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The 58200 TA03F Pro David Jun; fantastic classic tourer

 

I think this is the most beautiful of the classic Tamiya touring car chassis full of typical Tamiya quirkiness with the motor out in front and belt drive. It is also the first Tamiya kit to be named after its driver - David Jun.

This is the top of the range version of the TA03F. Unlike previous Pro releases, this car was released under the 'David Jun Commemorative' edition title. David Jun, was a Tamiya factory driver who drove the TA03 to three championship titles in 1/10 Touring Car class in 1996 & 1997. His credits include: 1996 NORRCA 4WD Touring National Champion, 1997 ROAR Champion, 1997 NORRCA Champion, 1997 Tamiya Championship Series (TCS) Champion. His clever tinkering to his TA03F Pro played a major part in his victories. This car features all of the optional equipment that David used on his championship ride.
The number of optional parts on this vehicle is amazing and represents one of the best 'value for the money' kits that Tamiya has put out. To start with, the chassis is a double deck carbon fiber unit which is ultra stiff and light. Fashioned with typical Tamiya quality, chassis installation is a breeze. No misaligned holes or fitment problems to speak of. Tamiya went on to replaced the plastic oil shocks with ultra low friction aluminum units with tuned springs which were silky smooth in operation. For reliability, the front C-hub and rear bearing carrier were fashioned from aluminum. Plus, the front dogbones were tossed in favor of universal shafts. And similar to the Pro model, full ball bearings and ball differentials were included.  TA03F-Pro David Jun chassis x-ray
But the David Jun model also featured some more subtle enhancements as well. The original belt was replaced with an Aramid fiber belt. This allowed the car to run without a belt tensioner. The front gearbox featured a one-way bearing system. This gave the car better turning ability and sharper response on tight technical tracks. To handle the heat generated by modified motors, the front gear box contained an aluminum heatsink unit which helped dissipate heat better. Look closely and you'll see that the belt pulleys were now made of aluminum for longer wear.  TA03F-Pro David Jun box art
The list goes on… from a heavy duty servo saver to tuned sway bars front and rear, Tamiya left nothing out. Of interest to trivia buffs is that the David Jun model is the only TA03F to be injection molding using black plastic instead of the usual grey. Important to note because replacement parts in place are impossible to find. David Jun is also responsible for the design of the mean TRF801xt & TRF801x which I really appreciate.  TA03F-Pro David Jun manual
I spent about two years and a small fortune to find every hop up that was not included with this car to build some sort of 'TRF' version of this chassis. I remember reading somewhere that the Tamiya factory actually did run a 'TRF' version of this car but it never made it to production. Looks like it will be a fun build.

TA03F-Pro David Jun manual

 These are Tamiya adverts promoting the TA03F-Pro and David Jun:

TA03F-Pro David Jun manual

TA03F-Pro David Jun manual

TA03F-Pro David Jun manual

Some very interresting pictures form one of Tamiya's publications, pictures the TA03F Proto-Type 1, 2 & 3.

Prototype 1:

TA03F Prototype 1

Prototype 2

TA03F Prototype 2

Prototype 3

TA03F Prototype 3

Proto-Type 4 became the tub chassis and Proto-Type 5 became the TA03F Pro chassis.

 
This is a picture of the chassis from one of the Factory Tamiya Racers, Notice the servo placement and the belt tensioner in the middle and on top of the rear pulley. This was possibly the TRF version of the David Jun car that never went past the Proto-Type stage.

TA03F-Pro factory racer

To end things off, I have included pictures of a modification that David Jun used to do to his race cars, which was to hollow out the rear unused gearbox section in order to create more space for electronics such as the receiver or ESC.

david jun gear box modification

David Jun gear box modification

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Written by TC member Plopes and reproduced here with kind permission.