This article was originally published in RC Driver’s July 2016 issue.
By Paul Onorato
There has been a noticeable resurgence in the vintage segment of our hobby and it is not showing any signs of slowing down. The bold distinct looks of these old school rides give them an unquestionable cool factor which is intriguing to hobbyists of all ages. This is especially true for those of use that are recapturing moments from our youth by once again owning the same vehicle that we started out with or even the dream vehicle we just could not afford at that time. Manufacturers like Tamiya, Team Associated and Kyosho have recognized the popularity of vintage rides and have been re-releasing their own iconic vehicles. With that said, the vintage movement is not just about the re-releases. We have seen countless people that are restoring original vehicles that are 20 years old and even older. These restored vintage rides are not just cleaned up, but are period correct. The bodies are accurate right down to the paint scheme and sponsor stickers while the electronics are exactly what you would find installed on the chassis back in the day…right down to old-school NiCd batteries and mechanical speed controls.
One group of vintage builders and enthusiasts that caught our eye can be found on the Old School RC page on Facebook. Dirk Anderson founded the group in which he not only works to keep the posts vintage based (1997 and older or re-releases), but makes it a community where people enjoy visiting every day to share their knowledge and builds and to see what other members are up to and even selling. As we became more acquainted with the Old School RC group, we were blown away by the quality, accuracy and diversity of the numerous vintage builds shown on the OSRC page. We decided to highlight five of these awesome rides right here, including a Kyosho Turbo Ultima buggy, Tamiya Fast Attack Vehicle, Team Associated RC10T stadium truck, Team Losi XXT-CR Graphite Plus stadium truck and a Yokomo YZ-10 4WD buggy.
Kyosho Turbo Ultima
Brandon Giles is a good example of why the vintage segment has been flourishing. The Kyosho Turbo Ultima that Brandon supplied us for this feature is the same car that he used when he started racing in 1989. Restoring vintage RC vehicles is a way for people to recapture fond memories from their past with a physical object. For Brandon, he was originally drawn to the Turbo Ultima because, “they just plain look cool,” and it was different from what everyone else was running which was the Team Associated RC10. He found this Turbo Ultima on eBay which was used, but luckily with low runtime. In order to get it back to like new condition, he had to hunt for new old stock replacement parts that took him four years to find. New original Kyosho parts are very difficult to source and according to Brandon, the wheels were the hardest to locate. The wheels and tires, chassis, suspension arms, clutch and body were all replaced with new parts. Brandon figures this build cost him around $400 to finish.
This pristine Kyosho Turbo Ultima is just one of the many vehicles that Brandon owns. He started in this hobby back in 1985 and is now surrounded by a very impressive collection of about 160 RCs. Most are vintage, of various scale for either on and off-road use. Brandon is proud to tell us that many are in mint or close to mint condition. One reason was that he bought them new in the box while others are restored to the best condition possible. With a collection like this, many of his rides are an ongoing project to get them complete. When Brandon is not hunting down parts for his cars, he races new and vintage buggies at Extreme R/C Raceway in Spring Hill, Tennessee and has made an annual journey to the Vintage Offroad Nationals in Connecticut since its inception.
VEHICLE: Turbo Ultima
TYPE: 1/10-scale electric 2WD off-road buggy
YEAR RELEASED: 1989
BUILDER: Brandon Giles, Waverly, Tennessee (Age 41)
ELECTRONICS AND ACCESSORIES USED
SPEED CONTROL: Tekin Pro Tempfet ESC
MOTOR: Kyosho LeMans 240ST
RECEIVER: Tekin 3-channel FM
SERVO: Futaba S148
BATTERY: 6-cell Sanyo SCR
WHEELS & TIRES: OEM from Kyosho Turbo Ultima kit
Tamiya Fast Attack Vehicle 2011 (re-release)
The year was 1985 and that is when Anthony Church first discovered Tamiya and was transformed into a bigtime RC fan. Fast forward to today and his collection has grown to over 50 vehicles. They range between vintage and more modern offerings with the majority of them being manufactured by Tamiya. The Fast Attack Vehicle (FAV) Anthony selected for this article is not your typical vintage restoration, but rather a customized project build that makes it one unique old school RC car.
Anthony started this cool-looking Fast Attack Vehicle build thanks to his wife who had bought the kit for him as a surprise. It took him approximately three months to build it and around $250 besides the cost of the kit to complete. Instead of just keeping it box stock, the goal was to make this FAV unlike any other. The mechanics of the chassis were left pretty much unchanged with the main story being the scale details that Anthony added. A Tamiya RS-540 Sport Tuned black can motor was used to replace the stock silver can Mabuchi motor that is found in most of Tamiya’s kits so that this FAV would have much more get up and go. The other chassis update was replacing the rear shocks with ones from the Tamiya Frog.
Inside the roll cage you will find the driver figure from the Tamiya Wild Willy which took the spot of the original military figure. Anthony made sure Willy would be well armed with the stock M-60 machine gun, a roof mounted RPG and an assault rifle on the faux toolbox behind him. As you look at the rest of the scale additions to Anthony’s build, you have to give him credit for his resourcefulness. For the netting found on the top and side of the roll cage, he used gutter mesh that he painted black. The rear spare tire was attached using an old mechanical speed control mount. Up on the top rack are some parts from the Tamiya Monster Beetle that Anthony thought looked cool and work well at holding the emergency tow rope. The nitrous bottle came off a Wild Willy parts tree that he finished with blue paint, a NOS logo taken from online and some tubing for its plumbing. At the rear is a stinger exhaust nabbed from a Tamiya Sand Scorcher kit that adds a lot to the looks of this Fast Attack. The whip antenna was donated by a Traxxas boat while the jerry can, pick axe and fire extinguisher were found on eBay. Mounted on the roof and up front are Axial light buckets that Anthony preferred over the ones that came with the kit. To pull the whole military buggy together, he went with an urban camo look using flat white, flat black and olive drab paints.
MANUFACTURER: TAMIYA ELECTRONICS AND ACCESSORIES USED
VEHICLE: FAST ATTACK VEHICLE 2011 (RE-RELEASE)
TYPE: 1/10-scale electric 2WD off-road military vehicle
YEAR RELEASED: 1984 (original)
BUILDER: Anthony Church, Statesville, North Carolina (Age 44)
SPEED CONTROL: Tamiya TEU-104BK
MOTOR: Tamiya RS-540 Sport Tuned
RECEIVER: Spektrum SR410
SERVO: Spektrum S6180 digital
BATTERY: 6-cell NiMH
WHEELS AND TIRES: Alloy wheels with stock tires
ELECTRONICS AND ACCESSORIES USED
Team Associated RC10T
Walid Almasri’s story about RC is not that out of the ordinary. When he was younger, between the ages of 12 and 16, he owned a few cars and then he drifted away for a while like many people do. Now in his 30’s, he has rediscovered his love for the hobby and has been focused on restoring vintage cars that had caught his eye when he was a kid. Walid describes that there is just something about the older cars that keeps him drawn to them. He now owns twelve vintage cars including an HPI RS4 Pro, Team Losi XX, XX-T, XX-T CR and XX-4 and Team Associated RC10 and RC10T2. Besides his vintage rides, there is a Schumacher SV2 buggy and HPI Blitz short course truck in his stable that he races whenever he has the chance.
When we approached Walid to participate with one of his old school cars, without hesitation he offered his restored Team Associated RC10T 2WD stadium truck. He explains that the RC10T was a car that he always wanted as a kid. He recalls being at a local hobby shop and seeing the cool box art where the truck looked as if it was jumping out of it. Unfortunately he never ended up owning one…that is until now. In November of 2015 he added it to his collection and it has been an ongoing project where it has had different bodies, tire combinations and its finer details worked on.
Team Losi XXT-CR Graphite Plus
There is no question that D’Wayne Walter is a diehard Team Losi fan. He owns an impressive 63, yes 63, vintage RC cars with all of them produced by Team Losi except one. It all started 28 years ago with reading RC magazines that got him hooked and led him to getting his first car when he was 12, a Tamiya Blackfoot. A few years later he got himself into racing and vintage cars followed. Today, D’Wayne owns 66 RC cars where the 63 vintage models are shelf queens and the other three current models are for racing.
For this article he selected his sweetlooking Team Losi XXT-CR Graphite Plus stadium truck. His reasoning for picking it comes from his fondness of the body lines of this particular Losi truck and his own curiosity. The XXT-CR was the model that led to the development of the Triple-XT, a truck that D’Wayne used to race. He wanted to see how the trucks differed from each other. A months’ time and $300 later, he ended up with the truck you see here. A key part in getting the truck completed were the members on the Old School RC Facebook page that helped him source the necessary parts.
MANUFACTURER: TEAM LOSI
VEHICLE: XXT-CR GRAPHITE PLUS
TYPE: 1/10-scale electric 2WD off-road stadium truck
YEAR RELEASED: 1998
BUILDER: D’Wayne Walter, Eldridge, Iowa (Age 40)
ELECTRONICS AND ACCESSORIES USED
SPEED CONTROL: Novak Tempest Max Hyperfet III
MOTOR: Team Losi Revolution Racing Motor Double Trouble Outlaw Stock
RECEIVER: KO Propo KR 302F
SERVO: KO Propo PS-1001 Fet Servo
BATTERY: ProMatch Racing 6-cell NiMH
BODY: Team Losi 8017 Dodge Ram Body
WHEELS AND TIRES: Stock
Trung Au has been in the hobby for four years and for the last two of those years he has become focused on the vintage segment. In this relatively short time span he has amassed an incredible 60 plus vintage vehicles including ones from the likes of Yokomo, Team Associated, Team Losi and Kyosho. When he is not building or hunting down his next vintage car, you can find Trung racing modern RCs and he makes a point to race each year at the Vintage Offroad Nationals in Connecticut.
Trung was inspired to build this great looking Yokomo YZ-10 when he read about its success on the track and found an old picture that caught his eye. He then set out to replicate the YZ-10 he found in the old photos and this is the result of his masterful work. Trung tells us that it took him approximately eight months to complete and he spent nearly $1,300!
TYPE: 1/10-scale electric 4WD off-road buggy
YEAR RELEASED: 1988
BUILDER: Trung Au, Nashville, Tennessee (23)
ELECTRONICS AND ACCESSORIES USED
SPEED CONTROL: Tekin TSC 420F
MOTOR: Reedy Modifieds Ultra Series”Mr.D’s” (14-turn)
RECEIVER: Futaba 1024 75Mhz PCM
Servo: Futaba S9101
BATTERY: Sanyo Cadnica 1700mAh NiCd
WHEELS & TIRES: Yokomo 2.2” black wheels, Yokomo Hotlap TF-320 & TR-380 tires
Futaba, futaba-rc.com, 217-398-8970
Kyosho, kyoshoamerica.com, 949-454-8854
KO Propo, kopropo.com, 562-426-3900
Losi, losi.com, 800-338-4639
Novak, teamnovak.com, 949-916-6044
Pro-Line, prolineracing.com, 800-899-7223
ProMatch Racing, promatchracing.com, 928-239-5226
Reedy, reedypower.com, 949-544-7500
Spektrum, spektrumrc.com, 800-338-4639
Tamiya America, tamiyausa.com, 800-826-4922
Team Associated, teamassociated.com, 949-544-7500
Tekin, teamtekin.com, 208-634-5559
Yokomo, amainhobbies.com, 800-705-2215