ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tyco Nite-Glow Slot Car Racing Set

Updated on September 8, 2014


One of the coolest toys I had growing up was my Tyco Nite-Glow slot car racing set. My dad gave me this slot car set for Christmas 1978.I still have the race set and as you can see from the box it was played with a lot. The cool thing about this set was that the headlights on the slot cars would light up during operation and the guard rails and center line on the track would glow in the dark so you could race with the lights out, hence the name Nite-Glow.

Nite-Glow slot car guts

Here are the guts of a Nite-Glow car. Basically they are the same as the regular Tyco slot cars of the time with the addition of a tiny incandescent bulb at the front to make the headlights light up. This picture shows both a first and second generation of Nite-Glow slot cars. The first generation Nite-Glow slot car employed a zener diode to regulate the intensity of the headlights to the same brightness no matter the track voltage. They cheapened the cars later on removing the zener diode which caused the incandescent bulb to change intensity with the track voltage and made the slot car less realistic.

The bottom of a Nite-Glow slot car

Here is a picture of the bottom of a first generation Tyco Nite-Glow slot car. The magnets are the black areas at the center of the car. They help the car stay on the track by being attracted to the steel rails embedded in the track. The steel rails provide electrical current to the slot car. The magnets also are part of the PM (Permanent Magnet) motor causing the armature to turn when electric current is applied to the armature via brushes contacting the commutator. Click here to learn about DC motor operation. I played with this set so much that I wore grooves right through the pick up contacts. When I was a kid I filled in the grooves with solder to try to extend the life of the contacts as you can see from the picture. This worked pretty well except that the soft tin/lead solder wore out more quickly then the original copper contacts.

Comparison of HO slot car technology

Here is a comparison between a first generation Tyco Nite-Glow slot car (top) and a brand new slot car made by Life-Like (bottom). Not much has changed in ho scale slot cars in the last 20 years. The Life-Like HO scale slot cars work quite well on my old Nite-Glow track set.

Life-Like HO Scale Slot Cars on Amazon

It is amazing how similar the new Life-Like slot car sets are to the old Tyco ones of my childhood.

Nite-Glow track setup

Here is a picture of my Nite-Glow track set up on a table. As you can see this table doubles as train table for my Lionel train set.

Nite-Glow controllers

The original plunger style slot car controllers that came with the set wore our a long time ago. In the early 1980s I replaced one with a Tyco pistols grip controller and the other with a pistol grip controller from Aurora.

Nite-Glow power pack

The original Tyco power pack still works great and does not overheat.

The Original Nite-Glow slot cars

Here is a picture of the two original Tyco Nite-Glow slot cars that came with the set. I believe the yellow car is a Ferrari and the purple car, which I nicknamed the "purple people eater" when I was a kid, is a Carrera.

Vintage Tyco Nite-Glow parts on eBay

I use eBay for all of my vintage slot car needs.

Comparison, second generation Nite-Glow and new Life-Like slot car

Here is picture of a second generation Tyco Nite-Glow (bottom) and a brand new Life-Like slot car (top) on the track.

Nite-Glow Ferrari with headlights on

This is what the Tyco Nite-Glow Ferrari looks like with it's headlights on in the dark.

Nite-Glow Carrera with headlights on

This is what the Tyco Nite-Glow Carrera looks like with it's headlights on in the dark.

Cheesy Flyer

Here is a really cheesy flyer that came with my Tyco Nite-Glow slot car race set.

Tyco Nite-Glow HO slot car selection in 1978

The top of this page shows Tyco Nite-Glow HO slot cars offered in 1978.

Inventory List

Here is a picture of the inventory list of the parts that came with Tyco Nite-Glow slot car set. Unfortunately the "Winner's indicator" and other accessories broke and were thrown away years ago.

Tyco Accessories

Here is a picture of accessories you could purchase for your Tyco Nite-Glow slot car set in 1978.

Tyco Nite-Glow commercial from 1977!


The Tyco Nite-Glow slot car set provided me a lot of entertainment when I was growing up. I recommend purchasing a slot car set for your son or daughter to share the slot car racing experience with them.

My Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      When he was a little boy, my son liked playing with toy cars. He had a few Hot Wheels sets.

    • jimconrad2 profile image


      4 years ago

      Memories! Thanks.

    • RaidaMoon profile image


      5 years ago

      Nicely done! You've gotta' love those old tracks from the '70's. Oh wait! I mean *not* so old tracks from the 70's ;) I wish I still had mine kicking around. That is, if I were old enough to have had one in the....forget it - I'm not fooling anyone am I? =) Seriously though, great job. I don't remember just what track it was that I had but I do remember it was a lot of fun and I suddenly became the girl all the boys wanted to visit. lol. They just had a special something about them that you really don't see anymore, (the track not the boys). My son has a couple of really awesome tracks, but they just don't have the same "it" factor as those old school treasures. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Are you selling this?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)