Hirobo Jealousy 

I do not own any of these models, please refer to image sources for further viewing.

Firstly I'd like to say thanks to many knowledgeable contributors at forums like rc10talk.com and tamiyaclub.com, as well as the great photos a inetrc.com for the information and pictures here-in. I do not own any of these cars (yet) but would certainly like to!

Japan's Hirobo Electric Corporation started in 1949 as an industrial textile company which diversified in to electric and fuel-powered RC models of various scales from the '70s onwards, withdrawing from the textile market in 1977.

They created many inventive and visually striking buggies in the '80s, The 44B (1983) was one of the first 4WD chassis ever and not only that, it had a unique belt drive system which was another first for Hirobo. Their belt drive was quieter and more efficient than the chain drives that most other RC cars used around that time, in the same decade they branched out to helicopters. These were successful enough for them to drop cars entirely, and they continue with helicopters to this day.

According to their Wiki page, although they made major design innovations in RC cars and had some race success with certain models like the Zerda, they didn't achieve the overall success they could have done. Some reasons being the high price of many of their kits, failure to market their products adequately in the potentially lucrative US market and sometimes letting their good designs down with cheap, inferior materials for some components.

This is not a definitive list of Hirobo cars, but the most significant buggies I have found so far. Please let me know if you see any factual inaccuracies and I'll fix'em asap.

44B chassis (1983) 4WD full belt transmission
Hirobo 44B chassis
source: rc-car-museum.de

Rock'n Vega (1983) First appearance of the 44B chassis
Hirobo Rock'n Vega (1983)

Rock'n City - 44B chassis
Hirobo Rock'n City
source: tomolupus @ rsb.se

Lancia Rally - 44B chassis
Hirobo Lancia Rally

Toyota Hilux - 44B chassis with shorter wheelbase
Hirobo Toyota Hilux
source: inetrc.com

Zerda (c.1985) Belt drive 4WD
Progression of 44B with less weight
 Hirobo Zerda

Tomcat (1986) 2WD belt trans, ballraced
Hirobo Tomcat

Bearcat (1987) development of Tomcat
Hirobo Bearcat
source: rc4on.com

Alien Mid 4 (1986) 4WD Belt drive, development of Zerda with mid-mounted motor
Hirobo Alien Mid 4

Jealousy (1988) 4WD Belt drive & midship motor. 300 made, very rare!
Hirobo Jealousy

Invader (c.1990) 4WD Belt drive, midship motor
Hirobo Invader
source: inetrc.com

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