Although Team Associated has become best known for the RC10 buggy of 1984, do you know what the first RC car they ever produced was? Back in 1964, Roger Curtis, who was then working for the Aerophysics Laboratory, got into slot car racing thanks to his assistant Lee Yurada. With the slot car hobby becoming so popular they decided to go into business together by opening their own raceway in Lynnwood, CA. Not only did they build a regular slot car track, but their facility even had a slot car drag strip. As time went on they even bought a few machines to build their very own slot car parts. Although the business did well for a few years, toward the late 60’s the slot car business slowed and Roger was looking to move on. That’s when they first heard of our beloved RC car hobby.
It wasn’t long before Roger and his friend Mike Morrisey were working on the prototype of what would become Team Associated’s first RC car, the nitro powered RC1. What made the RC1 unique was that, unlike their competition who were taking cues from the RC airplane hobby, Roger was applying what he learned from slot car racing. In its first race, in 1971, the Team Associated RC1 dominated its class so badly that many racers called for it to be banned! Some innovations that made the RC1 so good were its foam tires, that replaced the hard rubber tires typically used at the time, as well as front and rear wings. The RC1 did so well for Team Associated that Roger decided to quit his day job and focus just on building RC cars! A year after the RC1’s debut, Roger and his business partner Lee decided to go their separate ways and Roger found a new partner in the late great Gene Husting. Gene went on to build the RC1’s successor, the RC100. The rest, as they say, is history.