Tamiya Tamiya Off-Road chassis

Following the On-Road chassis platforms article, let's review Tamiya's industrial and commercial strategies in the Off-Road category. Again, I will refer to chassis platforms, and still for a question of logic, the models release chronology will not be respected.

Early, Tamiya offered off-road models, the first one being their 4th model, even though it is quite special. By the end of year 1979, only 3 years after releasing the Porsche 934 turbo RSR, Tamiya unveils their first buggy series. During all the 80's, platforms and models follow one another for Tamiya and about all other manufacturers at the time, creating a fantastic fever for these models. Starting in 1985, RC knows its “golden era” mainly because of the buggy craze: this will end at the beginning of the 90's when Tamiya decides to make a radical change on the market (see the story of  about this).

In order to better understand RC history, both for on and off-road chassis, we need to understand something: whatever the period, fans always ran their models just like we run ours today. Presumably with more respect for the models due to mentality and relative cost depending on the time, but overall and since the very beginning, radio-controlled models were always made to run. This means to sometimes endure “race” incidents, either a curb when racing in the street, a tree, crashes at the first corner or when landing a jump.

Today, we look at venerable and precious models that traveled through time with love and excitement. But these models, when placed back into their time context, where our modern “TT-01s” or “DB-01s”. In 1980, a Sand Scorcher was modern, it was indeed a very race-worthy model at its time, a perfect candidate for serious racing their bodyshells did not survive long. 30 or 40 years later, forgetting about the re-release, it is not easy to consider such a model for what it was at its time because our love for vintage models alters our perception. And yet, you should keep this in mind when reading this article.

As a matter of fact, these photos are excerpts from period :


Countach LP500S and Celica Gr.5: meeting at the first corner

Tamiya RA-1204 XR311 Combat Support Vehicle

"Airborne" XR311

Tamiya RA-1204 XR311 Combat Support Vehicle

The "submarine" Ferrari 312T3

Tamiya RA-1207 Lamborghini Cheetah

Racing 3 Speed

Tamiya RA-1207 Lamborghini Cheetah


Again, these photos were taken from period RC Guide Books, that is photos used by Tamiya to present and to promote their models at their best. Today, these same photos would require legends such as “usage suggestions”, “non-contractual photos” and other safety warnings involving living creatures and micro-wave ovens.

This article will make you travel back to that time and then bring you back to the present time, one today that our children or grand-children may one day consider too with the same incredulity when discovering the way we treat a TT-01 laughing

This article is very long, over two dozens of pages. You can read it turning pages, just like you would read a book using the navigation bar located at the bottom of the pages. Or, especially if you are looking for information about a specific model or platform, you can use the index below.


Index of Tamiya Off-Road platforms 



























Whatever the reading mode you choose, lean back in your favorite easy chair and enjoy. 


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