OK Garet Jax
Here's the deal....
You don't have to have a prep'ed track to run 1/10 sedans, whethers its belt or shaft, but it certainly helps. As stated earlier by one poster can reek havoc on belt driven cars; however, I have two belt drive cars that I've had for over 8 years and have not stripped gears or pulley once. My two cars are GS Vision Pro and a Mugen MTX2.
I've raced in numerous parking courses and also bash on neighborhhod streets. Now, I am particular, when trying to find a spot, that it's at least clean and even, but to say they are pebble-free, would be next to impossible.
These cars would be good canidates for starters and with upgrades will be good for club racing:
, Kyosho FW-05RR
, OFNA CD3 or LD3
(very similar to the NTC3), HPI RS3+Evo
. All of these cars ('cept the Kyosho) come in a RTR with plenty of hop-up parts available. They are also all Shaft cars
You'll be looking at price range of $250 - $370 depending on where you buy for these cars. Again, these are not top end cars but with some upgrades a nice engine and polished driving skill you be able to be competitive at most club races. should your skills exceed these cars, you won't have spent too much and it will make the transititon to one of the more race level cars alot easier on you and your wallet.
Once you decide to go racing seriously you can pick up one of these cars:
. Most of those race cars will be belt driving and should mainly be raced on prep'ed tracks only, like 301. They cost about $100 than the previously mentioned cars and require more maintenace to keep them in racing condition. (That should appeal to your tinkering/disassembling craves)
Your next step up would be the 1/8 scale Kyosho GT1
and the OFNA DM1
. These vehicle are GT cars but based off of buggy chassis. They are large than the 1/10 sedans with a higher ground clearance, so they have great bash-ability. We rip and run ours on the grass and dirt all the time. No need to worry about pebbles here. With a minimal hopups and and a strong engine you can turn it into a nice track racer. Infact most clubs run a stock class for these beast, where hop-ups are not allowed. Initial cost is 450 to 500 buck only thing need is gas and batteries after that.
Finally the big boy class:
The 1/8 on-road cars. Mugen
and more. These are the big brother of the sedan class. They are all belt driving have just about every adjustment you can imagine a racing car would have. Their lola stlye(think wedge) bodies allow for extremely fast cornering which is far superior than any of the other cars I mentioned already. These cars are not for the timid or beginnig drivers. They should not be ran on anything other than a pre'ped course (although I see some friends do it, but those guys have money to burn) These are also the most expensive of the bunch and require alot of maintenance to keep them competitive, because the nature of race them. Starting price tag for the car alone starts at $500 bucks, then you have to buy motor, wheel/tires, startebox, radio and gas. You could be looking at $1000 bones when just to get to the track.
I know I gave you alot to think about but I wanted to clear up the stuff the other guys neglected to tell you. All the links I gave can show you the cars I spoke of in this post. Good luck and whatever you get remember its about the fun not how much you spent? it won't seem like it at first but after you get in there and mix it up a bit the smiles will come.