I’ve been fascinated with cars for as far back as I can remember. According to my father, the first word I ever uttered as a toddler was “auto.” When I was a small boy, I eagerly soaked up everything my dad told me about cars. I was endlessly fascinated by my grandfather’s ability to tell the make and model of a tractor just from the sound their engines made. Before I could even read I was collecting car cards like other kids collected baseball cards. And among my most priced possessions were a couple of remote control cars. In those days, remote control still meant the control was connected to the car via a long cable-they weren’t like the electric RC cars we have today.
I’ll probably never forget the thrill I experienced when my dad came back from one of this trips and gave me a Mercedes Benz sedan remote control toy car. It was shiny black, looked absolutely realistic, and had working headlights, taillights and blinkers. The doors and trunk opened and it would go backwards and forwards as well as left and right. I played with it every chance I got for weeks.
Today, RC cars have wireless remote controls and are no longer tethered to the remote. And there is now an entire industry dedicated to electric remote control cars. What hasn’t changed is the thrill children experience operating their RC cars with parents, friends and siblings. There’s just something magical about those shiny remote controlled cars, something real that even today’s ultra-advanced video games cannot quite capture. They even help improve kids’ hand and eye coordination.
Radio control cars come in many different sizes, ranging from tiny matchbox-sized RC toy cars all the way to 1/8 and even 1/6-scale models that are over two feet long. And they are certainly not just for kids. Though I technically haven’t been a kid for many decades, I own a good number of electric RC cars, including a 1/6-scale PT Cruiser in the same exact inferno red color as the real thing in my garage. I also have two other remote control PT Cruisers and playing with all those different sizes is just too much fun (and also made for some cool photo ops).
Interestingly, even though today’s electric RC cars are far more sophisticated than the ones I had when I was a child, many are very reasonably priced. I remember when the first radio controlled models came on the market they cost a small fortune, and certainly more than I could afford on my allowance. Prices have come down drastically since then, and it’s now possible to get even 1/8 or 1/6-scale for about what you pay for an XBox or Playstation video game. That’s certainly a tremendous bargain!
What continues to fascinate me is the huge range of different models you can get. There is truly something for every taste. I may never be able to afford a Ferrari, but for less than it costs to take the family out to dinner in a chain restaurant I can get a beautifully crafted red 1/12-scale Ferrari F430 with working headlights (just like that Mercedes Benz of my youth), independent suspension and enough detail to make me dream. If you love cars and haven’t checked out electric RC cars lately, do yourself a favor and see what’s being offered these days!