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Radio Control Car History

Model car racing using tethers, rails and slots had been around for years, but the dream of the driver being able to steer the car remotely needed the new technology of radio control. And specifically, the technology of ‘proportional’ steering and speed control was needed to race cars remotely. How did that dream become reality? What is the true history?

The first commercially available RC model car was a 1:12 Ferrari 250LM. It was available in the UK in December 1966, through importers Motor Books and Accessories, St. Martins, London, and early in 1967 through Atkinson’s model shop in Swansea.

As the years go by, history becomes faded. Since I was deeply involved with starting, in 1970, the first ever wide area championship – The Midwest Series – for the new hobby of Radio Controlled (RC) model car racing, I have decided to gather first-hand information from back in the day. ‘Car Model’ (CM) magazine was one excellent source. CM covered all aspects of model cars – building plastic kits, collecting die-cast models, racing slot cars in various scales and, when various remotely controlled cars appeared on the scene, they were very involved in reporting about the various types, primarily cars being controlled remotely by radio… read more >

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