This is a second hand model I found on Ebay Australia (thanks Adam). The previous owner cared it and it is in an almost perfect shape. This 2 wheel drive buggy released in 1985 reuses many technical solutions found on the Hotshot, especially the front mono-shock and front arms, as well as part of the chassis and the gearbox. Moreover, this is the first Tamiya model to use those famous bright yellow hydraulic dampers that would be fitted on many other models afterwards. They still even exist on an almost similar form, but are now only available in black.
The Fox family
The Fox is unique: no other model uses the same chassis, which is very rare in Tamiya's range of products. However, this models definitely belongs to the 4WD Hotshot lineage.
Here are photos of a Fox in perfect condition. You can't even notice it is over 20 years old, or the lightest use. This is probably a shelf-queen model. Next, photos of its 4WD cousins:
58047 Hotshot (1985)
58051 The Fox (1985)
58055 The Boomerang (1986)
The Fox was designed for racing and was often lined up on tracks by the time, even if it was very often improved with third party elements from Team CRP and others. Its main drawbacks were the access to electronics (enclosed in the chassis, like on the Hotshot), the limited front suspension travel and the front drive train taking a huge benefit from a stabilizer bar. But for leisure oriented usage, these drawbacks are not that important.
With age and usage, the golden rims are the parts that most suffered. As it is one of the very rare models to be fitted with them, they are very difficult to find... and expensive. Mine show impacts, but I won't change them.
My Fox when it arrived
Let's see what's under the bodyshell...
On the two last photos, the chassis looks very well protected. I can confirm that accessing the electronics can be a serious problem for competition: you need to remove a dozen of screws to get in, which disassembles the rear drivetrain at the same time. In fact, when everything is installed, you'd better check everything twice as you'd prefer not to undo everything again.
The penultimate photo also shows the motor protection made of a cut blue balloon. The manual recommends to use it on wet and muddy tracks: I will remove it as I have no intention to drive in these conditions. Also, I don't want to risk to melt it because of the motor heat.
The last photo shows the mechanical speed controller. I had never seen this particular model before. I disassembled it because I replaced it by an electronic one.