For decades, remote controlled cars have held the fancy of children and adults alike. If you ever wonder about the history of RC cars and when were remote control cars invented, you are in the right place. Continue reading as we provide you with a brief account of the history of the RC car and when the first remote control car was invented.
History of Remote Controlled cars
The first RC car was a nitro-powered Ferrari invented in 1966 by Elettronica Giocattoli, an Italian electronics company. Gas-powered cars also emerged during that time. In 1967, a Leicester-based British company called Mardave started producing commercially viable RC cars.
Around that time, RC car kits, also called pan cars, were manufactured by companies including WEN and Model Car Enterprises.
The 70’s decade
The highlight of the ’70s was the nitro cars which used a special oil blend comprising methanol, nitrogen and lubricants. The 70’s also witnessed the emergence of electric cars, which fueled the popularity of remote controlled cars. The first of its kind, these electric on-road cars were called Porsche 934, developed in 1976. The manufacturer was a Japanese company Tamiya.
The same company would release off-road buggies in 1979, characterized by textured rubber tires, powerful motors and rear suspension systems. By the end of the ’70s, people had developed considerable interest in off-road electric cars.
The80’s was the decade when remote controlled car technology evolved and led to the development of high-performance models. Many US-based companies like Associated Electronics, Losi and Traxxas started producing top model cars, for instance, the RC10, which was an award-winning buggy RC car model.
The ’80s also saw the rise of the 1/12 World Championship, with more than 400 racers participating. Towards the end of the decade, the RC10L pan car was introduced, paving the way for the era of pan cars.
The ’90s marked the introduction of racing and touring cars. On the one hand, Superspeedway racing gained popularity; many hobbyists began taking an interest in touring car racing.
As fast racing RC cars models were introduced like the RC12LS, RC10LS0, and RC10LS in 1992 and TA01 and TA02 by Tamiya during the touring cars era, technology continued to advance while prices escalated.
The turn of the century till date
The 200o’s witnessed a shift in the RC car industry, and the early years were marked by acquisitions and mergers within RC cars manufacturers; for instance, Losi became Team Losi Racing, and Team Associated the Taiwanese Thunder Tigers. Another major change was the switch from RF to GHz, particularly the 2.4 GHz.
Some of the highlights are mentioned under:
- In 2007, Axial introduced its Rock crawler kit, an easy-to-build model.
- In 2008, Traxxas introduced a short course electric RC truck named Slash and steered attention away from nitro cars and gas-powered cars.
- In 2010, hydrogen fuel cell hybrid technology was introduced for providing an increased battery life (up to four times more than the normal model)
Some recent innovations include brushless electric motors, lithium-ion batteries, powerful engines, etc., while the future seems bright for the RC car.