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The scale crawler R/C world shrinks everything about off-roading—except the passion

Mike Lohmann is worried about his driveshaft. It’s nine in the morning, but the Florida sun is already marching across the sky, turning the air into a sweat-inducing roux. As Lohmann tells it, last-minute modifications to his 1985 Toyota Hilux scale crawler had unintended consequences. “New front leaf shackles,” he says. “Bit more travel, but the added droop must have adjusted the geometry a bit, pulling the front axle forward.” Lohmann is the leader of our convoy, which scans like a Pure Moods album for classic 4x4s: There’s a Toyota FJ60 Land Cruiser, two more Hilux pickups, a K5 Chevy Blazer, numerous Jeeps, even an International Scout.

Lohmann positions his front tires to maximize purchase over a limestone boulder blocking the trail, then eases into the throttle. The crawler takes a lean and begins pirouetting over the obstacle, only to high-center on its frame. All four wheels spin. A small pop emanates from the front end. “Ope,” Lohmann chuckles. “RIP front driveshaft.” He reaches down and scoops up the Toyota with a single hand, then ambles off to execute a fix. Trailside repairs aren’t that bad when your rig fits in a backpack…. read more >

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