For this episode of Jason’s All Time Favorite RC Products we head back to the mid 1980’s for the original Associated RC10.
A little history of the RC10…
Roger Curtis’s 1984 design of a serious 1:10-scale electric offroad car not only led to explosive growth within the company, but within the world of R/C racing as well. This new vehicle was the now-famous Associated RC10 buggy. Built on a 6061 aircraft alloy chassis, the new car was, unlike its Japanese counterparts of the time, a serious offroad racing machine. Another 1-2-3 IFMAR sweep would follow in 1985 at the first IFMAR 1:10 Electric Off-Road World Championship. The RC10, possibly more than any R/C vehicle before or since, is credited with making the single biggest impact on radio control racing. The success of the RC10 forced Associated to move to a larger facility, which they found in Costa Mesa in 1987.
That same year, former Yamaha technician and professional R/C racer Cliff Lett joined Associated to head the research and development department. This department, consisting of Lett, Roger Curtis and Husting’s son, Curtis, were responsible for the RC10 cars that won the IFMAR World Championships in 1989 in Australia, and in 1991 in Detroit. The success of the RC10 coupled with other cars of the time, namely the RC12LW, the RC10L, RC10LSS and the RC10T kept production going for five years and prompted the necessity of extending their building in Costa Mesa.
Gene Husting helped develop cars for Associated until 2000, when he retired. He is responsible for the lineup up to the RC10B3, RC10T3, TC3 and GT RTRs. Five years after his retirement, the company introduced an entirely new line of offroad racers with the introduction the 1:18 scale electric RC18T and RC18MT miniature trucks. In 2006, with 27 IFMAR victories in all, Team Associated is the world’s “winningest” RC car manufacturer. Reedy motors, a division of Associated, has powered 28 IFMAR World Champions.
R&D manager and world-class driver Cliff Lett broke the RC land speed record of more than 111 mph (179 km/h) with a heavily modified Associated RC10L3 touring car at Irwindale Speedway on January 13, 2001.
A modified RC10 with an off-the-shelf Parma International 1963 Chevrolet Corvette body was used in the famous chase scene in the 1988 motion picture, The Dead Pool. In it, Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry is being pursued through the streets of San Francisco, California by a highly explosive bomb disguised as an RC car. The “bomb” was actually driven by IFMAR world-champion race driver Jay Halsey. The car was in fact an electric; the sounds of a nitro-powered engine were added in post-production.
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