Pan car... You pay less and go FAST! Touring car, you pay through the nose and go slow.
This is just how I sees it.
He sees it! I could give a lot of examples of how a 1/10 pancar will put the smack on anything else on the track. Nowadays they are called Pro 10 cars around the world and are very popular in Europe because of the speeds they carry and are easy to drive. There is a vid of a German race where those guys are hitting insane speeds. Then someone commented "did anyone notice that none of the Germans were hitting the walls?" I'll see if I can find that vidio for you.
I park faster than most people drive.
You're familiar with 1/12th scale...they are pan cars too. Similar setup today as you ran in the 80s. Rear wheel drive they have one main chassis that holds your batteries, speed controller (Eelectronic Speed Controls (ESC) today...you may have been running mechanical back in the 80s since ESCs didn't really take off until the late 80s), servo and front suspension. The rear is a T-plate that attaches to your main chassis and can pivot from side to side and front to back. Most of today's cars still use the same friction plate system that was used back in the 80s and 90s but many cars now use side dampners rather than the friction plates to isolate both axis of dampening. The rear pod holds the motor just as before and drives a direct drive system where the pinion gear moves the spur gear which is tied directly into the axle. The spur gear doubles as your differential gear and almost all pan cars today have ball differentials. Pan cars still run foam tires. Front suspension is much the same with a pin spring on a small spindal shaft being the entirety of the front suspension. Today, most pan cars can adjust camber, caster and toe of the front suspension.
Touring cars are more complex. They are 4wd (there is a small contengent of Front Wheel Drive cars but they are more of their own class...) and have completely independant suspension on all four corners. This suspension system consisits of a lower arm, upper control arm and a coil over oil filled dampener at each corner. The chassis has a lower deck and an upper deck to help keep the chassis from flexing because of the additional weight of the 4wd system. Rather than foam, most touring cars run rubber tires though foam is an option.
For speed, pan cars are faster. A F1 car (basically a specialized pan car) with a 21.5 motor can be almost as fast as a touring car with a 17.5 motor that has adjustable timing. (Please note that today brushless motors rule the track and their nomenclature for "turns" is slightly different than the brushed motors you were use to.) However, a touring car, with it's 4wd, is easier to drive than a pan car and this is especially true on unprepared surfaces.
To help further understand their differences, you kind of have to look at where they came from. Personally, I grew up racing with 1/10th scale pan cars and raced oval primarily. I have also been in the sport since the mid 80s and have worked for one of the major hobby manufacturers as well as a number of hobby stores from little mom and pop type shops to a major chain. So what follows is my perspective from that experiance.
In the 90s, oval pan car was big. Speeds were fast with modified motors running six cells the cars were a blur. I ran at a track called One-Stop Hobbies in Los Alamitos CA and many of the top professional racers would run club races there such as Kent Clausen (HPI's Marketing Director) and Shawn Ireland (HPI's former president and now with Losi). It was not unusual to have 12-16 heats on a typical Friday night club night.
The racing got expensive though as technology improved. With oval pan car, the car was 80% of the equasion and the driver was about 20%. A great driver with a crappy car would not beat a decent driver with a great car. Soon, people were paying $200-$300 for exotic pan cars that were specialized for the oval and promised to be the most "cutting edge" just to get a leg up on their competition. Tire truers, motor lathes, exotic charging systems, "special" motors, an army of battery packs, a bazzilion tires, and a ton of other expensive hardware was required to "keep up". For oval, NASCAR bodies dominated though most would cut out the rear of the body and put a huge off road style wing on it to increase performance. For on-road, most used "Lola" style can-am bodies or GTP Wedge bodies for their tremendous downforce. Soon, all the cars looked alike other than their color scheme.
When the ecconomy took a dip in the early 90s, pan car racing dried up. People could no longer afford to run these expensive cars and soon, the only guys at the track were the 5-10 who could afford it. The tracks soon dried up as they couldn't keep their doors open and the only place to run your on-road car was in front of your house.
Well, pan cars required a dedicated track. They sat low so on unimproved pavement they would hit every single rock. Their foam tires couldn't get traction on dusty, broken pavement and they were increadibly hard for a novice driver to control under those conditions. As such, on-road racing died.
Then Tamiya got a bright idea. Why don't we take a 4wd off road buggy, convert it to run on pavement, and put a realistic regular car body on it. The touring car was born. These cars were cheap, increadibly easy to drive, and looked like cars you may find driving on the street. Mustangs, Accords, Alfa Romeos, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Toyotas, Focuses...you could relate to these cars. Not only that, they could be driven anywhere.
Soon, touring cars were flying off the shelf. For about $150, you could own your dream car and drive it wherever you wanted. Soon, on-road racing was back but rather than in a deadicated race facility that had to worry about covering overhead of a lease, the tracks were now temporary tracks people could set up in a parking lot. It wasn't required to even be cleaned, just set up and go.
Touring car took off with the advent of parking lot racing. For a while, F1 grew with it too. Realistic looking race cars spoke to many racers. However, these F1s were still pan car style cars with foam tires and unless the parking lot track was blown clean and treaded with some sort of traction additive like VHT or sugar water, they wouldn't hook up. Still being harder to drive than touring cars and coupled with the extra expense tracks had to go through just for a dwindling F1 class, the class soon died and Touring Cars became the dominant on-road class.
The Ecconomy got better and as it did, more people got back into racing. With this growth, competition among manufacturers to get a piece of the touring car pie grew too. Soon companies such as Yokomo, Kyosho, and a new fledgling company HPI began making touring cars too. It wasn't long before HPI and their radical RS4 began to dominate the touring car scene. Soon, the TA01s and TA02 Tamiyas were no longer competitive. The new generation of touring cars were more expensive too at around $180 for a chassis kit.
Then HPI released the RS4 Pro 2. The Pro 2 was unique because it was more a true "racing" touring car and released for no other purpose. It had no tires, no wheels, no body...these were things the racer could choose for himself...but the cost of the kit was now in the high $200 range. However, touring cars were still huge so racers gladly paid the money. Now other major manufacturers such as Team Associated and Losi started to get into the mix and the chassis wars began. Before long, the sport had gone from a "buy a real basic car and then buy the hop ups you want when you want" to a "You buy the whole car already hopped up" and the prices went from $130 for a car with tires, wheels, and a body to $500 for a kit with no tires, no wheels, and no body.
Like with pan cars, the chassis got more and more exotic and the equipment to race grew along with it. Foam tires came back as permanent tracks sprung up and track traction came up. Tire truers have made their way back into prominance and even though the introduction of brushless systems and lipo batteries increased inital costs while eliminating some recurring costs but the additional learning curve made it even more difficult for new racers. Tire warmers, motor lathes (Up until brushless came out), and dynos were common things seen in just about any driver's pit area.
When the ecconomy took another hit, touring cars had gone from being an inexpensive, drive anywhere kind of car into a highly speciallized, permanent facitlity only kind of car...just like pan cars were in the early 90s. Once again, the class died and only 5-10 hard core drivers were left to race at these glimmering permanent tracks. Soon the tracks closed down and on-road racing withered.
Now the ecconomy is starting to recover and some permanent tracks are opening back up. Most are carpet tracks...tracks ideal for Pan Cars. Because pan car technology has gone back to the basics, the cars are cheap and, by design, very fast even with relatively "slow" motors in them. To keep up with the Sedans, body companies have released some "touring car" style bodies for pan cars in order to appeal to those who raced touring cars because of that realistic factor. NASCAR bodies are hardley seen anymore though GTP bodies are still popular. Sedans have tried to keep up with the times with many "Cost controlled" classes such as VTA and WGT who's focus is on close, fun, realistic racing. These classes are far slower than even "stock" sedan. Even today's pan car chassis classes are limiting themselves to keep the classes more "beginner friendly" and with the number of carpet tracks poping up, the pan cars are now more controlable for entry level drivers.
Today, Pan cars and Touring cars co-exist with neither really having a huge advantage over the other. Becasue so many people have invested in touring cars, you tend to see more of them out there than pan cars. However, I feel pan cars are making a come back and while I don't think they will be as big as they once were, thery are far more commen now than 10 years ago.
No...you'll find that I like to write...a lot...and be very complete when I answer something. Especially when people start throwing around generalities without knowing the whole story.
At least it was a decent answer, all the previous replies were "pan cars are great!" and not one actually answered the question asked.
Photoman586, pan cars are rear wheel drive with solid rear axle and limited suspension on a flat plate chassis, just like the old 1/12th cars you used to run. Pan cars run in 1/12th, WorldGT, oval and F1 classes. Examples of pan cars are theAssociated RC12R5 and the CRC X10
Touring cars are four wheel drive with independent double wishbone suspension all round. Chassis are either a moulded plastic tub for the cheaper cars, with competition spec cars usually using a carbon fibre flat chassis with top deck. Touring cars only run in 1/10th scale, but the touring car class is divided into separate classes based on what motor wind and body style is used. Examples are the Associated TC6 and Tamiya TRF417
As you can tell the only similarity between pan cars and touring cars is that they have four wheels and use the same electrics in them.
Back in time, in Europe things were a bit different.
What matter is that we have plenty of long and perfectly kept tracks here so Pan Cars always found some "revival" even in the darkest ages.
There are some differences about the consideration of PanCar Racing in Europe than in the U.S. .
But this is another story.
Back on topic: beeing an all around RC cars user i would say that between PanCars (wich i always consider 1/10 scale cars) and Touring cars the difference is between day and night.
With touroing cars you can spend hours to tune up your vehicle and yet find something to fix , while with pan cars the only science is about tires/sauce choice and wich body to use for the occasion.
Feelings are very different: aproaching a set of turns with a pan cars that has no brakes, is very adrenalinic compared to hit the brakes and turn the steering wheel and have it done as with tourers. A F.O.T. straight with a pan car, also with a 10.5 T could easily result in a landing flight, while with a tourer with a 4.0T si simply a matter of keeping the steering wheel/stick in position. . . i love both but in my case, i don't have more time to race like i did 20years ago, so i prefer to choose the proper car for the track and have a good time wathever the track conditions are. For small tracks i love my TC6 with a 5.5T/4.0 Boosted, for long tracks i rather have an endless orgasm with my Corally SL235mm/6T Delta GM 120 V2 or the little sister SL200mm's with a boosted 10.5T . Asphalt only!!!
Thanks for the answers. I have been out of the hobby for a while ( used to race 1/10 scale off road and 1/12 onroad in the mid to late 1980's )
Originally Posted by Robotech
Today, Pan cars and Touring cars co-exist with neither really having a huge advantage over the other. Because so many people have invested in touring cars, you tend to see more of them out there than pan cars. However, I feel pan cars are making a come back and while I don't think they will be as big as they once were, they are far more common now than 10 years ago.
Great post Robo, not so much about the 12th scale friction dampers bit, but other than that, it was very informative
Photoman. HERE is an up to date list of the more prominent 12th scale racers available today.
It's intertesting to see Tamiya go full circle and re-introduce a 12th scale car again.
A sure sign of the times, that 12th scale is having a major resurgence.