RC car collector cruises 100 Mile strip

Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor can only fit half of his model RC car collection in the back of his pickup truck. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor can only fit half of his model RC car collection in the back of his pickup truck. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor plans to attend Hot July Nights this year with model RC cars modelled off of vintage hot rods. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor plans to attend Hot July Nights this year with model RC cars modelled off of vintage hot rods. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor plans to attend Hot July Nights this year with model RC cars modelled on vintage hot rods. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor plans to attend Hot July Nights this year with model RC cars modelled on vintage hot rods. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Some of the largest RC cars Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor owns weigh well over 30 pounds and can reach speeds of 90 miles per hour. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Some of the largest RC cars Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor owns weigh well over 30 pounds and can reach speeds of 90 miles per hour. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Since a stroke forced him into early retirement three years ago Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor has been devoting more time to modifying his model RC cars. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Since a stroke forced him into early retirement three years ago Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor has been devoting more time to modifying his model RC cars. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Models RC cars can be modified for multiple kinds of terrain, including snow. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Models RC cars can be modified for multiple kinds of terrain, including snow. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
The first model grade RC car Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor purchased used a nitro engine though these days most model cars are battery-powered. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)The first model grade RC car Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor purchased used a nitro engine though these days most model cars are battery-powered. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor inspects the undercarriage of one of his larger model RC cars. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor inspects the undercarriage of one of his larger model RC cars. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Jerrold ‘Bubba’ Taylor will be at Hot July Nights this summer to show off his vintage hot rod.

But unlike the rest of his fellow classic car lovers, Taylor’s ride will be a good deal smaller. He will be piloting a model-grade remote-controlled car, modified to resemble a 1930s-era Cadillac, up and down Birch Avenue.

“It’s just so people can see that there are people who run small cars or tiny trucks as we like to say, in 100 Mile House,” Taylor, 51, said. “If anybody else has something they want to drive around they’re welcome to come to Hot July Nights. I’ll be wandering because I want to look at all the old cars, too.”

Taylor has been into collecting model remote-controlled (RC) cars for 15 years since he picked up his first one, a Traxis Rustler Nitro, in Aldergrove. He couldn’t stop at one and today has 30 different kinds of remote-controlled vehicles of varying sizes and price points.

With a small group of friends and later with the Lower Mainland Radio Control Crawlers, Taylor would take his cars out for a spin, especially after a long day working as a commercial roofer.

“I just found them relaxing, something to release the stress at the end of the day. A lot of people play cards or video games after a day of work but I’d just come home, work on my trucks and then drive them in the local ballpark.”

Despite their resemblance to toy RC cars, Taylor maintains there’s a clear distinction between toy- and hobby-grade cars. They cost 10 times more, often around $400, and are far more powerful than the department store cars he played with as a boy. At full throttle, some of his hobby-grade RC cars can go up to 90 miles per hour.

RC hobbyists can also modify and customize their vehicles with specially made wheels and scale model winches, spoilers and anything else you can attach to a real truck or car.

“They’re buildable so you can tune them to what you want whereas with a toy grade you just throw the little 9.6-volt battery in there and away you go,” Taylor said.

Several companies now make hobby-grade cars while most collectors have moved away from the old nitro-powered RC cars in favour of battery-powered vehicles, he said. Taylor supports the move, noting nitro cars are harder to maintain in B.C.’s weather.

“Battery is the way you go. You just buy a charger and get the batteries. The bigger vehicles will take two batteries, sometimes four batteries, but most of them take one,” Taylor said. “It’s just like an electric car. A Tesla can beat a Mustang now and it’s just because the power from the battery is on-demand, it’s right there.”

Taylor, who suffered a stroke three years ago and moved back to 100 Mile House to help his father-in-law on his 155-acre ranch, said he’s surprised by how many people are into RC cars across the Cariboo. A dozen of them, mostly from Williams Lake, are even planning to form the Williams Lake Radio Control Club this year which Taylor intends to join once it’s set up.

Taylor wants to keep promoting the hobby locally by driving his cars outside the 100 Mile Community Hall on nice days. He welcomes people to stop, watch and ask him questions.

“It’s a hobby. It’s something that since the stroke has kept my mind going,” he said. “I know it’s not for everyone, you might get some weird looks because you’re a grown man playing with a car but they’re not just a car to me.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile House