Slot car racing
The story of the French brand Jouef
The Company started as a toy company that also produced model trains. In 1963 Jouef introduced in co-operation with the British manufacturer Playcraft the model racetrack system Record-64.
French slot cars
The French Jouef slotcars arrived in 1964. A few companies have tried to continue the production of slot cars but the brand definitely ceased in 1996.
George Huard founded the French Company Jouef in 1944.
The Company started as a toy company that also produced model trains. In 1963 Jouef introduced in co-operation with the British manufacturer Playcraft the model racetrack system Record-64. This name was changed into Circuit Routier Electrique at the end of the sixties.
Most replicas (the scale varies from 1/35 to 1/43) were from France origin, such as Renault, Matra and Ligier. The mechanical parts of the models were good, but the designs were not very sophisticated.
The actors Alain Delon and Robert Hossein were used to promote the products of Jouef.
The track of Jouef
Jouef offered a nice selection of track pieces like banked curves.
Jouef introduced a jump section, which was called "Tremplin de la mort" and a turn over track, named "rocking road section". The popularity of Jouef in Europe died at the end of the seventies. The company tried to survive by simplifying its models and by introducing track systems of other companies. Jouef imported the models and track system of Stabo in France and distributed some products under its own brand.
In 1970 Jouef announced the track system called "Jouef-Matic".
Jouef created a system in which it was possible for cars to switch lanes or to stay in the lane. The track was created of hard plastic and showed a light color. By braking suddenly it was possible to switch lanes.
In 1980 the Jouef-Matic system was simplified.
The renewed system was called Z-racing.
The company survived the eighties. The Italian Company Rivarossi bought the Jouef in 1995 but racetracks are not produced anymore.
Two books are written about Jouef:
- Record 64 Jouef : Du Jouet à la collection by Patrice Bernard. 2004, French;
- De Jouef Colectie : 1964 – 1996 by Bert van der Zee. 1996, Dutch.
Published: 20 June 2015
By Jan Willem van Capelleveen / @jwvcapelleveen