Reaching Unknown Frequencies: The History of the Traxxas Remote Controlled Car

remote controlled car

Remote controlled racing has been around for a while. Just ask Traxxas, the leading company in remote-controlled car manufacturing and selling.

You’ve probably played with an RC car before, but have you ever wondered where the toy originated? Or if it could be more than just a toy?

Allow us to answer your questions. We’ll do it by providing a history of Traxxas and touching on some of its most popular models.

You won’t believe some of the things you read.

History of the Remote-Controlled Car

It all began with Nikola Tesla in 1898. Well-known for his work with lighting and AC electrical supply systems, he also revealed the first-ever radio-controlled torpedo boat.

Leave it to Tesla to keep things fancy.

It was the very first demonstration of wireless remote control, causing inherent confusion and suspicion of mind control among viewers. It didn’t take long for others to discover the technology and follow suit. The invention eventually made its way into the toy world.

The first remote-controlled car wasn’t built in the US. It was manufactured in Europe by an Italian company called El-Gi in the 1960s. By the 1970s, Britain had picked up on the hype and began producing nitro- or gas-powered RC cars.

In the 1980s, the trend made it to the US, where it was immensely popular. It led to the creation of an elite organization of racers, the Remotely Operated Auto Racers.

Today, RC cars are offered through many companies. There are even businesses that only offer RC car parts, although quality varies. But there is one company that has consistently been at the forefront of it all.

Traxxas Takes the Lead

In 1986, Traxxas entered the playing field. Up to this point, the RC vehicles that were offered required complicated assembly. Traxxas introduced a new idea to the RC community: remote-controlled vehicles that were ready to go right outside the box.

Back then, they referred to the products as Ready-to-Run cars, although it was later changed to “Ready-to-Race.” The idea was to encourage beginner RC fans to join the race.

The first ever model released that year was the WildCat, a four-wheel-drive, shaft-driven buggy manufactured by Bluebird. From there, Traxxas made history, directing trends within the RC community well into the future.


Traxxas has created many a model, but there are a few that stand out from the crowd.

Traxxas Rustler

Before some of Traxxas’s huge hits, the Rustler was one of its best-known models. If asked about Traxxas, RC hobbyists would immediately think of the Rustler.

It was (and still is) the perfect starter car, offering modifiable parts that allowed beginning RC drivers to slink their way into mechanics without feeling overwhelmed. View here to see the various models that have been introduced.

Because the Rustler’s nature was so compelling to anyone even remotely interested in RC cars, it became popular. The waterproof electronics ensured new users wouldn’t ruin the parts and the vehicle could reach a whopping 35 miles per hour. Not bad for a Ready-to-Race!

Although it was originally released in the 1990s, this car was so successful it is still suggested for beginners today.

T-Maxx Nitro Monster Truck

In the 1990s, interest switched from electric powered radio-controlled cars to gasoline fueled ones. Anticipating the trend, Traxxas released its RTR T-Maxx nitro monster truck.

During this period, practically all the RC monster trucks were the same. And then Traxxas released the T-Maxx.

Unsurprisingly, popularity soared as consumers took advantage of a nitro RC truck that was ready to hit the pavement. With a two-speed transmission, reverse ability and more, it immediately grabbed car-lovers’ hearts.

It initiated the transition from kits to Ready-to-Run.

This was a monster truck no one saw coming. Companies popped out of the woodwork offering parts only for the truck as consumers scrambled to purchase them.

Traxxas Slash

Perhaps one of its most famous models, the Traxxas Slash had a profound impact on RC racing and purchasing.

Up to its release, stadium course trucks were all the rage. The stadium course trucks (STs) were oversized buggies that featured longer suspension arms and larger wheels. As a result, they were easier to drive than the buggies most racers used.

When the Traxxas Slash was released, it paved the way for the short course truck (SC). Why? Because it offered drivers everything an ST did and more.

The enclosed tires let drivers get down and dirty on the tracks, but the biggest hit was the resemblance to life-sized vehicles. This model offered everything a car fanatic could want and encouraged car companies to team up with RC manufacturers, creating more realistic interpretations of the cars everyone would love to drive.

It was so popular most companies transitioned their ST trucks to SC ones. It also shifted the attention away from nitro and back to electric.

Chuck Kleinhagen, the owner and operator of Fastlane Raceway and Hobby Shop, states, “SC trucks quickly became popular because the Traxxas Slash provided a low cost, convenient way to get people started racing.”


One of the newer models to strike the market is the X-Maxx, an 18-pound, all-terrain monster. It was designed from the ground up to tear its way across the real world.

It’s self-righting and sealed to protect its parts from the rough terrain. The polycarbonate outside and new energy-absorbing rubber in the bumpers makes it ideal for cruising around tough terrains and taking out anything that gets in the way.

RC Vehicles Today

Traxxas committed itself to providing only top-performing RC cars. Today, it continues to hold up to those standards. It is known as the “leading manufacturer and seller of high performance radio-controlled vehicles” by the National Hot Rod Association, a governing body in drag racing.

Traxxas continues to sponsor and partake in events across the world, including the popular NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout. You’ll see their signs and slogans on the back of Monster Trucks and even TORC Series racing trucks.

Further, Traxxas manufactures aerial and marine-based vehicles. Consumers can enjoy Traxxas’s speed and quality in practically any type of RC vehicle.

Pop the Hood

A remote-controlled car doesn’t have to be a kid’s toy . . . if you don’t want it to be. Now, RC parts and kits abound and, thanks to Traxxas, the market is your oyster.

If only lifesize cars were so simple. But we can help there.

Our website offers all the data you need on the cars you drive (you know, the ones you sit in). If you’re experiencing car troubles, we have the manual you need to fix it.

Visit our site to find your make and model today. And just think: all that RC-handling is going to pay off when you get under the hood of your life-size vehicle.

But even if it doesn’t, at least it’s a good excuse.