FLY MARCH 761
GP ALEMANIA 1977
By Tom Dandes
First off I am not an F1 type when it comes to slot cars. Why? Because most modern F1 cars today look like alike to me and have so much magnet and motor that they are stupid fast.
Iíve said many times for the major companies to ďgive me Formula One cars from the 50ís, 60ís and 70ísĒ. Why these years? It was during this time that cars had their own styles and where actually controlled by the drivers.
So it starts with a phone call from Gene Molzon of Slot Car Place saying he is sending me the Fly March 761 for a review. ďBeat it up and tell me what you thinkĒ where the words I believed he used. I didnít argue since this red version is the latest of the three releases from Fly and I feel the best looking one out there.
Body and paint:
One look and youíll see this is not a toy but a true model slot car. Compared to other F1ís this March has detailís the others should have. Tampoís are crisp and clean on my model and the red paint is almost flawless. I say almost because there are some areas on the corners of the rear fin that broke up. Minor details but it is there.
Under the display case is a set of decals marked ďFor adults onlyĒ. Inside the envelope you will find instructions and the Hollywood decals that I can only assume are from a cigarette company. These are real water slide decals and not the peal and stick junk we often see.
The Ford Cosworth motor is well represented with exhaust system coming out from under the car. The rear differential hides the inline gear. Youíll see disk brake rotors on either side to add even more realism to this model. Some other areas of interest are the radiators, front wishbone suspension and shocks. And yes the driverís seat belts are not painted on but are separate pieces added to the driver with silver buckles. The bottom line is that there are details Fly added to this car not seen on other companies F1 releases. Nicely done!
Wheels are correct for the March and look like the real thing. I took off the rear tires to see if any of the wheels had casting material that would affect them on the track and found nothing.
Tires are the standard fat and wides for the rear and the small skinnies ones up front just like you would find on any F1 car from the seventies. The rubber is a good compound but does have a casting line right down the center that will bother some people. It does go away after a few hot laps and will be replaced by scuff marks just like the real thing.
Remove four screws under the car and this will release the body and give you access to the running gear. Once apart youíll find the car is in three simple pieces the body, rear wing and the chassis. What is nice is that it doesnít take three sets of hands to put it all back together. Fly has done a good job engineering this one.
Gear set is plastic with a 9 tooth on the pinion and 27 tooth on the crown gear that provide good acceleration and braking.
Plastic bushings on the rear axle that have disc brake rotors affixed to them. Under load you wonít find the bushings spinning in the chassis which is nice to see.
No rear axle play at all. Every thing is tight like it should be. Fronts are also independent but not the stub axles as Fly has done in the past. Instead the fronts are held in place by the wheels being snapped into a boss. This is something new and time will tell about how it works out.
One bar magnet located just behind the motor that surprisingly does not over power the car. No other location is provided.
RPM for this motor is unknown but it is an FF style motor that most of you know I donít like. I feel that for most cars on a home set these FF motors are just too much and over power the car! Youíll find out later that this is not the case with this one. I donít know if it is a different wind on the armature but I am happy with this one.
Yes I said front suspension! Not only does the guide allow the front end to steer but there are real springs on those shocks. These springs allow the front suspension to move up and down with the track. Over all it looks fragile. Again time will tell how well it holds up to bouncing off retaining walls.
Wiring is held in place in two spots on the chassis. And never seems to get in the way when work needs to be done.
Out of the box and on the track the first thing you will notice is how quite this thing is. Itís not your normal Fly car that all you hear is gear noise. I guess the move to a plastic gear set really helped because this thing is as quite as any other model I have.
After a couple of easy laps I looked the car over to make sure nothing weird is happening. Finding nothing it was on to phase 2 which is the ďbeat it up and tell me what you thinkĒ phase of the test. Some hard fast laps now and Iím having a hard time convincing myself that this is a Fly car. It seems very well balanced, not a magnet rocket like I have come to expected from F1 cars. Here the tires and magnet work well together. Yet push it hard enough and you will get the back end loose. Push really hard and the March will turn sideways come out of the slot and roll over. The first time this happened all could think about was ď Gene I beat it up just like you askedĒ. After looking the car over and not finding anything broken or missing parts lying around Iím starting to find out that this thing is a lot more durable than I thought.
The car is fast and very balance between motor, tires, and magnet. I was amazed that the motor does not overpower the March nor is it a magnet rocket the car like other FF motored cars I have driven. It seems durable enough and time (and a few more crashes) will tell just how durable it really is. It seems Fly has done a very good job engineering this car and I have to say itís not the typical F1 toy like I expected. My only regret is that I didnít purchase the other two previous releases.