In Italy, UAZ 469 Radio Control Drives You!


UAZ 469

When I was a kid I used to build radio control cars. They came in big boxes and were made by companies like Marui and Tamiya and Kyosho. The detailing was pretty good; the moulded styrene plastic Marui Land Cruiser body had some nice detail, and so did the polycarbonate shell of the Tamiya Porsche 959. The kits themselves were not that hard to assemble; maybe it took one or two nights, a little longer if you actually took your time and painted the body well.

This UAZ 469 radio control model is an entirely different animal.

The recognizable parts include the gearbox and motor assembly and the wheels and tires from a late-model Tamiya kit, probably one of the ones with the three-speed automatic transmission. The axles almost look like Tamiya units as well, but I can’t find anything they match up to.

UAZ 469

Everything else is scratch-built. Everything. The box-frame, the hand-formed body panels, the functional bits like the doors and fuel filler flap, the headlight bezels and lenses, the pop-up cowl grille and so on and so forth. The dashboard has little illuminated gauges. The amount of time and detail is staggering. It’s nuts. It’s art.

UAZ 469

The modelmaker, an Italian fellow, is popular on an internet radio control 4×4 chat board where the build is detailed. His nationality is appropriate, given the long history of Italian craftsman who gave us cars like the Lamborghini Miura and any pre-war Alfa Romeo.

God drives an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900-B Touring Spyder by the way. You can look it up.

Why did the builder choose a UAZ 469 and not something, well, prettier? Apparently he likes UAZs, as do many Italian 4×4 aficionados. And why not? They are hugely reliable, quite simple to repair, and enjoy a reputation in places which require such things that Jeep and Land Rover would gladly pay for.

UAZ 469

Whether or not you’re an avid back-country brawler in any scale, check out the photos of this truck and marvel at what can be done with crazy skill and seemingly unlimited time.

[ English Russia ]