I have built 3 RC cars from scratch in total. The first was a straight line record speed car, the second was a twin engine 1/5th scale desert buggy. These are documented on my old site, here.
The third project is a 1/8th scale buggy and is the first to be done with full CNC machining from the beginning. This opened up a whole new range of possibilities, with complex geometry now being easy to create.
This car is designed to be the same size (track, wheelbase) as a normal 1/8 scale nitro buggy. This is so I can use readily available items like tyres, and possibly also run in some races. I don't expect to be competitive, after all this buggy is only 2wd. The intention is to make a car that's fast, looks much more like a real buggy and above all is highly involving to drive. I'd like it to be a solid test bed for future projects, like a switch to four stroke power, on board telemetry and datalogging, and a development platform for software/electronics interfaces to the vehicle's systems. The ultimate goal is to construct a robust and serviceable multi-cylinder engine to power the buggy.
The car is modelled roughly on the class-1 Baja desert racers. These are incredible machines mostly packing at least 500 HP, and running in extremely harsh conditions through sand and dust. I can't think of a more difficult environment to run a 1000 mile race in, which makes the cars even more impressive in my eyes. The regulations are also pretty open which makes a lot of the engineering more fun. Generally the buggies are rear-engined, rear wheel drive with a tubular steel spaceframe chassis and 2-foot plus suspension travel. If only RC buggies were more like this...
1/8 scale 5cc nitro desert buggy
A class-1 car competing in a desert race - possibly the San Felipe 250