HKS Opel Vectra JTCC

This one is a pretty rare model even though it is not very old. Other models based on the same chassis are pretty much looked after so I guess this particular model didn't meet its public or its decoration was not much appreciated. Anyway, this second hand model was an opportunity since it has a brand new and perfectly decorated bodyshell: it had to join my collection.


The FF-01 family

The FF-01's architecture is mainly based on the TA-02 chassis: the big difference is the front drive transmission and the front motor. This is Tamiya's first front wheel drive chassis and the second in my collection after my Suzuki Swift.

The FF-01 was used by 16 models which tends to demonstrates this chassis got some success:


The FF-01 chassis (1993)

Tamiya FF-01 chassis

HKS Opel Vectra JTCC boxart (1995)

Tamiya 58159 HKS Opel Vectra JTCC - FF-01 boxart


FF-01 based models:


Idemitsu Motion Mugen (1993)

58121 Idemitsu Motion Mugen

Castrol Honda Civic VTI (1993)

58127 Castrol Honda Civic VTI

Toyota Toms Levin (1993)

58131 Toyota Toms Levin

Jaccs Honda Civic (1994)

58133 Jaccs Honda Civic

Renault Clio Williams (1994)

58138 Renault Clio Williams

Ford Mondeo BTCC (1994)

58143 Ford Mondeo BTCC (1994)

Castrol Nissan Primera JTCC (1994)

58147 Castrol Nissan Primera JTCC

Calsonic Nissan Primera JTCC (1994)

58151 Calsonic Nissan Primera JTCC

HKS Opel Vectra JTCC (1995)

58159 HKS Opel Vectra JTCC

Volkswagen Golf VR6 (1995)

58162 Volkswagen Golf VR6

Toyota Toms EXIV JTCC (1995)

58167 Toyota Toms EXIV JTCC

Volvo 850 BTCC (1996)

58183 Volvo 850 BTCC

PIAA Accord VTEC (1996)

58186 PIAA Accord VTEC

Honda Jaccs Accord (1997)

58190 Honda Jaccs Accord

Volkswagen Golf V5 (1997)

58206 Volkswagen Golf V5

Volkswagen New Beetle (1998)

58217 Volkswagen New Beetle


A common characteristic shared by almost all the models of the series: a very complex bodyshell decoration. Results are very impressive but they require hours of work because some bodyshells need different paint colors and over a hundred of stickers to adjust with a lot of precision.


My Opel Vectra JTCC when it arrived

The model is in perfect condition and was probably never run. However, some parts are missing (battery tray door, spacer for the motor mount screws).


Tamiya 58159 HKS Opel Vectra JTCC as received

Tamiya 58159 HKS Opel Vectra JTCC as received


Not much to work on the chassis. As for the bodyshell, some stickers started to peel so I will need to find a way to solve the problem.


The FF-01 chassis

Even if everything looked as if it had been correctly built, I entirely disassembled the chassis for a complete check-up but there was very few to be done. Apart from throwing ball bearings (2x1510, 2x1260, 7x1150 and 3x850), fixing the motor mount and to add oil in the hydraulic dampers, the chassis didn't require attention.

The first run proved me wrong though: I badly assembled the ball differential. That(s what happens when you don't follow the very clear steps described in the manual. Hopefully, no damage was done, but this kind of mistake can be lethal for the model.

So here's the chassis in ready to run condition:


Tamiya 58159 HKS Opel Vectra JTCC FF-01 chassis


So much room for electronics! That's why I chose to install the biggest receiver I had in my stock laughing. With such a monster, there is relatively not much room left for the TEU-101BK. I could even use all the room available above the battery tray towards the rear of the chassis if the driver cockpit wasn't there. Anyway, some weight on the rear of the chassis wouldn't have been bad for the general weight distribution.