Slot car racing tracks have enjoyed a high level of popularity since the 1950s. While there are many different scales for the “slotted track racers” worldwide, 1:32 and 1:24 in particular have established themselves in Europe. In many children’s and teenagers’ rooms there were and are tracks with and without loops. Some even try their hand at reproducing real race tracks. The company Slot Mods Raceway from Detroit, headed by David Beattie, is fully specialized in this field. There, true masterpieces are created from wood and plastic, which not only capture real race tracks, but also take you back to another era, depending on the customer’s wishes.
Fiat plant Lingotto
In the latest completed project, however, the builders and an American car collector weren’t aiming to recreate Le Mans or the Nürburgring. Instead, they wanted to recreate a test track with only two corners. In reality, however, this track isn’t located in the middle of nature, but on the roof of Fiat’s Lingotto plant in the middle of Turin. The historical building was completed as early as 1923, and new cars were built from the delivered materials, ascending five floors. They were finally driven onto the test track. They then traveled down a spiral descent and were loaded onto trucks and trains. Since 1982, the building has no longer been a car factory. Instead, it now houses shopping, restaurants and a concert hall. Tourists will soon be able to try out the electric version of the current Fiat 500 on the test track on the roof.
Replica for US$ 225,000
So this time it wasn’t just about the pure slot racing track with two slightly banked curves, but about the whole building. With some artistic liberties Slot Mods got to work and created a masterpiece. Many glazed windows give a glimpse into the production lines of the Fiat 500 (1957 to 1975). Others show the design department, the offices of the management or a wide showroom with models of all brands of the Fiat group until 1975. The spiral descent is also shown, but here the 500s drive up instead of down. On the roof, various new 500s chase each other through the curves on four parallel tracks. The overall work is man-sized and cost the new owner around US$ 225,000. He has already placed a follow-up order. This time, his wish is for the Ford plant on Piquette Ave. in Detroit, including a test track and train station.
Images: Slot Mods Raceway, David Beattie