...with Weird Jack
SCX Chaparral / Product Review
By Jack K. Stinson
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the name, SCX is the company in Spain that was at one time "British" Scalextric. When Scalextric of England closed the facility in Spain it was reopened by Tyco (this is the short version). These are now sold under an odd variety of names. Within Spain they are sold as Scalextric, because the British company did not retain the rights to that name within Spain. Elsewhere these are sold by Tyco under the SCX/Matchbox logo. Confused yet?
In addition to their excellent regular line of cars, SCX has been periodically reissuing older Scalextric designs from molds they retained. In 1996 they reissued the Ford GT40, the E-Type Jaguar and the Seat (Fiat) 850. All utilize the original molds with the new SCX can motor. Note that SCX has their own motor design. They are one of the few modern slot car producers to not use the Mabuchi can series.
I must say that this motor is a strong one. Basically it is a long version of the small Mabuchi 300 (13) can from the 60's. It has good rpm and great torque. It is a very good home track motor.
The "chassis" is typical of SCX classics construction. This is a clamshell two-piece affair much like the earlier Strombeckers. The bottom half of the body forms the chassis section. While not the same as vintage American metal chassis, it does the job required of it.
Now, on to the car itself.
The SCX Chaparral is labeled a "GT". It is in fact not a GT, but rather a sort of mixture of the 2E and 2G designs. While it may not be an exact scale model of either, it captures the flavor of the big winged Chaparral very well indeed!
Two things are readily apparent, the intakes are neither true 2E nor 2G styling and there is no "Cox" logo on them! Once you get past the intakes, there are minor features which are ambiguous, but not hard to accept. You simply must not expect an exact scale model. It's a fun car. I do love the driver figure...he frowns, scowls almost! Not our old friend the Revell "Happy Boy", that's for sure!!!
How does it run? Out of the box it is great! Very smooth, with none of the rear axle hop that plagued the Ford GT40 reissue. Good acceleration and top end for home track racing. I know that opinion varies on this car, however, I have tested four of them so far and they all ran well from the box. Sure, the rear tires could be a lot grippier, but they still perform satisfactorily.
The easiest cure for traction on the Chap (and on the Ford GT40 that preceded it) is to buy a set of MRRC rear tires for the "mid-60's F1 cars", part number 5083-90. You will have to either file the wheel ridge a bit more narrow or do as I did and use some old Scalextric wheels that are the same with a narrow ridge. Once trued, these tires offer fantastic grip. Also try the #5083-93 for MRRC Series 4. You will be amazed at the difference this small change makes on the SCX cars.
I am looking at molding slip-on silicone tires for this. Having tested a pair that were made by a friend of mine for my Ninco McLaren (with Pla-Fit 60% Fox motor) I am convinced that homebrew silicones are a great answer for traction on these cars. Stay tuned for more developments on this later.
Tweaks for this car include; glue the axle bushings in place on the chassis, add weight on either side of the motor as low as possible and a little behind the guide flag, true tires and adjust the guide for smooth movement. Don't expect it to run like a vintage Cox Iso-Fulcrum, but this will improve things.
I took my Chaparral to the Dayton slot car show. Our club had set up a track there and the Chaparral was a huge source of interest. I could've sold a dozen easily (had I been selling them). These were released in the USA in early July and can be obtained from shops in England (best price), Spain and a few places in the States as well.
Get one soon, as the SCX reissues are of limited runs. Only 5,000 are made of each type. I know I will be buying another myself....I must make one with a functional wing! Simply a great and fun 1/32 slot car!
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