Slot.it Opel Calibra DTM 1995

Slot.it Opel Calibra DTM 1995

Postby wixwacing » Wed 14 Jun, 2017 6:49 pm

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Opel Calibra
DTM series 1995




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By Phil Wicks

In 1995 the German DTM series consisted of three manufacturers; Meredes Benz, Alfa Romeo and Opel. Of the ten or more teams contesting the series teams were made up from Mercedes C type V6’s, Alfa 155 V6’s and the Opel Calibra V6 4WD! Teams entered saw some familiar names too. Teams such as Opel team Rosberg, Opel Team Joest, Zakspeed Mercedes, D2 Mercedes and Alfa Corse. These teams made up the total of 32 entrants on most racedays


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Racing took place cross six frontiers with some countries running more than one event. Germany was the greatest source of venues with races also being raced in France (Nevers), Portugal (Estoril), UK (Donnington), Finland (Helsinki Thunder) and Italy (Mugello), with the balance being run in Germany of which two rounds (four races) being run at the Hockenheimring.


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The last round (12) was one of the Hockenheim events and as the season closed Bernd Schneider (D2 Mercedes), who had been strong all season , only needed to underpin his performance, which he did easily, to take the title. Manuel Reuter, Opel Team Joest, had a good round but it was not enough to make up for lost placings earlier in the season. A second and a fourth boosted his position in the results but he still only managed a 12th position in the final rankings. The Slot.it model in question is a replica of the Reuter car driven throughout the ’95 series.


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Slot it have come a long way since their inception and this has been attributable in part by starting off on the right foot. The company has not made many wrong decisions over their short slotcar existence and from where I am standing their future looks bright, while other ‘upstart’ companies come and go! Their models are not only competitive on the competition track, but are also highly drivable on all but the smallest home circuit, be it plastic or painted timber.


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So what have they done right this time, well, in my books the choice of subject material was the first good decision. The livery is striking, and even though I possess the Ninco Calibra, I couldn’t help myself when I saw this one! In the box it looked great and in the flesh it is even better!


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External detail is great and as mentioned regularly, the tampo is almost faultless; looking around the outside doesn’t reveal any worrying developments apart from the susceptibility of the door mirrors and particularly the rear wing to on track incidents. But Slot.it, like a few other makers, does have a good supply of after market spares available; the only thing being that they do not come painted like Scaley spares do! One thing that still evades Slot.it though is a good gloss finish. Trust me when I say real race cars shine! And several of the mainstream slotcar makers seem to be able to pull off a good shine. I suspect that Slot.it are conscious of the weight saving of a dull finish, and the cost saving of one less gloss coat no doubt!


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Slot.it have spent a little time on the interior too, there is a good drivers tray with a passable driver, and they have even gone to colour on the dash assembly and a board of some sort on the right side of the cockpit. In some makes this detail would have been left black! It looks too that the drivers tray clips in place like Scaley models. Lastly, on the outside, Slot.it have reproduced the comms and telemetry antenna but one thing I have to mark them down on is the size of the wheels. Being a scale model fan I would have liked to see the wheels a little larger (or the arches smaller!) and the front axle a little wider to match the arches.


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As with other Slot.it models, care needs to be taken when initially removing the body screws. They are tight and if you don’t have a firm grip on the body it can flex quite scarily. Once out they will be ok in the future event of removing the body. Once inside, the finer points of the model are revealed. Nothing new here, all is reliable simplicity which should not bother the racer in the future.


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I would sleeve the body mounting posts as a matter of course if the model is to be raced, they are a bit skinny and sometime in the future I can visualise the sides snapping off them during a hectic pit stop. The front axle too has a bit more up and down movement than I woud normally like. OK for tracks with fast sweepers, but on short course technical tracks the model will need all the lateral support it can get as the model changes tack several times at speed.


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Also, this is the first time I have come across the current front axle mount set up! Gone are the grub screws for setting axle heights and in come a couple of ‘devices’ for want of a better word. These floating mounts slide into the body and the axle holds them in place once it is slid in. The holes in these sliding mounts are off set so be careful which way round you install them. One way round gives a low front stance and the other way round lifts the front of the mode more than a millimetre or so, and raises the guide in the slot too. You can’t race without them as the front axle will slop about all over the place. My best advice is that unless you need to touch them….don’t!


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Penultimately, an observation would be that the body creeks when the model is handled. To me this indicates the thinness of the body, and along with the vents and ducts in the body moulding there is going to be more than one model end race day with an uninvited crack or split in the body. But maybe I am being too apprehensive…..time will tell. The good thing is though, that unlike Scaley and the like, a body is available as a spare part, albeit unpainted!


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A final observation would be that the drive train is as per other ‘in line’ Slot.it’s. The front wheel rims are plastic and very concentric as well as being a tight fit. The guide feels notchy in operation and it appears that the lead wires need repositioning to overcome this. Rear wheel rims are alloy with short hubs. And the rear axle bushes are the self centring spherical type. As with the Alfa, this pod chassis carries the Slot.it V12/4 MX15 rated at 21,000 rpm @ 12v. The standard Slot.it magnet is placed between the motor and the rear axle, and the motor is tight in its mounts, and the 9:28 final drive reduction is smooth in operation


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I took an opportunity to give it a run, straight from the box, on my local four lane Carrera track. For those not aware, Carrera is a low down force track very much similar to the magnetic effect of the Magnabraid system; and models need a good traction magnet to compete. Unsurprisingly, the model behaved impeccably and for all intents and purposes it could have been on Scaley Sport track with its high down force. Much of this is due to the low body weight.



Calibras on eBay



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Another ‘must have’ model which I do now have! Will it get raced? It should do, but this one may sit on the shelf on full display until such time as I can bring myself to race it!
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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