Nice mods, dude!

May 30, 2013 3 Comments by

When I saw this car pulling out of a driveway while crossing town on my way home from a photo shoot, I stopped laughing just long enough to snap this photo while parked at the stoplight (which still would’ve been enough to earn me a ticket for using my phone). I’m not sure the driver knew I was laughing at him and not with him, but I appreciated him posing for the photo. After I got home, though, the subject of this blog popped into my head.

As funny as I found it that this guy’s car had the side mirrors mounted on the front fenders, with a sweet flower print front valance to match, it was just another example of how proud car owners are not afraid to change their favorite rides in order to stand out from the crowd. What happened to RC’ers modifying their cars?

For much of this industry’s infancy, and especially when racing ruled the RC world, hand modifications were as common as spare tires. In the early days these mods were just as much out of necessity as they were to gain an advantage, with experienced builders looking for tricks to make the cars work better out of the box. Even as car designs progressed through the 90s racers fabricated their own shock towers, made arm guards, and fitted parts from other kits while looking for any extra speed they could find. My first touring car, a Kyosho TF-2 (yes, even I raced on-road at one time!), had a custom fiberglass chassis that my father and a friend cut to use saddle packs rather than a transverse stick pack like most sedans of the era.

Fast forward over fifteen years (with less than a week until my birthday, typing that sentence made me feel old) and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything modified by hand in your local pit area. I think this change in the hobby sprouted from two main causes: today’s kits are better than ever before, and the popularity of RTR’s and rollers has come at the expense of that do-it-yourself attitude.

Sure, every once in a while we get a radically transformed vehicle submitted for Readers’ Rides, and the attention to detail involved in building an awesome scale rig is jaw-dropping, but I miss the days of showing up to the racetrack and checking out the custom front shock tower and borrowed shocks that the racer across the pit table installed since the club race the week prior. Which reminds me, I have an idea…

What’s your favorite mod that you’ve made for one of your cars?

Aaron Waldron, Featured News

About the author

Associate Editor Since receiving my first hobby-grade RC car as a holiday present from my father nearly 20 years ago, I've been fortunate enough to meet more people and experience more opportunities through the adventures I've had in the RC industry than I would've ever imagined. I've done it all - from working at a hobby shop, to being a factory sponsored racer, to working for some of the biggest brands in the industry. I've enjoyed each and every one of the dozens of kits I've built, hundreds of events I've attended, and thousands of laps that I've logged at race tracks around the world, and my passion is to share those experiences with other hobbyists so that they may find fulfillment in their own RC careers.

3 Responses to “Nice mods, dude!”

  1. Chris horton says:

    I have a picture to submit to rc car action need to know a email address to send them

  2. dolabill says:

    I’ve often used allen wrenches glued in place with E6000 to reinforce known weak areas on suspension arms to add durability to cars, I’ve also fabricated custom Kydex bumpers on all my on-road cars because not a single manufacturer provides an acceptable front bumper that actuallly protects the front wheels from hitting corners..oops!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7087/7286569050_4d691ef124_z.jpg

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3703/11553747944_a5401e4918_z.jpg

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