I have a terrible affliction when it comes to RC Cars. Not only am I a dreamer, but I am always wanting more RC Cars, and I have a VERY tight RC budget.
I had been toying with the idea of another RC car for racing, as when it comes to big 2 day events like the Launceston Cup event that my club holds, one car just isn’t enough racing as my RC “garage” currently contains one raicng vehicle, a HPI Blitz ESE as well as a XV-01 Rally Car. My racing skills are about average, so a buggy to run in 4wd Mod was probably not ideal, and much as I love stadium trucks, the numbers seem to wax and wane.
So 2wd Stock looked like a good idea. I didn’t like the TLR 22 because it couldn’t easily take a normal battery in mid mount configuration, i’ve never been an Team Associated Fan, Schumacher only had ball diffs (ball diffs and I don’t get along), I didn’t mind the Durango DEX210 and HPI/HB haven’t had a production 2wd buggy for some time.
Then along came the release of the Schumacher Cougar KR, and I like that a lot, but as I race indoors on carpet, a mid mounted car would be more suited to where I race. And then came the Schumacher Cougar KF, and I was in love! A truly mid mounted, belt driven design on a carbon fibre chassis with a sexy body. And if anybody knows indoor racing, it is British brand Schumacher. I spoke with Scott at Action RC and got prices, and set a target to save enough money to buy one as all that sexy doesn’t come cheap. After some months of slowly saving I was getting closer to the kit, but it would take some time to save for ESC, motor, tyres, receiver and a servo. One day sitting at work I had an epiphany, the KF would be great, but in the time it would take me to save for it I could have been enjoying a less expensive buggy for some time. So I went back to Team Durango and their latest version, the DEX210 V2, and I liked what I saw. An optional gear differential and I would be away. So a more modest target was set for a new DEX210 V2, or an original DEX210 if I could find a good 2nd hand one locally.
While I was thinking about that, I sent another racer at my club, Leo Lorenzen of the Durango Fansite fame, an email to keep an eye out for any good 2nd hand kits. The response was that Leo had one for sale himself, and after some discussion what can only be described as a fantastic deal was struck. A DEX210 with Tekin ESC and motor, Savox Servo, Spektrum Rx, a couple of sets of tyres and rims, an unpainted Pulse RC body and a few upgrades and spares for somewhat less than the cost of a Cougar KF kit alone. I was ecstatic as I had only $30 left to scrimp and scrounge to meet my target, and a few weeks until I saw Leo next to collect the purchase.
The next race meet came, payment was made and a very happy Richard was in possession of his first Buggy. Leo had even included a couple of batteries that I was not expecting, but was very thankful for. In the coming week I had time to look at it more closely, and it really was a peach in excellent condition. First thing to to was charge a battery and give it a try. No dice, some research revealed that my Spektrum DX2.0 was not compatible with the SR3100, so a quick swap was done with another Racer/Drifter/Crawler Shaun and I had a SR300 installed and it was alive, I could run some laps of my garage! Next job, cut out and paint the body. On this time defeated me before the next race meet and I didn’t have a body to race with. However a quick message to Leo and I was able to borrow one of his spare bodies for the meet so I could run the DEX210 instead of my usual Blitz ESE. And what a difference it was to drive, responsive, nimble, quick and full of grip. It was exhilarating to drive and responded well to being pushed. Obviously the setup Leo had done on the car for me suited the track, and my driving style, but whatever the case it left me with a grin from ear to ear by the end of the night. The icing on the cake was and winning the B final after only 2 qualifiers and 2 finals of driving a buggy at all!
The moral of the story, you don’t need to have the latest and greatest kit to be competitive, and certainly not to enjoy it on the track. One in the had is always better than two in the bush (or the newest version in the shop window). So it seems that taking our advice on Aussie RC not to discount 2nd hand kits paid off for me in a big way. A bit thanks to all those involved along the way, and those that offered advice and setup help along the way, Scott, Leo, Shaun, Sam and those I have forgotten to mention. I will update you all with the progress of the body and the rest of my fleet as changes occur.