You caught me red handed - the front grill was definitely inspired by the Saab Aero X Concept. When I first saw it, I just loved some of its design features.
To all you other guys who have posted:
About all I can say is this - I appreciate all your comments and concerns. If the world was a perfect place there would be no hunger or war or terrorism. If the world of organized rc racing was a perfect place, there would be clear concise rules to dictate the "look", dimensions and shape of rc race bodies. However, the rules to date have been vague (at best) and the wording of the body rules are written in such a way that the whole matter is wide open to subjectivity - regardless which sanctioning body you look at, including the standard-bearing BRCA. For the guy in my shoes its basically a "no win" - "dammed if you do" and "dammed if you don't" situation. If NASCAR, ALMS, SCCA and the other sanctioning bodies didn't have clearly defined parameters - its just hard to imagine what a mess it would be. You may think NASCAR bodies are crazy looking distortions now - but hey, if it wasn't for the ultra strict body rules they have in place, I'm pretty sure all the Fords would look like John Force's funny car and the Dodges would resemble Gary Scelzi's Oakley Charger. All
the sanctioning bodies have clearly worded common sence body rules to promote:
- parity between various brand names. B
- to allow the body's aerodynamic charactaristics to do what they need to do. ie. - to make the cars handle better and in so doing to promote safe, close, exciting racing. (that sells tickets and TV time) C
- to look interesting/racey/appealing to the guys like us that stare at them for hours on end. ei. Remember how totally cool the BTCC cars were years ago when they allowed 19 inch wheels and a few aero tweeks? Now they have hatch-backs with anemic looking 17's. The racing may be great, but the raw appeal of the cars are gone for a guy like me.
Believe me, I would love to produce ultra-realistic race bodies. But its a total waste of my time and effort if world-class racer Craig Drescher (for example) shows up at the track with an Accord body that has an ultra short & narrow roofline, and a 3 inch long trunklid - and then I find out its perfectly IFMAR legal.
As I've posted here in the past, a great deal of the original showroom-stock proportions on the typical 4 dr sedan are already being messed with big-time just to fit within the standard 115mm height & 195mm width rules.
Regardless of what you may think - it hasn't been me (Protoform) who has been the one that has been pushing the excessive boundaries in the dimensions and proportions of 1/12th scale on-road and 1/10th sedans over the years. Some of the boundaries are out there so far already, that I just plain refuse to go there - yet there doesn't seem to be much mentioned of those other bodies or parent companies here on RCTech, or anywhere for that matter. But, when PROTOform releases a new race body, I know for darn sure that I'm opening up a brand new can of worms - every time.
Hey - please don't think that I'm whining. No way. I've come to realize its just part of the game. Example. I love BMW's. However they put a new chief designer (Chris Bangle) in place a few years ago that's hailed by virtually everyone in the automotive design world as some kinda design genious. I personally think that all the new releases from BMW since his promotion are pretty bad. They just look kinda feminin impo. But however Chris Bangle is absolutely correct when he says that a design needs
to be controversial to be considered a good
Back to the rules thing: There are
good things going on behind the scenes that will hopefully come to light in the next year. There's been a group of men/racers/manufacturers (from around the globe) who have a common concern about the future of rc racing and particularly how the bodies should look. They've been diligently working on a set of body rules that are excellent impo. ROAR, EFRA and IFMAR have been considering adopting their body-rules proposal to curtail the radical distortion that's been evolving with every passing year. Hopefully the various sanctioning body officials in power will be pro-active and mandate these rule in late 2007 or 2008. This group of guys also understand the serious problem that licensing has brought to bear on the rc industry and body manufacturers in the last couple of years. Implementing these new rules certainly won't end the debating, but it will definitely make things much better for everyone in my opinion.
It would be great if the sanctioning bodies like ROAR, EFRA, IFMAR and even the BRCA were getting some words of support from concerned "joe racer" guys like you regarding the possibility of "global standards" in the area of body rules. I'm sure they would welcome your opinions and consider them valuable.
Thanks for your ear - Dale Epp - PROTOform