The 1963 to 1967 Corvette Stingray, often referred to as the C2 Corvette, is one of my favorite cars. Over the years I’ve watched countless C2’s in action on race tracks across the country, and they are just really great cars to watch and listen to. Carrera makes a C2 Corvette slot car in 1/32 scale. They have done the car in a number of different liveries, but the best one to date is the #27464 black one with gold stripes. When it was released I just had to get one.
Carrera has done a great job with the looks of the car, but when I put it on the track I found that it just didn’t have the performance to race against the Scalextric Corvettes and TransAm/A-sedan cars that make up the race group it logically would compete in. For one thing, the stock wheels and tires are too narrow with no room between the body and the chassis for wider ones. For another, the stock magnet installation was not as effective as the one in the Scalextric cars.
Part of the problem was that the body is simply too narrow at slightly under 2″ wide through the rear fenders. If I wanted to keep the stock chassis while installing wider tires I would have to flare the fenders. That would mean a repaint of the body, and I really wanted to preserve the car’s original shiny black-and-gold finish just as it came from the factory. The other main issue was the magnet installation. I wanted to give the car the same 25x8mm bar magnet used on the Scalextric cars, or at least something providing comparable cornering grip. That would have required major surgery on the chassis. After considering all the possibilities I decided that the simplest way to go was to mount the body on a more capable chassis. And with that decision my upgrade project became a kitbash.
It didn’t take long to find a suitable chassis. For several years my go-to chassis for small or narrow bodies has been the MRRC/Monogram Sebring chassis. This is one of the best universal chassis on the market. It’s narrow between the wheels, adjustable for length, and has the magnet grip and motor performance to let the slot car hobbyist tune it for just about any performance level he is likely to need. A quick test-fit showed that the Sebring chassis left more than enough room inside the Corvette body for a set of Scalextric L88 Corvette wheels and tires, allowing the car to use the same Indy Grips silicone tires I use on all the cars this one would be racing with. Also, donor cars using this chassis can be found at very reasonable prices. An added bonus is the two alternate front axle locations the Sebring chassis provides. Using the forward-most of the two positions placed the guide very close to the front axle, allowing it to clear the rather short front end of the Corvette body.
The photo above shows the chassis with the Scalextric rear wheels and Maxxtrac tires installed. You can also see the front axle tube I glued into the chassis to give the car a more stable front axle mounting.
I wanted to use the stock rear body posts so I made an adapter from sheet styrene. It mounts to the chassis as shown below. I also glued a piece of sheet styrene with a screw hole drilled into it into the front body mount slot to provide a precise location for the front body post.
The only modification to the body was the installation of the front body post to match the location of the mounting hole in the chassis.
And here’s how the completed project looks with the rear adapter painted black, all 4 wheels in place, and the body attached to the chassis. It almost looks like it could have been manufactured like this to begin with. Actually, one could make a case for saying it should have… but we won’t go any farther with that here.
This chassis swap makes an easy first project for the beginning kitbasher. It results in a car that’s a lot faster, better handling and fun to drive than the stock chassis provides. And by the way, you can sell the complete original Carrera chassis and the body from the donor car quite readily on eBay or one of the slot car forum sites to get back a good portion of the cost of the project. Carrera doesn’t sell replacement chassis, so there is always some unmet demand for them.
Notice that I removed the grille and bumpers to give the car more of a race car look. I suppose I should also give it a properly attired racing driver, too. I wonder why Carrera didn’t. Oh, well, it just requires a head transplant and a little paint.
This project is far from all you can do with a Carrera C2 Corvette body. I’ve also done this…
But that’s a subject for another day.