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Bugs, Buggies and Horses - Hobby Letter #14/21


Hello and whats up! Heikki here again about to entertain you with very important issues and topics and some of them are actually even RC related! I hope you are good and seems that the world is slowly opening as lockdowns and restrictions are being lifted. Good news here is that RC tracks should be opened soon too and we are looking forward to have a very active outdoor racing season this year!

Today our topic is Buggies. What do you think when you hear this word? VW Beetle? Where is this word actually coming from and why every other RC out there is a "buggy"? I hope you like little critters as today we are about to smash some buggies that keep bugging us!

Antique, antique!

I used to connect the word buggy to the Volkswagen Beetle. They are called bugs and especially the Dune Buggy and Baja versions from the 60-70's resemble a lot of a real life little insects. I simply never questioned if my story is true. This is not too far from the truth as a beetle is indeed a type of insect but the word buggy is way way older than mass produced cute civilian car from the late 30's.

Where is this word coming from? Well - no one who is alive really knows. It has been used for centuries to describe horse drawn carriage more specifically smaller, two seated and bit sportier versions of said vehicles. Maybe it resembled some kind of a fly type of bug that was following horse from close behind and it earned its name there! Also the word roadster is rooting from the same moldy ages meaning the type of horse buggy that could make longer journeys.

Holiday at the Dunes

From our point of view, this following is the era where it all started. Old and busted Volkswagen Beetles offered excellent starting point for all kind of fun builds. It had simple air cooled engine, versatile platform with single chassis plate meaning that you could change the body for whatever and the list goes on! First to remember is the iconic Dune Buggy glassfiber body kit "Manx" by Bruce F. Meyers in 1968 offering an easy option to transform your old rusty VW bug into something cool.

People got wild of this new idea that you could have a car for "just for fun" or for "recreational use". For leisure drivers like us today this is business as usual but back in the days this idea was revolutionary. Radio Controlled Cars are very much in the meaning of the name - leisure vehicles!

Meyers Manx kit was bit on the pricey side but it popularized the customization of the original bug body. Chop said the body when people cut the fenders away to fit bigger rear tires and better suspensions. Everyone remembers the legendary look of Baja 1000's bugs whose spirit is excellently captured in to Tamiya Sand Scorcher Kit for you to build.

RC Buggies for Everyone!

Today we have a wide range of leasure vehicles available. Sometimes the biggest fun come in smaller packages. Thanks to legacy of Beetles in Baja-races the name buggy was adapted to very first of RC kits that started to get popular at the same era.

Today we have a plenty of RC buggies for everyone to smash! Big ones, small ones, 2WD, 4WD, bashers, racers.. From our simple point of view, buggy is just a type of RC car that is meant for offroad racing and has "wheels exposed" because in true racing fenders and other unnessecarities are just extra weight. This type of setup suits very well for competitive RC cars. For me it is somehow funny to think that some countryside folks hundreds of years ago started joking about bugs buzzing around horses "rear side" and the legacy of this joke carries this far!

My Xray XB2 build is going on strong! About to find that one bearing I lost somewhere at my table any moment now! Feels good to build something that is this level of quality. Amount of tuning possibilities are just stunning and far beyond my limited understanding. You can basically tune something for every part, or at least change it to option part that offers some kind of fiddling. For Xray fans this is normal day in business, for me it is mind blowing! Amazing kit and such a pleasure to put it together.

Happy spring time and see you at our shop!

Heikki / EuroRC

(Article released 27.4.2021)

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