Top Cat Memories...

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LosiXXkid
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Top Cat Memories...

Post by LosiXXkid »

I remember getting my only ever boxed, brand new Schumacher, the Top Cat, after the numerous cloaked ads that appeared in magazines like Radio Race Car and Radio Control Model Cars (IIRC)! What's this.....? No front shocks??? Or so we thought....!

Anyway, I sold it a few years back, much to my regret today, and although it is possible to find another one on eBay, it could never replace the original. The one that I bought NIB, built, painted, raced, broke, modified and repaired....

The F1 inspired push-rod shock arrangement didn't last long and was quickly replaced with the conventional Cougar upright shock kit and then as soon as I acquired my Losi XX :D , the Topcat was stripped of all the necessary electronics and abandoned. :(

So, I was taking a trip down memory lane (via Google) when I came across this excellent looking Top Cat from Japan...
Japanese Topcat (1)
Japanese Topcat (1)
Japanese Topcat (2)
Japanese Topcat (2)
Japanese Topcat (3)
Japanese Topcat (3)
There are a few more photo's available if anyone's interested, just click on the link below...

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/az_hiro_az/GALLERY/show_image.html?id=51931438&no=0
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Re: Topcat Memories...

Post by Danf1275 »

The front suspension was the reason I got mine, to see how it drove compared to later Cougars.

Drives really well but front end is a complete pig to work on. Crashback on Cat / Procat is much better.

Love the looks - 100mph sitting on the shelf! (It doesn't just sit on the shelf, though)

Image

Image

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Re: Topcat Memories...

Post by LosiXXkid »

Were these taken at the recent Iconic RC event back in the summer?

Apex Models, huh? I used to get all my R/C kits, paint, electronics and all the other bits from them when it was run by Neil and his Dad. It's a very different shop these days.....last time I paid a visit it was mostly full of RTR stuff :(

I love the look of the red and white paint scheme with the white wheels! :D
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Re: Topcat Memories...

Post by Danf1275 »

Photos are from Revival, courtesy of John Weston. A fabulous days racing, hope to do it again next year.

Chassis had been a shelfer for a few years when I bought and recomissioned it (I don't do shelf queens)- Apex Models stickers are from my original stash from early nineties.

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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by RCveteran »

First car I ever raced and I got it free! I worked at a hobby shop and it just so happened our booth at the big hobby Show in Rosemont, IL convention center (Can't recall what it was called at the time, long time ago) was next to Schumacher. I had never heard of them as they were pretty much unknown in USA at the time. As it turns out I was fascinated by Topcat too and at the time did not know I was talking to Cecil Schumacher all weekend. By the end of the weekend we had bonded so to speak. He asked if I woud like a free Topcat new in box as long as I promised to race it and promote at out hobby shop.

Imagine the joy of me at 14 yrs. old and broke! I raced every weekend back then and not sure I ever saw another one on the track.

I still have a runner and one of these days will get to my composite craft chassis build. In hindsight of course you can find all sorts of faults but it is still so different it is my favorite.

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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by Lonestar »

That first air pic is awesome!!! :)
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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by LosiXXkid »

Lonestar wrote:That first air pic is awesome!!! :)
+1

8)
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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by DerbyDan »

Sounds like a familiar story - The TopCat was my first ever Schumacher but my 3rd proper hobby-grade R/C car. I built up my TopCat from a brand new kit... unfortunately I had got my TopCat after the Cougar had been released (the TopCat being offered at a cheap knock-down price mean't that it came under the allowance that we could spend for our Xmas present that year). The TopCat ownership proved to be a steep learning curve... being only 14yrs-old I struggled with the build & missed out on a couple of crucial points which took a while to suss out & rectify. I also struggled with that clever but ultimately flawed front end.... not so much with getting that happy balance that was so hard to find (between the front collapsing on the ground & the car being over-sprung, sitting as high as the geometry would allow) But I just kept breaking the lower plate - ironically the weak point seemed to be the plastic peg that the crashback bands wrapped round!

That car had a short spell with a Mardave Meteor front end (from my 2nd R/C) adapted to fit to give it a more conventional suspension set-up before I could afford to buy the full Cougar front end conversion... again, ironically just at the time that the Cougar 2 was released.... always one step behind! :roll: :mrgreen:

My first three buggies including the converted TopCat/Cougar were traded-in for a brand-spanking Losi XX, but the car always fascinated me & with the rise of my nostalgic interest in anything old R/C cars, it was a car that I wanted to re-own... eventually I came across a reasonably priced 'project' car which I turned into the car pictured below;

Image

.... I had to polish the chassis up, like I did with my original TopCat.... which co-insided with my discovery of the powers of Brasso!

Image

& the link to my build thread here; http://www.rc10talk.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=27224

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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by DerbyDan »

PS; Massive respect to Dan for running his car at the Revival meeting (I think his was one of two TopCats?) & was going around really well, it certainly brought back some memories & makes me want to have a 'runner' TopCat to go alongside my polished shelfer!

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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by Danf1275 »

Rich Morris, with other Topcat, and me had a few good races, his skill vs. my brushless horse power. It ran as well as my Mk1 Cougar in my hands.

Quite fancy giving the chassis a shine at some stage - looks smart.

I got round issues with crashback by fitting bands over top of nose piece instead of through it, under heads of spaced off screws.

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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by LosiXXkid »

I recall upgrading my Top Cat transmission with a machined nylon diff gear and a wide belt but I can't for the life of me remember who made it. Anyone got any ideas?
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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by Peakey »

They were usually MMS diffs I'm not sure if trinity did one for the topcat. And then Wasp racing did the high torque gear box for the 2 and 4wd cats.

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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by CAT3K »

I've got the MMS one in my Topcat. I've also got one installed in my Mk1 Cougar, they're good diffs :)

Image



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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by LosiXXkid »

Now that looks familiar.....!

I take it the aluminium bearing housings, diff eccentrics and transmission case(?) are after-market parts or were they an available 'hop-up' from Schumacher?
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Re: Top Cat Memories...

Post by CAT3K »

Most of the gearbox if aftermarket, the trans case is a Schumacher option, the rest is either MMS or Wasp.

I also have the Wasp high torque gearbox waiting for me to find something to attach it to.

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