In 1920 Josef Neuhierl started manufacturing tin toys in the Franconian town of Fürth, Germany. Little did anybody know at the time that these toys actually marked the beginning of long road to success, or that the Carrera racetrack, which was being born in Neuhierl’s workshop, would one day be one of the world’s most popular toys.
In 1963, all the pieces fell into piece: together with his son Hermann, Neuhierl launched the “Carrera Universal” system, the first electronic 1:32 scale racetrack. It was an overnight success. In 1969 the "Carrera 124" caused a further sensation on the market, with its larger scale of car. Then, as now, they had all the ingredients for a recipe of success: excellent level of quality, a wide range of accessories and a steady flow of innovative products.
Quickly, the terms Carrera and racetrack became synonymous with one another. Today, brand recognition rate is way over 90% - not only in the German speaking area; and it is associated with action, fun and motor sports. Generations of fathers and sons have had and continue have fun together with spectacular power slides and breathtaking battles for victory.
The name comes from the Spanish word for "racing".
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Carrera racetrack made great advances with several contemporary and historical automobile vehicles added to the range. Even the advent of the video games in the 1980s and 1990s couldn’t dampen enthusiasm for the slot car brand.
In 1985 the vast success was overshadowed by the tragic death of Dr. Hermann Neuhierl.
Following internal restructuring in the late 1990s, the Stadlbauer Group from Salzburg/Austria -which had been responsible for distributing Carrera in Austria since the early 1970s- took over the family company in 1999. With its unique combination of tradition with innovative products and use of high-tech, the firm was set to embark on yet another road to success, with steady growth at home and abroad. The "Carrera 124" line was relaunched as a premium product range Carrera Exclusiv. For beginners and the young, an action track was developed in 2001 called Carrera GO, ready to withstand the toughest demands for quality in a 1:43 scale. The traditional 1:32 vehicle scale, Carrera Evolution, was also further improved and enhanced. But, to top it all, it was the digital racetrack sector that Carrera revolutionized. With the new Digital 132 technology, up to six vehicles can overtake each other at high speeds. A pace car function lets pilots race against a remotely-piloted car that completes laps at a pre-programmed speeds by itself. However, the real value is that all Carrera Digital 132 vehicles are ready to use on both our digital and analogue racetracks. Digital 132 is the first system to combine the world of traditional, analogue racetracks with the fascinating opportunities of the digital era.
For 40 years, Carrera Exclusiv, the premium product line in a 1:24 scale, has been at the forefront of what the slot car racing scene has to offer, combining in a very unique and special way design, dynamics and a passion for motor sport. Deluxe cars are available with real Xenon headlamps and rear lamps, multiple tuning options and even the possibility of entering new digital worlds – Carrera Exclusiv leaves nothing to be desired and meets the highest requirements of quality and design.
Safety and quality have always been highly important. Which is why the company works closely with the State Trade Agency (Landesgewerbeanstalt) in Nürnberg, constantly checking all products to ensure that required safety standards are met. All products fulfil current European legislation safety norms.
Through its close cooperation with the automobile industry, Carrera today sports a whole host of exciting and authentic licence deals from the world of motor sport. Whether in the area of Formula 1, the world of classic cars or from the touring wagon scene – the beautiful top-quality vehicles are a real eye-catcher. Top licenses include Ferrari, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Bentley as well as Nintendo and Nascar, which all add up to even more fun with racetracks. No wonder, then, that so many young pilots are discovering the brand for the first time, and that so many fathers are rediscovering it at the same time. They all share the enjoyment and excitement these unqiue brands and car models convey and just can’t stop getting together to compete for victory.
The firm now operates around the world, and its car model policy is designed to satisfy all international tastes. Today, Carrera is available in more than forty countries around the world and has long become the globally leading manufacturer for racetracks and accessories. Continuous marketing campaigns, brand management and country-specific marketing concepts all ensure that this success story will persist for some time.
In 2006 the very first Carrera World Championship were held, with Andreas Loth from Vienna winning against a master class of international pilots in a gripping final.