Admit it, as a kid you grew up pushing Hot Wheels around on the living room carpet, built model cars and depending on what era you’re from, more than likely enjoyed hours of fun with radio-controlled cars, too. We’re guilty as charged on all of these counts, and as long as die-casts, model kits, and R/C cars exist, they will continue to fuel the passions of next-generation gearheads the world over.
Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot about Vaterra R/C vehicles, seeing their videos all over YouTube and all over social media. With our interest and curiosity piqued, we just had to order one – you know, for the kid… our inner kid. We decided upon the Camaro ZL1, partly because the C7 Stingray version hadn’t been released at the time, and partly because we wanted to chase after the Mustang down the street; pony car vs. pony car.
If police cars aren’t your thing, Veterra also has a “civilian” Zl1, a pair of ’69 Camaros, a ’69 Corvette, and if you’re into other types of vehicles; a ’67 Mustang, a ’15 Mustang, a pair of R35 GT-Rs, and a Nissan S15 Silvia. They also have a selection of off-road type RC vehicles, our favorite being the two ’80s K5 Blazers.
Once our interceptor ZL1 arrived at our door, complete with CHP livery, we tore into the packages and laid out everything for inspection. Rather surprisingly, it comes with everything you need for hours of enjoyment; including the batteries! It also comes with universal-style police decals (just in case you want to switch up the decor), onboard vehicle battery (not shown), batter charger, a few extra parts, allen wrenches for when you need to swap said parts out, instructions, and obviously, the remote control.
The remote control is probably one of the most interesting features. The various adjustments for speed, steering, and changes in which you want your remote to operate the vehicle, are quite vast. Granted, it’s been over 25 years since your author has operated an R/C car, and I’m sure many of these features are becoming the standard in modern radio controls, but I was completely blown away – and almost baffled – at the sheer adjustability and customizability of everything.
Oh yeah, it is quite fast – as I immediately realized. After you let the battery charger charge the onboard battery (ours was fully-charged in under 45 minutes), this thing slingshots all over the pavement life a bat out of you-know-where. There are ways to adjust the car’s speed to slow it down, but who the heck wants to do that?? We also got a kick out of the lights on the roof and on the brush guard, adding to its visual appeal and authenticity.
Veterra’s R/C cars each retail in the neighborhood of $300, and believe it or not, can seriously take a beating. We should also point out the these are all-wheel drive as well, and even carpet and tall grass couldn’t slow the car down. For such little outlay, the investment is totally worth it. “Just keep it under 55, you hear me, boy?”
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.