Hot Bodies has a tradition of high performance cars, trucks and hop-up parts designed for competitive racers around the world. Winning is the result of hard work and innovative design, and HB has a trophy case with giant trophies from around the world to show for it. The HB list of achievements includes wins at the World Championships, US Championships, European Championships, and Japan Championships. If you're looking for the ultimate competitive edge, grab a HB product! The following is a brief history of how HB grew into a world leader in R/C competition products.
2002 - Tatsuro Watanabe, owner of Hot Bodies, opens the first HB facility in Temecula, California. The initial HB product line included racing bodies and hop-up parts for the R/C industry. But bigger projects were on the horizon and HB became a major player in the R/C market with the release of the Lightning RR Ready-to-Run (RTR) 1/8th scale 4WD nitro buggy, followed by the Nitro Tornado RTR 1/10th scale touring car. Later in the year HB stepped up performance to an even higher level with the Lightning Pro buggy which featured hardened alloy parts, universal axles, sticky tires, and extra chassis strengthening. Expanding beyond surface vehicles, Hot Bodies launched its first radio controlled airplanes, starting with the easy-to-fly Skywave RTF park flyer. The Skywave was electric powered and featured a wing-over design for stability. Next up was the A-7 Corsair fighter jet. The A-7 Corsair was powered by a nitro engine with a realistic ducted fan, with the authentic looks of a modern jet fighter.
2003 - For 2003 HB continued to expand their product line with the release of a long list of new hop-up parts, along with the Dirt Demon 1/8th scale nitro monster truck powered by a massive .26 engine. Later that year the Truckzilla conversion set for the HPI Savage was released, powered by a hot .46 nitro breathing engine and sporting monstrously large wheels and tires to go with extended length chassis plates. At the end of the year the high performance Lightning 2 Pro hit the market and quickly became the go-to platform for competitive 1/8th nitro buggy racers around the world. HB's air corps launched the Dragon 40 ARF airplane. Featuring classic wing-over styling and nitro engine power, the Dragon 40 was a great "first step" for flyers looking to get into the excitement of nitro powered airplanes. At the end of the year HB created a new aircraft division called "456MB" that is dedicated to taking the airplane line to new heights.
2004 - HB took the lead in the emerging monster truck market with the release of the popular Lightning Stadium line of 1/8th scale monster trucks. The Lightning Stadium RR RTR became an instant success on the track with its low & wide stance that was just what racers needed to win races
Race Ready right out of the box! Next up was the Lightning GTX RTR 1/8th scale nitro monster truck that took the Lightning Stadium line of trucks to a bigger level with the introduction of oversized wheels and tires that gave it a scale monster truck look and allowed it to take on rougher terrain than what you find on a groomed race track. For on-road fans, the Tornado 2 RTR hit the market with an updated design and a long list of standard option parts. And then HB took the hobby industry by surprise by going BIG with the giant 1/7th scale Lightning Street nitro powered touring car. The Lightning Street sported a giant Skyline body, a 2 speed transmission, and a .26 Power Factory nitro engine. With the "big" trend in full force, the Truckzilla Big Twin rocked the monster truck world with not one
but TWO .26 engines that transformed the HPI Savage into a fire breathing menace! But wait, not all was big in 2004 from HB, the Minizilla RTR 1/18th scale electric monster truck was small in size but big on performance with 4WD, full ball bearings and complete electronics. Closing out a busy year was the release of the Lightning 2 RR RTR, a true "Race Ready" high performance evolution of the original Lightning buggy.
2005 - If a single engine wasn't extreme enough for the rabid monster truck fans, HB introduced the Lightning GTX2 RTR monster truck that packed twin .26 Power Factory engines into the potent Lightning GT platform. Dual steering servos, dual tuned pipes, dual brakes
the GTX2 had it all! Next up from HB was the E-Zilla 10 RTR 1/10th scale electric monster truck with twin GT 550 motors and dual 7.2V battery packs, putting the power to the ground with 4WD and 8 coilover shocks. Monster truck racers got their wish list with the release of the Lightning Stadium Pro-R truck. The Pro-R featured alloy suspension arms and trick carbon fiber parts that made it a potent force on race tracks. Later in the year the same trick parts were introduced in the Lightning Stadium Pro RTR truck, making it the easiest way to get your hands on race-winning performance in a RTR package. HB's off-road racing success was soon joined by the on-road Cyclone 1/10th scale electric touring car. World Champion HB team driver Atsushi Hara helped design and tune the Cyclone into a car that quickly began winning on road racing circuits around the world. With the success on the race track came two limited production special editions that celebrated the race wins of the top HB team drivers, the Cyclone Hara Edition and Cyclone Surikarn Edition.
2006 - The Cyclone's success spawned an affordable kit version in 2006 with the release of the Cyclone S. The S version uses reinforced nylon parts for performance that rivals carbon fiber & aluminum competition at a low price that makes it a bargain compared to a full competition touring car. The popularity of the S kit led to the Cyclone S RTR later in the year, making it a true plug-n-play way to get into 4WD touring cars. The racing ability of the Cyclone platform was highlighted when team driver Andy Moore drove his Cyclone to victory in the IFMAR World Championships, perhaps the most prestigious win you can get in the RC car arena! In celebration of his outstanding racing achievement, the HB Cyclone Moore-Speed World Champion Edition was released, complete with all of the go-fast parts Andy used to win his IFMAR World title. HB also tuned into the off-road market with the release of the Lightning Stadium Sport 10 RTR 1/10th scale nitro monster truck, smaller in size than its 1/8th scale bigger brothers and packed with the same dirt pounding features. Joining the Stadium Sport 10 in the 1/10th scale line-up were the Lightning GT10 RTR nitro truck and Lightning 10 RTR nitro buggy. The GT10 came stock with a potent 3.0 Power Factory engine and scaled-down authentic monster truck looks. The Lightning 10 buggy was a 1/10th scale buggy, perfect for racing or bashing in areas not quite big enough for a full-blown 1/8th scale buggy. For the ultra-competitive 1/8th scale buggy class, HB introduced the Lightning 2 Pro-Evo kit that is packed with carbon fiber and hardened alloy parts that give it pro-level performance right out of the box.
2007 - Back on the competition front, Hot Bodies took aim at the off-road electric racing scene with the introduction of the Cyclone D4 1/10th scale electric 4WD buggy. The D4 quickly racked up wins around the world, making it one of the most popular 4WD buggies. Later in 2007 the D4 WCE World Championship Edition was released, featuring the go-fast parts that the HB team drivers used to take victory in its first event at the IFMAR Worlds Warm-up race. Next, HB expanded the competition line-up with the release of the Cyclone 12 1/12th scale electric on-road pan car. The Cyclone 12 kit includes state-of-the-art chassis design and the latest in high tech materials. Destined for success, the HB team drivers took their Cyclone 12's out and swept 1-2-3 at the highly competitive 2007 IIC race in Las Vegas, then went on to win the European Championships with their Cyclone 12's 2 years in a row. For the off-road guys, HB released Sport versions of the Lightning 2 buggy and Lightning Stadium 2 that deliver race-winning engineering yet priced so low that everyone can afford one. But if you want all of the trick parts that our factory team drivers use, HB has you covered with the Lightning Stadium 2 Pro in RTR form or pre-assembled with no radio or engine.
To help share the experience and excitement of RC racing, HB kicked off the inaugural HB Arrive & Drive racing series in 2007. HB Arrive & Drive is a unique format that highlights the abilities of up-and-coming drivers and helps spread the word about the high performance capabilities of HB products. The races are truly Arrive & Drive, with HB providing race-ready vehicles, all built to the same exact specifications for highly competitive racing. HB's commitment to racing extends to the winners of the Arrive & Drive series, with the top driver getting an exclusive HB sponsorship package and the chance to hang with the World Champion HB factory drivers for a full year. From grass roots R/C events to the World Championships, HB is the team to chose!
2008 - Lots of great HB products are on the way!