It was de rigueur for the pampered child of the 1980s to own and enjoy a Tamiya radio-controlled model. Many will recall the names Hornet, Lunchbox and Scorcher.
In 1985, Japanese manufacturer Tamiya launched the Wild One (No. 58050), a tubular chassis buggy that quickly became a top seller for the company. So much so that in 2012, Tamiya re-launched the 1/10 scale model (No. 58525).
Thirty-six years have passed since the original Wild One was released, and now a London-based company, The Little Car Company (TLCC), is reviving this popular model for folks who are now adults but might be nostalgic for those good times gone by.
Called Tamiya Wild One Max, TLCC's buggy is different in one very significant way: it’s just a wee bit bigger. In fact it's not a 1/10 scale, but an 8/10 scale. To pilot it, instead of a radio control, you climb right in, sit down and use the steering wheel!
The good people at TLCC are specialists in the manufacture of “junior cars”, large-scale miniature models made in partnership with major manufacturers. In 2020, they launched the Bugatti Baby II and the Aston Martin DB5 Junior. The former is a replica of a Type 35 Bugatti at 75 percent of the actual size and is suitable for an average-sized adult. The second replicates a DB5 Vantage in a smaller size, but it can still accommodate an average-sized adult with a young child in tow.
This time, instead of miniaturizing a full-size model, TLCC went the other way and made a near full-size model of the Wild One, hence the name Wild One Max.
The single-seat electric rear-wheel drive buggy is about 3.5 metres long and 1.8 metres wide, and gets a coil-spring suspension, 15-inch wheels and Brembo hydraulic disc brakes on all four wheels. With a mass of about 250 kg, it’s obviously quite a bit heftier than the Tamiya of your childhood, but it still arrives in kit form to be assembled!
The driver has a racing steering wheel and digital dials, and its adjustable composite seat has a three-point safety belt. This seat is suitable for people from 1.6 m (5’25 ft) to 1.95 m (6’5 ft) tall!
The 4-kW motor allows a top speed of 48 km/h, while the 2-kWh battery provides a maximum range of about 40 km, depending on driving conditions and the setting chosen for the propulsion system (novice, eco or race).
This buggy can also receive additional batteries to increase its range and performance.
In addition to these batteries, TLCC offers a wide range of optional equipment, such as a high-performance suspension and brakes, four-point safety harness and even complete packages for more advanced on-road or off-road use.
The Tamiya Wild One Max will start at around £6,000 ($8,250 USD, or $10,130 CAD) when it goes on sale in 2022. For more information, visit WildOneMax.com.