5. Sep, 2016

Review of The Talbot Lago T26C by Cartrix

A review of The Talbot Lago T26C by Cartrix - Scotty 20th April '15

This 1/32nd  slot car is my latest purchase in what we refer to as the Fifties F1 class and I look at it from a “club racing” point of view. We race on board tracks with a variety of painted surfaces without magnets and at voltages ranging from 10 to 14v for this class we generally run them at 12v.  

I'm not going to go into the exactitudes of the Cartrix rendering of this car into one thirty second form, the wheel base, the track, whether it did or didn't have three louvres just below the carby air intake. The car looks great straight out of the box with just a couple of reservations. First and foremost is the use of chrome on the exhaust and grill that gives this model a toy like look that it doesn't deserve, second is the soapy white plastic used for the driver.  Both of these things are easily remedied if so desired.  For the exhaust a quick dip in a solution of caustic and a respray with steel wheels and for the driver a simple repaint. Mine came with the driver loose of the car and he needed his stumps trimmed to get him into the seat without fouling the steering wheel. I must say that they did a good job on his helmet, very period and it looks right. Much better than the other helmets Cartrix use on later model cars which make the drivers look like mushroom men. It amazes me that slot car makers continually get drivers helmets wrong when they are such an intrinsic part of the 'look' of the car. 

Inside the shell. If you expect to find an NC1 style motor you'll be sadly disappointed. Instead they have gone with an 18,000rpm FF motor (the long skinny one), I ran it up on the tachometer and out of the box it is exactly that. To compensate Cartrix has fitted the car with an eight tooth pinion and twenty-nine tooth crown giving it a ratio of 3.625 to 1. Their Ferrari 555 Super Squallo with the more traditional flat can 130 motor has an rpm anywhere between 13,500rpm and 14,000rpm with a gear ratio of  3 to 1. You can do the numbers if you want to taking in factors like torque, wheel size and blah blah blah but I just wanted to get the car on the track and see what it would do.

Since it was already midnight and I wanted to race it the next day I did the absolute minimum to get the car ready. A set of MJK tyres on the back end, nicely trued but not glued, replacement braid (solder wick) and a couple of grams of lead underneath close to the front screw hole and that was it. Normally I would stabilise the front axle but since it has a plate to represent the solid upper wishbone I didn't bother. Of course you have to super glue the wheels on properly but that's a given with Cartrix. The gears actually meshed quite well, surprise! Surprise!

In testing on a tight track with short straights it returned times a little slower than Ferrari Supersqualo but handling the tight track particularly well. I reduced the lead to three grams and the car picked up in acceleration. It was now on pace with the Ferrari. On to a larger track, this one with a Ferrodor paint finish and again the car pleasantly surprised me. It proved to be sure footed through the tight turns and easy to drive.  

The only reservation I have is if you needed to change the pinion gear should it split or become damaged. Eight tooth pinions for the slim line FF motors are a little hard to come by but I think Scale Auto make them in brass.

I recommend this car, especially for people who don't want to spend a lot of time mucking about to get things right. At the current price of $90Aus it is expensive, but if you're looking for a good runner for its class that stands out nicely from the pack this would be a good choice. I've not tested the Alfa, also made by Cartrix, but from a quick look I'd say it would have the same running gear as the Talbot.