Aurora is one of the major manufacturers of slot cars. These motorised toy cars run along a grooved plastic track and went through a period of great popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. Aurora was a competitor to Tyco, the other major manufacturer. You can look for specific identifying features such as size, shape, and detailing to tell Aurora slot cars apart. Aurora slot cars are vintage toys, and therefore may not be sold with the original packaging or correct documentation. Knowing which model of car you are dealing with can help you choose the corresponding track or, if the car needs repair, the correct replacement parts.
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Inspect the size of the car. The two major generations of Aurora slot cars are Thunderjets and AFX. The Thunderjet is a 1:32 scale car, while the AFX is a 1:64 scale.
Examine the car for an American Flag emblem on the door. This variation of the Thunderjet will identify it as an A-Jet. These American-made cars were manufactured between 1965 and 1971.
Look at the rear wheels. In addition to the larger body size, the AFX models have a modification where the rear wheels are wider than the body of the car. This allows for improved performance, at the expense of the physical accuracy of the car. AFX stands for Aurora Factory Experimental. These cars have several different features from their predecessor. Increasing the size of the car allowed for more visual detail.
Check the placement of the magnets at the bottom of the car on the AFX model. A variation of the AFX called the AFX Magna-Traction featured magnets closer to the tracks. If the magnets on the car are concealed within the body, the car is probably the original AFX. If the magnets protrude, it is probably the AFX Magna-Traction.
Examine the height of the car. In the Aurora AFX G+ style, the motor was redesigned. In previous cars, the motor was situated vertically. In the G+, the motor was mounted horizontally, allowing for better contact with the track magnets. The G+ is a wider, flatter version of the car.
Tips and warnings
- For a more thorough exploration of the various designs of Aurora slot cars, a number of books are available that offer a detailed guide to each model that was produced.
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