Fair   41.0F  |  Forecast »

Slot Cars Fun at Lightning Speedway in Livonia

Got kids who love racing mini motorized autos – or are curious about the hobby? This southeast Michigan hotspot is the family place to learn!

Does your kid wanna get a taste of being Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Danica Patrick? Fill your small fries' need for speed – on the tracks at Lightning Speedway in Livonia!

Zoom around tight turns and be the first to cross the finish line while racing your slot car into victory. This Wayne County business offers a big superstore for slot-car racing enthusiasts of all ages.

Lightning Speedway

Never heard of a slot car? They're miniature motorized vehicles that use a handheld controller to regulate their motors. They're guided along racetracks by grooves or "slots" cut into the tracks (a pin-like protrusion from the bottom of each car holds it in place).

Lightning Speedway features a variety of tracks for folks to race their tiny autos along (either bring your own car and controller, or rent the pair for a few bucks more). Its four tracks include the high-speed "Daytona Trioval," the flat and challenging "Riverside," flat 'n speedy eight-lane "Laguna Seca," and high-banked "Sebring." That means there are plenty of challenges for all abilities!

Storeowner Andrew Smith says his love for slot cars began when his grandmother brought him a set from England when he was 12. His wife Bonnie Smith, who's also the shop's part-owner, says his love for cars is probably why he became a mechanical engineer at Ford. After retiring, Smith began to manufacture controllers and now ships his products all over the world.

The store itself also sells slot cars, offering 1/24, 1/32 and 1/43 models (those numbers refer to the scale of the cars). The Smiths also offer car parts, tracks, tires and paint to customize your car.

Children and even adults gather around a track to race their cars, and there is even a monitor synched-up to show the race times and rankings – just like in real racing.

Looking for a tutorial, first? Lightning Speedway offers free once-a-month kids workshops on select Thursdays. They're recommended for ages 6-plus (with adult). Children build their own slot car (with a screwdriver only), learn how cars work and, of course, race 'em!

Visitors are welcome to bring in their own cars to race or rent a car and controller from the store. It costs $6 to race your own car and $12 to rent; both rates are for an hour.

There's no charge for kids who want to give the pinewood derby track a spin. A drag racing strip is also in the works. And, just like at an arcade, the store has a NASCAR simulator to get a feel of what it is like to be behind the wheel while racing a car.

Lightning Speedway offers birthday party packages, too, where parents can rent a track and children can participate in races with cars provided. They even give out driver's licenses for kids to race the cars.

All cars in the store are made for racing, with MarioKart DS and Disney Pixar's Cars brands to choose from.

For tons of additional information about car brands for sale, racing times, birthday parties and prices, zip on over to Lightning Speedway online.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Craft Roundup for Earth Day Fun

Craft Roundup for Earth Day Fun

Repurpose stuff around the house with these family DIY projects, including a jewelry pom-pom box, cereal box gift bags – even a cool makeover for old balloons.

Living Room Spring Cleaning Checklist

Living Room Spring Cleaning Checklist

It's a formal spot in the house – mainly used for entertaining – that gets less foot traffic on a daily basis. This also means it's easier to clean! Get the scoop here.

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Checklist

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Checklist

Haven't kept up on scrubbing your tub or shower? Now is the time to clean up this much-used space – with these helpful tips.

Basement Spring Cleaning Checklist

Basement Spring Cleaning Checklist

Whether it's leftover holiday decor or old toys, this spot in your home becomes the catchall for your family's stuff. Organize it this season with these tips.

Garage Spring Cleaning Checklist

Garage Spring Cleaning Checklist

You just don't park your car there! This space does serious double duty as family storage space. Get everyone involved in cleaning it up with these tips.

Office Spring Cleaning Checklist

Office Spring Cleaning Checklist

It’s filled with papers, old files and tons of stuff to toss. Get started with these tips for organizing your home office.

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Checklist

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Checklist

Ah, sleep. Busy families definitely need a good night's rest after a long day, so why not spruce up your sleep space? We've got tips for you to use!

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement