Road to VONats: RC10 Restoration Part 1

Just as we had the Road to Clodapalooza last year, we decided to make another article series where we plan and prepare to attend a unique event, but building up some specific rides for it. This year, we plan to attend the 2013 Vintage Off-Road Nationals (VONats). If you didn’t know such a thing existed, don’t worry.. we didn’t either. I stumbled upon some promo for it a couple weeks before last year’s event date. Needless to say I wasn’t prepared, but really wanted to go. It’s our goal to make it out to the event this year.

The Vintage Off-Road Nationals is a race in Connecticut. This will be it’s 6th year running. Last year it switched locations from RCHR (Radio Control Hobbies & Raceway) where it was held for the first four years, to an outdoor off-road track in Bethel, CT called the Bethel Raceway Arena. I believe I read that the race will be returning to Bethel for this year as well, but there has not been a lot of official information released at this point (it’s still WAY early).

Vintage vehicles are considered anything made in 1994 or earlier. In addition to race buggy classes, they race stadium trucks and monster trucks. They also have a Classic class for old cars not considered race oriented as well as a Novice class for kiddos. It sounds like TONS of fun.

We will be doing an article series, covering a couple different vehicles (each of us SOUP drivers will be doing our own build/restoration) that we plan to compete with at the event. I still don’t know what the other guys are planning, but I have always been a fan of the Associated RC10 platform. This is my project for the next several parts of this series.

Calling this Part 1 is kind of inaccurate. It is really just an intro to the series, and I am showing you my starting point. I attained this from an awesome member of RCTech, who went out of his way to find this for me locally as he replied to my wanted ad. Thanks again!


So, this is my base. It’s a Team Associated RC10. It has what appears to be a hacked up Hot Trick chassis. It also has the MIP transmission. It has an ancient AM KO Propo EX-5 radio with Futaba servo. It has an unknown speed controller? I have no idea what it is, and neither does anyone else here.. can someone shed some light on it? I am familiar with the old wiper arm mechanical speed controllers, but this looks like an early ESC?? I was not into R/C during this time period (for full disclosure).

It also has an old Tekin motor. I see worn out stub axles, bearings in horrible shape, wicked stiff front suspension, old & fragile plastic parts, and a lot of gold anodizing. I have some work to do.

What are everyone’s thoughts on the direction I should take this in? Should I leave the short arms? Swap out the chassis or run it? Switch to a Stealth Transmission?

Looking for reader input as I start to gather parts for this build. I know a few things I am doing right away. The rest, well I guess we will see when we get that far. Check out the pics and leave your comments at the bottom of the post.

I can’t wait to see how this will turn out!

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3 Responses to “Road to VONats: RC10 Restoration Part 1”

  1. Rob says:

    WOW is that thing BLOWN OUT! It will be a fun rebuild for sure.

  2. Jim says:

    Wonder if there is a class for a Tyco Turbo Bandit or Turbo Grasshopper? I have 2-3 of those on the museum shelf….

  3. perry says:

    the esc looks like one of the old-school “case mods” that we used to do when running modified motors. they would get hot running 10 and 12 turn motors geared way too high. I remember taking them out of the case and adding “custom” additional heat sinks to them. IIRC, the weight limit was 3-1/2 lbs for a buggy, and guys used to get creative trying to get down to within a few grams of minimum, including trimming off parts.

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