What is one to do when you finally figure out that restoring kits and finding parts can be a challenge? You buy one that doesn’t need restoring of course. Duh! Following that revelation I moved on to the next phase of my restoration journey. What was that phase you ask? The simple answer, “buy a shelf queen”.
If you don’t know what a shelf queen is then I can sum it up as “a RC car that is so nice that you never want to take it out and play with it”. Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons to this approach. The pros are that you don’t have to spend hours on end tearing things apart, weeks trying to find that perfect replacement part, and you immediately acquire a fine specimen of an RC car that you can look at the day it gets delivered from eBay.
What’s the down side? For starters you are going to pay a premium for the honor to own that kit. I didn’t have much of an issue with that. The part that did bother me was that I always have that small voice in my head that says “it is so nice because it contains 90% re-re parts”. One solution to make sure things are legit is to make sure you only buy from reputable sellers. Fortunately my first shelf queen purchase was that kind of transaction. The wonderful Wild Willy (58035) was its name.
This Willy was one of the most perfectly painted cars I have ever seen. The eBay listing pictures caused a massive bidding frenzy and I was lucky enough to end up with the highest bid. The box was packed with no less attention to detail. Everything was triple bubble wrapped. Latex gloves were included to unpack it so there was no chance of getting finger oils on the paint job. There was even a paint brush included so that you could brush off dust without scratching the paint.
The seller’s eBay handle was @bruiser_bros. I have had the pleasure of buying from him before while I was collecting parts for my Bruiser restore, so I knew he was legit. This was a true buying experience. Here is a little glimpse into this amazing build. In this case I believe that pictures do actually do it justice.