RC cars, also known as radio controlled or remote controlled cars, are model cars that are powered from either a battery or gas. These cars can be controlled from a distance through using a remote or a transmitter. The history of RC cars began in 1966 with an Italian company by the name of Elettronica Giocattoli. Since then, the cars has evolved much and offer a wide variety of options including on and off road drivability.
The first model created by Elettronica Giocattoli was a 1:12 Ferrari 250LM. This became available in December 1966 in the United Kingdom. Soon after in 1968 at the Milan Toy Fair, the second model followed. This was a 1:10 Ferrari P4. Around the same time, a Bristish company called Mardave caught onto the RC car production and their first cars were nitro or gas powered. They began producing commercially available models in the early 1970’s.
The 1970’s came to be the turning point for the history of RC cars as the United States began to create several commercial products. The early kits were 1/8 scale aluminum cars that were nitro-powered. Their engines were often .21 or smaller and the body of these cars were made of polycarbonate.
By the 1980’s, the evolution of RC cars provided the basis for today’s market. Popular models that were introduced during this time included the Grasshopper and Hornet dune buggies. Monster truck models made their appearance as another early off roader type.
Since then, many of these early adaptations of RC cars have been highly sought after by vintage collectors. These mint condition kits sell at prices upwards of $3,000. Tamiya, a popular production company in the 1980’s, re-released many of their kits in 2005-2007 after acknowledging their continued popularity and demand.
From the 1960’s to now, nitro-powered cars have come a long way. With electric-powered being a popular option now available. The small engines of .21 and lower have also been upgraded majorly. You can now find many monster trucks offering engines from .36 to .80 in size.