- Model #: 58367
- Gallery: View
- Released: 2006
- Prebuilt: No
- Category: Cars
- Chassis: F103GT
- Scale: 1/10
- Use: Onroad
- Style: Sedan
- Config: MR
- Driveline: Direct drive
- Body: Polycarbonate
- Finished body: No
- Susp. front: Half wishbone
- Susp. rear: T-plate
Photo gallery samples
Visit the full Tamiya F103GT gallery >
The idea of a very simple, light, inexpensive, raceable touring car chassis certainly was intriguing the first time I saw this chassis on a store shelf in 2006 or 2007. When I looked at the price tag, though, the "inexpensive" part of that picture was immediately erased. Still, I was looking forward to trying out this 190mm sized chassis that's adapted to fit any normal sedan wheels & tires, but without all of the complexity of four shocks, a second ball diff, multiple belts or a shaft and bevel gears, and seven turnbuckles. There were a few quirks in the build, but it was delightfully easy and fast, and the final product looked & felt exactly how I expected it to. The kit even includes a set of racing-style dish wheels and slick tires, though the rubber compound is fairly hard and best suited to very hot climates.
I installed proper racing tires for my region's temperature range, and properly prepared them with a treatment of traction compound. For a body, since none is included with this kit, I trimmed up a Mitsubishi Evolution VII WRC shell that was on sale at the local hobby shop. Though it's a genuine Tamiya sedan shell and the F103GT has some extraordinarily tall body posts, I actually had to add extensions to the "rear" posts, since they're actually in the middle of the car and had to reach up to the roofline of the shell, rather than the more usual rear decklid alignment.
I drove the car on a top-notch racing surface, the same one that hosted the 2010 Reedy Race of Champions and ROAR Onroad Nationals. It's smooth, sealed asphalt, treated with ample soda syrup. Running the stock silver can motor, with the very conservative (slow) stock gearing, I had a terribly hard time maintaining rear traction. All of my hopes for the car were dashed after I got some heat in the tires and found that I still could not power through or out of turns without swapping ends. It was thoroughly embarassing.
Fortunately, some very experienced local hot shot racers were in attendance and when I mentioned what chassis I was running, every one of them loudly exclaimed "OOHHhhhh" with sudden and complete understanding of the car's deplorable handling. According to them, the F103GT is actually moderately driveable with wide, soft nitro touring car foam tires and a low-slung sports prototype body (namely the ADVAN Courage). With any sort of rubber sedan tire, it is hopeless. With any sort of actual sedan body, it is a lost cause due to the very high center of gravity.
Simple? Yes. Light? Yes. Inexpensive? No. Raceable? Not really. The F103GT was an interesting experiment, but unfortunately, it failed.
Build & Tips
See the full illustrated build-up process in the Tamiya F103GT build thread on the forum.
- When attaching the damper plate to the motor pod, note that there is some play in the mounting holes that can allow the plate to be off-center. Take care to align it properly before tightening it down for good, and make sure the "shock" mount is centered relative to the chassis.
- When assembling the front outer suspension, try putting the lower retainer clip on a free kingpin on your workbench at first. Then slide on the spring, start inserting the pin through the lower pivot ball, add the spacer, and so on, until you get to the top.
- Orient the ESC switch the reverse of how they show it in the manual, so "on" is to the rear. This way if you go over kerbing on a track, the car won't shut itself off.