You didn’t have to go all the way out to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to take in some vintage-racing action during Monterey Car Week. A slot-car duplicate of the famed track was assembled in the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge and was available for hot laps.
Created by Slot Mods Raceways as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mercedes’ AMG racing and hot-rod division, the scale-model Laguna clone was 105 feet long and filled a 25-by-25-foot area, but still left room in its infield for a real Formula One car raced by Lewis Hamilton.
Not only was the track open to anyone wandering around the grounds of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, but you could select the car you were racing from dozens of scale-model slot cars, including those with historical significance, such as the 722 raced by Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson in the Mille Miglia or a Group C car that looked just like those that carried Mercedes’ colors at Le Mans.
“We are always trying to outdo ourselves with every track we create,” David Beattie, Slot Mods USA founder and creative director, said in a news release before the track opened.
“Every track has its own challenges and we feel also gives us the opportunity to try something that has never been done before or could be imagined. This is among one of the more challenging and visually stunning tracks we have ever created. It is a track we feel people will be talking about for quite some time.”
Based in suburban Detroit, Slot Mods USA crafts slot-car raceways and dioramas for all types of vehicles, as it puts it on its website, “from racing cars to tractor trailers and more.”
The bespoke 1:32-scale layouts, which also can accommodate 1:24-scale racers, are created for homes, man-cave garages, museums, auto dealerships and trade shows.
“Custom Scenic Megatracks,” (such as the Laguna layout) are priced at $75,000 and up. “Standard Scenic Raceway” Layouts that fit in a 6-by-12-foot space are $50,000. There also is a smaller and less expensive 4-by-8 “Original Series” format.
The Laguna layout at the Mercedes lounge was busy throughout the Pebble Beach weekend, and in addition to being fun, every lap was timed. After the last of those laps were recorded, the “drivers” of the two fastest laps were presented with trips to the AMG Driving Academy.