Model Number: 58383
Rear:60D Soft Radial
Rear:60D Soft Radial
After a few years of being out of production Tamiya decide to bring back the confussed 60's Beetle with a brand new chassis. The M-04L is as Tamiya describe it, a chassis that provides sharp cornering and stable running. If truth be told, it is better than the original M chassis car but nothing to rave about. Another thing this chassis doesn't allow you to do is alter the weight balance with the moving of the battery allowing its weight over the front wheels instead of all at the rear. Or make it FWD. On the plus side however this time the Beetle does get 4 coil over rod springs instead of the mono jobs from the past with greater scope for improved and the chassis looks and feels a bit lighter. Another strange going on with this car is that Tamiya provide you will all the bearings you need to make your wheels free running. When l opened the box and found all these l thought 'great, l shall have the gearbox raced up and the wheels can be done later' As it so happens, the bearings for the wheels are of a smaller size so they include them though why they can't include 4 1150's and 2 850 for a few extra quid is beyond me.
The build up of this chassis however does take for some concentration along the way. l made about 3 mistakes by not reading it carefully. l cocked up on the steering, front spring mount and l forgot to add the spacer between the main frame and gearbox making it a SWB Beetle with a body that doesn't fit. What an idiot l am!!!!
Now down to the best part, the body. Tamiya help by pre drilling the body mounts and aerial but the rest is up to you and it really is a joy to build. l have always liked this shell for it has great details of its own without you having to go OTT to make it look even better. For anyone wanting to make it look better however l do suggest pinstriping around the rear lights, bonnet and boot. For outstanding realism doing the wing beads really does make it come alive. And while your at it, painting the bumper mounts black remove the bling that shouldn't be there. What l can't make out (and any true Beetle enthusiast will agree with me) is the confussion over year of the bug. The front lights are from a '67 while everything else is from a '66 model. And whats going on with the wipers parking on the right?? It's the pattern we in the U.K. would have loved but never got until the 1303.
To sum up, it is an improvement over the original but unlike some of the current re-release's this doesn't set out to be a re-release. It's a new car wearing last seasons clothing and for once it works to the advantage of all who use it.