Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I have been out of the Tamiya loop for a long time. Just recently getting back into it after a decades long hiatus, have been learning more than I knew or even cared about back in the day. One of my first kits was the Super Champ. I loved that car, but unfortunately sold it many years ago. As I mentioned before, I wish I still had it. I always loved the platform, with the realistic VW style suspension parts, and cast in metal vs. plastic. I know there are several kits that use the same suspension parts, and are considered "SRB" platform kits. But also learned that some do not consider the Super Champ as one of the "SRB" platforms? I frankly do not understand why that is. It is essentially the same chassis components, with the exception of the mono shock in the rear, and the lack of the enclosed electronics case. But other than that, it is the very same car mechanically. I am in the market for an SRB (Sand Scorcher in particular) either re-re or vintage, and I DO consider the old Super Champ (and the re-re Fighting Buggy) as an SRB car. But, am curious as to why some do not? Explain to an old retired guy please. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first solo build was an 82 Super Champ so I’m admittedly a little biased @Tudorp 

I happily abandoned careful lessons from my Dad building a 935 then Sand Scorcher, made a complete mess on my own ... and loved / thrashed that car until there were more mangled homemade fixes than Tamiya genius left. 

I’ve also now got 2 - a vintage NIB (with NOS period hops) and a boxed / built shelf queen that I run every year when it’s dry. 

Some of the old guard on here will note the Champ’s racing - for their day - front steering and speed control as deviations from a pure SRB build and driving experience ... which is true.

More obviously, it’s floating link rear suspension - another (failed) attempt at racing pedigree - stands out as big change ... as do the massivemy spiked rear wheels / tyres.

Droop and camber metrics were in their infancy back then - and the Champ’s tyres were likely to soften woeful droop when landing jumps ... which, when the floating link suspension spring wore / didn’t retract quickly enough - often resulted in snapped rear suspension arms.

A load of period CRP hop ups could help to a degree but Tamiya soon realised that if they wanted to offer anything approaching a competent racing chassis it wasn’t going to come from the SRBs.

Is the Champ an SRB - yes ... it’s arguably the epitome of that chassis absent some epic CRP custom builds in the US.

Is it a classic SRB - no ... the Rider, Scorcher and Ranger are v different to build then run - and, to be fair, each drives slightly differently because of ride height and wheel / tyre changes. 

Are the Scorcher, Rider and Fighting Buggy re re’s still SRBs - yes and no ... many bits are the same but a lot are not - which, for me, means you don’t get the real 80s experience .... with all its flaws 😂

Its also not a true SRB w/o a body finished in those beautiful period logo decals !

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SuperChamp82 said:

A load of period CRP hop ups could help to a degree but Tamiya soon realised that if they wanted to offer anything approaching a competent racing chassis it wasn’t going to come from the SRBs.

I agree here, i have an early Ford ranger fitted with a vintage Thorp diff, which makes the world of difference to the handling. With fixed gears, going round a tight corner on a grippy surface envariably meant ending up upside down from rolling, the Thorp diff stops that from happening, but its still way off being a racer.

J

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, this was a hotly debated topic back in the old days, right up there with "did the Hotshot ever come with gold plated wheels in the kit?". The argument would then spill over into the Ford F150 Ranger which was clearly NOT a buggy (special racing or otherwise) yet was still mechanically the same as the SS and RR, radio crate and all.

I pretty much agree with everything @SuperChamp82 said. The Super Champ is the ultimate evolution of the SRB in my eyes, so yes, its an SRB. I always loved Tamiya's reasoning that keeping the rear drive wheels in contact with the ground was crucial to racing success and thusly designed the whole rear end around that principle. The shape of the buggy spike tire's rounded carcass with spikes almost protruding from the sides always seemed an effort to capitalize on the wild camber changes exhibited by the Super Champ (and all SRBs really, its just the SC was so much more fluid in it's movements). One could almost venture to say those tires, and the whole rear setup to a degree, were the first step away from realism in the name of performance. Maybe all this cab forward nonsense and general ugliness of today's buggies can all be traced back to this, lol.

 Despite the Super Champ's performance oriented goals, its was (or rather the whole SRB line was) on the way out the door the day it was introduced. The ORV came in right after and it was clear this was the direction (with mostly plastic and stamped metal replacing diecast metal) Tamiya was headed in. Whether the Super Champ was Tamiya attempting to get a little more mileage out of the chassis before retiring it or if they generally were interested in keeping it competitive, we'll never know for sure. The Super Champ is probably my favorite of the group regardless. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For sure the super champ/fighting buggy is in the SRB family re-re's and all! it appeared in the same era it's just a modified version as the same as the bigwig is in the hotshot family I've never even questioned it (but I do think we need a new model on the SRB chassis:wub:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think since the SRB suspensions are obviously designed closely to the 1:1 air cooled VW, I think that platform lends itself to those types of models. I think maybe a VW squareback, Karmanm Gia, or even an early split window bus would be cool to see in the family. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is thought that Subaru Brat body was molded with intention of going over a SuperChamp chassis... instead it became the first ORV. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main sticking point from previous discussions is that the SC doesn’t have the radio box that actually says Special Racing Buggy and therefore is not an SRB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first car was a Super Champ as well. I bought it at the end of 1983, right when the Frog came out so it was obsolete almost immediately, but I loved it. I've only just recently reaquired the Tamiya Virus so I missed the SC / Fighting Buggy re-re in 2014; they're all out of my price range now, barring lotto wins (yeah, right). I raced at the local club (St. Ives, Sydney) and I think I managed a third place with it, once, probably due to an almighty pile up under the bridge that the 'Champ just speared right through, what with being an aluminium ingot and all.

I remember it as being a bit bouncy at the front but rock solid at the rear. No diff so it tended to slide through corners. Once it got up to speed in a straight line it sailed over washboard bumps through shear momentum.

I sold it around 1986 I think, and bought a Hornet. I don't remember what happened to the Hornet - I probably sold it during my uni years to pay for food or drafting supplies (don't let your kids grow up to be Architects, unless you are already a multi-millionaire!) 

If they ever re-re-re the Super Champ / Fighting Buggy I'll definetely be re-addign one to my collection. For now my vintage ride is my brother's '83 Sand Rover.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly didn't know there was even a debate/consternation over this.

If I ever finish my vintage SC chassis that has been *******ised with new parts and to fit a Sand Scorcher body........and anyone actually sees it. I guess there'll be badword to pay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Shodog said:

The main sticking point from previous discussions is that the SC doesn’t have the radio box that actually says Special Racing Buggy and therefore is not an SRB

Very true re the electronics platform replacing the SRB branded radio box. 

The SC also doesn’t have the Special Racing Buggy logo on its box art sides - but then nor did the Ranger (and it’s a truck not a buggy) but few would question whether it’s an SRB ?

I guess it boils down to Tamiya never having released a chassis that didn’t evolve - and no two cars sharing the same chassis are identical - but that doesn’t stop us from grouping them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...