This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Kyosho Progress 4WDS!
It was my first 4WD car, and was also supposed to be my first 'proper' RC racing car... supposed!...
My first RC was the Holiday Buggy back in 1981, and even though it in hindsight wasn't a genious construction I loved it! At least it was pretty straightforward, and with some reinforcments it was a reliable car. After that I fell for the Wild Willy in 1983. It was big fun! But useless for off-road and serious racing!
So, there I was in 1984 at my LHS called Belboe & Jensen, in Trondheim. Looking at this new beast called the Progress. I was very, very sceptical. It looked a bit overcomplex! And it was a loooong decision prosess. But I finally went for it. Had I known the Hotshot would appear in 1985 I think I would have waited! :-) There also was the Yokomo Dogfighter as an alternative in 1984, which I guess was a better option. But it didn't look that tempting. And I seem to recall it was pre-built as well. Half the fun has always been building these babies!!!
The car was supposed to be Kyoshos new flagship, and a pure competiton machine. In stead it turned out to be a failed mad scientist's project. One may very well call it Kyosho's Avante :-) It featured 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steering, and front one-way bearings (=only rear wheel braking & more drive during acceleration). The one-ways sat out in the front wheels, and malfunctioned more often than not. As kids we drove also in winter, and the snow/water
made this solution a nightmare. There wasn't really anything wrong with the 4 wheel steering, it made the car turn on a dime. But it made it heavier and there was a lot of links that could pop off. The chain for the front wheel drive was more of a neckless, very thin! And it got stretched all the time, which again resulted in loss of front wheel drive. I was a kid with a low budget, so ball bearings were not bought as a replacement for the brass bearings. That and an oil filled rear gearbox was a disaser, it leaked oil everywhere to my mother's frustration! :-) The battery was placed across, and high up in the rear. This was not ideal for the handling. Not to forget the front mono damper, that's never been a good solution.
Kyosho made it all good when they later made the Optima, which was a real winner! Not just a 'good idea at the time' :-)
Nevertheless, the Progress was a landmark, and one of those fun creations in RC car history! :-)
Inspired from Tanatwo I painted a chrome bottom field on the shell. Plus some air intakes. Topped off with an aluminium Dirt Burners wing.
This was also the very RC car that infected me with the ebay disease! Before this my collection only consisted of my modded Supershot from my childhood. Plus a Holiday Buggy new built from ebay/US a couple of years earlier. I was doing an update on my Model Car History web page (www.ymr.no/historie.htm) and was googling for Kyosho Progress images. I never even thought I'd find any... but I did! Plus manual, ads... and a NIB(!!!) kit from Japan!!! I then knew what was possible to get hold of '30 years too late'... and I never looked back! :-)
If you liked those pictures, you should see these...