Analysis of individual cars
The Avante 2001 (58085)
The Avante 2001 was kit number 85 from Tamiya. A 1/10 scale 4WD off-road car, it was designed as a competition off-road car for the experienced hobbyist.
- 1/10 scale off-road vehicle
- 4 wheel drive (shaft driven)
- 2 piece FRP "sandwich" type chassis
- Fully independent suspension all around with dogbone style axle drive
- Four high-capacity coil spring over oil filled dampers
- RS 540 Sport Tuned motor (optional in some kits)
- wide pin spike rear tires with foam inserts all around
- Lexan body and under belly protection
This car was the replacement to the original Avante. Collectors will remember that - although innovative - the original Avante was mostly an unproven collection of designs that didn’t come together as a competitive car. The aluminum parts were too soft and broke often, the front suspension bottomed out with alarming regularity and the handling was not up to spec when compared to cars of the time.
The 2001 would build upon the experiences learned with the original and roll out as an improved vehicle. Gone were the aluminum suspension bits that - although elegant - bent was alarming regularity. They were now replaced with reinforced plastic parts which were stronger and lightweight.
In an effort to control costs, the Technigold motor was replaced with a Sport Tuned one (27 turn stock with advanced timing). As well, the car now rode on standard CVA shocks instead of the gold anodized aluminum ones that came with original Avante. Other changes included an updated decal set, white wheels (instead of the original yellow) and a new pin spike pattern tire.
The changes improved the car's ability to absorb off-road abuse but unfortunately did not change the handling characteristics. The front suspension still did not have enough travel to really handle off-road dirt tracks of the time. Ironically, had the car been introduced today, it would have fared okay because of the smoothness of today's clay packed racing tracks.
Another aspect that didn't change was the sales volume. Tamiya was never able to sell very many of these. They were still fairly expensive and were introduced during a slump in off-road car sales. Most hobby stores chose not to carry this kit. It's a rare day when I meet an owner of one of these cars.
The Avante 2001 doesn't hold the cachet that the original does. But having said that, it's quite a rare kit, so much so that no kit has come up for sale in the past two years! Given the rarity of these kits, prices are difficult to estimate but estimates would put a new in box example at $250 at the very least.
If you are considering the purchase of a used example, ensure that it is complete. Parts are extremely rare and some are impossible to find. Further, because of some changes in the chassis, not even parts for the original Avante will fit on this chassis. If you are considering the purchase of a restoration project, you are strongly advised to reconsider unless you already have access to replacement parts. Otherwise, you may be "restoring" your vehicle for a very long time.
Most people that built the Avante 2001 found that the car lacked space for an ESC and receiver and ended up tossing the driver/cockpit detail piece in favor of more room. For completeness, make sure that the car has this piece.
- Collectibility – 7 out of 10
- Fun to drive – 7 out of 10
- Parts availability – 1 out of 10