Slot Mods Will Build You an Electric Race Car Your Kids Can Drive
If you’re my age, you probably had a slot car set growing up. I know, I got you all excited when I said that you could buy an electric race car that even your kids could drive. I’m guessing that you imagined something like a Tesla Model S or Roadster. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here, but the guys at Slot Mods USA can still build you a completely electric race car that even your kids can drive. Actually, David Beattie and his crew will build as many cars as you want, plus the track of your dreams.
Slot Mods Will Build You the Slot Car Track of Your Dreams
You may have seen some of the massive train track layouts that have the look of an American Midwest town or Alpine village. Back when many of us were kids, we had slot car sets; the older ones of us had the Aurora AFX tracks. These were basic oval or circle tracks on which we could race small scale slot cars that resembled production cars or popular race cars. Pistol grip in hand, we could race two cars at a time.
Slot Mods USA has a variety of “off the shelf” tracks that you can buy. These range from 1:32 scale models of famous race tracks around the world to a variety of scenic settings, and a few tribute tracks that are absolutely stunning. Instead of the puny three foot by four foot tracks most of us are used to, these tracks start at six feet by 12 feet and move up from there. They’ve even got a layout that is 14 feet in diameter. If you’ve got the money – prices start around $50,000 – Beattie and the boys will also pick your brain to build a completely custom track just for you.
How Slot Mods USA Got Started
David Beattie lost his job in 2008. His first thought when this happened was that, like most of us, he didn’t want to go back to work and have a boss; he wanted to be his own boss, and he wanted to do something “really cool.” He spent a bunch of time looking through the want ads and dealing with headhunters. Then one day he realized, “I’m not getting anywhere. I really would like to just be my own person. I had this vision of myself painting coconuts on a beach so I wouldn’t have the stress of people coming to me. I could just paint a happy face on a coconut and here you go. I always refer to the painting coconuts thing as kinda hiding out from society but getting enough money to take care of my family and having some fun.” (His emphasis)
Beattie loved slot cars, so one day he cut out some pieces of wood and routed them out in his garage. He then took them to a hobby shop owner and asked if he could set his track up in his store. Although, according to Beattie, the store owner didn’t really believe anything would come of it, he said “Yeah. That’s cool.”
How Slot Mods Tracks Are Made
Other than soldering irons, sawzalls, routers, and other powered hand tools, a Slot Mods track is hand-built from scratch. They cut the wood and then bend it to fit the dimensions and elevation changes that the customer has requested or that the race track it is modeled after has. They shape foam blocks by hand to make mountains and hills. Trees and vegetation are usually real plants that have been dried and then painted by hand or had shredded bits of colored foam glued to them to make them look real.
When a prospective customer contacts Slot Mods USA to begin the ordering process, Beattie will pick their brain. How much space do you have for the installation? What sort of clearance will there be after the track is installed? How much do you want to spend? If you want a scale model of an actual track, which track do you want and what era do you want it from?
Once they have this information from you, they will take up to five weeks to design the track layout. This includes the actual layout of the track itself and every piece of scenery, including period correct grandstands, billboards, lighting, everything. Once the customer approves of the design and a 50 percent deposit is made, they begin the three to five month process of building the track. Once the track is built and tested, they disassemble it, bring it to your installation location, put it together and test it again for you.
Their Piez de Resistance is an Absolute Work of Art
A couple of years ago, Beattie was approached by Audi of Canada to build a special one of a kind track for them. They wanted a track that went from race track to mountain/country scenery to a cityscape setting, all in the same track. They also said that there had to be an “Audi Dealership” included in the city portion of the track and that the track had to have three lanes.
The Audi reps told Beattie that since the track would be placed within a glass box, it also had to have a unique method of controlling the cars: iPads and first person point of view mini cameras mounted in the cars. Of course, all the cars had to be exact scale models of current Audi models. This was a first for Slot Mods USA and they carried it out flawlessly. What’s more, the Audi Quattro is an all-wheel drive vehicle, so the Quattro models they built also had to be all-wheel drive.