[Editor’s Note: This article and build comes courtesy of Josh Dutton of Everyday RC. The rabid RC enthusiast and prolific YouTube creator shows us one of his latest hot rod builds. If you like what you see, check out his YouTube channel @RCeveryday.]
This build is completely a product of Ultimate Scale Truck Expo (USTE). Every year I learn new skills and ideas and am driven by the RC scale builder community to integrate even more details into everything I work on.
I started work on this car back in November after I finished building my workshop. The build began with some chassis rails bought from a friend in the UK. After sizing up the situation, I had a change of plans and ended up tearing the chassis down to bare rails and starting over. I noticed that the chassis had the basic shape of a Ford Model A, which drove this build into a new direction for me. It ended up with a more traditional “Hot Rod” look than I had first planned.
RAISING THE BAR ON MYSELF.
The 3D-printed, 3-window coupe body I used was unique, having a full floor, so my next step was to make scale body mounts out of some Tamiya semi-truck rear shock mounts. The suspension is made up of all RC4WD links and rod ends using an inverted 4-link to hang the K44 axle as close as possible to the frame. The front axle is from a Tamiya 1/14-scale semi-truck held in with a radius arm setup. All four corners use tiny shocks from an RC4WD 1/18-scale Gelande 2 in order to get most true-to-scale look.
The motor and transmission are both from SSD RC. I modified the transmission, removing the transfer case to make it rear-wheel-drive only. I painted the scale engine my favorite “safety green” color and heavily weathered it. RC4WD headers and spark plug wires borrowed from a different engine finish the look. The tires are taken from 1/8-scale model cars and are mounted on some super-cheap plastic 1.9 “steel wheels” painted in satin black paint.
Inside, I used the dash and gauges from a 1/8-scale model and made a steel seat frame that’s wrapped in real seat cover material. Hidden behind the removable seat is a perfectly sized Helios battery. The steering wheel came from a vintage a 60s Tonka firetruck and is wrapped in electrical tape for that vintage race car vibe. The shifter is from a 1/8-scale Jeep model kit, but I added a metallic skull shift knob that started life in the jewelry section at a craft store.
The windows are crafted from leftover clear plastic packaging, and the rear window is held in place with a real rubber gasket. The details keep coming with the help of 1/8-scale model parts, with accurate headlights as well as the hood and grille shell, all from a ’32 roadster. The body is finished in a glossy dark hunter green that has been wet-sanded smooth and satin coated. The paint was followed by AK Interactive’s model weathering paint to provide rust streaks as an overall stain to create a vintage look.
Electronics for the hot rod are pretty basic. A Spektrum receiver and Hobbywing 1060 ESC live under the trunk on a custom mounting tray. A super-thin airplane servo hides up front behind the grille and doubles as the radiator complete with hoses to the engine.
This was the most challenging build I’ve done to date, and thanks must go to my friend Greg Holman for pushing me to take these builds ever further. After taking home the best-of-show trophy in the street class at USTE, all that’s left is to figure out is how to take my next build even further.
See you on the next build! Keep it scale.
Text and Images by Josh Dutton