-change plate for the brushes with instructions on how to swap them out.

Sorry to say this but I just donít like Scaley guides past or present. Itís not that they cause the car to de-slot any more than any other car because they donít! In fact they work and work well.

What I donít like is that they have the smallest brush contact area of any guide that I have ever seen. The brush material they use is way to stiff. And the guide is not deep enough for all the new deep slotted tracks out today. Sorry Scaley but in my opinion you need to do something better.

My Opinions.

Taking it out of the box just the way Scalextric made it you will find that the Ferrari is very quick and silent. The car holds the corners very well and you really have to push hard to get the car to come out of the slot. Acceleration and braking are crisp and right on par with other Scalextric releases. Sanding the tires provided very little or no improvement in lap times for me. Most of this performance is due to the heavy magnet in the car. Moving the magnet to the forward pocket produced only slightly slower laps times and the car did seem a little loose in the rear but still was glued to the track.

For those non-magnet types I believe that removing the magnet, adding some silicone tires to the rear and a small touch of lead by the guide will make this a great non-mag car. But I didnít find any silicone tires that would fit the wheels so Iíll just have to wait and see if itís true.

The bottom line is Scalextric still produces some of the best out of the box slot cars on the market and the Ferrari is one of them. It has some issues that can be made better but everything on the Ferrari works and works reliably. Even today when someone new to the hobby asks me what to get for his or her first car I still point to the Scalextricís because they work as advertised.

Later

Tom Dandes

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