The Joys of Restoring Vintage Tamiya Radio Controlled Cars

From the days of owning and proudly running Tamiya far away/radio controlled form cars back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, where the enjoyment was predominantly driving and navigating back garden race tracks and the excitement of the open road… it is also a greater sense of ownership and accomplishment to fully restore these ‘once were race winning’ radio controlled cars.

With many means choices, more so to do with the kind of chassis on offer, the satisfaction of dismantling to the last screw and placing all the many, if not hundreds of pieces in to an ultra-sonic cleaner for rebuilding, is a total joy.

The secret to a successful ‘strip-down’ and re-build/restoration is with the means’s original operational manual, of which each form would have come with ‘from the box’. These guides are crucial to the restoration, as they assist with the identification of all the associated parts. They are also valuable to reference from if you find that there are broken or missing parts with the project.

Another major component of the restoration is the body shell. If you are lucky to have the original body shell, in some situations hard plastic resin or lexan, in good condition, then it is an easier course of action to restore. But, if you need to source a substitute shell, these are obtainable to resource as there are many ‘new’ options obtainable… but you may have to look long and hard to find an original ‘new in box’, which could come with a hefty price tag.

The early range of the 58001 to 58100 Tamiya vehicles are generally referred to as ‘vintage’ as the years these cars were released were in the mid to late 1970’s by to the early 1990’s. Some are extremely scarce… especially if they are nevertheless unopened in their original boxes, are are always referred to as NIB (New In Box) on auction and classified listings sites.

An example of one of the highly sought after models is the 58059 Porsche 959 from 1986, which was modelled from the Paris-Dakar rally winner of the same year. It has one of the most complicated and highly detailed chassis, in addition as being 4WD, which is a major plus for driving off-road. These also received a fair amount of damage, as they were, and nevertheless are, quite fast… and to the uninitiated, difficult to excursion.

But in any case level of skill you may have in this area, it is an enjoyable hobby that can last for many months, if not years.

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