**PLEASE READ THIS** for anyone looking at this model displayed in my showroom and wondering if I will sell it? PLEASE DON’T ASK!!! I get numerous requests from TC members wanting to buy cars displayed in my Tamiyaclub showroom, and to be honest I get very annoyed when people ask to buy something that is clearly NOT FOR SALE!! This car is part of MY COLLECTION and as such I want to KEEP IT!! So please don’t Email on the off chance that I might sell it to you, if I want to sell any of my cars I will put them up for sale in my TRADE ROOM, so look there to see what cars I am prepared to sell otherwise don’t bother asking cos the only answer you will get is NO!!! thanks for reading this disclaimer. Regards wldnas.
NOW this is one of those Rare cars that I just love to collect, I'd never even heard of one of these until a few months ago and now I'm the proud owner of a New built example, seeing it on E**y a few weeks ago on a 'Buy It Now' for $129.99 I broke my self imposed E**y fast and snapped it up.
First impressions... I know what your thinking... HOTSHOT!! well no its actually a Royal Ripper and YES it is a Hotshot RIP-OFF, aparently it came out in the late eighties and was exclusive to the americal market, Royal made no Odds about duplication the look of the legendary Tamiya 4X4 even down to the box art which boure a striking resemblence to the Tamiya own.
Constuction wise it cant hold a candel to the original, the plastic looks suspiciously shiney as if enticing you to break it and the tires although blatent copies of the Patented OVALBLOCK pattern they are made from an softer more inferiour rubber which I feel wont be half as durable, astetics are another front where the Ripper fails to deliver, aside from the initial simularity with the Tamiya Product.
When you get a bit closer is brutish ugly looks become more apparent, the Lexal body is swollen and lumpy and barey kept in check by the single split pin and rattles about all over the place, the drivers head is fitted ontop of the chassis with similar moulded shoulder mounting, but as the body sits a good half inch above the chassis the drivers head lower than the top of the shell making the car look like its been driven by a midget.
the front suspension is reasonably faithful to the original, with idetical looking silver dogbones and mono-shock set up, but at the rear something seems to have gone terribly wrong, the Gearbox is backtop front compared to the Hotshots Mid mounted design, the motor dangles out the back of the car like a fat saggy bottom, wishbones similar to the front ones are fitted to the rear, with the single mono-shock acting off pivots attatched to the TOP wishbones and the shock runs transversly through the cockpit side windows just behind the drivers head!!! I Kid you not!!
This arse about tit design seems to have evolved to make room for the cars biggest inovation 4 Wheel Steering! yes you heard right the Ripper is a 4WDS like the Bulldog, Progress, Gallop and so many Monster trucks you could name, its a shame that the system employed to turn the wheels has been badly implomented, there are chunky lock stops on the front suspension arms which prevent all but the mildest of turns meaning that in order to get this beast to steer you have to engage the 4WS system even though there are means to disconnect it, the elongated servo savers are on the center line of the chassis and run from top to bottom at each end, but they seem crude and imprecise, and the rear one seems to rub on the gearbox, power for this system comes though the unconventional chassis....
thanks to the 4WS system and backwards gearbox the car looks all out of proportion with the cockpit mounted too far back, the chassis on this car is rear stange one, it owes more in its shape to the Thundershot than the Hotshot, its been elongated beyond reason, the Receiver is mounted where the Steering servo ought to go, the servos are mounted side by side just behind with there tops sitting in an exposed recess in the chassis top, the Speed Controller (which looks suspisiously like an Early Kyosho design) is mounted onto of the chassis just infront of the servos, all these exposed mechanism are the reason for the bulbus, bloated body.
One good point I have noticed about this car is the huge ground clearance and excessice suspension travel it has, the Hotshots main critasism was its aparent lack of suspension travel, well this car has it in abundence, and even though it hasnt got any anti-roll bars the suspension is remarkably supple and the car even when empty is beautifly weighted and balenced so at least thats one aspect where they have improved over the original
Im telling you its NOT a Hot Shot!!!
It came with manual and unfitted speed controller
Somethings gone horribly wrong with the backend
Very unconventional open top chassis design
Theres no mistaking that look, or is there?
Which is which you tell me
I'm glad this car is in new built condition cos Id much rather keep it as eccentric shelf queen rather than a unusual runner, but who know one day curiocity will get the better of me and I will fit one just to try it out and see how it goes, But it takes something like this to make you realise what a work of art the original Hotshot is and such an innovation in RC design and thinking at the time, But I'm really glad I got this car and its perfect for my growing collection of curiocities and oddbal designs.