The Holy Grail – Insane Speed Run RC10L

by Tim Davis,
JConcepts Staff Writer

Sometimes I like to reflect on the idea of how revolutionary this internet thing really is. My nephew dug out an old Nintendo NES, circa ’87. When we popped Super Mario in the console, it wouldn’t play. My 15 year old nephew was upset by this. I reached out and pulled the cartrige from the machine, and as anyone over 26 should probably know, blew into the end of the cartrige. Viola, the Mario theme song rang loud and clear.

During this event, J-Ro called me on the phone, and I told him about this. His response was, “I used to blow the crap out of my games to make the work”. We joked that how on Earth did every 12 year old in North American know how to perform this task to make their Nintendo work? In today’s world, there would be a dedicated message board about this, and the information would be diseminated across the globe in 7 minutes. (or possibly as quickly as 6, but not 5, you can’t do anything in 5 minutes).

For those of us that began racing RC cars in the early 90’s or even the 80’s, RC Car Action was like the bible. No internet to tell us the “right way” to do anything. My friends and I knew what day of the month that thing hit the mailboxes. Our middle school teachers also knew, and they could count on all of us being totally distracted and reading Car Action in class. there are 3 cars that changed the way every kid in American raced. The body off shot of Cliff’s RC10, Masami’s RC10, and Kent Clausen’s Insane Speed Run RC10L.

We studied those picture like they held all the clues to teenage girls hearts. It is safe to say that every RC10 in the US ran the rear camber links in the same position as Masami’s RC10, and EVERYONE immediately cut down the sides on their gold tub once Cliff’s car hit the full color pages of Car Action sporting those short 1/4″ tall sides. Kents car was the blue print for every kid in American to make there pan car go 70+.

So now I find myself in an interesting position in life. As I type this, Kent’s 10L Insane Speed Run car, trophy and plaque are sitting in my living room. The car was on display for years in the Race Rock restaurant in Orlando, then it moved on to another museum, which went bankrupt. They had an auction to disperse of the contents. Somehow, the cosmos intervened and I was invited to the auction at the last minute. And I found it. buried in the bottom of a cardboard box. The 10L. As run, crystal and all.

I bought it. Life is complete. If not for me, this piece of RC history would be gone forever. The guy I outbid told me frankly he was bidding for his grandson, and was concerned that it did not come with a “controller”. Now I have the burden of deciding exactly who should be the caretaker from this point on….this car should definitely be on display somewhere for all to enjoy. Kent? Cliff? Mike? Ideas?


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7 thoughts on “The Holy Grail – Insane Speed Run RC10L

  1. Hi Tim, nice find on the car, brings back some nice memories from the days from the great R/C Thunderdome events.

    As far as what to do with the car, it’s always risky having cars on display. I know that Associated, Tamiya, Losi have had historic display cars stolen. I really think the best place to display it is on the internet. Some photos and background info on a web page will let a lot of people access the info for years to come.

    Someday it would be cool to have a web site dedicated to R/C history. I have a bunch of my racing cars still, including my Associated/Reedy RC12E that won the first ever electric world championship back in 1982. I’m going to round a bunch of them up and spend some time in the photo studio. I also have access to R/C magazines going back to 1978, I know that people would get some laughs seeing Joel Johnson on the drivers stand when he was 9 years old, and reading some of the articles from back when electric car were first becoming popular. I even have some very rare copies of Trinity’s “Somebody’s Got To Eat It” newsletters.

    If you haven’t already seen them you should definitely check out the historic “Born to Race” DVD videos that Gene Husting made over the past few years.


  2. Your article hits right at home. Age wise, my first R/C car was the ’87 Monster Beetle 8). I stand amazed that you came across that car. Apparently that car wanted to be found, and gladly it didnt end up in the hands of someone who wouldnt appreciate it. Good luck in finding it a home, and i second the motion of showing us some nude pics of the car!

  3. Hey Tim ! ………. Glad you saved it ! …… Don’t know about a permanent home for it, but you could “show car it” at the Snowbirds in a couple weeks …….. Oval speed run car would be @ home there I think

  4. Wow, thats awesome. I remember that car like it just ran yesterday. Awesome find, Its great it managed to come back to the rc world and not end up as another old car given to someone that might not care for it like they should.

  5. hey man can you post a picture of that thing with the body off? Im sure everyone would like to see that

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