Old Is the New “New”

Old Is the New “New”

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m also a big vintage RC collector. When my son was being born, I took some time off from racing and starting collecting and restoring old cars I’d wanted since I was a kid. Over the years I’ve built up quite a collection of shelf queens but also enough parts from building to put together a race’s worth of running cars which gave me the idea; if there were more collectors like me, they must have a bunch of spare parts and cars as well, wouldn’t it be cool if we could all run together. From that idea the Vintage Offroad Nationals was born. Meant to be more of a hangout for the group of guys I’d met in online forums like rc10talk.com and tamiyaclub.com, it evolved over a year’s worth of planning into a full blown race and for many that come something that I like to call “man-cation”. A couple weeks ago we posted a picture of my box art replica Team Associated RC10 on our Facebook page and it blew up receiving over 550 likes and 100 comments. Comments like “I used to have one of those” to “where can I get one!” got me thinking, is old the new “new”?

It seems like for all the great new stuff that comes out every year, the classics still prevail on some level. The following may be smaller but  the people involved are more passionate and anything vintage seems to make them want to respond and share memories and stories about their cars they used to and still have. The Vintage Nats is a great time had by all who come each year and the friendships formed online through collecting and trading parts last a lifetime. A lesson some of the current manufacturers could learn from maybe? If you give RC enthusiasts something to not only build but build memories with, it will stay in their hearts forever.

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Updated: July 21, 2015 — 4:30 PM


  1. i am 60 yrs old retired millwright after bad collission i am back into building dirt oval rc cars. For payment for building car for someone i received 1993 losi xxt kit in box tempted to build it but i know someone would want to own this car. Stumbled upon this forum as if i was suppose to, anyone interested contact me by email im looking for new losi shortcourse truck please respond as i will probably build,upgrade&race. Did not mean to impose just thought someone may be interested i live in ohio

  2. I built 2 identical RC10’s in 1986. One for my 13 year old son and one for me. I could never race it very well but my son competed in several races with both cars against older men and won a lot of the races. Anyway, I still have my RC10 and it is in mint condition. Its been in storage for years.

  3. Over the pass few years i’ve been grabbing vintage rides myself is there anywhere collectors can show their cars. Thanks Ray.

    1. Ray, I’ve been an avid vintage collector for about 10 years and created the Vintage Off-road Nationals for exactly that purpose. It’s a yearly race that’s been held here in CT where you can bring your shelf cars to show them off and runner cars and race them against other vintage cars. You can get more info at


      and also the website at http://www.vintageoffroadnationals.com

  4. I have a jrxt truck all org. I also have a a rc12e and a MINT CONDITION FUTABA FP-T 2F wheel control radio the grand pa to all wheel control radio’s . that’s only some of my 12 car’s / trucks . I also have a vintage CLODBUSTER . Mike

  5. After 20 years of sitting in my closet at my parents house, I wanted to see if my Monogram Lightning would still work….well it does! I gave the stock battery (NiCad 7.2V 1200maH) a 10 hr charge and tested it…it works. The only problem is the charge doesn’t seem to be there at full capacity so I may have to get another battery for it’s full potential.

    There are other problems I was hopeing for some help from you guys…one are the tires – I’ll have to replace the tires…they are flat on the fronts…something with some weight was on top of the front end and gave the tires a flat spot…but they are 24 yrs old…what do you expect? The other two problems are the receiver and transmitter antennas…the transmitter one snapped off and the reciever one is missing. “Then how did I get it running”? Well I McGyver’d it….I took two 10″ pieces of electrial wire (12 gauge) and needlenosed it into the transmitter and fastened the other piece to the reciever…it works…but not as well as it could.

    Any suggestions on the antennas or batteries for it? Also – should I run this or sell it on ebay….it’s sort of sentimental to me…but my 6 yr daughter loves it…she was driving it for a while yesterday. For me, I’ll be purchasing a Rustler VXL or a HPI eFirestorm Flux within the next couple of days…haven’t decided yet….it’s my 1st RC car in 24 yrs….bought the Monogram Ligntning back in 1984….


  6. I remember buying parts for my old Superchamp, watching the video in the hobby store for the new RC-10. It just doesn’t seem like it should be “vintage” already.

  7. Just recently got back into the hobby myself, and scored a bone stock Tamiya Hilux Monster Racer (my favorite as a kid, but I foolishly let it go like I did with all my old trucks and buggies) for what would amount to a song. Definitely got bitten by the bug, and this isn’t going to be my only vintage Tamiya purchase. With the Re-releases Tamiya is doing, they’re just making it that much easier!!

  8. I still have an olf RC-10 team car that I pull out from time to time for kicks. I used to race it when I was a kid. It has a front end modification that uses the front shocks off the truck. Well, back in 2004, for whatever reason, I pulled out my old splatter painted steed, tore it down, rebuilt it, bought some new tires, a new battery, a new motor, and set off to the local track. I wound up winning first place in the novice division. I’ll never forget after winning, I turned to the kid standing next to me and said, “not bad for a 15 year old car, huh?”, to which he responded, “I’m 13”. HA!

  9. Mine ended up with a stealth tranny, hard adonized shocks, longer arms and graphite shock towers. Through the RC10 video (on VHS!), I cut down the sides and back and cut slots in the bottom and holes in the front kick up. Pro-line body and tires/wheels topped it off. And an article in another rc magazine from the eighties by Cliff Lett gave my car the same settings as Cliff. Before everyone in my community decided to quit, I had a very potent racer. The layout of electronics in the chassis was always commented for being professional. That was from an RCCA article showing Cliff’s racer. I REALLY miss racing. I’m now a crawler basher (Axial AX10 Ridgecrest and SCX10 Trail Honcho).

  10. I run 1/5th scale and really love old school, I have been hoping someone would do as J Concept’s has in tenth short course and do a 79 Ford body, for either HPI or Losi. Perhaps some of the early Tamiya 1/10th scale truck mainly, but they have some nice old school scale buggies to be made in Largescale.

  11. I just recently got back into RC cars and it bothered me that it was cheaper to go with a RTR car compared to a kit to be made by me. I’m definitely going with a kit for my next car, I bought a RTR to re-learn the hobby and and this new stuff -LiPo’s, non-crystal radios, brusshless too.
    I never had the RC10, always wanted one. I had the Clodbuster and the Frog. I keep checking ebay for old cars, on and off road from when I was growing up and am going to get one, just to bash and have fun. Thanks for the article.

  12. Can we get a campaign to re-issue the original RC10? That was my favorite car and would love to get a new one.

  13. Yah that’s pretty cool, I still have a kyosho raider which is in horrible condition but I also have a radio shack golden arrow in amazing condition it looks as if it’s been driven twice in it’s life I’ll be keeping it on the shelf for a while.

  14. I wish Traxxas would bring back the Sledge Hammer! I love the vintage r/c, I still have my Lunchbox, Midnight Pumpkin, and Clod Buster from the 80’s!

  15. So does a traxxas SRT count as vintage?! I enjoyed converting my Rustler over to the SRT chassis!

  16. Sweet!!…..I still have that car!!….Loved It!!!

  17. Got back into RC about two years ago with my son and started getting vintage cars that I wanted to own as a kid about a year ago. It is amazing the memories that they have stirred up from racing rc with my dad who has since passed. It took about 8 months for someone to put a Minicraft Lazer on eBay. It was a knock off of a Hornet, but was my first car. It along with a frog and Brat will keep me busy this off season.

  18. Yea, I too bit the Vintage bug HARD, and went a bit overboard. Now I’m thinning out some stuff, but i still have a special place for the Vintage.
    Now if only MIP would re-release the 4wd conversion and Tamiya the Blazing Star!
    See you on RC10Talk Erich!

  19. I still think this one rules ,reminds me of when the first time one assembled in the hobby store .It awed me then and now nice job BTW

  20. Nice job > I think that’s a body my late brother Mark Asbury and I made the pattern and vacuum form tool for Associated. Mark and my Dad worked for them for a long time back in the beginning of that business.

  21. Now if there was ever a kit that needed to be re-released, this is it.

  22. I bought my 1st RC10 in 1988, it was used but in great shape. The last time I used it was probably in 1991. Last year I got my son an RC truck and quickly was sucked back into the hobby. Last May I found a new unused/unfinished Original A stamp RC10. Amazingly, I got it for $240. I now have 8 classic RC10’s an RC8be and an RC10T4.1. This stuff is addictive. Even with the advancements in motors and batteries, I still love the old stuff. When I go to the park with son we attract so much attention. the first question I get is how fast is that thing? Next, how much does it cost? It’s fun watching their facial expression. You gotta pay for quality.

  23. Erich my first car was a Tamiya grasshopper and sold my dirt bike to get it. My mother seen how much I was into it so she got me a Fox and I started racing. Still am racing today in the Pro series and I still have my Fox. but what I did have brought to me is a vintage Kyosho optima that is mint! only thing wrong is front bumper is broke. Has Kyosho upgrade ESC,Lemans motor,Kyosho pistol controler and kyosho battery. If you are not needed this for your collection maybee you can stear me in the right direction to someone who does. To mint to just be trashed by some one that doesnt know what it is…Eddie Doggett

  24. Very wise and beautiful words from the heart! Unfortunately only a Tamiya responds to them … And how many more legendary producers were in our childhood … Let not all the older models have been successful, but they were interesting technically and their creators were not afraid to experiment! The models were complex and often broke down, but do not they have made us modellers? I fully understand and agree with the author. Do new things, but let us hope for a piece of the past!

  25. I had one of those and also a graphite version when it first came out.

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