Restoring Vintage RC Cars

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Restoring Vintage RC Cars, the Joys and Challenges You Can Encounter


Classic Beauties

Restoring a vintage RC car is one of the most rewarding activities a car enthusiast can perform. Transforming a seemingly old car back into its original look to preserve its glory is nothing less than a priceless art.

Unless you have enough funding to buy a new car or happen to stumble upon a cheap car in a small model shop, restoring already used cars is not such a bad idea. Restoring vintage Tamiya RC cars is even more worthwhile as these are very popular models ever since they were first released.  Doing so requires time, passion, dedication, patience and little fund. The process of restoring vintage cars often starts with the purchase of used cars or restoring an abandoned car stored for ages.

Restoration Purpose

Take your time to verify the condition of the abandoned or used car, especially if you buy from online stores like eBay. It is advisable to look at the pictures closely if not satisfied ask for more pictures and download the car manual to see if parts are missing or substituted. At this stage, it is also important to think about what you want to do with the car. Do you want to just keep it on a shelf, make it a runner or run it in a vintage competition? It determines if you need additional parts, for example, a shelf vintage doesn’t need soft tires, as long as it looks nice. But if you want to compete, running on dried out tires is not a good idea.

Restoration Plan

Inspect the car thoroughly to help you determine the kind of repairs needed to be done, if possible, take it to a car shop to evaluate its restoration possibilities. After that, you will then determine if the restoration process is worth the time and money.

Knowing what to be replaced is a very important measure that should not be overlooked. It would amaze you how this step can save you major dollars (Euros, Yens, etc.) and make the entire project flow more smoothly without breaking the bank. The car’s structure should be strong as well as the floor, a little rust can be repaired but a completely rusty car which has the entire frame compromised will eventually crumble.

Still, little rust can cause a significant amount of lasting problems to the car. If you have any rust you cannot simply paint over it. You should remove it and if that creates a hole in the panel you will have to patch it as there is no shortcut to rust. If you don’t have car repair skills and know-how, you might experience some hardships as your auto restoration project progress and mistakes in RC car restoration can be costly and you can end up achieving nothing. It is advisable to get a partner that has knowledge of RC restoration process.

Always read the manual for the parts needed

It is advisable to make a list of parts needed because rebuilding a vintage car maybe sometimes frustrating when you suddenly realize you overlooked those few special screws or a small part. Then, you need to go an online store like eBay to locate the parts needed. It’s not uncommon to find parts have been left out, like washers inside the gearbox, or even a missing e-clip on a shock piston. You don’t want unpleasant surprises the first time you test run your care or when you show it to your friends, so it is important to evaluate the part catalog you will need for the restoration and run some numbers within your budget. Never deviate from it otherwise, the result will be obvious.

Also decide on the quality of parts needed for the restoration, after you have a list of needed parts, it’s time to ask yourself: do you want your car to have the best parts that money can buy, or can you compromise in certain areas. Having the car’s manual handy, either in hardcopy or in digital form will help to spot any mistake or missing parts and will also help with looking for replacement items.


The power

If your project has a solid running battery, then you need to clean it up make sure it is ready, but if the battery is not in running order, you will need to repair or rebuild it or change it. This can range from a small, quick job to a very tedious and time-consuming process. It’s true that battery create the power, but without its accessories, it’s useless Your car depends on car accessories like wires, fuse etc. to run, when dealing with restore, keep in mind that these components maybe aged and worn so, take proper inventory on what needs to be replaces

Document everything step

Do well to document as you go, as you dismantle your vehicle, you will want to document your work so you will know which part goes where when the time comes to reassemble or for record purposes. Be careful where you put various nuts and bolts, it’s quite easy to forget these little things and it will end up costing you your time and energy.

Inspect your result/do maintenance

When all major restorations are done, run a close and detailed inspection then take it for a ride and see if it works correctly. And don’t forget to give proper maintenance to your newly restored RC car using all the recommended parts and products. The trick to getting newly restored RC cars to last for a long time lies in its maintenance if the vehicle is properly maintained it will become a valuable asset.


After you have successfully restored an RC car to its original glory, you will feel a certain amount of relief and accomplishment and it may earn a lot of money if you decide to sell it one day. This project may be quite stressful; you have to visit several car part dealers and other car shops for the perfect restoration solution. Restoring your abandoned classic cars back to its glory is definitely more stressful than building a new re-release car. But once you have successfully restored your classic car, the satisfaction and joy can be indescribable.

Thanks for reading


Written by chrixtopher

Edited by Carlos Santos, your webmaster


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