The Best 8 RC Car Makers With Some History (2023)

By Joe Rich

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The Best 8 RC Car Makers With Some History

If you are in the market for a RC car you will be overwhelmed with the choice in makers and the models they produce.

So here is the best 8 RC car makers (with a bit of history) you should consider when making your purchase decision.

When I was looking for myfirst RC car I did not have a clue on where to start.

I spent a lot of timeresearching books magazines and the internet trying to find the best possiblemodel.

That was a few years ago sonow that I am armed with a bit more knowledge I decided to write thisguide.

This is not a specific model guide we have a recommended page for that click here to view that page.

In this article we are just looking at manufactures.

But before we start lets goback to the start with a brief history of where it all began.

A Brief History.

The first commercially viable RC car was produced in Italy by a company called Elettronica Giocattoli they made a 1:12 scale Ferrari 250LM.

It went on sale in Europe inthe middle of 1966.

Two years later in 1968Elettronica Giocattoli produced a 1:10 scale model of a Ferrari P4.

By the early 1970s a UKcompany called Mardave had developed a nitro powered car and was successfullyselling these models in the UK.

Also around this time severalUS companies decided to move into the RC car market away from the slot carracing that they had been doing before.

In the mid 1970s Japanesecompany Tamiya started building simple electric RC car kits.

These were very popular andstill are today.

By the late 1970s the 1:12scale cars were growing in popularity.

In the early 1980s the carswere getting more sophisticated with better electrics and proper differentials.

Also at this time 1:10 scalewas becoming very popular for electric RC cars.

Nitro cars were more likelyto 1:8 scale.

Some of the companies in thislist have a long history of model making going back to the 1940s.

The companies in this articleare.

  • Tamiya
  • Kyosho
  • Team Associated
  • Schumacher
  • Traxxas
  • HPI
  • Redcat Racing
  • Duratrax

Ok let us start with theoldest.


The Tamiya Shoji and companywas founded in 1946 by Mr Yoshio Tamiya.

The company started as a saw millin the city of Oshika providing wood for mainly construction companies.

By 1947 Tamiya was producingwooden models of ships and aeroplanes.

These models were verysuccessful and in the mid 1950s they made the decision to turn productionsolely to model making.

At the end of the 1950s itbecame apparent that plastic models were going to be popular and were in factbecoming popular.

In 1959 Tamiya produced itsfirst plastic model and it was of the battle ship Yamato.

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High production costs meantthat the company lost money on every sale.

So the company went back tomaking wooden models.

This kept the company goinguntil the second plastic model was produced this was to be a Panther Tank.

Throughout the 1960s andearly 1970s the company worked hard to improve their plastic mould makingtechniques.

As a result the quality ofthe company’s products improved.

In 1976 Tamiya bought aPorsche 911 they then completely dismantled it and put it back together again.

They did this to understandthe car and produce the company’s first RC car.

It was a 1:12 scale and was agreat success and the rest as they say is history.

I love Tamiya and all their products.

They are good quality and making their kitsis great fun and you learn so much putting them together.

They also have a good selection of models for all ages and skill level on the major online retailers.

Click here to learn more about Tamiya on Amazon

Click here to learn more about Tamiya on Ebay


Kyosho is a Japanese RC car manufacturer that was founded by Hisashi Suzuki in 1963.

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Kyosho makes some of the oldest and most popular models on the market today, including the Dash which was released in 1970.

This model did not come with an engine so you had to buy it separately but many people consider this to be one of their first releases because they were based out Japan even though its release date predates any other known production there at time

Considered to be the mainrival to Tamiya.

Throughout the 1970s and1980s kyosho continued to make quality more detailed models with adjustable tierods ,ball bearings and proper shocks

Kyosho these days sells arange of models that are very high quality.

Both their RC cars and die cast models are very high end.

Click here to learn more about Kyosho on Amazon.

Team Associated

Team Associated was foundedin 1964 by Mr Roger Curtis and Mr Lee Yurada.

They started a slot car trackand this led them to making spare parts for the slot cars.

They also made chassis andaccessories.

This was very successful theynamed this side company Associated Electrics.

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By the late 1960s slot cars werefalling in popularity so they moved into RC cars.

In 1970 they produced a 1:8 scale gas powered car this was a great success.

Throughout the 1970s all the models producedwere a great success on the race circuits.

This continued through the 1980s and 1990s.

Today Team Associated are still known for making quality RC cars and accessories and are a good choice for serious racers.

Click here to learn more about Team Associated on Amazon


Schumacher racing was formedin 1981 by Cecil Schumacher.

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Cecil Schumacher was agearbox engineer who worked at Cosworth on their F1 project.

The company is based inNorthampton UK.

The first car produced was aindoor 1:12 scale racer.

In the late 1980s theystarted to produce 1:10 scale off road buggies.

Throughout the 1990s and2000s Schumacher became famous for making fun and fast nitro RC cars.

In 2001 Cecil Schumacher’sson Robin took over the running of the business.

Schumacher now concentrate onmaking electric 1:10 scale top level electric off road buggies.

Click here to learn more about Schumacher on Ebay


Traxxas is a company that has been around for over 30 years. They are more than just an RC car company, but they are constantly evolving and changing to meet the needs of their customers.

Traxxas was started in 1986by Mike Jenkins.

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The company is based inMcKinney Texas USA.

Traxxas started by sellingelectric buggies and stadium trucks.

In 1996 Traxxas released itsfirst ready to run nitro model called the Nitro Hawk.

Since then the company hasgained a reputation for making quality electric and nitro RTR models of varyingscale.

Click here to learn more about Traxxas on Amazon.


HPI was formed in 1986 byTatsuro Watanabe in Southern California.

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HPI stands Hobby ProductsInternational.

HPI started out by makingspare parts for other RC manufactures models.

The company was verysuccessful very quickly producing kits of their own first electric and thennitro.

HPI still today produce awide range of quality on and off road models in various scales and powersources.

Click here to learn more about HPI models on Amazon.

Redcat Racing

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Redcat Racing are a fairly new company on the RC market as they have only been formed in 2005. Despite being just over 10 years old, Redcat has made an impact with their expansive model range for all kinds of racing.

They offer everything from 1:5 scale models to compact 1:24 scales and even drift cars! All vehicles come ready-to due to RTR meaning that you can get right into it without any hassle at all if your looking for something fast or more high tech but low cost then these may be perfect

Redcat make both electric andnitro on road, off road, crawler and drift models.

Click here to learn about Redcat racing on Amazon.

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Duratrax makes a range ofafter market accessories.

They make large scale tires,paints, tools, bearings and other electrical accessories.

All the brands here offer awide range of quality RC models and accessories in all sizes and power source.

No matter what your skill level is these companies will have a model that is suitable for you.

Duratrax spares and tools are available on Amazon.

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