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Project: Team Associated Stealth Car Masami Hirosaka homage build

Aktualisiert: 24. Jan. 2023

Let´s start this article with the video of the 1991 IFMAR Worlds A-Main in Detroit, USA.

I have seen this video so many times and it is always amazing to see the driving skills of all the drivers. The track is this, what we know, when we raced back in the days. Deep craters, a nasty surf section and low grip. Even the world´s best drivers struggeling to drive a lap without errors. And I love it! It is so much more intense and the fights are often decided by the track itself, what not allows the smallest lack of concentration. A fight not only between the drivers. It is also a fight against the track!

Masami Hirosaka took the win and the Team Associated Stealth Car from 1991 was legend.

Masami´s original Stealth Car from the Worlds 1991. Maybe the most iconic racing car ever made and never produced.

Since I made the Neo Vintage-RC 1985 Stealth kit, I made a Jay Halsey and Brian Kinwald Stealth "replica", what never really have been existed. It was a "what if" experiment and those builds were much fun. If you don´t know these projects, just take a look at the "Projects" section of this website. There I explained everything you need to know.

After these 2 builds I decided to make a third one. The last one for me. A Masami Hirosaka homage build, made from the Neo Vintage-RC kit. Not a exactly true reproduction, but pretty close and also my personal twist on this car.

While the Halsey and Kinwald build had a 6 gear transmission and 0.71 front shocks, I had to make this one for a Stealth transmission, 1.02 front shocks, a longer front shock tower and also longer front arms.

The body is the original Masami body - the Team Associated Viper body. Painted by ARQ Paint, who made a great job here. First big difference against the original masami car is the body and wing position. While Masami mounted the body pretty high and used Yokomo wing mounts, what resulted a even higher wing position, I went the way with a lower body position and using the original RC10 wing wire solution.

As a side note, I bend always my own wing wires from 2.0mm piano wire. This is much stronger against bending when crashing and also reduce the lost of the wing, because more friction of the wire inside the wing tubes.

Yokomo 2.2 inch rear wheels with TR32 tires. For the front I took some Ballistic tires on the AE front rims.

MCI decals are awesome!

The 5mm longer front arms.

The lower body position makes a huge difference in the look against the Masami original car.

Top view

Rear view

All Hirosaka bodies are covered with cool and sometimes very tiny decals - and I love it!

The look under the hood.

Sanyo SCR batteries, Novak ESC and a Reedy motor. The perfect combination.

The Novak 410-M1 speedo. I made a special battery plate to hold the cells in place.

The Stealth transmission. The rear bulkhead, battery cups, antenna mount and steering bell crank arms are also 3D printed. Can you see a difference to the original parts?

Great to get the Lunsford Retro turnbuckles in many different lenghts now.

Rear dog bones - no CVD´s, or universals here!

Rear view

The steering assembly.

I am loving the small Hirosaka decals in the front shock tower!

The Futaba RX indicates, I COULD drive this buggy.

I owned a NIX91 kit some years ago. This kit made me never really happy. Especially the front suspension never worked well. This was one of the reasons to make the Neo Vintage Stealth kit. The NIX91 is very close to the original Stealth car. But I am not sure how close. The problem is the very high roll center position of the front suspension. Today it is really hard to say, if this was wanted from the AE guys, or not. But it results a huge front ride height and on this way a handling of the car, what don´t want to "roll" at the front roll axle. This means, the car lost mechanical grip alot and makes the handling much harder, because there is no "rolling response", what every car need to be driveable. I assume, this issue was the reason, why they used the Yokomo 4WD front tires mostly. For me, the only reason to make such a high roll center is, to avoid rolling because the huge bumps on the Detroit track. Maybe they changed a good handling against too much rolling - and ending on the roof at the craters of Detroit. Who knows.

From my today´s knowledge as RC Car Designer, I changed the front roll center to equal the rear roll center by re-positioning the front wheel axle at the front hub.

This is more, or less a more normal geometry for a 2WD buggy. The modern buggies have a even lower roll center, because the mostly flat tracks and high traction.

The video! Enjoy!

My Neo Vintage Stealth line-up.

This time no words about Brexit, Covid-19, Trump, Putin, terrible war in Europe and other crazy stupid things, what just happen on this tiny planet - I swear! Switch off your TV, get a vintage car, wrench it, race it, repeat. Be a better person.

Thanks for reading!

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Tomi Juhana Seppälä
Tomi Juhana Seppälä
Dec 16, 2022

Good looking buggy, still nothing like original '91 stealth car. NIX91 however stays true to the original. So, most probably a better buggy but definitely not better stealt car.


Marc Obenshain
Marc Obenshain
Nov 18, 2022

Did you build your own kit? Or modify a NIX91?


Jon Eastwood
Jon Eastwood
Apr 26, 2022

are you going to put those longer front arms on your Shapeways site?

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