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Vibrator Slotcars
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
vibrator photo
Aurora originally introduced Model Motoring sets in 1960 with their first line of cars known to collectors as vibrators, or vibes. They came with all plastic bodies, painted bumpers in various body styles, and with a cast motor chassis that housed a coil, axles, and drive drum. The vibrator drive system was originally derived from a door "buzzer", so likewise, when these cars run down the track they have somewhat of an irritating "buzz" or vibration. The coil has a plunger which very quickly opens and closes a contact, and also drives a reed up and down that turns a large drum on the rear axle making the car move forward. The vibrator car was produced until 1963 when the Thunderjet, or T-jet, replaced it .

Do vibrator bodies fit onto Thunderjet chassis?
A Thunderjet chassis has the same mounting hole center spacing as a vibrator chassis but the front body mounting post will be short and a spacer will be necessary as well the rear is usually too long. Also a vibrator chassis was not as tall in the motor area and was smaller so most vibrator bodies will have interference on the T-jet gear plate. I don't recommend installing T-jet chassis on vibes but for just a few bodies and these bodies will require some post modification and narrowing the rear rear chassis hubs to bring the tires closer to the chasssis. The few that can fit a T-jet chassis with modifications are: '58 T-bird, Mercedes, '62 pickup, Jaguar, Galaxies too but they will have a "rake". Please don't try a '60 Corvette, I think it looks hideous with a T-jet chassis under it.
Does a vibrator have to run on an AC transformer?
No. They will also run on a regular AC/DC power supply.
Are vibrator chassis still available today in New Old Stock (NOS)?
No. They are occassionally available from some collectors that may have extras but finding used chassis in small quantities is about all you'll be able locate.
Are vibrator wheel hubs the same as T-jets?
No. They have a thinner shoulder flange than T-jet hubs and also a small shoulder on the back-side of the hub. Some vibrator wheel hubs came chrome and some painted silver.
Were all vibrator wheels the same?
No. The Hot Rods came with large chrome wheels with 3-spoke spinner. The trucks came with yellow truck wheels that have lugs and extra details--rear wheels were wider than the fronts to accomodate 2 tires.
What driver is supposed to go with each particular car?
The Corvette convertible had the smallest driver of all. He came with a "driving cap" and holds a steering wheel--this driver might be said to be smaller than H.O. scale(RRR #1510).
The Jaguar convertible had a moustached driver with driving cap and what I call a "light coat" or jacket (RRR #1520).
The Mercedes is very similar to the Jags with a moustached driver but he is wearing a "heavy coat", with more of a heavy lapel (RRR #1530)
The Hot Rod and Sunliner have what most of us find in our T-jets. He is the most common and some call the classic Aurora driver, with no hat, no moustache, and a usually black painted "bowl haircut" (RRR #1350)
Is the Mercedes Hardtop glass the same as the '60 Corvettes?
No. Apparently Aurora had difficulty distinguishing the differences too, so they engraved a small "C" and an "M" in the rooftop undersides to tell them apart.
Why doesn't my car run?
It could be several things, first try these:
Pickup shoes - the first thing I check is the pickup shoes. Many times holes are worn thru the pickup shoes and no power is getting to the coil. Check the shoes and try making contact with a test power supply somewhere else on the shoes. If it runs, replace the pickup shoe plate or bend the shoe so a new point of contact touches the rails.
Coil push rod - Check to see if there is a pushrod in the center of the coil. I find this is just plain missing. It may also be rusted or corroded and needs to be cleaned to move freely inside the coil.
Runs, sorta - Check top reed and also the bottom contact to ensure they are moving freely or are possibly corroded.
Are the Vibe trucks the same cab section as the T-jets?
No. The vibes have a opening on the top side and the mounting posts are shorter for the smaller vibe motor. Note also, the Mack stake truck bed has a shorter rear dual axle holder that the t-jets too.
Are there any books with photos of vibrators?
Yes. The Aurora HO SLOT CAR IDENTIFICATION and PRICE GUIDE by John A. Clark (RRR #030) has great color photos of all the vibrator cars and is great for identifying the above cars.

I hope this helps with your Aurora vibrator questions and if you need to find parts for restoring your cars, see Road Race Replicas for all your needs.
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The above information is believed to be accurate, true and based on the opinions and experiences of Phil Pignon.
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