The David Jun TA03F Limited Edition was kit number 200 from Tamiya. A 1/10 4WD on-road car, it was a fully optioned out TA03F chassis.
- 1/10 scale on-road vehicle
- 4 wheel drive (single belt drive)
- Double deck Carbon Fiber chassis
- Independent front and rear suspension
- fully independent coil spring in front & rear with oil filled aluminum dampers
- On-road slick rubber tires
** Motor, speed control and body are not included
Tamiya has a habit of coming out with three models for every popular chassis. The first, is the basic model, a plastic tub chassis with the minimum number of "go-fast" parts. The second, is a Pro edition which usually includes a FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) chassis and other optional parts that improve performance and reliability. Lastly, a TRF (Tamiya Racing Factory) version which is every optional part Tamiya makes for the car in one kit. The TRF model, is normally the last one to be released.
The car reviewed here is the TRF version of the TA03F. Unlike previous TRF releases, the car was released under the "David Jun Commemorative" edition title. David Jun, was a Tamiya factory driver who drove the TA03 to an International championship title in 1/10 Touring Car class in 1996. 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.
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.
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.
Handling wise, the car handled much the same way as the regular model. The only difference being a greater yaw sensitivity when braking into turns. Because of the one-way bearings on the front gearbox, turning and braking produces the same effect as pulling the handbrake on your full size car. The car spins around very quickly. In the hands of an expert driver the car became more responsive to directional changes. For the inexperienced, it could be a handful.