Model Number: 58047
4WD shaft drive, f&r gear differentials
Oil filled monoshocks with antiroll bars F&R
Tamiya's Hotshot was a really superb piece of sideways thinking at the time. If you were racing back then you had to have one. Unfortunately you soon had to modify it to keep up with the competition. Superb car to build apart from trying to get the radio gear into the small radio box. Can be expensive to build from parts, but is well worth it. (Description by njmlondon)
I own 3 of these cars now. I bought a 'rolling chassis' off of the bay and couldn't wait to get it. The only picture with the ad was bad and I found out why when I received it. I was missing the front stabilizer support, speed control, motor plate, roof, net, and was thrashed from one end to the other. Then my friend Anthony at Airtronix offered me another car and a parts car to go with it. It had a speed control, but was also well used and needed complete resto. So I set out to do the restoration on the 2 good ones. As has been said many times before, it is far less expensive to buy a boxed kit than to put one together piece by piece. I can certainly testify to this. Thanks to folks like Santosh, Jim Sourbeck and a host of others, I managed to replace all the knackered parts and the missing parts on both cars. They are both restored to factory spec. I did deviate a little. I made mirror decals and put them on the inside of the shell before it was painted. I like the effect, as it doesn't make them look stuck on. Then when I was finished, I had almost a whole car left. What to do, what to do. I know, I will build a modified! I replaced the broken front uprights with TL-01's and put a complete set of ball races, which the other two got as well, along with a Kyosho 16-2 mega motor and a Speedtronics ESC. It has the complete undergaurd and the Hop-up shock set, with one on each corner. I shimmed all the slack out of the suspension arms, which I recommend to anyone who is going to run them. Again, all 3 got this treatment. The 2 stock ones have stock wheels and tires, the hopped up one has stock wheels and pin spike tires. Needless to say, it goes like crazy and will run circles around the stock ones. One has a plain jane 540-s, the other has the gunmetal Sport Tuned. All and all, it made me appreciate what it really takes to correctly restore a used car. It is a lot of work and is not cheap. Now when I see a restored anything in anyone's showroom, it has a different meaning. I love most everything about this car except for the previously mentioned flaws. It was ahead of it's time and all three were a joy to restore. I will put pictures in my showroom when I finish the custom's paint. No collection should be without one and it is a kick to run on pavement or off road.
I'll be completely honest here. I never really liked the Hotshot...until I got one. I bought my Hotshot from eBay in 2002 and stripped it right down to the bare bones before rebuilding and restoring it. The Hotshot was Tamiya's first foray into all wheel drive. A mid-mounted RS-540S motor (a layout somewhat ahead of it's time when compared with the later Kyosho Optima) drove a bulletproof rear gearbox with bevel differential. Torque was transmitted to a front gearbox and diff via a propellor shaft offset to one side of the car. The chassis is a two piece clamshell monocoque affair, very similar to that subsequently used on the Fox, indeed, the Fox is seen by many as a 2WD Hotshot, although the similarities are really just that - similarities, and very few parts are shared. The car was suspended on all four corners by double wishbones with just a single oil-filled shock at each end - a clever linkage allowing the rear shock to be mounted longitudinally - the classic indentifier of a Hotshot.
The ubiquitous '4WD' wheels first seen on the Hotshot used a triangular drive hub located to the axle using a pin on one side and to the wheels with three hemispherical extrusions on the other. This drive system was subsequently used on the Hotshot II, Supershot, Boomerang, Super Sabre, Bigwig and others. The battery was inserted and removed via a fibreglass gate on the underside of the car. The gate acted as a structural component, providing the lower box-section of the chassis.
The Hotshot was the first Tamiya 4WD, therefore was the first mass market 4WD available to the local club racers at reasonable cost. Performance at the time was devastating. The Hotshot's long travel suspension and wide tyres gave it masses of compliance and huge levels of grip on rough surfaces, but it was the all wheel drive system that provided staggering acceleration and unsurpassed braking and cornering stability. The Hotshot simply wiped aside all that stood before it. When it was released, if you didn't have a Hotshot, you weren't going to win - it was that simple.
The early 4WD system was not the most efficient and the high cost of ballrace bearings back then meant the Hotshot was supplied with all plastic and brass bushes. Ballracing was a must for the serious competitor but what an expensive task...! The Hotshot's 4WD system makes a unique whining noise testament to it's deficiencies but it's another trademark - just like the monoshocks. The front bumpers were a little fragile but the car's biggest weakness was the front uprights which were a little brittle and broke with alarming regularity. Slack also reared it's ugly head in the locator holes for the upright ball joints in the front wishbones which neccessitated four new wishbones up front more often than you'd have liked. The only other gripe was the apalling turning circle - testament to the early 4WD system's front dogbones.
The Hotshot wasn't straightforward to construct compared with other plastic Tamiyas of the time and had a few marks against it not only was the sealed radio box a pain to get into, but it retained any water or debris that got in there which eventually trashed the speed controller and receiver. The Servos usually got away with it. Other than that, it's a really lovely buggy and is rightfully one of the most collectible Tamiyas.
As for not liking them, well, I turned down an extremely generous cash offer for my Hotshot because I've become a real fan and it's one of my favourite Tamiyas...
The HOTSHOT is a *must* in every serious vintage-RC enthusiast's collection. First of Tamiya's 4X4 buggies which brought 4WD to the masses, it was a milestone and thus recognised internationally. Drivetrain design is robust and typically Tamiya with big wide gears and a labyrinthian transmission - works fine with the RS540 right out of the box. A full set of ballbearings is a useful option too, but the price of these when new in 1985 (priced approx same as the Hotshot kit) would have sent many owners to the poorhouse. Hotshot is an interesting car to assemble - nothing too difficult nor technical, and possible for even a RC beginner with patience.