I still own a Tamiya Hot Shot from way back in the mid 80's and still like it as a Classic kit..... It was my first 4WD RC and only the 2nd RC I owned after getting a Tamiya Super Champ. It was a solid buggy for it's time but no matter what I did to it... it was just way too heavy as against it's competition. I tip my hat off to Tamiya for a serious attmpt at making a kit that was shaft driven as against the much more common and accepted Belt driven and Chain driven buggies (like the Yokomo Dog Fighter, etc) of the day. My third buggy was an RC10 Stealth (Black Tub) and I have been a die-hard and staunch Associated supporter ever since.
Unfortunately, even though Tamiya has more reasources than most of it's competition combined, it seems their focus will never be serious when it comes to Off-Road Racing. Why? I don't know anyone who has a clue?!? I guess they know when their BEAT and have just given up on seriously competing in that class and market. They would rather put out cheap, package deal, ready to run Off-Road buggies to make a quick buck then actually seriously go for an IFMAR Off-Road World Title. The stuff they have been putting out the last few years are just a step above RC toys. That's too bad for all of us. At least the other big monster RC company from the Land of the Rising Sun (Kyosho) hasn't done that nor have the 4WD specialists at Yokomo.
By the way, besides Delta or the off road track down in Hobby World (Gilroy), a very good Off-Road track (indoor) that is in reach from the Bay Area is Capital City R/C Center in Sacramento. I have seen fully sponsored driver Lloyd Dassonville (Associated) practice there as does (on occasion) Losi's World Champ Matt Francis. Below are the details to all three tracks
Delta R/C & Raceway Hobbies:
Gilroy HOBBY-WORLD and Off-Road Track:
Capital City R/C Center:
8950 Osage Avenue, Ste A. Sacramento,CA 95829