Scott's Slot Cars
Large Scale Slot Cars, Why 1/32 Is Best For Home Tracks 

February 1, 2009
By Scott Lewis

When I think about large scale slot cars I automatically migrate to and recommend 1/32 scale. The larger scales come in three main sizes, 1/24, 1/32 & 1/43. Let's take a quick look at them.


1/24 is quite large and requires a LOT of space. It takes a large track to get these cars up to speed. There are two reason for going 1/24, 1) you visit big tracks that are 1/24 so you can enjoy your own cars on some really huge tracks, and 2) you have a LOT of room, such as a large basement or garage for a big permanent track. I am going to be using my game room and feel that 1/24 will require too much space, though Carrera's 1/32 systems are for both 1/24 & 1/32 and offer a few tempting options. A 1/24 car that can run well on a big track at a club will be less regarding on a small track in your home. You really want to have a lot of track to get these cars up to speed to get the most from them.


1/43 seems to be more of a toy than a hobby. The 1/43 size is best for beginners that will only grow a little. There is less specialty track available in the 1/43 size which will make it difficult to build 4 lane layouts. However, the 1/43 scale is smaller than 1/32 so you can fit more track in a modest amount of space, such as on a typical 4x8 or 5x9 board. You still get more realistic racing than HO scale, but the detail of the cars is far less than that of the 1/32 and 1/24 cars. As far as I can tell Artin, Carrera & SCX all make 1/43 sets in analog. If you plan to go digital then you are even more restricted with 1/43 as I think only Carrera has 1/43 in digital which would lock you into one manufacturer for cars and track. This will drastically reduce the selection of cars with only one manufacturer.


That leaves us with 1/32, which seems to be the most common size for a home setup, HO not withstanding. There are many clubs and events that use 1/32 which can be quite rewarding when taking your cars from home to an event. Plus, there is nothing stopping you from running your 1/32 scale cars on a 1/24 track.

1/32 seems to have the most attention from the manufacturers. You can get track from any of the 5 major manufacturers (Scalextric, Carrera, SCX, Ninco, Artin). Cars are available from these 5 and others, such as Fly,, Monogram and more. All analog cars from all these manufacturers will run on any analog 1/32 track.

If you want to go digital then 1/32 is definitely the place to be. There is more available in the 1/32 Digital world than anywhere else. Keep in mind that one of the biggest features of digital is to allow more that 2 racers on a track that fits in a reasonable space. To get more than 2 racers on an analog track requires a HUGE 4 lane 1/32 layout.


In my opinion, if you want to do more than HO racing 1/32 is the way to go. If you have a LOT of space for a HUGE permanent layout then I would go with Carrera in 1/24. Carrera's track is a hard plastic that is ideal for permanent tracks. Even going with Carrera I would prefer 1/32 because the cars will be more rewarding in the amount of space you will probably have in a home environment.

1/32 is the perfect size for me. I have a sizable game room, but once I build a table I will not have unlimited space, so I am going to go with 1/32.