Big things with little cars

LaLD Theater: British Pathé on Model Motor Racing

The ever-excellent British Pathé has something in store for us adults who like little cars: a small cinemagazine clip featuring the early days of slot car racing and automobile model making. In color.

Featured in this film is Sir Stirling Moss, his wife and father, enjoying a little round of slot car racing and model making, a look into what’s happening in a slot car racing parlor, and Alvin Adams and Christopher Crockett making 1/16th-scale diesel-powered racing cars, complete with accurate home made rubber tires and poseable drivers.


This is a treasure, especially for an 18 year-old like me who don’t really know much about the toy cars of the past. It’s mesmerizing how these little models and tracks get demonstrated in the old days.

One thing they didn’t have are tailor-made corners that are direct replicas of real corners found in race circuits that real cars have raced in, something that can be made possible today, with 3D printing and video game software files.

Still, it is impressive at how much effort goes into making these little models, and why even a few big wipeouts and crashes don’t really dent them.

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