2017 Portland International Auto Show

By AR on Mar 29, 2017

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words & photos: Ryan Gerrish

We couldn’t believe it, but this was the 7th year of our partnership with Axial Racing and the Portland International Auto Show! Every year we build a unique course and run crawlers on it for 12 hours a day for 4 days. It’s fantastic exposure for our RC Crawling hobby as well as the capabilities of Axial trucks, and many attendees told us it’s one of the main reasons they keep coming back! Hopefully we created a few hundred new enthusiasts over the course of the show out of the tens of thousands that came by the booth. We let people drive two RTR SCX10 Deadbolt trucks and one Jeep® Cherokee SCX10 II for the duration of the show, and only suffered a couple minor plastic broken parts. (One shock tower, one axle housing which as zip tied!) It’s fun to watch new drivers learn on the fly and adapt to the challenges presented by our course.

The build was the same basic process as years past- a wood under-structure topped with carved foam, then coated with concrete and painted. I do 3′x3′ sections to keep them relatively movable, as the concrete adds a bit of weight!

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Once finished, I load them on to my trailer and drive them to the Convention Center, then lift them on to table in my booth and arrange everything.

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This year we had a little exta space, so we brought in a Expedition travel equipped Mercedes G Wagon, and a Swedish Military Volvo C303 TGB1111 Tank Killer to draw people in. It worked!

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After some brief course testing, we opened it up to the public. Thankfully I had enough volunteers from the Oregon RC Rock Crawlers (ORCRC) to keep the booth running strong all weekend, as well as give people information and spot the drivers on the course.

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I always have a chance to walk around the show and see what interesting full-size vehicles are on display every year.

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The National Guard had some hardware out this year which was new.

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One of my favorite rides of the show was the Ubco Electric Bike, and New Zealand built 2WD, street legal ‘moped’ that I must have.

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A tradition the past few years has been to bring the demo trucks to the camp out we attend out at Nahalem Bay State Park right after the show. Despite the strong wind and excessive rain, we had a great time driving on the beach.

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Many thanks to Axial and the Portland Auto Show for having us back and allowing us to run this booth! It’s enjoyable for everyone involved, and the attendees love it!


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