The Speedhunters Event of the Year

I know; trust me, as we all sat at our desks around the world and the countdown became clearer, when this result was passed to me I sat here mouth open, head slightly tilted, eyes wide.

Because based on unique pageviews since it was published, our overall winner in the event of the year category is… the JDM RC car meet!

What do you mean our most read event coverage of 2013 was a radio controlled car meet? But what about Players, Wekfest, Mooneyes, the Nürburgring? I mean come on. Gatebil? Bonneville? Or the biggest trade show of its kind in the world, SEMA? How about one of the many world auto shows we attended. Tokyo? Geneva? Even the smaller ones which still cause massive amounts of interest like Essen? So does this mean we should cover more RC events? Well yes and no. I mean… Let’s talk about this.


For a start, Speedhunters is the broadest of churches. That was the first lure for me when I started here in April 2012. Now in 2013, we’ve been enthralled by half-mile-high dust clouds at the Mint 400 and got sand in our lenses at vintage hot rod land speed time trials. But this one event shone brighter in your imagination than any other.


On reflection, there’s good reason for this too; the elements of a great story are all there for you to see. First up there’s the new discovery of Hobby Garage; a slightly unusual location in a shopping centre/mall makes it doubly intriguing. When Dino started wandering around, we got to see the scale of the hobby scene. Like most of the Speedhunters crew, I also built and used scale remote controlled cars before I could legally drive, so maybe, like you, I had an affinity already there. I know as soon as I started seeing all the cool wheels and kits on display that I got a twitch to break out the glue and scalpels again. We all lust after those uber rare wheels or body parts in the real world, and here you can have them for a fraction of the full scale price.


The sheer creative imagination of the builders is inspirational and I think it also feels attainable. As you go through Dino’s article we get to experience his excitement as he realises the scale of what he’s encountering. If you’ve ever seen Dino in person, you’ll know he’s a strapping  six foot plus Speedhunter. Can you imagine the picture around this image? Dino doubled over on his knees examining every facet of the models.


Then there’s the variety of machinery on offer: missile car, classic, street cruiser and VIP. We saw that the RC scene was very open to all, with trucks and trailers even taking part. When was the last time you went to an event with such a wide spread of metal on show? Okay, so it’s not real. But that’s the thing here… it is. When you think about your 1:1 scale project outside, incomplete and in need of money and time, just imagine how many scale models you could have had instead. I know for one I’ve built enough project cars in my head to fill a car park. I just can’t afford to pay the tickets to get them out! This way you can enjoy a build and then move on to the next one without selling up.


So looking at the facts, there’s variety, insight, individualism and the article was based around a subject that we’ve touched on before but never fully immersed ourselves in. Dino really got down on his knees too – he was excited and you guys felt that? Which is the way it should be. Now I’m not saying we’re about to become an RC website, but the feedback we can take from this is that you’re very interested in all aspects of car culture. We can ship Mad Mike from New Zealand to Norway, but ultimately, more of you wanted to read about some scale RC action. I can appreciate that.


I think the fact this was in Japan is also a massive contributing factor. The country continues to fascinate us and in 2014 I want to make a deeper indent into the car culture that exists there. But that’s another story.

What Dino has to say about the result.

“A ‘cool RC Drift event’ was what Johnny at Weld called it. Sure I said, I’ll drop over and check it out, like a lot of our readers I like to indulge in some miniature drift action – be it behind the controller or sitting on the sidelines. But the instant I walked in to the Hobby Garage in Saitama that day, I knew this was going to get people excited, as I had never seen anything like it before. It wasn’t about the drifting itself this time, more the attention to detail, the execution and the sheer imagination; as ever the Japanese are on another planet when it comes to this sort of thing. But for it to become our top event of 2013? Well I’m honestly as surprised as you probably are!”

Conclusion: What I can tell you is that right now, somewhere over Northern Europe a special plastic model car is making its way to me in the post. The scalpels and glue are being sourced and I’m going to build it right here in my office. Of course I’ll show you the results when I’m done. Excited? Yes. Inspired? Obviously. That’s the way it should be, right?

JDM RC Drift car show produced by Dino Dalle Carbonare



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Not a knock on this post at all, but something I'll take away from this whole countdown in general: WTAC doesn't crack top 50? Feel like there are too many scene and stance kid and not enough interest in performance. No interest in actual performance = no performance parts being R&D'd, built and tested so you can hardpark and showoff all the money you spent. It's a viscious cycle that ends with cars becoming nothing more than fashion accessories or simply toys you can play drift with..Very surprising results though.


I loved this post! Dino's excitement was felt throughout the article! I think it garnered all the attention because it was a change of pace for the Speedhunter faithful and a cross-genre experience for others who are into hobbies and all things Japanese! (I fall into all 3 of those categories!)  Great job in 2013 and I'm looking forward to all the Speedhunters bring to 2014


Wow, thats what i call a suprice!


We always try and hit up a selection of what we think are the world's most interesting Motorsports events. More often than not, the pageviews are always lower than lifestyle-culture events. It's an interesting thing to note!


haha all these pictures are new to me, clearly I missed the hottest event of the year. Here's to 2014!


what a disaster, the #1 event on a automotive website isn't even about cars.


RodChong Branch out and tap into that main! Show is the culture and the lifestyle beyond all those sweet rides and cool people that you already do a great job with!


RodChong Branch out and tap into that main! Show is the culture and the lifestyle beyond all those sweet rides and cool people that you already do a great job with!


RodChong Well, it is easier to get started in lifestyle events than it is to start in a Motorsport. Cheaper too. However, it takes the same effort to click on a page and view it regardless of the event. 

Was anyone on staff truly surprised by this result, or was it something as a staff you had an inkling was going to happen the moment it was posted?


Well this is a good indicator of the average Speedhunters visitor.


Unexpected. But since it's winter here I've started building scale models again so I am kinda stoked to see this.


RodChong Something new will trigger someone's curiosity and all of the excitement of discovery. If you've seen F1 for 20 years and you don't like the field or find all the cars ugly, you already know you'll skip the F1 coverage... if you don't like evilcamber, you're going to skip that feature...

I also think it's a case where most of the Motorsport guys are not sending their friends back to Speedhunters for the race recap, whereas the lifestyle-culture events revolve around folks that cannot wait to see their car on the site and they will share it with their friend and link back to an article where they were featured / photographed.

As a huge fan of project and build articles, shop tours and anything behind the scenes, please take this approach with the RC car you build!


well dress me up and call me Sally! I knew this was popular, but never expected it to surpass events like Gatebil, WTAC or TAS.


been visiting speedhunters for years and years.
Dino always has been my favorite. I have never been to Japan and someday hope to go. But I can Vicariously live through Dino's Lens and see the sights and culture of japan that I am interested in. And its what keeps me coming back here.
All the haters are going to continue to exist even if you try to appeal to there many whines and cry's of what SH lacks. I say try and start your own automotive page ,im sure you'll see to actually have your own material and photographers and writers and web guru's is not an easy task. This event winning the event of the year is awesome and why I love SH.

Im also 36 years old and a successful image analyst at Bing.


Dalton Bedore I beg to differ, these little RC cars are the closest some people ever come to owning the car of their dreams. If speedhunters is a site that allows us to drool over the cars of our dreams, then these little toy RC cars are the tangible equivalent of that same idea.


@ITB car hobbyists in all realms :)


therealsinic Thanks for your support!


FunctionFirst At least two of the top ten were motorsports events.


FunctionFirst RodChong We were shocked. Believe me.


I dont find it anti car, or anti enthusiast whatsoever. The model and particularly R/C scene was the first toe in the water for millions of us. As we grew older we got into real cars, and after awhile, many return to R/C as a way to "keep it in the family", but without the potential downsides of tweaking the real stuff. It's a hobby within a hobby.

The mere fact that SH can be at this even, first hand...and Gatebil (not my scene at all aside from the wacky builds people do), to endurance events, to TAS, and consolidate it all into 1 site is what keeps me, and many others, always coming back. If you don't find the motorsport coverage abundant enough, or detailed enough - start your own blog! It's not at all easy to gather the info and pictures so many here seem to think are commonplace, and harder still to get that real world perspective of actually attending a race. So if you think you can build the better mousetrap, I am sure Rod, Dino, and anyone else would encourage you to do so

As far as the "no motorsport events, no R&D being done argument", that's quite a stretch. The market is saturated - it's been saturated for awhile. New parts are ALWAYS being built, and for those who own cars where there aren't new parts, those among us will ALWAYS figure out a way to do it ourselves. That function first argument has been going on since the dawn of the modified automobile. If all you want is function, in depth tech, this isn't the site for you. This is, as the article mentions, a broad church, designed to appeal to a wide audience, and IMHO, does a great job of supporting all the different facets of this hobby. From behind the walls pics from manufacturers and retailers, to DIY builders, drift, road race, rat has all been covered here. To give it any less credit makes you more a contrarian and less an enthusiast. This site, more than any other, exposes you to stuff that you would otherwise likely not be aware of.


Sweet 1/12 Gundam and Zaku in the back.


Don't see why the "The Speedhunters Event/Car of the Year" title counts on view-stats only. Should be the SH-staff that go together and discuss which one they liked best. View-stats are not really that interesting and gives a wrong view on what's worthy of the title. 
I'm guessing this "JDM RC Drift car show" is first just because no others are writing articles about it. And then the whole RC-community comes here just to read that article and voila its at the top.


Where Can Buy Cars Like This (online)


Much as I love Gatebil & so many other events covered, I'm totally ok with this.  I don't think it reflects poorly on the viewership at all, because I & every other car guy I know started by building & hooning RC cars, and now that we're older we find nostalgia & the roots of our enthusiasm in them. I'm in my 30's & work on European cars for a living, and I'm not ashamed that I still have some of my old RC's. 

I have 2 Euro 60's projects in the garage, but progress on them is limited by practical considerations like family, time, money, and noise. My RC cars can be worked on comparatively cheaply & quietly in the kitchen, while enjoying an IPA after my daughter goes to sleep. And, I can drive them like a complete hooligan drift king right in front of the house, with no fear of reprisal. Beats playing GT6 on the couch! 

That said, I'd still love to see some SH staff picks for car & event of the year.  You know, with all the extra time you guys have...  

Happy New Year!


I'm rather greatful this is the top event because like you said, it's attainable.  My 15 y.o. is fascinated by Japan because of the car culture there.  This just helps that along so much more.  Truely there is something unique going on over there that I hope you all will show us more of.


When the D1 and Formula D stars including Mad Mike either into it or using RC to promote their real sport. It's all good. 
In the last year the realism level has increased and the ability to create your own replicas is definitely here. 

RC is a niche that won't replace the real thing, but inspiration feeds both ways.

RE-Xtreme RC.


therealsinic Being successful at bing? How is that even possible?


wheatgod You don't know much about the RC community I see..


We never grow up after all.  :)


I LOVE this!! So glad it came in the NO.1 spot! All that built these crazy little machines deserved it!


how many page views does the whole of speedhunters have per year?


Around 35 million


Good point haha


they make awsm details, I ever tried one. It's very difficult.




RodChongThat's an amazing figure, so stoked for everybody!!! I read daily and enjoy everything the team posts, you are doing a fantastic job bringing us (the readers) an unbeatable place to come and relate.


azmedaj Yep, very very surprised WTAC didn't even make it in the countdown.


Larry Chen FunctionFirst RodChong You said that I was going to be shocked, and god damn I am.
Did not see that coming. At all.




Sorry my bad. The figure is 76 million


Ultimately Speedhunters should be fuelled by the interests of the audience. We spend a lot of time looking at what you people like and what you gravitate towards... And while we have our own vision of what's 'cool' and 'trending' we also have to be informed by your own feedback. So selecting the awards based on your tastes and interests rather than our own is the ultimate compliment no?
Maybe next year we can add in some editor's choices too.
Another thought: There are some events we are going to cover irrespective of whether they are popular or not (like some of the Hot Rod, Rally, Classic, Off Road and Sports Car content) but we also need to look at what the larger trends are too. So some of what we do is informs by data and other parts are based on our own vision of Speedhunting.
We will always try and find new bits of international car culture to review and too: this is what Speedhunting is: finding local or underground scenes which have not been seen before on a global scale.


dam were can i get these tuner models?


therealsinic Thanks a lot! I'm happy to see that some people out there appreciate what I do.


LMAO! Again, this whole view count tallying for legitimacy is ridiculous. Feels like the Speedhunters staff are just too lazy to host their own vote amongst themselves and other unbiased enthusiast peers. So I could have my car featured and just have 100 or so of my friends view it at least once a day every day of the year and possibly win? Cool. How about staff members/photographers/etc plus each featured ride/event representative votes on their favorite with themselves excluded from their own options?

To name a site "SPEED"hunters and the Event of the Year NOT be a competitive racing event with REAL CARS, is just shameful. Not to mention Car of the Year is a car that hasn't competed in any events this year and will probably be hard parked more often than driven hard. I guess that's the price of going mainstream, you lose site of your roots...or maybe they were never there in the first place. Sad.


well i can hoenstly say...i did not see that coming!


ToneDiez The stats were based on unique visitors (ip address), so if your car happens to get feature on Speedhunters then you can ask half a million of your closest friends to visit your car feature in order for you to win in 2014.

We are a car culture website, and many enthusiasts into cars today started with model / remote control cars, including me. We cover anything and everything car culture.


COOL! The effort that goes into these cars is just as full on as full sized cars, if not more in some cases....and the quality is right up there. Not disappointed at all.


As a 1/24 kit builder I understand this, I have more kits then I will ever be able to build before I die.
(My hobby is how I found Speedhunters).


Well Sally, I guess we didn't see this coming.
But I have to admit I added to it. There's a vid of a guy with a camera inside the car with an automated driver that steers, looks in the direction of the slide, and pulls the e-brake. I couldn't help but be mesmerized by the engineering of it. It is fun to see how much these guys make the miniature versions look and act like the real cars.


Wildcardfox  oh Sally ain't sad, Sally's just shocked outta her frock.
but where is this video? I must've missed it...


Wildcardfox  my god  that's brilliant!


Yah I watched it a bunch of times. Super cool.


ToneDiez  If you are a real car enthusiast, you would definitely appreciate this small scaled RC cars. Too much detail on these small things. Quit bragging, Maybe you're just jealous not having one LOL


Makes perfect sense. Not everyone loves drift, time attack, road racing, or the shows. Everyone seems to have their favorite motorsport/scene, but I have yet to find anyone who doesn't appreciate a kickass R/C car.


BrianYoung ^ This :)


Inspiring!  Might have to dig up one of my derelict RC projects and build something.  That kaido racer is mental!


Larry Chen FunctionFirst You Function Nazis slay me. However, since i do actually agree with a fair few of your often-repeated statements, i'm going to do you this favour: I'm going to make two points which should save you guys a lot of time and also improve your blood pressure scores.

The functionality of an artefact is an attribute defined by the artefact's user (not by a stranger at a computer on the other side of the world). For example: it the goal of a hard-parking show car build is for the finished product to look bad-arsed standing still (in the opinion of the builder), then looking bad-arsed standing still IS that car's function. Therefore, if the car does indeed manage to look bad-arsed standing still, it is an entirely functional artefact.

Note, the same logic may be applied to many areas, for example, sculpturally-formed buildings, such as those designed by Frank Gehry. Personally, i don't like Gehry's buildings; they are not to my taste; but that is part of the point here: taste is functional... and personal. Which leads on to my second point…

Why do you care what other people like?


@chrisgotta86 You build them from the ground up, start with a chassis by Tamiya or HPI then work around on how to build miniature frames. Then body painting and so on and so forth.