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Mystery Tamiya Kit

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  • Member since
    March 2010
Mystery Tamiya Kit
Posted by Bocks Suv on Thursday, September 9, 2021 10:01 AM

I visited a seller in 2016 who was clearing out most of her husband's unbuilt kits. It was stacks of kits and containers everywhere. A hoarder situation. Anyway, among the car kits were several Tamiya large race cars that I had rarely seen. The one that stood out to me was an asymmetrical open-wheel car that had the driver in the middle (I think) and most of the body shifted to one side between the wheels. Might have been one of those X-cars from the 60's or 70s. It was a big kit probably 1/12, but not RC. I've looked everywhere to find an image, review or one for sale. Does anyone know about this car kit and its history?  Her prices were not set up to clear out the hundreds or thousands of kit she had amassed, so I only bought a plane kit as a courtesy for spending so much time. Now I wish I had bought that kit and some others.

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Thursday, September 9, 2021 12:20 PM

It might be one of those turbine cars that were raced back in the day (STP or Paxton?).  IIRC I saw a 1/12 kit of such a car, but it was made by somone else - Eidai/Grip?  It was for sale at a second-hand shop called Hobby Kansuke in Osaka.  The price was dear!  The car guys should know more.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, September 9, 2021 1:23 PM

It does kind of sound like Andy Granatelli's STP/Paxton turbine car that almost won Indy in 1967. The asymmetric design was due to the sheer bulk of the P&W turbine engine, which required the cockpit to be offset relative to the engine space (with the fuel tank in between). With Parnelli Jones as the driver, it led for 171 laps until a bearing failure took it out of the race just 3.5 laps short of the finish.

The turbine cars were short-lived, since rules changes took them out only a year or two later.

Bandai did a 1/12 kit that shows up on eBay periodically:

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Thursday, September 9, 2021 2:22 PM

Greg,

That is the kit I saw at the hobby shop!  The backbone chassis reminds me of the Lotus-designed DeLorean's.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:10 PM

Real G

Greg,

That is the kit I saw at the hobby shop!  The backbone chassis reminds me of the Lotus-designed DeLorean's.

Never had the model...but I can remember eagerly watching that race with my dad on ABC Wide World of Sports ("The thrill of victory...the agony of defeat....") as a die-hard 11-year-old race fan. The STP car started back a row...overtook and passed pole qualifier Mario Andretti in only about 3/4 of a lap...and that was that until nearly the end. (Unfortunately 'my boy' Jim Clark started even farther back, and the car only held up for 35 laps before he was out.)

I went back and watched a bit of the same broadcast on YouTube. It's funny to see again how 'shook' many of the other drivers were, over the turbine technology. A car powered by what was essentially a helicopter engine must have seemed a little sci-fi even for professional speed-demons and adrenaline junkies like those guys.

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
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