October 13, 2014

1/32nd Scale SRC Lola T600 #01701 (0567 of 1020)
SRC has went through some changes the past year and some of us were interested in just what that would mean for our home racing. They have made some very different and attractive models in the past and this new Lola seemed to fall right into line.

Before we go any further, I want to make something clear if I may. Just because a model is going to need some work to get it running the way I like it does not necessarily mean that it is a bad slot car. I also want to make it clear that models like this one from SRC are not the best choice for the newcomer, unless you are just collecting. Because collecting is the focus of models like this and because of that, sometimes how they run out of the box is not what you might expect. Most of the time that means they run very poorly compared to our other mainstream brands.

So why buy them if you know they run poorly and might need a lot of work? What happens is that a really interesting model gets released that the racing enthusiast just cannot resist. We know full well that we are going to have to perform a fair amount of work on it, but we simply do not care. The model is just too appealing to us and regardless of what we need to invest in it we buy it anyway.

Such is the case with this new Lola T600. I wanted this model just by looking at the product announcement photos alone. It represents a time in the 1:1 Motorsports world when Lola seemed to get things just right and created a truly competitive race car. I won't repeat historical data that you can easily research yourself. Once you do, you will learn like I did how unique this race car was back then.

Today SRC brings it back in 1/32nd scale. And on the outside I think they did a very good job of capturing it in our scale.

Paint work is acceptable and has a nice enough finished look overall. Plenty of detail level to enjoy that should please most of you. They are not afraid of using etched metal as the rear wing, air inlets, and even the wheel inserts utilize it.

But one of the first things I noticed was that the chassis did not seem to fit the body very well. You can clearly see a slight bend in it and this is not going to please many of you. I accept that some flaws will be present on models such as this, but most times I expect them to be concentrated in the running gear department. However, most collectors who are buying it to sit it on a shelf or to re-sell it later on will not be very concerned. Of course the question really is: Does it matter to you?
Looking underneath I found no surprises. The car is sidewinder configuration with a smaller bar magnet mounted just in front of the motor.

Removing the 4 screws that mount the body to the chassis we get the closer view. Very basic and simple. The motor has an 11 tooth pinion that turns a 36 tooth spur gear. There is excess free-play in the rear axle that is going to cause rubbing issues I am certain and will have to be addressed.

Initial testing of the model was not very good. The binding in the chassis really created a loud and overall unpleasant sound from the gears as well as some of the tire to fender skirt rubbing I mentioned. So while I had the body off, I looked to see what was causing it. It appeared that the bottom of the interior is rubbing the mounting hole. I quickly sanded this flush as shown above.

I also noticed a fair amount of flash molding from the interior bottom. I removed the interior by grinding the post-melt mounts away and then sanded the entire bottom to clean it up.

Test fitting revealed the wires were still interfering as well as a lone post on the left side. There is no good reason that I can think of to have this post. It hits the bottom of the interior and causes the chassis to bend. I trimmed it down as shown above. I also routed the wires away to the left. This finally allowed to body to fit the chassis cleanly.

Finally I test fit some Paul Gage tires. 21138 LM is the tire for this model and they fit perfectly. You will need some sanding but just changing them goes a long way in performance as the stock tires are hard and not really suited for non-magnet racing.

NOTE: Lubricate this model before operation. There is no lubricant pre-applied.

The model runs much better but there is still a fair amount of work ahead of you if you really want to compete with it. I will tune this model and share my techniques in the future. Among other things, you will need to flatten the chassis because it still has a bend in it thanks to it being mounted the way it was. Nothing difficult to fix, but something to be aware of. The good news is that the wheels seemed to be close enough to round where the Tire Razor can finish them off. So it seems the tuning process will not be as costly as I thought.

As we started this review out I tried to relay my feelings about models such as this. And regardless of the tuning ahead of me I am happy with it. Part of the fun of this hobby for me is the tuning process and I look forward to it with this model. It is something unique that once it is smoothed out will be a sight to see on our home track.

Not suited for the beginner but many of you veterans out there should look closer. I am sure more versions will start to trickle out and it would make an interesting field. Combined with older releases from Spirit and you could have a nice 80's grid on race night.
- Harry

Feel free to CONTACT ME about this review or just about the hobby in general.

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