READER PROJECT Custom-Chassis Muscle Mustang
Radio Control Car Action|November 2019
Retro-realistic machined-metal muscle car
RENGAN KRISHNA IYER & MATT BOYD

The photos of the extraordinary RC rendition of a classic American muscle car you see on these pages came to us from a pretty unlikely place: Malaysia. It is the brainchild of Rengan Krishna Iyer, who embarked on a five-year odyssey to scratch-build an RC car that not only looks but also functions like an authentic muscle car. Chassis layout, driveline orientation, suspension configuration—Rengan discarded traditional RC car conventions to redesign virtually every major structural element to work as much like a real muscle car as possible. When he was finally happy with his results, he submitted the tale of its creation to Readers’ Rides. His achievement was far too remarkable to be covered adequately there, so I reached out to him to share more details and photos. What follows is his account of how his custom muscle-car creation came to be.

I hail from Malaysia and have been an avid American muscle car and RC model fan since I was seven years old. I have always dreamt of owning an actual muscle car (and, hopefully, one day I will!), but in the meantime, I had long toyed with the idea of building my very own 1/10-scale RC muscle car chassis. I loved the idea that RC vehicles could look and function as realistically as possible; for me, vehicles like Tamiya’s Bruiser and Sand Scorcher represent RC scale realism at its best. When I was exposed to photos of HPI 200mm Vintage Trans Am (VTA) bodies on the Internet and in RC Car Action back in 2014, I began planning my very own RC muscle-car chassis that has many features like its full-size counterpart and that would fit under readily available 190–200mm RC VTA bodies. My project would take me on a long five-year journey and go through several iterations.

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