It is funny how one thing can lead to another. When I was a kid I remember going to Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut and Riverside Speedway in Agawam, Massachusetts to watch the open wheeled modified cars race on the weekends. It has been MANY years since I had been to a race but those memories all came flooding back to me when I saw Mario Fiore at of all places McDonalds, the only place with power, during a freak October snow storm in the northeast. Mario was the owner of the Whelen Modified # 44, the car I always routed for regardless of who was behind the wheel, and I had not seen him in well over 20-years. We spoke for a while and when we went our separate ways I immediately knew I had to build myself an open wheeled modified r/c pan car.
After much research I contacted Dale Cote’ of DRC Engineering; DRC makes an “SK” Modified pan car conversion kit that costs about $125. When completed, the conversion kit makes an ordinary pan car look spot on to the full sized open wheeled modified cars I used to watch in Friday and Saturday nights. The kit comes with the main chassis plate, upper and lower pod plates, body mount plate, t-plate, damper tube, and all other required hardware. For tires I went with a set of foams from John’s BSR Racing. After tracking down all the other items I would need, like a rear axle from IRS, side pod plates from CRC and a front end I began building. Fitment and finish of the DRC components is exceptional and assembly was a smooth as could be. In a few hours time I was holding a rolling chassis and was ready for the next step.
With the rolling chassis complete my next task was to hunt down electronics. I went with the new Radiopost TS401 transmitter and receiver, a fully programmable Tekin RS Pro speed control with an LRP 17.5 motor, a Reedy 6500mAh/60c 1S LiPo battery paired with a micro Xcelorin receiver pack and a small but powerful HS-7235MH servo from HiTec. With everything installed I used a Tekin Hotwite USB link and updated the RS Pro with the newest version of their software. With the esc updated and calibrates and the HiTec steering servo centered I was on to the last part of the build.
The final piece of the puzzle before I could complete my new open wheeled modified was a body. There are a few open wheeled shells to choose from but I went with a WindTunnel racing body. It looks great and from what I was told has creates enough down force to keep the car planted. Next came the hardest decision, how to get the body from WindTullel painted? There were so many different paint schemes, drivers and sponsors over the years it was a next to impossible task in deciding. After much debating, I went with the Polar Beverages car from 1992 that was driven by Rick Fuller. Bradley Fine Line Design made easy work of the painting duties for me while Justin Glaze of G4-Graphics made me custom decals to finish the look.
With the car complete it was time to hit the track! Romano Conti and the man himself, Dale Cote’, assisted me in getting the body mounted, cutting the tires to the right diameter and did a great deal helping me get the car dialed in. With the car ready to go Romano (Romo for short) was throwing down some fast laps with my car. When I finally took the wheel I was more than happy; the car was quick down the straight and felt as if it were on rails as it shot through the corners. Easy to work on and build, similar to the full sized cars I watched years ago and fun to drive; the DRC Engineering Aurora is a winner in my book!
DRC Engineering, www.drc-engineering.com
John’s BSR Racing, www.johnsbsrracing.com
WindTunnel Racing, www.windtunnelracingproducts.com
Bradley Fine Line Design, Find them on Facebook