Frequently Asked Questions

This page is a compilation of questions I’m most frequently asked by new or returning racers.

I have a “Brand X” race set. Can I use “Brand Y” cars?

Yes. Any brand of HO slot car will run on any brand of HO slot car track. Tomy, Tyco/Mattel and Life-Like are all pretty close in performance. Tomy however offers the best range of repair items and after-market speed parts.

Auto World cars will also run on any brand of track but keep in mind that their ThunderJet 500 and XTraction product lines are modern reproductions of vintage Aurora slot cars from the 1960’s and 1970’s. These cars are not nearly as fast, nor do they have the magnetic downforce of a modern slot car. If you want the kind racing experience you had when you were younger, then these cars are great, but they will not be competitive when raced next to a modern magnet car.

See the HO Slot Cars for Sale section for a sampling of the HO slot cars available for purchase.

Can “Brand X” track be combined with “Brand Y” track?

Yes and No. Each brand of HO slot car track has its own proprietary connector system, but track adapters are available to connect different track systems. Here again Tomy offers the best variety of track sections, so converting a Life-Like or Tyco/Mattel track to the Tomy Track System is your best bet.

See the Track section for a complete discussion of the various track systems available.

My local hobby shop told me Tomy is out of business. Is this true?

Absolutely Not! I hear this comment far too often! Unscrupulous dealers often tell potential customers this so they can sell them the small Life-Like sets they have in stock.

Tomy acquired the assets of the Aurora company over 25 years ago and has been manufacturing some of the best slot cars, track and accessories ever since. Tomy continues to introduce new products every year. Don’t let anyone tell you that Tomy is not the best there is.

See the Race Sets section for examples of the boxed race sets Tomy offers.

Can I use Parma Hand Controls without rewiring my track?

Yes. Parma hand controls can be used with the standard power tracks and power packs sold in boxed sets. However, if you use standard power tracks you can not connect the red brake wire. The red brake wire would create a dead short due to the common negative power rails shared by both lanes.

Modern slot cars with their strong traction magnets brake well enough when you get off the power anyway, so the brake circuit is rarely missed. The real benefit of a Parma Hand Control is the linear application of power, unlike the small set controls which tend to act more like an On/Off switch.

Older Aurora T-Jets and A/FX slot cars will benefit from a brake circuit though, due to the weak or non-existent magnetic downforce of most vintage slot cars.

See the Controllers section for a complete discussion of the various Parma controls available.

How can I improve the performance of my box-stock slot cars?

Silicone Tires. This is the first thing you can do to improve the performance of any slot car. See the Tuning Tips and Tires & Wheels pages for details.

See the Tomy section for a complete Tomy Super G+Plus and Turbo/SRT Hop-Up kit designed specifically for Tomy slot cars.

How can I identify the kind of chassis my vintage Aurora slot cars have?

Aurora made basically two types of chassis, the first was the Aurora ThunderJet, or T-Jet as it’s often called, and then later the Aurora A/FX chassis.

Aurora T-Jets have bodies that are fastened at the front and rear of the chassis with two small screws.

Aurora A/FX and A/FX Magna-Traction chassis had bodies that snapped onto the sides of the chassis using tabs.

The Aurora A/FX and A/FX Magna-Traction chassis look almost identical. The main difference was that later A/FX Magna-Traction chassis had motor magnets that were visible from the underside of the chassis when the car was turned over. Aurora was experimenting with magnetic downforce and by placing the magnets closer to the rails it was thought that they would exert a greater magnetic attraction to the track’s steel power rails.

Aurora made two other chassis in their long history. When Model Motoring was first introduced to the market in England and the US the chassis used a vibrator mechanism instead of a true DC motor. These cars were popular in England and with early American hobbyists, but they were never sold in any great quantity and are quite rare today.

In Aurora’s final years they offered what was called the G+Plus chassis. This was the last new chassis design to come out of the Aurora shops before they were sold to Tomy. This chassis did away with the pancake-style motor and gear train in favor of an inline motor and monocoque chassis design.

See the Aurora section for diagrams of the various Aurora chassis and parts available.

Can I restore my old vintage Aurora slot cars?

Yes. A good supply of New Old Stock (NOS) parts are available to repair all of the older Aurora slot car chassis except the vibrator.

Tires, pickup shoes and motor brushes are the most commonly replaced parts. With age the rubber tires on the original cars will have hardened or disintegrated. Modern silicone rear tires will not only never harden again, but they will also improve traction and handling. Pickup shoes with deep grooves worn into them should also be replaced.

See the Aurora section for diagrams of the various Aurora chassis and parts available.