Mine was the Grasshopper 2 in, I guess, 1989 as I was in the last year of Primary (elementary) School. There was only one reason why I got the Grasshopper and that was because it was the cheapest 'real' RC car you could get, rather than cheaper toys from the likes of Nikko. My family wasn't well off so I had to wait and lust over the Grasshopper for a long time (well a birthday and a Christmas). I think with the radio and battery bundle it was about £100 all in, only a little more than the RTR Tamiya 'Quickruns'. It was surprisingly easy to build and my Dad didn't need to help me much at all.
A couple of years on I got the Thunder Shot, which was a different kettle of fish. I built it with ballraces and it seemed pretty **** rapid and handled like a dream compared to the Grasshopper. I recently purchased a 'spares and repairs' Thunder Shot on eBay out of nostalgia. I have the basics of it running with original motor and mechanical speed control and while this one is all nylon bushings and not very fast compared to modern stuff the really cool handling is still there - well worth a rebuild/resto with ball bearings and a faster motor.
Those were my only two Tamiyas and the last car I had before other things took over was a Kyosho Ultima, which was very rapid and saw me do a few club meets, although when I come home from college it was always the Thunder Shot I'd charge up and bash with to relax.
I'm now back into RC with the kids and it's amazing how, after nearly 20 years, some things have really moved on while some things seem pretty much the same.