By Brent Dewhurst

From the days of owning and proudly running Tamiya remote/radio controlled model cars back in the 1980's and early 1990's, where the enjoyment was predominantly driving and navigating back garden race tracks and the excitement of the open road... it is also a greater sense of ownership and accomplishment to fully restore these 'once were race winning' radio controlled cars.

With many vehicle choices, more so to do with the type of chassis on offer, the satisfaction of dismantling to the last screw and placing all the many, if not hundreds of pieces in to an ultra-sonic cleaner for rebuilding, is a total joy.

The secret to a successful 'strip-down' and re-build/restoration is with the vehicle's original operational manual, of which each model would have come with 'from the box'. These guides are crucial to the restoration, as they assist with the identification of all the associated parts. They are also valuable to reference from if you find that there are broken or missing parts with the project.

Another major element of the restoration is the body shell. If you are lucky to have the original body shell, in some cases hard plastic resin or lexan, in good condition, then it is an easier process to restore. But, if you need to source a replacement shell, these are available to resource as there are many 'new' options available... but you may have to look long and hard to find an original 'new in box', which could come with a hefty price tag.

The early range of the 58001 to 58100 Tamiya vehicles are generally referred to as 'vintage' as the years these cars were released were in the mid to late 1970's through to the early 1990's. Some are extremely rare... especially if they are still unopened in their original boxes, are are always referred to as NIB (New In Box) on auction and classified listings sites.

An example of one of the highly sought after models is the 58059 Porsche 959 from 1986, which was modelled from the Paris-Dakar rally winner of the same year. It has one of the most complicated and highly detailed chassis, as well as being 4WD, which is a major plus for driving off-road. These also received a fair amount of damage, as they were, and still are, quite fast... and to the uninitiated, difficult to drive.

But whatever level of expertise you may have in this area, it is an enjoyable hobby that can last for many months, if not years.

Find out more on how to source and restore a vintage Tamiya radio controlled vehicle. Enjoy collecting the early range of the 58001 to 58100 Tamiya vehicles. The cars within this range were from the mid 1970's right through to the early 1990's, where some are extremely rare... especially if they are still unopened in their original boxes. You could even purchase a brand new 'modern' version to become familiar with first... the choice is yours. Enjoy a new and exciting hobby.

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