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[] Newbie Guide and FAQ
Section - 7. What are the different types of cars?

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As the hobby increases in popularity, so will the different categories of cars. It 
is difficult to easily categorize every single car out there. Here are the big 
three, most agreed upon, categories:

Surface: off-road, on-road (also called 'street'). Hopefully this does not need any 
further explanation.

Scale: 1:4, 1:8, 1:10, mini, micro. This refers to the size of the model. The first 
ones are referred to by their scaling factor; in the 1:8 size, for example, any 
feature that is 1 inch on the model car would be approximately 8 inches on the real 
thing. Note that this is VERY approximate (when is the last time you have seen the 
same length VW Bug and a Dodge truck)! Same thing for the other scales, just a 
different scaling factor. The minis and micros vary in scale depending on the 
manufacturer; they range from 1:18 to 1:30. There are other scale models besides 
the four listed here. The 1:10 scale is probably the most popular today. Note also 
that the micros use different size motors and batteries.

Nitro / Electric: I don't know what to call this category (power, fuel?). This 
essentially talks about the motor inside the car. Nitro, also called 'gas', cars 
are powered by a combustion engine and some mixture of a combustible fuel. Electric 
cars are powered by an electric motor and electrical batteries. Generally the nitro 
cars require a bit more maintenance compared to the electric cars, and therefore 
the electric are preferred by first timers in the hobby. Although this is strictly 
a suggestion as there is absolutely nothing preventing you from buying a nitro car 
right from the go!

After that the categories get little more sub-divided. Here is a sampling of the 
different categories and classifications that people generally talk about:

Drive: 2 wheel (front / rear), 4 wheel. This is pretty much the same thing as on a 
real car.

On-road types: touring, pan. Touring cars are probably the most popular type of car 
of all the categories. They are optimized for racing on a fairly clean surface. 
Anything from a clean parking lot, to perfectly swept and sprayed with some sticky 
substance (cola will do) lot. With a slight modification to the tires, these are 
also raced on an indoor carpet surface. Pan cars are similar to touring cars, but 
they are optimized to be raced on an oval shaped track (i.e.: only left turns!). 
They often have the shell similar to NASCAR type of cars, but this obviously varies 
with personal preference.

Off-road types: buggy, truck, rally. Some people will argue that rally cars also 
should have a mention in the on-road category, and justifiably so. These are 
essentially touring cars with modified suspension parts. They have a higher 
clearance, longer shocks, and often rough thread tires. They are intended to be 
raced on very rough street conditions, such as a broken up parking lot. Trucks 
generally resemble ... well, trucks. They are often a little more sturdy and have a 
narrower wheelbase, as compared to buggies. Buggies resemble the real-life dune 
buggies. They are often a little more nimble, with a wider stance. In the off-road 
arena, trucks are probably more popular with first timers and back-yard bashers, as 
they can 'take a beating and keep on ticking.' Buggies are a little more popular 
with off-road racers. Some people would argue that monster trucks are a category 
all of their own. I am not one to make that decision. But basically, just like 
their real life counterparts, they are generally 4-wheel drive, big, and you can 
run them over top of stuff! Did I mention big?

Specialty vehicles: dragster, tank, semi-truck, motorcycle. Like I said, as the 
hobby becomes more popular, there will be more ...

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