RJ Speed Sport 3.2 1/10 RC Pan Car. First Impressions/Review. Simply Fast.

So as a two time RC addict, I became afflicted right around age 10 with toy grade RC. By age 16 I was fully immersed with Tamiya, Marui, and Kyosho buggies. Then real cars and motorcycles became my thing and I was out of RC.
Affliction number two, for which I am still suffering....began right around 1996 when I sold my motorcycle and had $2800 just waiting to be spent. Enter the touring car craze..I skipped pan cars all together!
Thanks to RJ Speed, Bolink sort of continues with legacy products like their Legends cars and drag cars. Thankfully they expanded their line to include a couple of pan cars. This is the "Sport 3.2" that I recently bought from Tower Hobbies.


For those unfamiliar with pan cars, they were the original RC cars as early as the late 70's. Bolink and Associated were the main players. A multitude of other manufacturers also participated in the market with varying success. Most of the cars were more or less sold to racers who competed with them at club events at hobby shops (remember those places?!) on tracks made of wood with carpet surfaces. Some lucky people lived in the South and tracks were built out of concrete for scale Nascar racing around an oval.

Pan cars are just that. A simple pan chassis made of fiberglass, plastic, or carbon fiber, a rear motor pod with a solid axle. Depending on price, complexity varies, with some pods suspended by multiple oil filled shocks or just a simple pushrod or spring. Front suspensions are mostly simple coil springs on the steering knuckles, some have a more sophisticated double wishbone arrangement mostly copied from Associated.

The RJ Speed Sport 3.2 takes a simple, cheap approach. Retailing for $104.99 and still built in the USA. This is what I would have suspected be the case. Regardless it works well for me, as a casual basher right in front of my townhouse.


One of the nice things about these models, is that the build lends itself to utilizing "spares" one might have collected over the years. I am one such individual. So basically for $104.99 plus some bearings, I was in a new to me RC car on the cheap. I utilized spare radio equipment from a defunct RedCat Racing car, and the motor, ESC, and steering servo came from various other models I had over the years. For this particular car I used an old but reliable LRP brushed ESC, a Tamiya Black Sport Mabuchi sealed can brushed motor, and a Hitec ball bearing steering servo from an old RJ Speed drag car I put to pasture. If using a Lipo, like I did, it should be an oval shaped one, shaped like a 6 cell stick pack NiCad or NiMh.






Pan cars are simple, with "direct drive" which means in the RC community one simple gear reduction. With simple comes light weight. Now where I used a Lipo, one can use a 6 cell NiMh stick pack and realize near same performance. As a matter of fact, the RJ Speed Sport 3.2 probably is easier to drive with a Nicad or NiMh pack as the power delivery will be a little less abrupt, lending to smoother starts and less brutal wheel spin above half throttle.

I won't bore anyone with the build. I do suggest to read and follow the instructions. People unfamiliar with a ball differential may need to do a double take. The body has to be cut out, all the mounting holes have to be located as well as the wheel wells. I've been spoiled by Tamiya kits. All those are either all ready drilled and cut out, or at least have markings. So take your time with the body. It does come with maskings for the windows that were pre-cut. I did a simple one color paint scheme with a Tamiya spray can. I am not much of a body man, but it came out OK.



Did I tell you this thing is fast? Yes, even with a simple brushed motor, it is probably too fast for a novice. Rear wheel drive can be challenging, but it is fun! I have much experience with this type of vehicle with the RJ Speed Sportsman's I have owned. Once mastered it is actually more fun than one can have with a simple Mabuchi sealed can motor. I haven't officially clocked top speed, but mine in its current power setup is good for at least 40 mph. Brushless with Lipo would pretty much require a smooth open parking lot. Find  a new Costco before 10AM on a Sunday.

All in all I am extremely happy to have purchased this kit. I like also that is will pretty much fit any 200mm wide touring car body ( obviously subject to body post length ). RJ Speed has many new old Bolink bodies available from RC Car Kings. Check them out. 

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