As with their full-size counterparts, RC cars have evolved dramatically over the years. As each new model becomes more advanced and increases in speed, so the memory of earlier machines begins to fade. This article takes a look at the fascinating history of RC cars. The initials RC can stand for either remote-controlled or radio-controlled. As technology has advanced over the years, radio transmitters have become the preferred method for controlling model cars. Long gone are the days when a model car owner was limited to how far they could let their vehicle get away from them by the length of the attached wire. The history of the RC car predates even the remote on a wire, however and can be traced back to the 1920s. Clockwork And Rubber Bands
The hobby of model car racing began back in the Roaring Twenties when enthusiasts would compete against each other using clockwork vehicles. By the mid-thirties, races were being held in England for cars powered by rubber bands. Amazingly, these vehicles could reach a speed of forty miles per hour in less than three seconds. Although this speed pales in comparison to that of the nitro RC cars of today, it was still an incredible achievement for such a simple Propulsion method. Despite the introduction of petrol engines for model cars in America during the forties, development in other areas slowed down and progress seemed to come to a halt. It was not until the introduction of what is considered the first remote control car, the Ferrari 250LM, in 1966 by the Italian company Elettronica Giocattoli, that things really began to take off. As the seventies dawned, a myriad of companies were getting in on the act and producing various RC models such as the classic Porsche 934, which was electric powered. Until then, most cars were run on gas. Speeds were increasing and have continued to do so ever since, with some of today’s nitro RC cars achieving an incredible 100mph. A New Dimension
Many of the models produced during the seventies, such as the Lamborghini Countach and the Toyota Celica, were very realistic but were only suitable for use on smooth roads. In 1979, the Tamiya Rough Rider was produced. This incredibly tough RC car could take on all terrains and easily negotiate dirt tracks, rocks and even water. This brought a whole new dimension to the hobby of RC car racing. The popularity of RC cars exploded in the eighties and came into the mainstream for the very first time. Competitive racing became widespread with world championships being held for various model scales. As the 21st century dawned, the popularity of RC racing sadly declined. Although the heyday of RC cars seems to have passed, there are still many enthusiasts the world over who keep a keen eye on new developments and eagerly await the arrival of bigger, better and faster models. The radio-controlled car has plenty of life left in it yet. AUTHOR BIO
James Watson is an avid enthusiast of RC cars and has written many articles on the subject for a wide range of websites and blogs. For more information on the hobby of RC car racing, please visit this website.
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