Lancia Rally
Model Number: 58040




Direct drive gearbox - no differential.


Trailing link rear, Front double wishbone.

Chassis Description

Space frame.

Body Type




The second of the space framed car series - the Lancia Rally is perhaps the hardest to find NIB or new built.

Many people unkindly suggest that this car is Tamiya's third truck - because the body shell sits so high on the chassis !!

The car itself is almost exactly the same as its older brother the Brat - except for the body, wheels and tyres.

Suspension is very basic - just coil over shocks on the trailing arm rear suspension and spring supported double wishbone front suspension, no dampers in sight here folks! This led to the car being quite "bouncy" when driving.

The drivetrain was very basic - power going from the standard RS-380S motor - through the pinion - onto the spur gear - then onto the final gear which had no differential at all - straight out to the wheels. Simple - however very effective - it was certainly more durable than the later Frog's differential system - which was fraught with durability problems.

All in all - a classic car - awesome detailing on the body with the 4 big rally spotlights and superb decals (these are also one of the hardest decal sets to apply successfully).

If you can find one - grab it - the car is a very nice display peice because of its real car look.



1/2/2015 6:03:32 PM

Hi just reading your comments and review of the lancia rally, I have acquired a lancia rally recently and love it it's in remarkable condition for its age and I couldn't wait to run it,on running it I found it very slow but some what enjoyable and rewarding as I was trying my upmost not to bash it in any way but I did hitting a object in the garage on a 180degre turn I managed to damage the what is now very brittle plastic and snapped the front body mount.not a massive job but it has taught me to respect this classic and take care of it as I'm not seeing many of these 80's classics about much?
Which brings me on to the tyres does any one know if there is a modern alternative? If it's one thing that's letting my lancing down its the smooth slightly cracking tyres.
I'll be posting pictures in the next coming days of my models inc this lancia thanks for reading.


10/13/2013 2:42:43 PM

The Lancia Rally was never really a popular model in it's day, I remember racing at the local buggy club and out of a sea of Subaru Brats I only ever saw one Lancia Rally at our club. Not sure why really, I know a lot has been said about it's non scale looks but then the Brat never really had this either. For me I think (in the UK especially) it was the lack of knowledge about the model. The rally scene was massive in the UK in the early eighties but everyone supported the mk1 / mk2 escorts / Opal Asconas etc. (I certainly saw more Tamiya Quattro's and Asconas then the Rally and these were considerably dearer). Back to the Tamiya incarnation, as said I'd never had one in the day but due to being mad on the Brat / Frog I thought I ought to dabble my toes in the LR ownership. First impressions are that obviously as we already know it's just a Brat with different body and wheels. The wheels are slightly smaller in diameter than the brat and narrower for the front, still has the mighty 380 motor. A lot of people slate them for this for reasons unknown, back in the day the batteries were poor and with a 380 motor at least you had decent run time and they were still faster then bargain RC's of the day. It's easy to swap over to a 540 anyway with just a motor and 18 tooth pinion required.
The advantage of the Lancia over the Brat is that you can fit a 540 without the body sitting to one side like you do with the Brat. So how does it run ? I've driven them as a standard set up and with a basic 540 with esc. And to be honest they are a sound car to drive, in fact i'd say they are easier than the brat and less likely to roll, feel more stable - down side is that the body is pretty fragile and the bumper is best not used at all. I've fitted full LED's in mine and wow do they light up the road. In conclusion don't dismiss this by people who simply just slate it for the wheels. Run it on a nice bumpy and dusty track and recreate the rallies of the eighties. Better than running the later reissue version that's only good for tarmac. A rare beast and one that needs saving..


8/3/2013 6:20:23 PM

A very polarizing model, the original Lancia Rally even today provokes strong feelings at both extremes. The pairing of an ABS plastic body with many fine scale details with a space-frame chassis using oversized tires was evidently not a completely-popular decision made by Tamiya.

But this just reminds me of an era where Tamiya was a young RC car company finding interesting solutions to common problems. It seems that the 'special engineering... incorporated to ensure the highest performance' on typical off-road terrain was to give the Lancia large tires and an off-road chassis. The resulting car was not to everybody's tastes, but it endowed the car with some genuine off-road capability as well as a unique appearance.

I built this car well after the original model and the altered re-release were out of production, and finding one for a good price was not easy. I count myself as exceedingly fortunate to purchase the cars that I did - one as a runner, and another for parts.

The build is something familiar to owners of The Frog and the Subaru Brat, and to a certain extent the Blackfoot, Monster Beetle, and any other vehicle with the O.R.V. space frame. It was mostly easy to put together, but with any plastic chassis care must be taken for all screws should one strip or the plastic cracks. I found the construction phase very simple.

The bodywork, the most controversial aspect of the car, may not be universally beautiful but the details certainly are - witness the fine textures of the vents, grilles, and front turn signals, as well as the superb moulding quality. It is not unimaginable that this shell could have been pulled from an existing 1:10 scale static model kit and modified slightly for use on a radio-controlled car. Unfortunately, the material of choice does not allow for much durability, and certain areas such as the front corners and pillars seem especially vulnerable to breakage. However, that is to be expected of any RC vehicle using a body made from hard plastic, and the shell lends itself to creativity from those experienced with building static models - another reminder of Tamiya's heritage. In addition, its separate light buckets and spotlight pod translate to enormous potential for working lights - small wheat bulbs were a popular choice for those installing light fixtures on their vehicles, enhancing realism and the build.

Box-stock, the Lancia Rally featured plastic friction shock absorbers at the rear, a 380-type motor, and a solid outdrive gear with hex-drive half-shafts. Performance and resilience equipped as such has been described as mediocre, with tricky cornering and stripped half-shafts being expected. However, the 380 motor and simple construction make it at least a little friendly to beginners, even if a box-art bodywork finish did not with those complex decals.

It must be noted, though, that my experience with the car was not really with a box-stock example at all.

My example is equipped with a 540 Mabuchi motor, 19T pinion gear, period-correct differential, full ball bearings, oil dampers in the rear, modern electronics and battery, and operational LEDs installed in the front and rear light buckets. In this configuration, I feel this car is a revelation. It may seem that the car is no longer the same one, and on that note I could agree - this has more to do with the potential of the chassis, both in handling and in presence.

The O.R.V. chassis is actually quite stable at speed, and the car feels well-planted on its wide tires. Ground clearance is very good and so unlike some modern (and more scale) offerings, the Lancia Rally clears many obstacles with minimal effort. It is very possible to drive it like a true rally car, flicking reverse heading into a turn and going into full opposite-lock through a corner on loose dirt. If fortunate enough to drive on stock wheels and tires, one may find that they are more than sufficient for handling dirt and pavement while maintaining a semi-realistic appearance. With LEDs installed - especially active ones (i.e.: ones that can mimic brake functions) - the entire experience is enhanced immensely. With a 19T pinion gear installed, the tallest gearing available, the example I own picks ups speed at a pace wholly unexpected in a vintage car, especially a non-buggy (technically). I personally remember my drive with the Lancia as the most fun I have had in a long time!

That being said, though, be sure to pay attention to the surroundings to avoid collisions and therefore excessive damage. But respecting one's vehicle is usually a good tip for any RC enthusiast.

As I continue driving my Lancia Rally, I am sure that more flaws will turn up, but then maybe some more good points will too. It can be fast, agile, capable, and so charismatic, especially as a vintage racer...

Owning, building, and driving this car really is a dream come true - mine will certainly be cherished. If a good example is available, you like the look, and you have the money, go for it - I can say that when built up right, it can be the classic or neoclassic runner you are looking for!


10/7/2004 2:35:07 AM

Due to a mis read on my part, the review below says the tires will fit the Wheeler, they will not. They were for the Frog as after market, Brat same and Opel as stock, hope this clears up my mistake!


10/1/2004 11:51:02 AM

This is a great car. It was driven by the great Walter Rohrl to many championships. The real car did not have the light kit on it, and was marked a little differently, but for 1983, it was a great attempt to recreate a great car. This car never sold worth a darn in the states, and I doubt it did that much better in Europe. It is a rare car today and was then. It shares several components from several other Tamiya cars, big surprise there. The tires were also used on the Opel and the Wheeler. Try finding a front set! It says they were an option for the Brat, but I have yet to come across one with them on it. It is the Brat/Frog chassis to build and there are no surprises there. I built this car out of all new parts. Some were very difficult and expensive to aquire. I have the rediculous front bumper and mount for it, but I refuse to install it. It is way too hokey. The body is another mater. I can't imagine a young kid attempting this body. It was a real challenge, and I did the re-release first. The stickers are nothing like the re-release. I used an original body set, and the stickers were old and hard to work with. I painted mine pearl white. It looks stunning. I also ran down original period radio gear and installed it. I put LED's in the lights with a seperate switch and soldered the leads to the underside of the MSC. For a 21 year old car, it is a great looker. It has the 380 in it, so it is slow as all get out, but it won't be going far. I am glad I built one and dissagree with the folks that think it looks funny. You haven't stared at one long enough. In nib and new built, these are very hard to come by. I wish everyone could have one, but the re-release is about as close as most are going to get. It will be the new star of my show room. Thanks to bcollection and several others for making this possible, and Jim Sourbeck as usual.