The Reliant Robin was a quirky, 3 wheeled, fibreglass bodied car built between 1973 and 2002. They became hugely popular thanks to their tiny, fuel sipping engines and the fact that they were classed as trikes and as such were taxed as a motorbike and could be driven on a motorbike licence (a loophole that has now been closed. Don’t try to drive a Robin on a bike licence you’ll get in trouble).
Because they only had one wheel at the front to steer which was located in the middle of the body, they became notorious for rolling over in corners.
Of course there are going to be nutters who want to race these things! As they became older and cheaper several oval tracks started to put on Robin fixtures. They still do Robin racing today! If you ever get the opportunity to watch it I highly recommend it it’s great fun! They normally run them at The Firecracker event at Arena Essex in November.
The world of RC oval racing also has Robin fixtures. They are run once a month or so at Brentwood RC Raceway.
Kamtec sell Robin chassis’ pre built. They range from £45 for a rolling chassis with no suspension (they can be ran with or without) to just under £100 for an almost ready to run car with suspension (all you need to add is a receiver and handset) which makes Robins one of the cheapest classes of RC to get into but I think it’s going to be one of the harder classes to master!
I brought the rolling chassis with suspension for £49.99 then added my own electrics which I already had. If you were on a really tight budget and couldn’t spend the £100 for an almost ready to run car, brushed electrics are so cheap now so could still get set up for under £100 over a few months.
Each chassis comes pre-built. Again great for beginners who may not have the experience with putting the cars together. They come nicely assembled. All the screws are tight and everything moves nice and freely as one would expect of a Kamtec car.
The shells available are either the Robin van or saloon car. I opted for the van to advertise a friends window cleaning business but I’d imagine the saloon is a little lighter as it has the extra windows.
I’ve only taken it out in practise to get a feel for it so far. It’s first race on the 18th of August and I will be sure to be covering that on this blog.
It’s a lot more stable than I was expecting it to be thanks to it’s low centre of gravity but you still can’t put power down at all in the corners or it will tip up and spin round. I’m looking forward to having a go though; I think that 10 of these buzzing about on track will be a good laugh and will produce some close racing!
So there you are! If you’re looking to get into RC oval racing or if you fancy a cheap, quick project to get you into another class of racing then I highly recommend the Robin.
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By Richard Francis