Holiday Buggy
Model Number: 58023




2WD rear


front trailing arms with coil springs, rear swing arms with FRP torsion spring

Chassis Description

plastic tub-type

Body Type

blue coloured polystyrene



Original Price

9800 Yen









The first entry level so called dual purpose vehicle for both on- and off-road use. Styled according to beach buggies of south california the Holiday Buggy body was placed on a very simple bath-tub chassis, with no dampers, open gear box and a RS-380S motor to keep the cost down.



9/24/2004 7:10:55 PM

The Holiday Buggy was Tamiya’s 23rd offering in the R/C car market. What Tamiya did with the Holiday Buggy was to bring the a rather detailed model into a more affordable realm of us who would have loved to get a SRB chassis vehicle, but didn’t have the means to afford one. I remember cutting a bunch of lawns during the summer of 1981 and finally paying a visit to my friendly neighborhood hobby shop with $80 USD in hand and walking away a very happy lad.

What’s new in 1981 is still a classic now…
When I finally bought my beloved Holiday Buggy home, I could not wait to get home and start construction. When I finally did get the chance to open the box, I was completely amazed how organized and shear number of parts there where. The instruction manual was nothing like anything that I had ever seen. For awhile, you have thought that I was reading a Pulitzer Prize Novel, I carried the manual with me everywhere and studied whenever possible…. Ok I am kidding not everywhere…

Here’s what you get…
If you have never had the opportunity to assemble the Holiday buggy, you don’t know what you are missing. Everything is laid out in typical Tamiya style. You actually start at the rear of car and work your way forward. If you have built an SRB car, you will notice that there aren’t very many parts that are shared with the Holiday Buggy. In fact the other car that has any parts in common with is the Sand Rover. The kit comes with an RS-380. I remember this in my first Holiday buggy and at the time I thought that I was pretty quick. However, you will find out that your battery pack will ware down pretty quickly with RS-380 and manual speed controller. There’s a lot of energy lost between the resistor, speed controller and that little RS-380. I recently purchased another Holiday Buggy with a 540-size motor and am anxious to see how that performs with modern battery packs.

You real rubber tires as well as two-piece wheel rims. The front suspension is a spring-loaded independent arm, which gives the buggy ample shock absorption over moderately bumpy terrain. The rear suspension looks like it made out of the same material that you would make a “mother-board”. It too is independent. It’s very strong and very durable. I remember running my Holiday Buggy over some pretty wicked tractor ruts and jumps and no matter how hard I landed the rear suspension never sagged.

Aesthetics 101.
I may have said something about the Tamiya aesthetics in one of my other reviews. But if someone where to ask me what would my favorite Tamiya would be, I would have to say the Holiday with the Sand Scorcher as a close, very close second. I can hear the heretics now…. Tamiya has captured the 1970’s buggy craze that hit the US and marketed it in nice package. You get the detailed cowboy along with the plastic jerry cans, as well as head and fog lamps. Tamiya has even gone the extra step to include dead-on accurate sponsorship decals for the Holiday Buggy. You will notice that the plastic body is not the same as the Sand Scorcher or any of the other hard plastic bodies. In sense it’s strong but no necessarily better. Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of trying to repair the cabin pillars knows what I am talking about.

Ok how does this thing run…
Again I am going off memory here so bare with me. With a newly charged pack of 6 cells, I was able to get about 12 minutes of continual operating time. Of course speaking in early 1980’s sense when I was running GE with 6 cell NiCad batteries. Today you could certainly do better than 12 minutes. The car didn’t have a problem with high speed turns. When you run this car keep in mind that this is not a slip-differential like the Grasshopper and some of the more modern buggies. No sir, when you hit the throttle, expect both wheels to grab at the same time with the same vigor. When you go off-roading, you will be delighted with the performance. Keep this in mind though. If you’ve driven a modern vehicle such as the Blitzer Beetle or any other sort you probably won’t enjoy “wringing” it out as much then again, the Holiday Buggy represents 1981 R/C car technology….

Closing thoughts and the irony of it all.
How many of us have watched the video with the Holiday Buggy and Sand Rover on the beach chasing after one another? I always thought that was pretty cool. The following winter, I had the opportunity to go to Florida with my Dad on a trip. So decided to take my Holiday Buggy along. I raced it up and down the beach just like the Tamiya video. However when the day was over and the time came to clean the buggy up, I could not believe just how much sand made it in between the gears. The car never ran the same, until I replaced the plastic gears with new ones. They never show you the gearbox in the video. Hmmm….

The Holiday Buggy to me will always be a true classic. Tamiya had done an outstanding job of capturing the realism of the car. The car just begs to be driven. If you don’t have one of these in your collection, consider getting one. You won’t be disappointed. It certainly brings back fond memories for me.



11/6/2002 5:13:20 PM

Yes, the Holiday Buggy. I remember that one quite well (as it's still here). When I first got one I had not a single idea what this thing was. I was amazed by it's simplicity: oil shocks? double wishbones? sealed gearbox? Nowhere to be seen. With no clue what to do with it, I decided to keep it and I cleaned it up. Looking for what it was, I found on the chassis it was Tamiya, my favorite brand, and it was simply named Holiday Buggy as on the decals. I ran to the PC and I typed 'Tamiya Holiday Buggy' into Google and there was Theo's site. 1981??? I was shocked. This car is older than myself! I realized this was something you don't see everyday, It wasn't in any of my Tamiya RC books either (that's why I first thought it wasn't Tamiya).

I began to love it like my dad loves his oldtimers (1:1 vintage cars + RC cars... mix it and you get this). The rest is history, from that point I was addicted. My story seems very different than others as I am not an 'ex-racer' or a 'buying-my-old-toys-back-guy'. I am more of the type of: 'the-boy-who-lives-in-the-wrong-decade-buying-old-stuff-because-he-likes-it-more-than-modern-crap'.

It's strange appearance, those mudguards, rear 'window', the funny way of attaching the body ("Where are the bodyposts?") , long bonnet and the cowboy driver: there's nothing like it. The car that comes close to this is it's brother: the Sand Rover. But still it's way different to me.

I noticed something very interresting regarding the Holiday Buggy (H and Sand Rover (SR): Both chassis say: "RC 1/10 Holiday Buggy". Difference between these kits where obviously the body and the rollbar / body mounts, and the SR had a 540 motor mount in the kit (the HB without). But some (earlier) HB kits (like mine)came with a different chassis! These chassis seem to be the same, but earlier ones can't accept the 540 motor mount! They also have different front spring mounts, but there is no problem there. I was so happy to find a motor mount, and then it didn't fit! You don't want to know how disappointing this was... Good thing I got a 380 one now free of charge. (thanx blondiniboy!)

I don't think this is something to really look for in a Holiday Buggy. If you consider buying a used one, I'd pay attention to the chassis: It may have got the front spring mounts broken. I think this goes for the 'roll bar' and front bodymount as well. Also look for items as the speed controller, origional tires and wheels, body, driver and jerricans on the side. The bumper is a very desireable item on this car: because it shares this part with the 'Racing Buggies' they tend to cost as much as the rest of the car. Keep in mind these are beginners car and these tend to be driven around many things, and especially INTO things. And you mostly hit things with the front first: bye-bye bumper! Most of them will be in bad shape for this reason.

Many collectors don't really desire this kit (not my opinion though), because it will always stay in the shadow of it's heavy metal counterpart: the Sand Scorcher. To me it's my first car considered as a 'classic'. It was also the car that started this whole hobby of collecting to me. Other than that, it might be very 'plastic', but I learned to respect that as you should never underestimate it. (Yes, I got a Fighter Buggy as well)

Every time I see a vintage car like this, it makes me smile. It makes me remember the days I never experienced for real. But with my Holiday Buggy, I have got something tangable to look, love, and admire. A dream came true.


11/4/2002 9:14:27 PM

As one of Tamiyas early efforts, the Holiday buggy was a bit of a departure from what came before it, a very simple budget model intended to entice beginners into the world of RC cars, with a then exclusive all plastic construction the chassis design is simplicity itself, trailing arm front suspension with simple undamped springs, integral tub type chassis/open gearbox, basic swing axle rear suspension with unique FRP torsion plate spring, solid rear axle (no diff), stepless speedcontroller with electric braking and no servo saver on front steering linkage apart from spring loops in the arms.

This Basic chassis was off set with one of the most impressive looking bodies yet seen on a Tamiya car, the Holiday Buggy shell is quite an eye catcher by any standards, unusual in design and yet pleasing to the eye in its striking two tone blue colouring, made form hard plastic as with most early Tamiya bodies it was quite a bit more flexible than normal which allowed it to withstand the usual knocks and bangs that a beginners car would encounter, when building the body it easily screwed together and some minor painting was required on the driver but the rest of the car could easily be stickered up without painting.

Building the car was again a simple task with chunky plastic parts fixed together with deft screws, the radio was attached with servo tape and the battery secured with a rubber band, the Car came supplied with a stock Mabuchi RS 380S motor which worked on the exposed double gear reduction gearbox, this unit didnt require any lubrication and the chunky gears meshed quite well at first but any ingress of dirt would soon cause problems as with any geartrain.

Driving the car was quite a challange, keeping it in a stright line as the undamped suspension bounced it all over the place was the aim of the game but then it was easy to get back under control cos it was slow, even by early RC standards mostly due to the double reduction, 380 motor and 6v power, but then that was Tamiyas intention all along to create a simple, no thrills car for beginners to learn the skills of RC driving and thus progress onto the more exciting cars later on.

As a collectors piece its quite desirable not for its technical merits but more for astectic qualities, probably more so for MIB collectors, but its one of the first 100 cars and its more than just one of those cars that makes up the numbers its a quenuine classic, and quite a nice car to put on display, the Sand Rover came directly after it which is another classic Tamiya with that unforgetable Dune buggy body and optional 540 power, the influence of these cars on the Tamiya series was limited to these 2 models except for maybe for the design of the front chassis and suspension on the F.A.V and Wild One which might have owed something to these forebears.