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October 11, 2022
Slot Car Scale Sizes

Whether you are rediscovering a childhood passion or you're new to slot car racing, you might wonder what the different sizes mean and which one will work best for you. Read on for slot car scales explained!

What Are the Different Scale Sizes for Slot Cars?

Slot cars are designed so that one unit of length, such as an inch, on the model equals a certain amount of units on the actual vehicle. So for 1:64 scale sizes, one inch portrays 64 inches on a car. 

There are several slot car scale sizes, each offering different advantages. Determining which size will work best for you depends on your needs and preferences. 

HO or 1:64 Scale

HO stands for "Half O." The “O” refers to the O Scale, which was commonly used for model trains in the early 1900s and was the smallest scale size at the time. When manufacturers started producing smaller trains and cars, the HO scale was created to categorize the smaller sizes. 

HO slot cars can range from 1:87 to 1:64 scales, but the 1:64 scale is the traditional size in the world of slot cars today. The tracks for HO scale vehicles will accommodate all slot cars within the range of 1:87 to 1:64, though the 1:64 scale will fit more tightly together. The typical length of these cars is about 2.5 inches to 3.5 inches or 5.5 centimeters to 8 centimeters.

If you are looking for a slot car to start or add to a collection, the 1:64 scale is an ideal option. This size is also excellent for racing within your home since its track will fit in nearly any space.

1:43 Scale

1:43 scale slot cars are becoming increasingly popular since they balance size and detail nicely. They are about 4.3 inches or 10.9 centimeters in length, so they require a moderate amount of room to race. You can still use them within most home spaces, though, so whether you have a large or small space to race, this scale size will work well.

The 1:43 scale is easy to control and fun to race, especially if you are new to slot cars. It also is a perfect addition to collections since it has a convenient size while maintaining some detail.

1:32 Scale

One of the most noticeable differences between slot car scale sizes is the amount of detail. The bigger the size, the more intricate the design. If accuracy is important to you, you may want to consider a 1:32 slot car size. This slot car scale is one of the most realistic models available, as it is truer to the scale and detail of the actual vehicle than smaller scale sizes.

The length of these slot cars reaches about 5 to 6 inches or 13 to 15 centimeters. This is the size for you if you are looking for realistic speeds and a better feel with your slot car.

1:24 Scale

As one of the largest slot car sizes, the 1:24 scale is a favorite for racing. Individuals commonly race these cars on large, 8-lane commercial tracks, and speeds on top road racing cars can reach up to 70 mph. The length of these cars is about 7 to 8 inches or 18 to 20 centimeters. 

There are several classes of 1:24 slot cars. Most either have a commercial Lexan body on a lightweight laser-cut chassis or a hard body on a hand-built brass chassis. The hard body cars have intricate details, much like the 1:32 scale. The Lexan bodies can also be detailed, but their main focus is speed.

If you are looking for a realistic and fast slot car ideal for racing, especially on a commercial or professional club track, the 1:24 scale is the way to go.

1:18 Scale

1:18 is one of the biggest sizes of scale model cars available. Their length reaches from 10 to 12 inches or 25 to 30 centimeters.

This size has in-depth detail, with many cars featuring opening doors and hoods, operational windshield wipers, accurate engine detail and more. The 1:18 scale size will be the perfect addition to your collection if you are looking for a beautiful visualization of one of your favorite cars with delicate details and moving parts.

What Do These Scale Sizes Mean for Slot Car Tracks?

Slot cars are guided by a groove or slot in the track they run on, so if you plan to race your vehicle, you will want to be sure you have the right size vehicle for the track. The correct slot car size will help it stay on and ride smoothly.

The best scale for slot cars and their accompanying tracks depends on your available space. If you have a small space, a scale size like 1:64 or 1:43 will fit nicely while still providing you with a large race course. The 1:32 scale products will also work for at-home use, though you should ensure you have adequate space to lay out the track. 

The 1:24 and 1:18 scale size slot cars have large tracks that require a lot of space, so these sizes are best raced on professional club or commercial tracks.



Purchase Slot Cars From Auto World Store

When searching for the best slot car size, choose the one you like! Whether you want a fast slot car to race or a detailed vehicle to add to your collection, Auto World Store has what you need. We offer an assortment of slot cars, race track sets, and slot car parts and accessories. View our selection of slot cars, or contact us online today to learn more about our products.