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Carrera Ferrari P4 rehab

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  • Carrera Ferrari P4 rehab

    No question: the Ferrari P4 is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. And performance: lithe, athletic, agile, FAST! I mean, just look at it!!!

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    Not many cars that get even close to being that beautiful. Just gorgeous, isn't it?

    And then we have the Carrera. No question: the Carrera 1/24 version is likewise a beautiful model.

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    No complaints here.


    Then you put it on the track. Lithe? You are kidding, right? Athletic? In your dreams! Agile? Don't make me laugh! Fast? OK, I have run out of suitable comments... In desperation I did try to resuscitate it somewhat by putting in a more powerful motor. But that was just flogging a dead horse. And to add to the animal similes: it is a dog. A SLEEPING dog! And at 207g it is a porker. A massively overweight porker.

    But it is so pretty. And it would be so nice it it was enjoyable to drive. So what to do?

    I finally decided that the only way of hopefully turning it into at least a somewhat reasonably good runner would be to yank the Carrera chassis and replace it with something more suitable. It does not have to be my fastest 1/24 car but I really want it to just be a pleasure to drive. So I settled on gutting the mechanicals and replacing it with a Scaleauto Home Series chassis. Yes, there are faster foundations available out there. But a complete running chassis for $59? Wow! And my Home Series BMW Z4 runs beautifully, so if it can get the P4 anywhere even close to that I would consider it a major victory.

    I have started ordering all the appropriate bits and I will update this thread with progress as it happens. As they say in the classics: watch this space! 😊

  • #2
    Yes, the Ferrari P4 is a beautiful race car. And, Carrera makes rugged and dependable cars. Combining the two is like having the gal that excels at the shot pot put on a leopard and compete in the gymnastics floor dance.

    There are better options, but perhaps not in 1:24th scale. I have 2 Scalextric P4's in 1:32 scale I'm pleased with, though the Policar version is probably a better performer and the Racer P4 is thought to be more accurate and detailed.


    • #3
      Here’s mine I did the same a few years ago and added BRM wheels and tires. It’s smooth and very quiet to drive, there’s also a market for your Carrera chassis to help w cost.

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      The Jester
      of Da Lou (St. Louis) but from
      the Soxside (Chicago)


      • SuperSlab
        SuperSlab commented
        Editing a comment
        Tony that looks great! And you used a pro level chassis plus you are a better builder than I am, so I am sure it is a treat to drive.

      • Brumos RSR
        Brumos RSR commented
        Editing a comment
        Uhm…. no SirSuperSlab, we are equally equipped builders especially in 1/24 scale.. I took it out the box tweaked a few screws changed the bearings, tweaked a few more screws and that was that. It weighs 230 grams also so it has no other choice but to be smooth. There’s a company that manufactures a lexan interior that runs all the way back under the rear window, I just can’t find them at the moment if you want to cut weight.

    • #4
      I had the #24 P4 years ago but sold it off with most of my other Carrera stuff. Other than the Racer model, I think the Carrera is the most accurately detailed P4 out there and certainly a beautiful model to behold. But, on a wood track, without a magnetic crutch, it becomes immediately obvious that the performance just isn't there.

      Tony's conversion looks superb and it's encouraging that he got it to run smoothly and quietly. It will be interesting to see how Alwyn's build goes.

      Team SCANC
      Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
      OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
      Leadfinger Raceway


      • #5
        Beautiful car and I actually have one, but it's never been out of the case. I view it as a great static model. I always figured if I wanted to run it, I would build a chassis and make it a real race car. You guys have done a great job modifying it. I also got the yellow and blue Lolas. They are fantastic lookers.
        Matt B
        So. In


        • #6
          Carrera certainly does pretty cars.
          In some ways, they are the "Fly" cars of today....pretty cars that just don't perform terribly well (just like Fly prior to 3DP).

          However, unlike Fly the Carrera bodies are very heavy, and there is no simple fix to that. You can't just put in a solid front axle, use CYA to close up the bushing slop, sand the wheels a bit and pop on new tires to get a decent running car. The body weight is an unavoidable penalty.

's a lovely car, and I look forward to see what SuperSlab will do....his builds are always interesting!
          Come Race at The Trace!
          Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


          • Fast Co.
            Fast Co. commented
            Editing a comment
            Spot on.

        • #7
          Thanks Chappy: will have to see how this one goes. As you say: they are HEAVY!!!

          And afterwards I thought the Carrera model was too pretty to just plonk a cell phone picture in the post and leave it at that. A few better real camera shots:

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          • SuperSlab
            SuperSlab commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks Steve: they are beautiful, aren't they!

          • Rleog
            Rleog commented
            Editing a comment
            Seconding Fast CO’s post; superb photography, Alwyn.

          • SuperSlab
            SuperSlab commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks very much Bob: I consider the P4 to be so gorgeous that it justified putting some effort into photographing it.

        • #8
          I always figured on doing a Fujimi / Heller conversion before slots came back. The Carrera really is a pretty car.

          I will probably have to print a 1/24 at some point.
          Come Race at The Trace!
          Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


          • #9
            You’re going to have to be creative. The overall rear track width on the P4 is 75mm, while the HS chassis is 80mm.
            Looks like hubless aluminum rear wheels and some work on the spur gear (narrowing hub and flipping around 180 degrees).
            Of the cars weren’t so pricey, I’d try one of these: .


            • SuperSlab
              SuperSlab commented
              Editing a comment
              Front is OK but I am still waiting on tyres for the rear but you are right: going to be a challenge. Based on just loosely fitting the original Carrera tyres on the BRM TransAm wheels at the back it SHOULD fit...

          • #10
            Been following this thread with interest. I have been considering putting a different chassis under this body, specifically an H&R using Paul Gage urethane tires, has anyone done this? I just replaced the motor with an RMS-124 12v motor. Now I can run it with my other cars @ same voltage and it is a joy to drive on my 5x12 carerra track. It’s easier to handle on 12 volts and has plenty of power on my track. Has anyone replaced the guide on these carerra cars with a non drop arm (ie: stationary guide)?


            • #11
              Absolutely agree that Carrera's 1/24 rendition is top notch for slot car scale modelling. Love the panel rivet detail. Unfortunately, the body's heavy weight doesn't help better performance.

              Years ago, Philippe of TSRF fame, mounted the body on one of his 1/24 sidewinder chassis. His more in-depth explanation has disappeared from the web but there is a picture on this thread.


              I sold mine and went the Fujimi model kit/hybrid chassis route.

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              The rims/tires are the BRM Trans Am offerings with the kit's wheels trimmed for inserts.



              • SuperSlab
                SuperSlab commented
                Editing a comment
                That looks great Dan! And I have likewise used TransAm wheels and tyres: was suggested to me by Paul Gage. I also intend using the original wheels as inserts so it is good to see yours came out so nice. It was a bit of a challenge to get the tyres under the body but it has worked out OK. I just glued the body mounts less than an hour ago: will post some updated photographs and info tomorrow

            • #12
              It is done!

              Well, except for a few cosmetic tweaks here and there. And I must say it came out better than I even hoped: I think it looks very, very nice indeed:

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              A bit of info on the build:

              * As mentioned I used a Scaleauto Home series RTR chassis. This came complete with motor, wheels, axles, gear, guide, braid, mounting hardware etc. I think it is a brilliant piece of kit. It had sufficient length adjustment to quite comfortably fit the P4. I did have to cut off the excess front parts of the main chassis section as this covered the setscrew access for adjusting the front axle height. I also replaced the braid with my preferred NSR soft braid

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              * I replaced the wheels with BRM TransAm wheels. This was suggested by Paul Gage and I must say it worked out very well indeed. I used the stock BRM TransAm tyres on the front and Paul Gage urethanes on the rear. Glued and trued the rears, trued and profiled the fronts, just enough to remove the tread.
              * The overall width of the chassis and wheels without any spacers was perfect in front: like it was designed for the P4! The rears were extremely tight. I ended up grinding away the small raised edge around the opening for the rears bushing and increased the depth of the bushing opening to allow it to fully seat again. This only gained like half a millimeter (if that!) but things were so tight this was all it needed!
              * I used the original Carrera wheels to make inserts and this is probably the best result I have ever had with "adapted inserts". The BRM wheels have a taper on the outside edge so I decided to use that as part of the appearance of the wheel. It might just be the fact that the wheels are bigger than the 1/32 stuff I normally work with, but I think it ended up looking really good. I thought even the tyres looked quite realistic!

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              * I used the body mounting posts that came with the chassis:

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              * Mounting came out nicely I thought. Everything is nicely centred and neat and tidy:

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              * I was thinking of adding rubber spacers on the body mounting posts. Because of this and the fact that I have not installed the spacers, I think the car is too low at the moment: it does look a bit "slammed", a look that I do not like. Initially the Carrera had a body sill height of 5.5mm behind the front wheels and 6.5mm in front of the rear wheels. I felt this was too high and I wanted to lower it, just not as much as it looks at the moment. The sills currently sit at 2.5 - 3mm: putting in the rubber spacers would make just the right difference I think

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              But overall I think it came out beautifully. The original car was very pretty and I think the lower ride height and the wheels filling the wells just adds that little bit extra to it

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              Now for the $64,000 question: HOW WILL IT RUN???!!!! I am taking it to the track on Friday so all will be revealed... 🤞

              But it was a fun and very satisfying build, so even if it does not run as well as I hope it will it was still worth it.


              Last edited by SuperSlab; July 27, 2022, 06:58 PM.


              • F1Fan
                F1Fan commented
                Editing a comment
                Very nice Alwyn, looks great!

              • vtecfour
                vtecfour commented
                Editing a comment
                Well done! I like the low stance. How much does it weigh compared to the original?

              • SuperSlab
                SuperSlab commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks guys, appreciate the compliments. And I really enjoyed this one!

            • #13
              As anticipated, you have done a lovely job, Alwyn. I agree with your assessment of the height....the spacers should fix the slammed look. One of the things I didn't like about the Policar P4......

              In any event, it will be interesting to hear how you feel about it certainly looks the part!
              Come Race at The Trace!
              Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


              • SuperSlab
                SuperSlab commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks kindly!

            • #14
              Doesn't get any better than your build. Really nice.
              Matt B
              So. In


              • SuperSlab
                SuperSlab commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks very much Matt. Such a pretty car deserves to run better... and hopefully it will!

            • #15
              Thanks for all the kind comments guys: appreciate it.

              And I forgot to add one of the key issues that in part drove this whole exercise: weight! Doh!
              Weight (g) Original Modified
              Total 207 162.1
              Body 56 55.9
              Chassis 151 106.2
              So a reasonable reduction to not much more than my Scaleauto Home Series BMW Z4 at 151g. I wasn't able to reduce the body weight: the bits I pared out were offset by the added body mounting bits. At least it did not go up!
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