The Tyco US1 Motor City Electric Trucking is a slot car set and play set released into the US, UK, and other markets worldwide in 1983 by Tyco Industries.
One of a series of US1 Electric Trucking slot car sets by Tyco in the early 1980s, all focused on heavy haulage trucks with a unique chassis design that allowed them to travel both ways on the track, with steering wheels instead of traditional slot car controllers. This set focused on Motor City, Detriot essentially, with a car carrier truck with trailer, cars, and dump truck.
Like all US1 sets, Motor City was perhaps more action playset than slot car track, with so many activity areas, it makes a fully grown adult like myself wish I could have a go now!
1. Loading play cars onto the vehicle hauling truck’s trailer.
2. Load oil drums into dump truck
3. Dump oil drums into the yard
4. Load and unload tires into the yard
5. Unload cars into the car park
Like all US1 sets, the vehicles are controlled by two small steering wheel controllers which are attached to track sections, and able to run the vehicles forward and backward.
The set includes two US1 trucks:
- A red car carrier with yellow trailer and four free-rolling cars
- A green dump truck with both barrels and tires as loads to carry
Inspecting the chassis of the US1 dump truck, we can see the design is significantly different to any other slot car, with long copper contacts that both extend the length of the vehicle, locating pins at front and back to ensure the vehicle can travel forward and in reverse.
The exposed gear is driven by a worm gear attached directly to the motor, a configuration that is ideal for lower speed operations, as expected for the nature of this set.
US1 quality vs Magnum 440
While US1 sets have a higher number of pieces included due to their combination of slot car and play set, they’ve had to reduce the quality of the vehicle manufacture to allow for that. While they remain durable, these aren’t of the same detail level as a Magnum 440 set or other cars from the same age range, but nevertheless they are wonderful in their own way!
A typical US1 track is included, designed to create enough distance between activities, and allow for expansion of the set by combining multiple sets, and purchasing specific US1 Electric Trucking add-on activities with a similar theme.
Sadly I don’t have a good copy of the track layout – if you have a better photo, could you please contact me or submit a comment below!
Availability and Collectability
All US1 sets are in high demand, with ones in good condition commanding an eye watering price amongst collectors, and Motor City is no different. Availability is below average, less common than the standard Electric Trucking set, but that’s to be expected. Replacement parts and upgrade/add-on sets are widely available, and so purchasing a set missing pieces won’t be such a problem as you’re likely to find whatever you need separately.
Overall, another wonderful early 80s slot car set from Tyco with beautiful box art that looks very much like a Ken Smith work, with interesting set pieces and activities, sure to be a favorite amongst collectors.