In october 1991, Tamiya releases the Nissan Skyline based on its new TA01 chassis. The car is the second of a very long series to come, the first being the Toyota Celica GT-Four. This chassis is Tamiya’s entry into the great On-Road 4WD touring family and it introduces the “TA” name that still exists.
Unlike its successor, the TA01 is becoming rare to find in a fine condition but this one has kept its original appearance over the years. Visually, the chassis shows many colors since the gearbox covers are red, dampers are blue, the chassis is gray and the drivetrain arms are black.
Many elements were borrowed from the Manta Ray that was released one year before, so it is normal to find a ball diff in the rear gearbox. The front one got a classic differential gear with pinions.
In order to restore its original appearance, very few work has been done to the chassis, except the addition of ball bearings and a 53127 Nissan Speed Tuned Gear. The body is perfectly reproduced by Tamiya and it deserves a closer look.
In 2009, Tamiya reissued the body of the type R32 Nissan Skyline Calsonic Gr.A. version which helped restoring this car.
The “Box-art” decoration was made using Tamiya PS-23 Gun Metal body and X-10 for added parts such as mirrors and rear wing.
The intercooler place has been cut in order to fit a molded plastic part available under reference 54139 Scale RC accessory.
A detailed cockpit with pilot, helmet and harness, took place inside. The cockpit is not included with the Kit: this one was found on Internet. The windscreen wipers, optional aluminum rims (Tamiya 51131 BBS Mesh Wheels) and the exhaust pipes built with two rods of plastic add to the extra realism touch.
The original plastic rims are built in two pieces which allows to change offset.
You should know that installing the optional Speed Tuned Gear 53127 can sometimes be problematic because the rear gearbox is not compatible on the early version of TA01. The hole allowing the offset of the motor is not wide enough.
Such as this picture showing the first gearbox version.
The second version of the gearbox features a wider hole and a notch allowing to offset the motor axis.
The TA01 produces a surprising noise due to its central drive shaft vibrating. The too soft suspension causes strong chassis roll when taking corners, but this doesn’t affect the scale look of the car. The original 540 is not powerful and will not exceed the chassis limit, but speed is very correct using the optional speed gear.
To conclude driving this model is a real pleasure. However, it is sometimes necessary to restrict the heat on the track because you feel in confidence and can make the worst mistake of your day. It would be sad to see all this work wrecked in a second.
David from RC4on.com