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Slot Car Modeling Discuss and show Slot Cars that you have modified, or that you have collected.
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:45 PM   #1
Layla's Keeper
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D3 Retro Racing - Look of the Future or Step Backwards?

In recent years, a new division has steadily been gaining popularity in the 1/24th scale world. Popularly titled "D3" in reference to USRA classification (Wing Cars being Division 1 and Scale Cars being Division 2) this division allows a racer near total control in scratch-building a chassis of their own design out of the classic materials of sheet brass and piano wire.

Leveling the playing field (as well as adding challenge) are a required sealed motor, an insistence on crown gears instead of the superior angle-winder layout, and a tightly controlled legal list of vintage style bodies.

The classes in D3 run along the distinctions of car type. Can-Am and GT Coupe are essentially the same barring differences in body, whereas F1 cars use a narrower chassis with exposed wheels.

The cars are proving highly popular with veteran racers as a creative outlet and as a throwback. The construction techniques of these cars are straight from the beginning of the "handling" era that gave us the 4" standard chassis. Grids and sanctions for these cars are growing nationwide, making D3 the hottest thing in slot cars right now...

...so what's the problem?

As a younger slot car racer (23) I rarely race against guys my own age. Slot car racing is simply not a young man's hobby, and not for reasons of boredom or prohibitive expense, but for reasons of a lack of exposure. Generally speaking, 1/24th scale racing is a vague mystery to guys who weren't introduced to it at a young age (like I was, as I started racing at age 10) where they're familiar with 1/32nd scale homeset cars.

The major manufacturers like Parma, JK, Champion, and Slick 7 have struggled to find a marketing angle that makes inroads on the popular 1/32nd market, and the commercial tracks face dwindling attendance and thinning fields overall because - honestly - their market base is dying off.

At this critical juncture for this great hobby, the manufacturers need fresh blood, a transfusion of new ideas and angles to bring in new racers. So, to summarize in a question, do all the things that make D3 great for seasoned vets, make its newfound prominence in the hobby a liability to attracting new racers?

It's a difficult question, but it's one that needs to be asked. For many tracks, the clock is ticking.
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