As the years go by, history becomes faded. Since I was deeply involved with starting, in 1970, the first ever wide area championship – The Midwest Series – for the new hobby of Radio Controlled (RC) model car racing, I have decided to gather first hand information from back in the day. ‘Car Model’ magazine was one excellent source.
Model car racing using tethers, rails and slots had been around for years, but the dream of the driver being able to steer the car remotely needed the new technology of radio control.
It is interesting to note that, although 1:8 scale internal combustion ‘gas’ cars (more recently called ‘nitro’ cars – a methanol fuel with nitromethane added for more power) were dominant in early racing, electric RC race cars in 1:16 and 1:18 scale were also being developed. In the March, 1967 issue of ‘Car Model’ magazine on page 27, Tom Dion wrote an article about ‘Radio Control….the newest craze in model racing!’
Car Model Magazine – January, 1971
Above – 1970 – Indianapolis Midwest Series event for 1:8 scale fuel-powered R/C cars. Another hobby of mine; I first raced in 1968 and stayed active until the early ’70’s. That is me on the right above helping the late Paul Scherer launch at the start of a heat race.