Artin 1:32 Team Racing Set

An ongoing debate rages on the Slot Car Racing Internet Newsgroup, alt.hobbies.slotcars regarding the best 1:32 scale slot car racing set. Rarely does a week go by when some unsuspecting newsgroup member doesn't post a question regarding suggestions for the best 1:32 scale slot car set to purchase.

Opinions often differ, but invariably two race sets are almost always suggested. The Ninco Formula 1 Race Set at $239.99 and the Artin 4-Lane Team Racing Set at $109.95. Artin users normally suggest purchasing two complete sets to get enough track to build a larger layout.

I know from my own personal experience that this debate can become very lively. I asked this very same question myself last winter. I ultimately selected the Ninco Formula 1 set due to its overall high quality, wide track width, 3-wire controllers with integral braking, deep guide flag slot and high-grip racing surface. I have not been disappointed in any way with my original choice.

The newsgroup's Artin supporters made a good argument for their raceway of choice though too. So recently I decided to purchase two of these sets. Here in the United States, Artin 4-Lane Team Racing Sets are available only through J.C. Penny. The newsgroup's members were quick to point out that replacement parts and additional track sections are only available directly from Artin, and are sometimes hard to get at that.

Artin 4-Lane Team Racing Set

I decided to purchase two complete sets because I knew I wanted to build a larger layout than the simple figure "8" configuration that a single set allowed. I also felt that a second set would give me four additional cars and controllers should I ever need replacement parts. The additional track provided in a second set would allow me to build a larger, more challenging layout.

I ordered two Artin 4-Lane Team Racing Sets directly from the J.C. Penny web site. The catalog number for these sets was XU671-0412A.

J.C. Penny offers this set at a sale price of $60.00 several times a year, making it an even better bargain. But even at $109.95 the price is very reasonable.

 

The Track

The picture below illustrates the track available in the Artin 4-Lane Team Racing Set. The set includes track sections to build a small 4-lane extended figure "8" raceway.

Artin 1:32 Scale 4-Lane Team Racing Set

Listed below is an inventory of the parts and cars supplied in a single Artin 4-Lane Racing Set:

24
8
16
1
1
4
2
2
Straight Track Sections
Inner Turns (60)
Outer Turns (30)
4-Lane Power Terminal
DC Power Supply
Hand Controllers
Porsche 911 GT1s
Mercedes CLK GTs

The layout below illustrates a simple racing circuit I designed and built using two Artin 1:32 Scale 4-Lane Team Racing Sets. This layout makes use of every turn and straight section available when two Artin sets are combined.

I have been very pleased with this circuit configuration. It provides a pair of fast straights joined by an overpass feeding a double chicane section. The racing circuit, as designed, also creates four lanes with exactly the same lane lengths.

Artin 1:32 Scale 4-Lane Combined Team Racing Sets
 

The layout illustrated above, including the outside turn borders, fits on a table 16' 3" long by 6' 9" wide.

The track itself is very well made, and snaps together with a unique locking tab. The inner and outer turn borders included with the set make it possible for cars in the outside lane to drift without the unfair advantage of leaning on a guard rail. These borders simply snap onto the track's edge for a flush racing surface.

The slot is also deep enough to run even Ninco cars, with their oversized guide flag. Any of the currently available brands of slot cars can be run on this track.

 

The Cars

The set includes a pair of Porsche 911 GT1 sportscars and Mercedes CLK GTs. While these cars do not have the high level of detail that the current FLY and Ninco cars offer they are still acceptable, and with a bit of work can be made to appear quite realistic. All four cars came with working headlights.

Artin Mercedes CLKs

The cars included in the set are the equal to most Ninco NC-1 powered models. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cars were very robust and could take a beating, even when they de-slotted and hit the floor. If you have young or inexperienced racers these cars should stand up well.

Artin Porsche 911 GTs

 

The Electronics

The set comes complete with a DC wall pack that supplies power to all four lanes via a special 4-lane power terminal track. The four hand controls also plug in to the power terminal track.

The weakest link though is definitely the hand controls and power supply included with this set. In time you may want to investigate better hand controls such as the Parma 25 Ohm controllers and a more potent DC power supply. This will be especially true if you plan to race high powered FLY, ProSlot and Scalextric slot cars.

 

Summary

All-in-all the Artin 4-Lane Team Racing Set is a very good value. Four lanes of racing for as little as $109.95 is hard to beat, and when two sets are combined you'll have a first rate raceway the equal to any Ninco or Scalextric setup costing hundreds and hundreds of dollars more.

If this is to be your first foray into 1:32 scale slot car racing the Artin 4-Lane Team Racing Set is a great way to get started. The four lanes worth of track alone is worth much more than $109.95 when compared to most of the other brands 2-lane sets.

The track in the Artin 4-Lane Team Racing Set is equal to anything from Scalextric or SCX. The inside and outside track borders are an added bonus. The other brands will require separate border purchases, but here they are included.

The cars have acceptable performance and stand up well to knocks and the inevitable trips to the floor. With a little spray paint and some waterslide decals they can be made to look nearly as good as any other brand of slot car.

As stated earlier on, the power supply and hand controls included are the weakest parts in the set. They work, but you'll probably want to take some of the money you saved over the more expensive sets and invest in decent hand controls and a high-output power supply.

Four Parma 25 Ohm hand controls will cost approximately $80.00, while a good 12-13.8 VDC power supply in the 10 Ampere range will add another $40.00 to your upgrade costs. Most Ninco and Scalextric track owners also upgrade these parts though, so you're not really going to have to spend any more here than you would if you purchased one of the more expensive sets anyway.

Two complete 4-lane sets at $109.95 each, plus upgraded electronics at $120.00 will bring your total bill to just under $340.00. A 4-lane raceway with a lap length of just under 50 feet for $340.00 is still a real bargain. You will have borders on all the turns, and 8 cars to run as well. To build the same raceway with any of the other track brands would cost nearly $1000.00 by the time you were finished.

Artin 4-Lane Team Racing Sets are a real bargain, and a great way to jump-start your 1:32 scale racing program.

 

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