Slot Cars Rule !!!

Artin 1/43 NASCAR

With the introduction of the new PowerPasser system, Artin recently came out with a lot of new cars in the 1/43 scale. Among the most noticeable new cars are the NASCAR Dodge Intrepid and Ford Taurus. These are available in both PowerPasser and standard configurations.

• Along with the release of the new PowerPasser sets in Artin 1/43 came a lot of new cars. The new NASCAR racers come in the Brickyard 400 PowerPasser set but are also available individually for I believe only US $6.00.


• The main surprise about these cars is the quality of the details. They have water slide decals and even though it is still far from the astounding quality of some of their bigger 1/32 sisters, they are actually very nice to look at. I am no specialist in painting, but the colors are nicely done and there seems to be a layer of clear coat finish that really enhances the cars appearance.

• A nice touch is the addition of a netting imprint on the driver side window


• According to Artin, the cars carry authentic NASCAR liveries (is that right? ☺). Currently, only four cars are available: Two Ford Taurus (#5 "Wing Z" and #30 "Home Fix-it") and two Dodge Intrepid (#17 and #77).Whether or not the liveries are authentic ☺, they are very nicely done. Note that the Dodge #77 is missing from the pictures here as I do not own it. Comments from "Smith Speedway" from the HRW forum: "The Dodge is about right, wrong number. The blue/white Taurus looks like Mark Martins paint job from four years ago. The silver car was a one shot race promoting something or other and should be number 20 Home Depot car. Not bad though!!! "

• One thing is that the bodies are small for that scale, probably closer to 1/48 than 1/43. So both front and rear wheels do extend out sideways from under the body. Purists will have to take their Dremel tool out and shorten the axles just a bit to get the wheels back where they belong ☺, probably at the expense of a bit of performance.

• Another thing is that the bodies of the Ford and the Dodge are very similar, the main difference being in the front spoiler with other small differences in the details of the rear wing, the gas tank lid, and the windshield details. I am no NASCAR specialist and cannot judge the accuracy of any of this.

• Looking at the cars, the first thing that jumps up is that the ride should be lower as the space between the wheels and the body is a bit large. Fortunately, nothing that cannot be fixed with a bit of Dremel work.


• The wheels (no inserts, just molded plastic wheels) are also new and offer an improved level of details to the cars. The tires however, are not new and are the good old narrow standard treaded tires:
o Rear: 16.5 mm diameter for 5.5 mm width
o Front: 15.3 mm diameter for 5 mm width
o The tires did need a fair amount of truing but came out really round and have very decent grip.

• Turning the body over you will find the traditional large magnet, pin guide and braids. The "Classic" cars come equipped with an "I1" chassis while the PowerPasser cars come with a new (no identifying code there, but very similar to the I1) chassis. The key difference between the two chassis is the pin guide mounting position which is different. The picture below shows the PowerPasser version at the top and the Classic version at the bottom.


• Another difference in these cars compared to most other Artin 1/43 cars is the lack of lighting in the car. This is probably ok for NASCAR as the 1:1 cars also do not have lights in racing.

• Opening the car is as easy as ... 1,1,1 ... only one screw in the front holds the body in place with plastic tabs/inserts on the sides; the standard Artin 1/43 configuration. Inside the car, no surprises: same standard Artin 1/43 motor (2 mm axle) with standard 10-tooth, 64-pitch pinion. Rear and front axle are still the non-standard 2.16mm diameter and the rear axle has the standard 28-tooth crown gear. One thing to note on these cars was the absence of any slop or play in the rear axle. At least on all 3 cars I own. The motor is also very sturdily mounted. Other than some strategic lubing, no work was required on the drive train.


• Taking these cars on the track is a lot fun. They are small, light, low to the ground and with the large magnet, can really get those lap times down. On my track, I was able to get close to 9 seconds with both Ford Taurus and about 9.3 seconds with the Dodge (for reference the best time ever with a standard Artin 1/43 car is just under 9 seconds on this track configuration). On the PowerPasser set-up, the Ford Taurus is by far the fastest (compared to the Indy cars and the Mercedes CLK DTM). For comparison, much older NASCAR Artin 1/43 cars feel and perform exactly the same as these new ones.

In conclusion, more great Artin 1/43 racers for an incredibly small price with greatly improved looks and appearance.