Road Wizard Formula 01
Model Number: 58053
This is the lightest and possibly the fastest car in the formula series. I was not fortunate enough to get mine new or with the other goodies that it came with, but I believe it was the first of several cars to have multiple bodies and sticker sets. I have run mine on a very smooth hardwood floor, it helps to know the man that maintains the local high school gym's floor. Flat out with a Technituned motor and a mechanical speedo, it was quite fast, almost too fast. It did however handle better than predicted with the rudimentary differential on the rear axel. The suspension travel is miniscule as well, but on a super smooth surface, none of that mattered. It looked the part and you could almost hear the engine rap up in the straights. It is a very fragile car and parts are very hard to come by. I would not set out to restore one as it could take a very long time. I wouldn't mind getting the other body set and livery to have them both, but am quite happy with the JPS livery. I wish that Tamiya had the moxy to keep on with the tobacco sponsership stickers as Racing does not look at all like Rothmans. If it were in my power I would print Marlboro and Rothmans stickers for the F 189 and the 959, as it is we must settle for the imitation. Mine has seen its last run as I would not risk the parts again just to joy ride, there are far more capable and easier to come by cars to do that with, but I would bet that this car due to its weight, would give the F 189 a real run for its money! I thank Duncan for parting with this fine example of this car!
The Road Wizard was such a surprise when released. An all new Formula 1 car from Tamiya! It was the first Tamiya model to come with two lexan body shells, and three different decal sets (on two sheets if I remember correctly). Both bodies were similar, but could be decorated as a Lotus JPS, a Williams (I think) and in a Tamiya original design (it came with beautiful "Tamiya Motorsport" stickers!). I of course chose the JPS scheme in black and cream (not gold!). It was a joy to build and detail, but I early decided never to run it. The Road Wizard is possibly the most fragile F1-model ever, and spare parts availability was soon a problem. It looked great however. Sharing many drivetrain parts with the RM Mk.5-7 Group C cars, it just had a gear differential so traction was a problem, and the center brass "screw" broke easily.
So apart from wanting to make money, why did Tamiya release this model? I believe it was to check if the market was ready for a new series of F1-cars. The # 58068 and 58069 were improvements, but we had to wait until the release of the F101-chassis # 58084 Ferrari F189 to get a F1-model suitable for hard racing. I love the Road Wizard for its "skinny" fragile looks though.