The DuraTrax VW Baja Bug, Coming to a Desert Near You

The Volkswagen Beetle is perhaps the most beloved car model of all time. Millions of people have tried to restore these old automobiles to near showroom form. Others have been more creative in their approach, modifying their Beetle to suit their tastes and needs. The Baja Bug is a good example of the latter transformation. It is basically the original car with customizations that allow it to traverse off-road. The idea started in Southern California during the late 1960s where owners used it to navigate the open desert, sand dunes, and beaches. The owners, typically skilled enthusiasts, made their own unique changes to the stock Volkswagen.


Most Baja Bugs had higher ground clearance to prevent bumps and scratches underneath. In order to do this, parts of the metal fenders and aprons would be cut off. The suspension system was also improved so that driving in rough terrain would be tolerable. Since the ground was unsteady, the cars needed more power. They supplied this through modified fuel injection systems and dual port heads. The tires had to be larger and thicker to avoid punctures. They had to have excellent traction as well. Later on, conversion kits became available and made the off-road Beetle easier to achieve for the common folk.


Duratrax Cars have channeled the spirit of the Baja Bug into one of its newest creations. The RC version of the off-road Beetle comes in a ready to run package. The chassis is made from strong plastic that can take inevitable bumps and bruises. Power is provided by a Duratrax Photon Speed 219 turn brushed motor. Electronic speed control is provided by a Duratrax Sprint 2 Plus with waterproof case. It is responsible for battery cutoff, reverse and brakes. A full set of ball bearings is included in the box. The model uses a differential drive system, which is of the planetary gear type.


The suspension system is fully adjustable. The shocks are oil-filled for great response. The shock towers, meanwhile, are molded from MagnaFlex plastic and have strategically located holes for tuning. Owners can modify this in case the car seems too stiff or too bouncy. The towers are covered by a one-year Stress Tech Guarantee. The single-speed transmission has an adjustable slipper clutch for gear protection and wheel spin control.


Tires are suitable rugged with an all-terrain design and are made of a rubber compound that maintains a fair amount of traction on wet roads. The body has been painted at the factory and contains nice details like light bars, bumpers, roof rack, and fenders that give it a sporty look. The package comes with a Futaba 2-ch 2.4GHz FHSS radio transmitter with waterproof steering servo and radio box. Users have to purchase the batteries separately. The car can use either a 6-cell NiCd/NiMH stick pack or a 7.4V LiPo battery. Four AA batteries are need for the transmitter. The Duratrax VW Baja Bug measures 18.2 inches in length, 9.5 inches in width, and 8.7 inches in height. Weight is at 3 pounds or 1.36 kilograms.

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