RC Cars Are All Grown Up: RC Tractor Pulls?

When we were kids, we played with toys. As men, we still have that same fondness for “toys”, they’re just a little different. Today we have sports cars, motorcycles, and boats. And we traded in our little green army men for big screen TVs, tools, and gadgets. But not all of us. There are some brave men who get together every weekend to build and race remote controlled cars. These aren’t just any RC cars either.

This is the type of stuff that would make our 8-year-old selves wet our pants from a combination of joy and intimidation. They’re not just electric, with many models powered by nitro or even gasoline. And not only do they race these beastly rigs – off-road and on – there are also clubs for everything from drifting to tractor pulls.


For the uninitiated, tractor pulling is a motorsport popular throughout the US, Australia, Europe, and even Brazil. It’s essentially what it sounds like – a souped up tractor pulls a weighted sled down a dirt track. Whichever tractor makes it the furthest before stalling out or exploding into flames (okay, that doesn’t really happen) wins.

The Lowdown On RC Tractor Pulls

There’s also events for trucks, both the four wheel and two wheel drive varieties. Pretty much the same idea, just a different kind of vehicle doing the pulling. In the late 1980s, this love for powerful machinery being pushed to its limits trickled down to the RC community and has been a mainstay ever since. Radio-controlled pulling follows pretty much the same formula, everything is just a little, well, smaller. Competitors put everything from tractors or modified trucks up against each other to prove who has the best design – and maybe the deepest pockets, since these RC cars can run in the thousands of dollars.

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The Beginnings of Model Car Racing

The forefather to remote-controlled cars were clockwork and rubber band powered model racing cars, with events going back as early as the 1920s. Races were limited to a straight line, but the rubber band models were no slouches in the speed department, capable of hitting 40mph.

By the late 1930s, enthusiasts were using petrol engines and reached speeds of 60mph on tether tracks not long after. These tether cars are still around today in fact, and their speed is unmatched. Then came internal combustion rail cars, then electric rail cars, and finally slot cars.

The First RC Cars

Believe it or not, the first remote-controlled vehicle of any kind was developed by the famed inventor Nikola Tesla way back in the 1890s. It was a boat and even had a working light system. But Italy – the same country that brought us Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini – gave us the first radio-controlled cars available to consumers.

The cars around before then suffered from a limited range of motion. They could go forwards, backwards, left, or right, but there was no in-between. Driving more slowly or taking a soft left turn was not yet possible with the technology of the time. These early cars ran on either nitro or gasoline, but it wasn’t long before the first fully electric car was introduced in 1974. Five years later and things started going off-road, adding a whole new way to race and causing an explosion in RC car’s popularity across the globe.

By the 2000s, even the more average RC cars were pushing 70mph. There have been huge advances in power for nitro and electric cars, with much bigger engines and better technology today.

Wild World of Remote-Controlled

All that and we’ve barely touched on boats or even mentioned RC aircraft, probably the biggest and most used category of them all. Radio-controlled missiles have been in use since as early as World War II, and today, unmanned drones gather intelligence and even perform military strikes – with the pilot sitting safely in a command room. RC is not just a popular hobby that draws tons of participants, it’s finding more serious uses as well. It’s safe to say that radio-controlled cars, boats, planes – you name it – are here to stay.

We’ve added two posts below featuring some incredible RC tractor and truck pulls. We’d like to apologize to all the wives that will be effected by this, as if us guys needed any more hobbies. In the post you’ll see some raw RC power you might never of thought possible. We think you’ll love it. If you do, be sure to share it with your friends on Facebook or wherever you share awesome stuff!

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There’s also events for trucks, both the four wheel and two wheel drive varieties. Pretty much the same idea, just a different kind of vehicle doing the pulling. In the late 198