Slot car racing has certainly enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame, thanks to the help of several big-name celebrities being associated with the activity.
From when slot car racing was at the pinnacle of its popularity in the 1960s to today, celebrities have helped catapult the game into the limelight.
Here, we share some of those inadvertent celebrity endorsements that made slot car racing famous.
1. The Beatles’ 1964 tour
Popular English rock band The Beatles helped boost the popularity of slot car racing by posing in several photos with slot cars in the 1960s, at the height of Beatlemania. In this photo, photographer Curt Gunther captured The Beatles playing with slot cars when they were in Indianapolis in 1964. That same year during their British tour, The Beatles had a Scalextric electric model car racing set backstage at every gig. In fact, John Lennon was so fascinated with the hobby, he bought twenty sets and had a massive model racing car track that took up two rooms in his attic.
2. Elvis’ slot car track installation at Graceland
Even The King was hooked on slot cars. In 1965, Elvis Presley’s then girlfriend, Priscilla, gave him a slot car racing set for Christmas. An excerpt from the book Me and a Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley describes Elvis’ love of slot cars: “There was also a new leisure activity that was undertaken with typical Elvis-style intensity: slot car racing. Priscilla had given Elvis a beautiful track for Christmas, and he got excited enough about it that within a couple of week he’d gone out and bought a huge, professional, arcade-size track. He set it up in an extension to Graceland he’d built off the music room”.
Elvis’ collection even included a green #9 slot car that was similar to the one he drove in the 1968 film, Speedway. While the race track is not on display at in the trophy room at Graceland nowadays, some of Elvis’ slot car memorabilia is on show for fans to marvel at.
3. Mariah Carey’s Touch My Body music video
More recently, singer-songwriter Mariah Carey brought slot car racing to attention in her 2008 Touch My Body music video. In this hilarious clip, a geeky computer-repair guy arrives at Mariah’s lavish mansion. She answers the door clad in lingerie, and the poor guy can barely contain himself. As he sits repairing her computer, he begins to imagine what they could be getting up to. During his daydream, the competition heats up over a slot car race on a large track positioned on her dining table and he and Mariah battle it out to the finish line. Unfortunately, Mariah beats him and later wakes him up from his reverie.