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During the period whist production was still at Westwood, Margate, UK it was standard practice for Hornby Scalextric to have a few car body shells chromed for use as prizes for competitions etc.
However, not all chromed bodies have been produced by the factory. There are plenty of facilities around the world where one can have a plastic body ‘chromed’ in a variety of colours.
In the 60-70-80-90s, the chroming process wasn’t particularly available to the public and nor was there a demand for Scalextric cars to be chromed, other than requested by the factory when local suppliers near to the factory would be called upon for this service.
To the trained eye, there are a number of indicators that set factory chromed cars apart from more recently chromed bodies.
It is better to chrome a plain body to avoid any tampo printing to show through. Therefore, one should be aware that if a plain body car has been used, even if the body was produced in the 1960’s or the 1990’s, to look for the signs of the chroming process not matching the age of the car. For example, a nice shiny highly chromed car body on Lotus 77 from the 1970’s may suggest that the chroming has been added much later than production. This would mean that it would be highly unlikely to have chromed by the factory. However, often, it is just not possible to prove one way or the other.
Here are some pictures of a chromed Datsun 240Z which may or may not be originally chromed by the factory.