28 Jan 2011

OT-30 story

Two weeks after I published the news of Marwan's OT-30 reproductions, I got a mail from Jose R, an other spanish optimaniac since 1985, which was quite surprising.

He remembers seeing my post in 2009 about the craze of the OT-30 burning prices (selling at about 90€ for 4 tires on ebay but recently their prices peaked at about 60€ for 2).
Since then, Jose was developing a repro project of the OT-30 during his freetime (he badly needed 40 tires, lol), and this month (janury 2011), he ended the production of a good bunch of them and was planning to begin to sell them.
So it was pure coincidence when he saw that Marwan also did manage to repro the OT-30, from Koweit!

I for one own A LOT of 1st gen optima/javelin so I was very interested in a repro project of the most sought after parts ( OT-30 tires, OT-15 bumper, Javelin rollcage to name a few), and I succeeded in making molds for Optima Mid belt drive covers, and Mid gearboxes, but I never took the step of going further (I'm lazy and have too much projects/work already).
So I was very very curious about the process involved in copying existing tires, and asked Jose to present some "behind the scenes making-of" stories.

These pics were sent to me by Jose, and reveals a bit of his project's steps.


Jose realized Kyosho was a bit loose with the tire tolerances (dimensional variations between different tire specimens was wide), and had to slice 6 genuine tires (and wheels) to find an average.


As you can see, Jose is an engineer, studied back in 1993 when only paper, pencil, eraser and faber-castell ruled on the drawing tables, not to mention rotring and lettraset/mecanorma/pantone type sheets.
Okay, you younger optimaniacs may not remember that time but drawing technical things WITHOUT a computer was actually very fun and rewarding. (btw I'm an architect who fell in love with sketchup but that's another story) :D
During the process, Jose jumped in the digital bandwagon and transfered the drawings into digital form.


I don't have a lot of info about this step, but Jose tells me that it takes a lot of patience to make a good mould with correct shape and measuring, the rest of the work being in the hands of skilled staff who mould rubber 8 hours a day. He struggled to convince these workers to treat his tires as precision work, otherwise they just mould the tire like any ordinary industrial rubber part...
I can imagine that, I also struggled to get the correct gold dye when trying to anodize some of my standard aluminium chassis to gold ones (just because I lacked some chassis rails because I bought incomplete gold chassis sets ... sigh...), and to refuse the work done by professional staff just by being picky is always hard to do.

Anyway, Jose had to produce 3 generations of moulds to achieve the degree of perfection he thought the optimaniacs deserve. Otherwise he would have launched the OT-30 repro-fest months ago. Jose is truly a crusader fighting for our cause :D
He's keeping some early generation OT-30 repros with different 320/40 VR18 lettering types for his own collection ;)

Muchas gracias Jose! I hope you have enough OT-30 for your optimas now :D
If you want to buy him some tires, please click the title of this post!

Photography by Jose R

27 Jan 2011

OT-15 cemetary

I'm cleaning my office today and stumbled upon a ton of optima stuff.
It's amazing the quantity of stuff you accumulate along all these years.
What becomes clear is that I've at least 12 Optimas to restore... :D
I've seen the OT-15 (bumper) are selling very high now on ebay, and they are becoming very rare nowadays... Is Marwan or any else optimaniac interested in reproducing the OT-15 and the OT-93 (mid and lazer zx bumpers)? ;)

7 Jan 2011


Happy new year optimaniacs!

2011 is a good year for us because someone finally had the guts to reproduce the famous OT-30, aka Optima/Javelin tires!!! Incredible!
The good news come from Kuwait, and every optimaniac in the world must know nowadays that Marwan AlNusif makes the best vintage repro of bodies and decals for us optima fans! So I'm very confident about the quality of these tires, and that the long wait is finally over for all the people looking for new tires for their Optima and Javelin.
I'm probably not the only one thinking that OT-30 are the most beautiful vintage buggy tires ever designed... but at a price! Recently on ebay a pair of OT-30 sold for 80US$... soooooo expensive! when the tires exceed the value of a kit, then we need to think again... :D
Thanks to Marwan, I'll finally be able to realize my old dream: RUN A JAVELIN WITH GENUINE STOCK TIRES!!!! 1000 thanks mate!
By the way, if the OT-30 adventure is a success (and I can't imagine how it could be else), pleeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase think about the OT-66 and the turbo scorpion tires! ;)