Friday, January 18th, 2013
The Audi quattro Experience is a one-of-a-kind interactive installation that features a 20-foot by 7-foot, handcrafted raceway built by custom slot track builder David Beattie of Slot Mods USA. The scale model Audi A4 slot cars were made from scratch with in-car cameras that allow racers a first-person look as they zip around the track, through the world’s first iPad-enabled controllers. Here’s a behind-the-wheel look at how David and his team raced to get this project finished.
This piece is a wonderfully produced look back at geeky dudes getting together to talk the technicalities of slot cars as they no doubt would later get together and talk the technicalities of computers. Toss an iPad in on top to control the car and you have an amazing wormhole to a time in my life I’d long forgotten.
I built and raced slot cars in Los Angeles in the late 1960′s. I never won a race but I sure did have fun building cars. Slot car building and racing was and no doubt remains an active subculture like model plane building and flying and other “hobbies” that combine technical stuff with a way to share it socially. You could say that the Homebrew Computer Club and the West Coast Computer Fair (which I went to) were the bridge between slot car building hobbyists and iOS building programmers.