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Nate R

Tamiya Wild Willy ...Before I do something dumb.

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Just wanted to understand before I destroy something collectors may need/want. My dad had this rc car (complete just have the body off to clean up everything) for years and it is one of those items I have always loved since childhood. Since then I have gotten into jeeps as well as rc cars and I decided I was going to upgrade this car to a newer motor so I can use my lipos and get away from servo speed control. I started to notice that there are purists that love the tamiya cars and would hate to destroy something if others would benefit more. Therefore I am asking for advice as to whether I should leave as is or whether it would be ok to upgrade. Main goal is to understand if I should let this piece of history go to a better home and buy something modern. I understand the collector culture and purists so wanted your perspective first. Thank in advance for any guidance and greatly appreciate your time.

PXL_20201111_223509047.jpg

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I wouldn't upgrade it! I'd definitely keep it the few bits that are missing off it you could probably get off Ebay (I know in the UK at the moment someone has stripped one by the looks of it and put the parts on said UK ebay) 

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Definitely keep an original one original. If you want to experiment with a Wild Willy (it's just impossible to discuss these things without sounding lewd, isn't it?), get a WW2. The gearbox and suspension is much better equipped to deal with modern power. And it still has "the look."

 

tanwilly.jpg

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As the others recommend get a WW2 if you want to modify it or go faster. 

Your M38 is worth more as an vintage model and the plastics are likely to be brittle so you would be much better off either restoring it or selling it on.

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I think you should clean it up, put it thogheter and set in on a Shelf. Then buy a new Wild Willy kit to have fun with... 

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100% restore this one and buy a Wild Willy 2 for bashing and having fun with.

https://tamico.de/Tamiya-Wild-Willy-2-WR-02-Kit-58242

There's a couple of really useful guides on Wild Willys here:

https://tamiyabase.com/articles/46-technical/162-want-to-compare-your-willy-part1-body-parts

https://tamiyabase.com/articles/46-technical/173-want-to-compare-your-willy-part2-chassis-versions

which are helpful for working out which one you've got (short wheelbase or long wheelbase) and what parts you might need to restore it with.

As mentioned by @Grumpy pants these will be at least 30 years old now and the plastics are getting more and more brittle so they aren't really up to being bashed about. Absolutely they can be run and had fun with, but you've got to be careful.

But they do look beautiful when restored. I've restored 3 of them now and to begin with I wasn't that fussed on them, but now I reckon they can be one of the best looking Tamiyas ever. :wub:

 

Just to add: I think from bitter experience I and many, many others on here would say "don't sell it - you will always regret it later on."

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Do not get rid of it. If you did, you would regret it being your Dad's and you growing up with it. Keep it as original as you can, and buy something modern for you to run. Something you can tinker with, upgrade etc. You being into Jeeps (I have been a jeeper since the 1970s, so I understand that) there are lots of jeep crawlers out there to choose from. That said, I have an original Wild Willy from 1982 that I bought new back then. ALL my kids grew up with that Wild Willy, and if I ever sold it, my kids (all grown now) would have a fit. It has always been a part of their lives and they love it as much as I do. I bought it when my oldest (son) was only 2 months old. 

 

Here is an option for you. This is what I did. I still have my original 1982 WW, but wanted another that I can run and have fun with. I took an original Wild Willy body (had a spare) and retrofitted it onto a Gf01 4x4 chassis from the Tamiya "Heavy Dump". LOVE this build. It still does the crazy wheelies as the original, but can also do some real 4x4 crawling. IT is a lot of fun. Was a fun build, and fun to run. Just something to consider. Photo is of my original, and my newest build what I now call "Son Of Willy, WW3.0)

07092020b.jpg

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Do with it what makes you happy. I''d keep it as a link with your Dad. Remember that It's just a plastic toy that has value to collectors. A spitfire is piece of history. There is a difference. :) 

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9 minutes ago, MadInventor said:

Remember that It's just a plastic toy 

You wash your mouth out and go to your bedroom right now and think long and hard about what you just said there!

Just wait until your dad comes home!!!! :angry:

 

:P

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lol.. yeah, it is just a toy. A spitfire is a part of world history, but the wild willy is a part of RC history. All is a "perspective". I am guilty of *******ing off collectors and purists myself. I am by no means "pure". If you look at my original SWB Wild Willy, you will notice detail that is not as it "should" be. The fuel cell in the back was cut out and replaced with a wood ammo crate. I did that in 82/83 to accommodate a larger battery I built with larger cells way back then. A Purist would pass out if someone did that now. But it is a vintage car, with a vintage mod I did back then when no one ever thought of a "collectible" toy. Also, you might notice the strap loops, aft hood latch and other body detail is not there. It is smooth. I did that years later after I recovered my Wild Willy after it was stolen and the thief paint bombed it with the crappyist silver paint on the market. Ruined the body. That was before we knew or had ways to strip paint, so I ended up sanding and sanding and sanding to get that crap off. could not save the body detail, so just went with the "smooth" look. Which I grew to love. (this is why I had a spare body when I built WW3.0) I was going to replace the body, but ended up loving the modified original body and embraced it as part of that particular Wild Willy's history. So, sure, my original SWB WW might be a collectible, but not really because it has been changed, so that value is gone forever. But no matter, that one will never be sold.  Anyway, you should keep your wild willy as your Dad ran it. Hard to talk about, but some day your Dad will be gone, and if you sold it, you would regret it after your Dad is gone. The reason I will never sell mine, because I know it means a lot to my kids, and they will have it as a part of me long after I am gone. It will someday go to my oldest son whom was a baby when I bought it, and to his son, long after me. I know he would never sell it either for those same reasons. He has a lot of fond memories with me and that Wild Willy as a kid. 

 

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As somewhat of a Wild Willy enthusiast and collector I'd say keep it as is - replace any missing parts and possibly restore it if need be, and run it on a sunny day if you want. You cn easily replace the mechanical speed controller with na ESC no worries. Upgrading the motor or installing LiPos won't do the car any favours, nor the driving experience. After restoring, rebuilding and modifying twenty-something original WWs over the last 20 years, I don't see an issue with brittle plastic, but rather an old and limited design - which in my eyes makes this model the legend that it has become. Don't get me wrong, running it will break some parts quickly, but that is mostly a result of the engineering. The same parts broke back in the mid 80s as well. What was groundbreaking back in the day, is outdated from todays standards. In perspective, this was the first model Tamiya released with a differential - which is a given in any model today. The motor that came with the kit is plenty for this wheely-happy little car - besides, it is somewhat difficult to find a replacement upgrade anyhow (spur gear related), and part from breaking more parts more parts, more power will only make this puppy flip over even more and ending in little to no run time.

Albeit I do have a vintage runner with ESC in my collection, I went the other way - I've played around with various modern platforms to emultate the original WW, like with this WW2

simensays_gf01_wheels_02.jpg

 

If you're not strung out for the money, I'd say keep it and cherish the car and memories that it represents - and if you're not the sentimental type, sell it and get yourself something more modern. It will for sure be a lot more running, a lot cheaper, and a lot more options for you to choose from whne it comes to upgrades.

The original Wild Willy is an iconic piece of RC history.

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I agree with above, giving the original WW more power will just make it more squirrely than it originally was. The only upgrade I have done as far as electrical to my original is it does have an ESC which makes it accelerate much more graceful. The old MSC was not good for the WW. It only had fast and faster making it hard to handle most the time. I like the ability to start out gradually to keep it under better control. What I did with the Wild Willy on the GF01 chassis did wonders for it. It is much more stable and not as prone to flip all over the place, and the addition of actual 4x4 made it much more versatile and fun as a runner. I only run my original ever so often just for the nostalgia of it. But when I want the Wild Willy fun running, I run my GF01 Wild Willy. I am thinking about finding a couple more rear wheels from an original (I already have one set of rears) with the 12mm hex drive, and put on a reproduction original sand paddle tires to make my GF01 WW even more like the original in appearance. 

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Yup, I agree that the GF01 is a very good modern option, with plenty of possibilities as a WW runner.
However, the original rear wheels will not fit a GF01, or any other 12mm hex axle as far as i understand. I made my GF01 to look like the original WW, and designed some bolt on wheels that fits the original tires. It's the same wheels as pictured on the WW2 in my previous post, but the WW2 has an upgraded front set up to run hex pattern rims in the front also. The wheels are a direct fit for the GF01 and the sand paddle tire.  I've documented most of these mods and parts here: 



This is my GF01 Wild Willy - with a Sport Tuned motor - ready for final paint and detailing.

simensays_gf01_15.jpg.

The WW2 is on the left, and the GF01 is to the right.

simensays_gf01_wheels_01.jpg

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I really love those wheels. I have not tried to use the rear original WW wheels. I will have to try them. But I love those that you made.  I also love the re-re wild willy tires. I have a set of those on my original WW. Those guys did an awesome job on those. I want to buy another set just as a spare.

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I would either keep as is or restore. As demonstrated above, the Wild Willy  is perfect for some brushless fun.

It is also important to note that the Wild Willy M38 motor is a nightmare to swap out. The original came with the pinion fixed to the motor and the mounting holes are not in line with modern ones. With a lot of effort you can prise the pinion off the original motor but I am not sure it is worth it.

As many have said above, keep the lovely vinatage car as is and get yourself a WWII!

 

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