Graupner Radicator Expert or the Ultimate Traxxas Rad2 ?

During the 90’s, Graupner the RC german manufacturer establish a partenership with Traxxas to released models for European market.

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

In 1992 they introduced this buggy, with special packaging and decals sheet and named the car Radicator. This buggy was close to RTR, the buyer only need to paint the body and install electronics.

Period Advertising:

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto




Old review from French Magazine:

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During the same period a French manufacturer MRC also imported the car for his market. Same body and parts design, only the name changed.

That was the “Vitto”, see this period advertising.

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

As the Graupner, the design is the same as the RAD2 from Traxxas and they also were two versions:

– The “Standard” with MSC and without ball bearing,  slipper ball differential, short front dampers and a plastic chassis  frame.

– The  “Expert” with full options and graphite chassis,  no electronic but lovely “Hot Pink” rims from Traxxas Options parts.

This Traxxas parts hybrid for european market is equiped with long dampers for the front drivetrain.

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

A bell crank steering do the job for cornering the buggy.

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

The gearbox is pretty well design. The ball diff is lowered and can be adjusted through a hole into the gear case. Four holes into the joint cup enable the tightening without needed to use a screw into the outdrive.

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

Inspired by the Stealth from Associated, this 3 gears transmission looks bullet proof.  The spur gear reduce friction thanks to a slim design and ball bearing. A slipper is present.

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

The telescoping driveshafts permit universal joints to be fitted on both ends of the driveshafts.  This universal joints operate with greater efficiency and less wear than conventional dogbone designs.

Aluminium motor guard protected the motor from bad landing.

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

The chassis come from the “Eagle”, a Traxxas stadium truck. It permit  an extra length wheelbase.

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

This buggy is well manufactured. Strong plastic parts with limited play in assembly and a lot of possible setup for drive train. Easy ajustable with turnbuckles and many location on shock tower and arms.

There are optional Gold shocks in the catalog. Length and capacity are the same as the black and blue dampers, only the anodisation differ.




traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

On the Track:

The car is very efficient and capable to race with younger racer.  The gearbox is pretty silent like a modern one. The long wheelbase improve the handling on bumpy track but reduce steering in short turns. I love to see the work of front suspension and the car rolling on the track.

The rear suspension suffer from a lack of ground clearance. The rear shocks are the same as the front ones but should be a little longer to correct ride height difference between the rear and front. To correct the rear low height you have to attach the shock inward. Not the best location setting but essential to stop the rear drivetrain hitting the floor.

Even if there is no inovation, this 2wd was built to ride the track “out of the box”. Many parts fit with other Traxxas buggies and some are still available 20 years later in official store. 

I like this buggy because is a seriously competitor for the RC10 CE from Team Associated. Sold in Europe for a reasonable price due to is  lack of fame, this buggy were well placed for the first entry in competition 2wd class.

To answer at the title question : Take a Traxxas RAD2 with all TRX options parts and you have…. a Graupner Radicator Expert !

 

 David from RC4ON

 

Video :

 

More pictures in the gallery:

Graupner / Traxxas Radicator Expert

traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto
traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto
traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto
traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto
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traxxas graupner radicator expert rad2 rad mrc vitto

Kyosho / Graupner Nissan Datsun 240Z Rally Sports

After the release of the Eleck Peanuts in 1978, Kyosho releases its second electric off-road RC car in 1979. The Renault Alpine A310 was based on its brand new chassis called Rally Sports.

A Nissan 240Z and a Mercedes 280G followed the same year. All these models were made available on the European market in 1980 through the German importer Graupner.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports

During this period, many RC cars were made of aluminum and light steel. For this Nissan, Kyosho reused the design of its existing nitro cars.

The main chassis is made of two aluminum rails with specific forms. It supports the rear and front drivetrains.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports

The RC unit box attached to the chassis provides good protection to the electronics.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports

The battery is perpendiculary-placed at the rear, with the mechanical speed controller on top. There is enough space left for the steering servo, the power pack and the radio receiver.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports

The front suspension is of double wishbone type, including springs working as shock absorbers. Hardness is adjustable by changing the anchor points. The front knuckles are connected to the wishbone with ball joints in order to limit the wheel camber during suspension work.

There is no bearing or bushing at the front. The servo-saver is mounted on the axis which supports the body.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports

The rear suspension is of trailing arm type and all parts are made of aluminum. At the front, the springs work as shock absorbers. Bushings guide the wheel axles and the driving shafts are dog bones.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports

The transmission is filled with oil to lubricate the gears and the differential. As the motor mount is static, you need to change the motor pinion and the spur gear to modify the gear ratio. The protective cover should be gently tighten otherwise it may touch the spur gear.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports




The body was painted like the 1971 Nissan 240Z East African Safari Rally. The body was raised and the rear tires were changed to improve the off-road look.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports

The bodyset is a reproduction found in the best specialist store : MarwanRC.com. The lexan quality is very good and thicker than the original bodyset’s. The decals are perfectly reproduced and white stickers are opaque.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports

On the track, driving this car is surprising despite of its age.

The front drivetrain lets you turn with confidence due to its lack of reactivity. The Nissan rides well on off-road surface but there is a lot of chassis-roll when cornering due to the lack of hydraulic dampers. The differential really works well limiting the oversteer when accelerating. However, the transmission is noisy and both the suspension springs and the servo-saver are too soft.

The car is far from reaching speeds similar to modern models, but considering it dates from the beginnings of the RC off-road electric vehicles, the comparison is far from being ridiculous.

Graupner Kyosho Nissan Datsun 240z Fairlady Rally Sports

These cars were eclipsed by the success of Tamiya SRB chassis. Nevertheless, they are an important part of the RC panorama of the period when RC were mainly On-Road 1:12 cars and nitro buggies.

The tough aluminum structure is very representative of the “old school” manner. Despite of the very reasonable play in assembly, the quality of molded parts is very good considering the small size.

I have been fond of this Nissan for a long time since it is the basis of some Kyosho legendary models released a few years later. I especially think about the Scorpion which borrows the Nissan’s rear drivetrain and chassis.

I do really love this car: for me, it is more attractive than a Tamiya SRB and it has an undeniable charm on the track.

David From RC4ON.com

More pictures in gallery : Kyosho Nissan 240Z

Video :