Livin La Vida Broka

Posted In Toys & Games

I’m a designer from Soulcake Creative (a design studio in San Clemente) – but this was a personal project that wasn’t done for the studio.

“Living La Vida Broka” is a working 1:16th scale radio controlled 1963 Impala. The steering, drivetrain, and rear hydraulics are all functional. I have a link to a video that shows the model’s functionality on the project’s website (linked below).

The chassis and body were modeled in CAD and finished by hand using an existing scale model and countless photographs for reference. I repurposed a few parts (servo, axles, screws) from an existing radio controlled car. I found a tiny direct drive motor at a small electronics surplus store in Arcadia that gave the car power. The Dayton-style spoked rims and high-torque rear servo (for the hydraulics) were purchased at a local hobby shop in Pasadena. And I used a 5 channel RC airplane remote so I would have enough “switches” to operate the drivetrain, steering, and up and down motion of the model. Any parts that I couldn’t find or salvage somewhere else, I fabricated myself.

In all, it took me about 400 hours to figure out the mechanics, build prototypes, and finish the final model. My wife was very glad to see me finish it. By the time I got it done, she had started calling it “the other woman” – because I was spending all of my free time on it.


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