This $225K Slot Car Track Is an Incredible Recreation of Fiat’s Most Famous Factory
The intricate diorama shows everything from the factory floor to the art department.
As most of the internet gets by on haphazard builds that generate tons of clicks, it makes us all the more appreciative of genuinely skilled creations. From realistic scale models to handcrafted projects you can drive, it's refreshing to see people actually invest time and effort into something worth showing. That's the case with Slot Mod Raceways' latest, and really, everything they get their hands on.
The Detroit team has created some amazing models of famous and original tracks meant for scale model racing. For the past two years, the crew has worked to intricately recreate a tiny-yet-exact replica of Fiat's famous Lingotto assembly plant—y'know, the one with a race track on its roof. It's finally finished for your viewing pleasure and someone's personal collection.
Just like the real deal, the scale model of Lingotto has a working parabolic race track on the roof. Its entire footprint spans 6-feet by 14-feet and encompasses all five stories of the original factory.
Slot Mods used a 3D printer to create the Fiat 500 models inside of the factory and assembled the entire creation into an animated diorama that tells the history of Fiat. In posts shared to Instagram, Slot Mods has photos of the factory taped to the wall for inspiration, including the assembly floor, shots of the design room where car bodies were sculpted from clay, and the interior of Gianni Agnelli's personal office.
If you're not familiar with the history and significance of Lingotto, let's back up a minute.
When it was designed in 1916, Lingotto proposed an entirely new way of producing cars while maintaining a small footprint by building upwards rather than outwards. Thanks to the location being built close to a railway, it became extremely easy to offload raw supplies and immediately begin vehicle production on the ground floor when it opened in 1923. As workers added more and more parts, the car would work its way up each of the factory's five floors to be assembled further. When the vehicle reached the top, it would be completely drivable—hence the test track on the roof of the building.
The factory was eventually closed in 1982 as an icon for the brand and for the entire metropolitan area of Turin. Today, the building remains largely untouched from the outside, but the inside is a collection of shops and entertainment. The fencing, bollards, and speed bumps that blocked traffic from the rooftop track have recently been removed in favor of a large garden with sharp turns to control speed. Called La Pista 500, it was installed as a means to attract visitors in electric vehicles to the historic track.
Fortunately, the recreation focuses on the days when the hustle and bustle of Lingotto were in full force.
As for the price, Slot Mods founder David Beattie told Jalopnik that this particular project cost about $225,000. If you had a time machine, you could use that money to buy more than 200 Fiat 500s in 1958 produced at this very factory. But since time travel doesn't exist, you'll have to spend your riches on this intricate recreation instead.
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