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Explain the 959 to me

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Can someone explain the allure of the 959 to me? As a casual observer, they are beautiful. I imagine the fact they have been off the re-re list up till now (and for the foreseeable future) plus they probably didn't sell in large numbers might make their exclusivity attractive. Tamiya obviously held them in some regard as they went through the trouble of blow molding the body and including a Technigold (though, I'm not sure why they made them 1/12th scale). What I haven't read is that they were amazing performers or overly durable but they were cramped being 1/12th scale. I admit 959s (and Celicas) do stand out in the lineup at there time of release during the 80's hey day of buggy-mania. Any 959 aficionados care to fill me in? Thanks.

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The 959 is without a doubt a wonderfully successful and technically sophisticated model from Tamiya. Its only fault - you already mentioned it - is its "wrong" scale.
But above all - and this is now my personal opinion - the 959 is one of the most overrated models among collectors. The prices which are called for a good specimen are mostly beyond good and bad. Especially since the 959 is anything but rare. I sometimes have the feeling that everybody - really everybody - has another one of these things stashed somewhere in the cellar. (By the way, just like Wild Willy's).
Secondly, the chassis is an absolute ulcer, so complicated and crippled in its construction that I don't really understand the hype. 
But just - somehow it's good manners to own such a thing, and that's how long the prices are paid which are called here.
To each his own. It's not my thing anyway.

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If you have to ask...then you may never understand.

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BIG can of worms!!!! I think I'll sit back and watch this. I had a Celica back in the day. I didnt keep it long for some reason and bought a newer version of the Celica that I never even ran due to my first experiences with an ESC (Nosram I believe) It was a nice car but the Schorcher and the Brat I later had were more fun. I just seemed very complex but didnt deliver anything that different. Perhaps if I had kept it longer and run it more it might have been different? I think its special place is guarenteed by the fact it and the 959 have not been ReRe'd. Personally the scale was not an issue as I was building 1/12 scale static Tamiyas at the same time so it fitted well. I now wish I still had it, however I wouldnt spend silly money to get one. The Schorcher ad the Brat I can still do if I want albeit ReRe for not too much

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@scoobybooster has a point

The 959 has a glass cannon body, confusing tobacco changes (Rothmans vs Racing), overly complex dampers (that leak), stressed rear suspension arms (that snap), a weaker prop shaft than the GrB, no centre diff (that bleeds power) and ‘wedged’ 1:12 scale issues pretty much everywhere else 🙄

If you then add brainless bling, you can cripple the drive even further with aftermarket aluminium in places transferring stress to parts that would normally never break - and therefore become hard / impossible to find if restoring ...

Sound familiar ? Then consider this 

The 959 was light years ahead of its time in pure ambition 

No one dared anything close back then 

ABS 4WD monocoque chassis, Technigold power, double wishbones, oil dampers, fully ball raced and a stunningly detailed blow moulded body 

Then consider the box art - cut away detail in so many places ? Iconic livery bought at expensive cost ? 

The 1:1 car had just won the Dakar for goodness sake - after a mixed history to say the least !

If anything, Tamiya simply pushed to hard - maybe pushed by Porsche branding ? 

Let’s also not forget commoditised RC10s drained all the fun and innovation / creativity out of our hobby less than 2 years later ... and we never got anything anywhere near the 959 ever again 

So is @scoobybooster right - yes, he’s pretty much spot on

Is the 959 an epic build and collectors dream - yes, because all of the above means few were made

And hardly any now survive 😬

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3 hours ago, scoobybooster said:

Especially since the 959 is anything but rare. I sometimes have the feeling that everybody - really everybody - has another one of these things stashed somewhere in the cellar.

Just on the point of them not being rare, I have a mint chassis that needs a body shell, could one of the people with the many that were made and that are stashed in the cellar let me have one... i cant get one anywhere for love or money.

J

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Theyre just so different. Nothing out there like it. SO cramped. SO many issues to drive without trashing but crazily ambitious and something of a design marvel.

A must-have for me.

Dont even mention the shell. Crazy delicate but utterly intricate. And sits about 1cm higher than it should do as stock (imo).

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I had one when it originally made its appearance (Rothmans) later ones came with racing decals spare body set still had Rothmans decals and I absolutely loved it:wub: I bought all the hop-ups for it slick tyres, centre diff, light set I also did the conversion so it would fit the 8.4v battery mind you the body was in the same club as the super champ (might aswell have been made of tissue paper) I used to take it to my rc club and because of its sheer speed after the nights heats in the school hall/gym we would go to the tennis courts and set up a drag racing heats just for fun to see which rc buggies (rc10s, cats, Optimas, hotshots) could beat it? And nothing come anywhere near it:D! I would have loved to seen it today with a brushless combo and lipo? And in the day it was a technical marvel that's probably why the box art was a picture of the car with a transparent body on it, it obviously had bits of design problems which have all been stated but it never or will ever bother me it's just one very cool rc car!

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This is one I'll probably never own, much as I'd like to. It would be nice to spend a bit of time with the chassis from one of these to really get to know how it goes together and what makes it tick.
I'm sure sooner or later some spawny get will come in here with a story about how he found one in a skip bin, or someone came up to him at a meet once and said, would you like this? I've lost interest.

You know, just another in the long cavalcade of never happens to me moments.

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If you were a certain age to lust after one as a lad, you should get it.  If you’re too young it obviously won’t make much sense.

I had one of the originals when they came out as a lucky lad (my uncle was seriously into RC & sorted it). It was about as good as Tamiya got and I can tell you the feeling just seeing the 959 and celica in the Tamiya catalogue was epic enough let alone seeing them on display.  Owning one was a dream come true for me at the time.

What you’ve got to also remember at the time it was crazy quick for Tamiya too.  With the technigold as standard it flew compared to my hot-shot!  As far as mainstream goes there wasn’t a lot like it to be honest.

Sadly I swapped mine for two piles of scrap (a hand painted, broken black foot and broken thundershot). I was only a teenager at the time and stupidly advertised it for sale, some bloke came round and talked me into a deal (was pushy and older & I swapped)

Mind you, I also threw away an original hotshot about 23 years ago! Tub was broken at front and it just seemed not worth bothering to fix when a new model kit was £xx

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The 959 was my first Tamiya car - after my first rc a Robbe Presto with Suzuki Body.
I still have it! (and 2 more which I bought in the last years to restore.....)

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I reckon if you lined up Tamiyas first 100 kits NIB and asked a large sample of intelligent people (not Tamiya experts) which one they want the most - the 959 would win. Of course I’m talking about the early release Porsche badge, Rothmans decals version. It’s just so god **** alluring and classy isn’t it? It arguably has the greatest ever Tamiya box art, it’s a Porsche, it’s based on a real car, it has cool original sponsors livery, it has the Technigold. Yeah sure there’s a few kits out there that trump it on collectibility and it had plenty of technical issues but that’s just not the point.......

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15 hours ago, Hudson said:

a large sample of intelligent people 

I may be the exception that proves above, but I lusted after the 959 as a kid and always wanted one.

Despite being the wrong scale, over-priced, cramped, brittle, difficult to paint etc etc, this project was one of my most enjoyable builds, turning a tatty wreck into one of the models in my collection that draws my eye more than most.

https://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=130609&id=29570

Plus, I quite like the Rothman's connections.

rothmans.thumb.jpg.51e94e4794b05dc311fdd7fbd8c084d9.jpg 

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The prototype rocks. A masterpiece of engineering driven by truly great rivers in the toughest race you can imagine.

The chassis of the model is pure elegance, central gold motor, absurdly delicate but oh so pretty suspension, cool shocks, loads of bearings of all sizes and types, light and wickedly fast.

The body is simply the greatest work of lexan out there in terms of manufacturing, precision, accuracy and the ability to crack when you breathe near it.

The paintjob is a classic, and an absolute nightmare of masking and decaling.

1/12 is oddly beautiful. It is a gem of a model.

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On 23 March 2020 at 8:03 PM, Pablo68 said:

This is one I'll probably never own, much as I'd like to. It would be nice to spend a bit of time with the chassis from one of these to really get to know how it goes together and what makes it tick.
I'm sure sooner or later some spawny get will come in here with a story about how he found one in a skip bin, or someone came up to him at a meet once and said, would you like this? I've lost interest.

You know, just another in the long cavalcade of never happens to me moments.

Corner of my eye spotted somewhere online this wk somebody's crowing he's just received a 959 he scored for $150 posted. Full set with radio, body unpainted, chassis looks mint & tyres mounted - looks like uncompleted assembly. 

Grrr... :) 

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3 hours ago, WillyChang said:

Corner of my eye spotted somewhere online this wk somebody's crowing he's just received a 959 he scored for $150 posted. Full set with radio, body unpainted, chassis looks mint & tyres mounted - looks like uncompleted assembly. 

Grrr... :) 

See!? I well knew it!!

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Hi guys, if anyone is after a brand new Tamiya Technigold RX-540VZ in box never run, instructions & Rotor Pull tool then let me know.

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All I know from my  local ventures for old Tamiyas back in the early 00s - mostly a hunt for Wild Willys and Sand Scorchers, is that I turned down something like 10-15 Porsche 959s, usually at a cost around $60-75 at the time... Hindsight is 20/20 and today I naturally wish I'd picked up a couple back then, as the model fascinates me much more today than it did then. Then again, lexan bodied models is not my thing...

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They're just so pretty to look at. There was nothing even close at the time. The level of sophistication, the beautiful scale body, the high standard spec...

I've had the opportunity to get a few of them running for customers over the years, and ran them in smooth parking lots. They drive far better than a vintage car on hard tires should.

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I quite liked them bitd, but seemed more of an, on road ,car ,so never made a B line to get one.

I couldn't get the excitement about the, technigold motor! There where far quicker motors to be had available at the time.

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