QotW: What’s your favorite radio controlled JNC?

There seems to be a large number of JNCers who are into radio controlled cars. Whether they’re as small as a grain of rice or 1:10 scale, built for drifting or off-roading, are simple off-the shelf affairs or highly detailed kits, there is no shortage of variety. We’re partial to the old Tamiya kits like Bruiser Toyota HiLux that famously towed a real HiLux, but there’s countless other classics.

What’s your favorite radio controlled JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which JNC would you choose for surviving the zombie apocalypse?

It’s not surprising that most of you chose to live out the societal breakdown caused by brain-munching reanimated corpses in an indestructible SUV of some sort. Ian G. elected to escape the armies of the undead in an FJ60 or 4Runner, while Keith sought the protection of an armored Land Cruiser. Ellis wasn’t messing around, going straight for the ultimate survival machine in the Toyota Mega Cruiser. Lupus, meanwhile, would go on the offensive with a diesel HiLux tactical.

Others chose more practical options with dankan, nlpnt, and BW each picking a parts-abundant Corolla, Matrix, and Civic respectively. Tj bet on an alternate strategy, maneuverability, with a Yamaha TW200. No one, however, gave the scenario as much thought as F31 Roger, who probably gave the most detailed answer to any QotW in JNC history in two separate answers. Max Brooks, give this man a call!

Being huge into the genre and for the longest time wondering what I would do and have.

My vote goes to the Toyota Previa. I have a RWD version, but in the Zombie apocalypse, AWD would be the way to go to get into the terrain in some areas.

My Previa video before all the YT car guys made them in the last 2yrs.

Total downside to having a previa is 2 things:

1. Engine – while “bullet proof”, it still needs to be maintained. And that accessibility for a mid engine van is horrible.

2. The Previa whistle – Supercharged Previas have a distinctive whistle coming from somewhere in the exhaust system.

Pros –
– Previa has more power than a Toyota Van.
– There are still a decent amount of Previas out there, so finding one in my area (Bay area) isn’t an issue if I needed parts.
– Previas blend in very well, as they don’t attract too much attention.
– 4 cylinder engine – decent MPG, but not 2020 MPG technology.

The space inside is great. I set up a 8ft cot in my previa with no issues.
– back row seats fold up to sides of the van.
– middle row (mine are capt chairs) can be easily removed.


Something I don’t tell people much, but I lived in my Previa for 6 months.

My videos from back then.

Back in 2015, I just finishing up with SF State and added that debt to my name. Fortunately I was still working. I read a book called Walden on Wheels and was intrigued.

While I dreamed about it, I never thought I’d happen. Then my sister in law (in Vancouver BC) was finishing up her Pharmacy training and needed my wife to watch her son. Both of my kids were young enough to not be in school. My wife and kids stayed in Vancouver BC for last 6 months in 2015.

I decided to take that opportunity to live in my previa. While I am no minimalist, during this time I was. Since I still had full time work and school, I didn’t “travel” around like those people on youtube. And while I loved my van, I didn’t want to convert it to a full on tiny house or RV. It was a great experience.

AWD would be good if you are going through some terrain. I think most people would be fleeing cities and heading towards high terrain, so you’d need a good vehicle to take you.

With the Previa, you can make it cozy as is and not have added weight as you would with an trailer RV. But cozy depends on how many people are with you right?

To add more to Previas:

I was focusing on the camping aspects of having a previa vs a survivalist’s machine.

– In Australia, Taragos are often fitted with bull bars to help with impact of kangaroos and wallabys. I think that would be awesome for protection.

When I compare it to today’s vans, there is only one sliding door, compared to two (could be good or bad for escape/entry point).

Mid engine keeps the floor warm, for those cold nights.

Dual sunroof – 2nd sunroof is big! They also have oem roof rack capabilities. Either a tent or even a hunter’s nest.

Previa is spacious, take out the seats and it’s just a nice flat floor and so much space. While it isn’t like many of the upper class Mercedes camper vans… you can make the Previa amenities smaller, but they have been done. People have made sinks in Previas.

As for bathrooms and showers… when zombies have taken over the world, I don’t think having the luxury is needed and gotta be done outside and quickly. lol.

VS Delica or L300

Besides the JDM Delica, how often do you see L300s? I’m a van person, so I always look for them… Not only that, where would you get parts.

While the JDM Delica or even a Hiace would be nice… where would you get parts?

As I said, Previas are still commonly seen and even if you check row52… there’s always a a few on there.

Here was a thread a long time ago that I also loved reading.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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13 Responses to QotW: What’s your favorite radio controlled JNC?

  1. Ian G. says:

    The picture in this article almost says it all. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into cars. Like most, it started with a love of Matchbox and Hotwheels die cast. But my life altering moment happened on a vacation trip to HK around 1983 (I believe) and my mom gifted me my first JNC remote controlled car, a Toyota 4 Runner (Toyota Hilux 4Runner in those parts). It was close to 1:18 scale. It was silver with the big off road wheel set up, light bar, decal graphics package etc. and I brought that toy everywhere with me. I took it to school for show & tell, showed it off to my friends and family.

    To this day, I have fond memories of that 4Runner. It pretty much started my love of Japanese cars/JNC’s. It was just so cool to have. And to think, my love of cars didn’t happen because of a car. This predated my love of MR2’s after my first sighting by a couple of years.

    As I mentioned, that picture you have with this article reminded me of my old RC. I think I’ll go find me one now.

  2. nlpnt says:

    I’d have to go with a Tamiya Subaru Brat, just about the only scale model/toy of the second generation Brat ever done, with so many firstgens out there.

  3. MWC says:

    i grew up with Tamiya 1/10 RC cars – this post is all me! The most important RC Car to me is the the earliest recollection i have on one. The Tamiya Porsche RSR – I saw it under the glass cabinet at my local hobby shop when i was in in grade 6. I just had to have it, but it was really expensive, so not possible for a middle class family like ours. I got a paper route and started saving, by the time i had enough, it was long gone and and I got a Super Champ, then a friend of mine had the same interests, we met at Cadets. So then he got the Countach. Then he got the Lamborghini Cheetah. then i got the Bruiser Hi-Lux – what a killer kit that was. i can’t imagine kids today being able to build a gearbox like that, its all plug and play BS today. i got the FAV (Fast Attack Vehicle), the Brat and my 2nd favorite, the Rothmans Paris-Dakar 959, i loved that one! i wanted an on-road car and got 1/18 scale pan cars called “Little Sports”, then i got into Associated RC12’s and then big gas powered 1/8 cars RC300 and RC500. being an F1 guy, i had to collect the Tamiya 1/10 F1 cars and still have 3 of them…and the RC500. i had to save FOREVER to get that car, so i kept it…30 years later…but i digress, they are all my favorites – so many cool memories and skills learned.

  4. sightline says:

    For me, it was the Tamiya Castrol Celica GT-4 either in the ST165 or ST185 guise. In fact, when I got back into the hobby this fall, I looked for this, since Tamiya is doing reissues of some of their more popular models. Alas, neither the Castrol Celicas nor the Toyota Prerunner are being made anymore. I ended up with the Super Hotshot reissue which I’m having fun putting together.

  5. CycoPablo says:

    For a few years, I’d wanted the Subaru Brat, but hung in with my “old” Hornet.
    Then I saw the Blackfoot, and it had a decent discount so I bought it. The following year, I traded miscellaneous items for a Brat body!
    It was all painted including the driver. I resprayed the body and brush-painted the little guy to my liking, then mounted my “new” Brat body on the Blackfoot.
    Chassis were very similar, so I was happy.

  6. F31roger says:

    When I came to visit my cousin in 1998 and before the HIN event in Long Beach of that year… my cousin and I were into RC cars. He was in middle school or even Freshman year high school. Ee was already into the Integra Type R. He took me the local shop that had all the HPI Racing bodies.

    I saw the EG civic hatchback by Tamiya (included the motor too) and bought that package deal. I remember the Nitro RS4 2 that came with the R34 Skyline…

    Many show cars had a minture R/C version of their cars on display.

    Then the drifting R/Cs came out and that was pretty awesome.
    I got a 180sx (as I had a 240sx fastback).


    My favorite RC, while not really an RC was my Choro Q R34 Skyline.
    I’ll reply with a picture of mine as I can’t find it on my IG because of 6000 posts. LOL


  7. Nigel says:

    Nissan 300ZX (IMSA race car) will be right up there.

  8. HotWheelsAndFriedChicken ! says:

    I’ve never had a jnc rc, but I’ve always wanted a kyosho mini z. I’ll stick to diecast for now.

  9. My_Fairlady_ZFG says:

    I never had a JNC to car. I did have a Ford F-150 monster truck that I got one year from my parents. I remember when I was little, and our cat Sgt. Pepper ran away from home, and my father and I canvased the neighborhood, asking people if they saw him and describing him. I took my truck with us. It’s battery died and I just bent over and started pushing it. Thank G-d, we found him a few days later. Sgt. Pepper wasn’t lonely anymore.
    A few years later, I got a Spider-Man liveried monster truck. I saw it at the store and I thought it was soooo cool. It’s funny, with the monster trucks you’d think I’d want a rock crawler now as a young adult. But as with many of us, my interests have evolved and developed. Now, if I were to get an RC car, I’d want to get an AE86, like the Hpi model. Probably a Trueno. It’s the cheap was to get a running JDM 86.
    The AE Corolla is one of my favorite cars. Fastback liftback, lightweight, RWD, pop-up headlights. Economic joy with seating for more than 2. However, it is not a car I am currently pursuing. I am very happy and excited about my current project, my 1973 240Z named Eliza (bonus points if you get the reference). I’m slapping the carbs back on next week if all goes well. Anyway. So yeah I’m not actively looking for or really lusting after an AE86 right now as I want to focus my energy and recourses on restoring and modifying my Z. I ant to focus on one thing at a time. And given school, expenses, and working on my Z, I don’t have money for an 86. Maybe not even an RC 86. But that’s another story.

  10. Al F says:

    I think that the favourite JNC Radio Control car is the one you can play with while your 1:1 JNC is at the garage pending some restoring/mod, you took the “other” car, or you are just willing to go for an spin while at work and it is raining outside (a common occurence here at UK – don’t wanna get my toys wet).

    I’m lucky that I have 2 of my cars both on 1/10 and on the 1/27 mini-z scale: An FD3S and an MX5 ND. the Mini-zs are so easy to play with and I have a collection of more than 180 bodies (and probably more than half a dozen FDs, painted and/or in the process of being painted (which takes forever). I’ve ended up buying the RX7 1:1 after having fallen in love with the Mini-z version.

    In a way, the RX7 FD is such an iconic car that you don’t need to look far to find one in smaller scale, and Matchbox has always one series including them. And that is why the FD is up there as one of the favourite RC JNCs of the masses, having aged quite graciously. I still have little kids (and not so little ones) asking around what car is this and how cool it is, is it expensive, and that is almost 30 years after its launch.

    Probably the only other car that has that kind of follow up, and is an ubiquitous RC counterpart too (which I have many versions but not the big one yet) is an NSX fiirst gen. that is another one that the kids love too.

    I’m still missing an scale RX8 to complete the little garage. it s a pity that it didn’t get that kind of follow up.

  11. Ryan says:

    Its gotta be tamiyas Honda city turbo, it was an awesome wheelie machine.

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