Ishimasa FF12E (Graupner)

December 31 by Jaap Dienaar

This 1/12th Ishimasa FF12E chassis from 1979, world’s first front wheel drive rc car. It came with a couple of different body types. There was a Porsche 917, the Savanna RX-7 a Renault Mirage. There may have been more.
Presented in ‘Graupner Neuheitenkatalog 1980’, Graupner followed the first successes achieved in 1979 with the vehicle in some national races.

The -then new- front wheel drive promised a previously unknown track stability. With a width of 180 mm and a wheelbase of 205 mm, it is the widest 1/12th scale at all. At the front wheel are thin foam rubber tires mounted, while on the rear -probably for purely aesthetic reasons- nearly twice as wide tires are mounted.
The front drive unit consists of a large aluminum casting, which combines a 5mm base plate and the two arms in one component. It is accordingly heavy. The uprights are designed in plastic and carry ball bearings. On the epoxy chassis is a low-lying aluminum radio plate mounted, which is decoupled by rubber grommets.

The pioneering with the front wheel drive has not paid off for Ishimasa however, because the concept of other brands (like the Kyosho Sonic Sports) have won more cups.