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Retro Tamiya Radio Controlled Cars Are Still As Capable As Their Contemporary Counterparts   by Geoff Taylor

There's something more to these models than just fond memories. They really are well fabricated in view of their age and compared to many model cars available at this time, machined by other companies, they seem to be much stronger. I remember back in the 1980s believing that other brands like Kyosho and Schumacher fashioned much higher quality built radio controlled cars and in all honesty that was a fact but they did come at a premium cost. The cost of racing a Schumacher CAT for example would be stacks more then that of a Tamiya Grasshopper. If you where not passionate about serious driving at proper race meetings, you could have just as much excitement with one or the other. Of course the bountiful children would take part in the national race meetings with their parents backing, and if we where ever to meet down the track, us Tamiya fans would be likely to receive a battering.

The disadvantage to these greater specification buggies was however, that a multitude of racing meetings I frequented you would see that the 4WD finals would be all CATS, Kyosho Optima Mids and the single PB Maxima. Not much diversity then and unquestionably not a hand painted driver figure in sight. These rc cars all looked indistinguishable and had limited individuality. Down the racetrack however, there was a mixture of Frogs, Hornets, Wild Ones and Rough Riders and as a spectacle, it was a much more chummy and good place to be. Each buggy had its personal driver shape, and they even had there own names. The styling of these rc cars was so contrasting it was delightful on the eye. Diversity is the spice of life after all. I'm sure the CAT fans would stand in awe at what their top end radio controlled cars could achieve, but did they actually have that relationship that only a kid who has aspired to owning their ultimate gadget and eventually got it for Christmas could possibly have?

I use the word gadget very loosely as Tamiya rc cars in the 1980s where loads more than just that, They where something we would in the end know on a parts level and we would always try to enhance them with upgrades and faster motors which we would save up for with our pocket money and build in personally with a tool lent from Dad's tool chest.

Drop by your regional Tamiya outlet now and you will see it full of mid thirties to mid fourties chaps, frequently accompanied by a most confused and indifferent wife in toe, gazing and drooling over a Hot Shot or a Hornet model on the shelves. There can't be many gadgets that have had such an effect on a generation of men, that thirty years on, they are thoroughly drawn back to them.

Have you ever got your old Commodore 64 or Spectrum out of the garage and plugged it in? Even though I have a devotion for these also, they are regularly a bit disappointing and after the inaugural fond memories had past, you will in due time find yourself disinterested, packing it away again. But not with Tamiya radio controlled cars though. They are as brilliant today as they have forever been and with more and more retro re-releases being announced apparently by the week, their popularity is as big as ever. Many of you who tried in frustration to get their hands on the latest version of the Fast Attack Vehicle will identify with what I'm speaking about.

About the Author

Model Kits Direct are a distributor of model kits and accessories
Tamiya Radio Controlled Cars
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Frequently Asked Questions...

American Standard Freedom 90 limit control adj?

Can I change the setting of the fan limit control on an American Standard freedom 90 gas furnace.The blower starts about the same time as it ignites, then runs silly long after the burner is out


Usually it can be adjusted. If it is a newer furnace with a control board, then there are dip switches on the board that control the blower on/off delays. You would need to check the owners manual to determine witch switches need to be changed. If it has an older style mechanical fan/limit control, than that can be kind of tricky. If not done right you can damage the mechanism. If you have that kind of control then call a heating guy to check it out.