Analysis of individual cars
The Taisan Starcard Porsche 911GT2 (58172)
The Taisan Starcard Porsche 911GT2 was kit number 172 from Tamiya. A 1/10 scale 4WD on-road car, it was designed as an scale sports car with racing potential based on the TA-02 chassis.
- 1/10 scale on-road vehicle
- 4 wheel drive with ball diff in rear connected via center driveshaft
- ABS Plastic tub chassis
- Fully independent suspension all around with dogbone style axle drives
- Four coil spring over oil damped shock suspension
- RS-540 Mabuchi motor
- Wide slick rubber tires in rear with standard width slick rubber in front
- Lexan body
The Taisan Porsche 911GT2 was built on a TA-02SW chassis. The "SW" nomenclature tacked onto the end stood for "short" and "wide", which was exactly what Tamiya did with the original chassis (TA-02) in order to produce the Taisan Starcard Porsche.
For those that know Tamiya it comes as no surprise that would go to extraordinary efforts to make their R/C Porsche as realistic as possible. You see, the 911 is a very tough car to produce correctly for R/C purposes. A real Porsche 911GT2 has a back that is much wider than the front end due to the wheel flares. It’s also a very small car with a wheelbase under 90" in length. This made it very tough to create a realistic lexan body for if you tried to adapt it to a standard sized chassis which was typically too long and too narrow.
If you look at Tamiya’s competitors, you’ll see that they flared the front of their 911 body out to match the width of the rear. Further, the car was unusually long and not scale because it was fitted to a standard 1/10 scale chassis. Tamiya felt that this would be an inaccurate representation of the Porsche body. To accomplish the feat of shortening and widening a chassis cost effectively, Tamiya simply "flipped" the rear suspension arms (but retained the same mounting points) thus effectively moving the driveshafts forward. Gearboxes, chassis and suspension systems carried over unscathed. This meant that few parts on the car had to be altered. The "widening" of the rear track was accomplished by simply running wider wheels with a lot of offset.
The rear spoiler is another area that’s impossible to mold in lexan, so Tamiya supplies it in abs plastic along with the side mirrors. And the final touch of realism, a set of two piece wheels that mimic the look of BBS mesh wheels finish off the car.
The rest of the chassis is standard TA-02 fare; gearboxes and suspension system were carried over intact. The gearboxes were now molded in grey instead of the usually red or black. Handling of the car was relatively benign, the four wheel drive helped power the car through corners smoothly. The shorter wheelbase gave the car fairly quick turn-in. The suspension proves to be a bit on the soft side though as it doesn’t take more than one or two battery packs to produce scraping damage on the front and rear gearbox areas.
The Taisan Porsche 911GT2 is no longer unavailable from Tamiya. But, if you're lucky some out-of-the-way hobby stores may still have a kit somewhere in the backroom. Otherwise, EBay remains your only option. The Taisan carries some unique features that will make it interesting to the collector in years to come. First of all it sits on a unique chassis configuration. Seeing that Tamiya has discontinued the use of the ‘02’ chassis, it’s unlikely that another TA-02SW will come about. This was the first and last of the series.
Secondly – and perhaps more importantly – it’s a Porsche. Perhaps only second to Ferrari for collectibility because of the car’s marquee. The Taisan 911 will be sought after by Porsche enthusiasts for it’s realistic scale proportions and excellent execution. Definitely one to hold onto for future value.
Almost all the parts are interchangeable with the ‘02’ series of cars. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding spare parts for the car now. The lexan body is still available through Tamiya. Because of this, you can still run the car without worry of having to abandon it because of broken parts.
When purchasing a used car, you’ll want to check the tightness of the rear differential. Novices run the risk of not assembling the rear ball differential correctly resulting in slippage and eventual failure. Also, the car used a ton of ball bearings, you should factor the presence or absence of them into the price.
- Collectibility – 7 out of 10
- Fun to drive – 8 out of 10
- Parts availability – 8 out of 10