The top brand in the RC world today, KYOSHO is credited with producing the first RC car in Japan. Now in its 40th year, now is an appropriate time to chronicle the fascinating untold story of the "DASH 1" creation in this first part of a series on the history of Kyosho.
1971: The Kyosho DASH 1 is presented at an Aircraft Pageant at Harumi International Trade Center sponsored by Mitsuboshi Shoten. From the left: Mr. Hisashi Suzuki (Founding president of Kyosho), Mr. Harukuni Takahashi (Toyota - TMSC), Mr. Tachio Yonemura (Isuzu) and Mr. Yasushi Toshimori (Nissan Omori). Three professional racing drivers were invited to run the DASH 1.
What was the first Japanese RC car ever produced? It is now 40 years since Kyosho started business and it was in 1970 that Kyosho started selling the DASH 1. Lets take a look back in time to see the birth of the DASH 1, generally agreed by the industry to be the first RC car made in Japan.
Radio control (RC) spread through the model market from the about 1960, after the Tokyo Olympics. Still regarded as luxury items, most equipment and attention was focussed on model aircraft. Many people still dreamt if RC could be adapted to an engine powered car, but there were no manufacturers to develop this into reality.
There was one person took the action necessary to bring this dream to life. This was Kyosho's founder, Mr. Hisashi Suzuki (then President of Kyosho). According to Mr. Naohiko Otsuki (President of Automodel) the almost single-handed developer of the DASH 1, it was Mr. H. Suzuki who brought up the idea.
At that time, Mr. H. Suzuki was working in and out of the U.S. Army base in Tachikawa for the import and export of toys. Through the U.S. Army, he was able to acquire the latest engine powered models available. In 1969, conscription and the Vietnam war saw many soldiers in Japan with strong interests in RC models.
Now, as seen in the photograph, the four bare-chassis were sophisticated non-RC midget cars, and could not be considered as originally designed as RC cars. When Mr. H. Suzuki showed these four models to Mr. Otsuki with the proclamation "look what's out there now", it was the very beginning of something special.