Buggy Champ 2009
Model Number: 58441



2WD Rear Wheels


Front double trailing-arm, rear swing axle; oil dampers all around

Chassis Description

SRB chassis

Wheel Base

250 mm




front:Sand Blaster Jr. (minus sidewall lettering)
Rear:Sand Blaster 915

A surprising model to be announced, the Buggy Champ (2009) was a re-release of the original Rough Rider buggy. This edition retained many of the original car's features, such as the cast-metal gearbox and suspension arms, while replacing specific components to allow greater ease of use and performance. Care was taken to ensure this new model had the same character as the old Rough Rider.



8/11/2013 6:44:54 AM

The Buggy Champ by now is a little curious: current owners love their re-released and re-badged Rough Riders, yet it seems that with every new colour or metallic iteration Tamiya has had some trouble selling off the last few models.

But then, in this day and age it is more than just curious. Nobody expected Tamiya to begin producing one of their oldest designs again, much less as faithfully as they were. The Holiday Buggy and Sand Rover received new chassis; the Porsche 911 was also adapted to a new platform... The XR311 is a notable exception, but then it did not have an authentic cast-metal suspension system and nearly all its other parts in metal. It was inconceivable then, though now Tamiya has succeeded in bringing so much nostalgia back from older fans and giving newer fans a mostly-authentic treasure from years past.

I built one with only an F103 as my previous build experience; the extensive metal construction and scale details were worlds away from what I had assumed to be every current car's construction. It was a means to explore the early years of the company, a spark of intrigue, igniting a desire to learn more - and a fun drive!

The handling of the Buggy Champ cannot be said to be good, but can be rightly described as entertaining. A swing-axle rear suspension similar to the full-scale Volkswagen Beetles the 70s dune buggies were based on meant camber changes with each surface irregularity. The gearbox lacked a differential, and the cast-metal gearbox out back made the car tail-heavy. On high-grip surfaces, the buggy would often roll over under spirited cornering. It was clearly intended for the sand - not too loose, just slightly packed, with the heat all around and a clear blue sky streaming sunshine all along the shore...

A hard body shell, many metal parts, good scale detail, and loads of fun - sounds like an old Tamiya to me, but this one is even better! How curious...


1/28/2010 8:45:27 AM

I agree it is a great kit & one of the vintage collection with lots of heavy metal parts!

I have ALL the original kist still NIB & you definitely can tell the difference from the box art to decals & internal packaging, I agree that the ORIGINAL kits NIB will only continue to appreciate in value!!


8/3/2009 8:33:56 PM

This kit is absolutely fantastic if you are a true fan of the srb-family. Let´s make one thing clear, this is not a rerelease like the Frog or Grasshopper. By the first glance everything looks the same, but a closer inspection reveals that few parts are identical with the original ones. Some parts, like the front suspension arms or the oildampers are completely worked over, others has tiny changes or are marked with “1979 2009 Tamiya”.
Personly I think it´s great. No crooked seller can ever claim this car is a vintage Rough Rider and try to profit from it, and the changes will most certainly make it a mush better runner.
Hopefully the differences between vintage and new will help to preserve the interest in the original cars and perhaps increase it!