Hopefully by the time you read this you’ll have packed yourself full of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, Pez, and what we in my family refer to as “OH, the salad!” …which gets forgotten about until nearly dessert and everything in between. If this is the case, then you’re probably ready for a nap, but let us here at RC Car Action pack you full of some awesome 90s goodness from our February 1993 issue. This issue featured MRC’s colossal World Scale line of twin-motored electric off-roaders, a home-built mid-motor RC10 before mid-motor was cool, a look at Team Losi’s (that’s TLR for you young’ns) amazing ”Hydra Drive,” and even a robot from Tomy (not gonna lie, I always wanted one of those things!) Kick back and enjoy a healthy serving of 1993–and from all of us to all of you, Happy Thanksgiving!
Whether you’ve ever seen one of these vehicles in person or not, they were without a doubt some of the coolest things to ever come from MRC. Based on a single platform, MRC cranked out four vehicles under the “World Scale” moniker; a 2WD buggy called the Desert Thunder, a monster truck called the Thunder King, its fuel-burning cousin the Nitro Thunder King, and finally a stadium truck called the Baja King. They all shared the same platform underneath, which featured an aluminum chassis, super-sized 3-gear transmission, and gold-anodized shocks mounted to fiberglass towers. Dual-servos were used for steering, and the cars landed somewhere between 1/5 and 1/8 scale, depending on the body style. If we had brushless motors and LiPos back then, World Scale probably would have been huge (no pun intended).
It’s safe to say modern 2WD buggy design is all about mid-motor. But where did it all start? In the 80s and 90s my friends! Back then, customizing your buggy meant more than bolting on some aluminum goodies–people fabricated their own chassis’ and designed some wild rides that were truly “custom.” Eric Pringle took his RC10 to the limit by reversing its Stealth transmission to put the motor in the center of the car, then added stadium truck arms and fabricated narrow arm mounts to get maximum suspension travel. A few custom machined bulkheads and a Yokomo YZ10 body later, and you have a one-off buggy that was WAY ahead of its time.
Team Losi was notorious for innovative designs that were just to the outside of the norm, and the Hyda Drive was one of their best. Even beyond vintage racing, I see these on modern cars from time to time because some of the old timers just love how well they worked. Essentially a fluid coupling, the Hydra Drive worked in conjunction with the slipper clutch. Hydra Drives were all the rage from the day RCCA snuck the first spy shots of them. By using thick fluid to control the power delivery from the spur gear to the top shaft of the tranny, the Hydra Drive worked with a standard slipper to provide exceptionally smooth power delivery in bumpy conditions. Smoother tracks, improved tires, and better suspension systems have made the Hydra Drive a footnote of RC tech, but make no mistake–it worked!
This is one for the ages… something readers saw in the magazine but probably never saw in person. It was rare to say the least, but totally awesome! Available as a kit, Agent 002 was a robot that used wheels to move around and took full advantage of its 4-channel radio system to look left and right, up and down and pick things up with its claw hand. That may not sound like much in comparison to today’s soccer-playing robots or Honda’s Asimo, but for ’93 this was groundbreaking as one of the very first true hobby grade RC robots. Plus, it looked a lot like ED-209.
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