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in Slot Car History

Model cars have been around as long as there have been cars to model. Early propulsion was provided by a wind-up clockwork mechanism. The first commercial slot cars or more accurately model electric racing cars operating under constant power were made by Lionel (USA) and appeared in their catalogues in 1912. They drew power from a toy train rail sunk in a trough that was connected to a battery. They were surprisingly similar to modern slot cars, but independent speed control was available only as an optional extra. Sets of cars and track sold for between $7.50 to and $18.00. For reasons unknown Lionel discontinued their slot cars in 1915 after an estimated 12,000 slot cars were manufactured.