Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography


Europe’s biggest and best slot car festival takes place next weekend, Ann Evans highlights some of the family fun to come.



Slot car fun for all the family


The UK Slot Car Festival 2018 makes a welcome return to the British Motor Museum, Gaydon next weekend, 19th-20th May, bringing together all of the major Slot Car manufacturers including the iconic Scalextric as headline sponsor. Other manufacturers include, Carrera, SCX, NSR, Ninco, HO AFX and many more.

If you’ve never tried slot car racing, this is your opportunity to give it a go. There will be lots of racetrack layouts, cars and controls for visitors to try out their skills – and for many bring back some happy childhood memories.

It was back in 1957 that Scalextric brought out its first set, which featured the Maserati 250 racing cars and the bendy rubber track. If you’d bought a set then it would have cost £5 17s 6d which is the equivalent of £120 in today’s money.  And if you’d kept that set along with its box in mint condition it would now fetch around £1,500.



Do you have one of these in the attic?



The history of Scalextric originates from the Scalex brand, owned by Minimodels Ltd. Originally it was a clockwork powered race car system that first appeared in 1952. The inventor was Mr B “Freddie” Francis who unveiled his new Scalextrix cars and track at the Harrowgate Toy Fair in 1957. The name was derived from ‘Scalex’ plus ‘electric’. They proved very popular, and as demand quickly grew Lines Brothers Ltd who were trading under the name of ‘Tri-ang’ took over their manufacture.

Technology has moved on tremendously over the years with the cars and track becoming very high tech. Cars can now reach speeds of 40 to 50 mph on straight stretches.

At the festival there will be a comprehensive retail area including over 60 trade stands. And not to be missed, a new international slot racing competition being hosted by



Have a go at slot car racing


Visitors can also meet the manufacturers and swap, buy and sell cars as well as meet other like-minded enthusiasts, plus play for free on a host of tracks showcasing the very latest innovations such as the – Pro App, controlled racing and Arc Air – wireless hand throttles from Scalextric.



Slot car caravans


Be sure also to check out the fantastic digital circuits from independent clubs including a mini racing competition, oval banger racing, a drag strip, H0 scale tracks, a slot stunt show and much more. Also new for 2018 is the amazing model village rally track and more historic brands such as Minic Motorway, Playcraft and Wren.


For more details and to get big savings by buying advanced tickets go to:

You can also find out more about slot cars including where your nearest club is. Contact The National Scalextric Collectors’ Club: