RC Car Body Shells: Materials, Maintenance, and Choosing the Right One

RC Car Body Shells: Materials, Maintenance, and Choosing the Right One

RC cars have become increasingly popular among hobby enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. These cars come in various shapes and sizes and can be used for racing, off-road driving, or simply as a collectible item. One of the essential components of an RC car is its body shell, which can affect the car’s performance, speed, and style. Body shells are made of either polycarbonate or lexan material, which is lightweight, durable, and easy to paint and customize. The shell covers the car’s chassis, battery, motor, and other electronic components, protecting them from dirt, debris, and damage. Choosing the right body shell for an RC car involves several factors, such as the car’s intended use, size, and design, as well as the shell’s price and customization options. Maintaining the shell’s cleanliness and integrity is also crucial to ensure the car’s longevity. In this article, we will explore the features, materials, and maintenance of the RC car body shell in further detail.

Materials Used for RC Car Body Shells

RC car body shells are made of two primary materials: polycarbonate and lexan. Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one depends on the user’s preference, style, and intended use. Here’s a closer look at each material:

  • Polycarbonate: This material is lightweight, flexible, and durable, making it perfect for racing and high-speed driving. Polycarbonate shells can also withstand high temperatures and are easy to paint and customize. Some popular polycarbonate body shells for RC cars include the HPI Racing Mazda RX-7 and Protoform Chevrolet Corvette C8.
  • Lexan: Lexan is a type of polycarbonate that is known for its impact resistance and clarity. It is commonly used for off-road vehicles as it can absorb shock waves and keep the car’s internal components safe. Popular Lexan body shells for RC cars include the Pro-Line Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon and the Axial Racing Deadbolt.

RC car enthusiasts can purchase body shells from various online retailers and hobby shops. Some popular websites for purchasing RC car body shells include Hobbytown, AMain Hobbies, and Tower Hobbies. These websites offer a wide variety of body shells in different styles, designs, and prices. Some retailers also provide customization options, allowing customers to create their unique designs and decals. Some popular brands of RC car body shells include Pro-Line, JConcepts, and Tamiya.

What is the body shell of a car made of?

The body shell of a car is typically made of steel and aluminum, although some luxury cars may use carbon fiber to reduce weight and improve performance.

Factors to Consider when Choosing an RC Car Body Shell

When choosing an RC car body shell, several important factors need to be considered. Here are some factors that can guide buyers when selecting the right body shell:

Intended Use
Whether the RC car is for racing, off-roading, or casual driving.

Size and Shape
The body shell should match the car’s chassis and dimensions for a perfect fit.

Style and Design
The body shell’s style and design should match the user’s preference and personality.

Choose between polycarbonate and lexan depending on the car’s intended use and the owner’s preference.

Set a budget and stick to it. Body shells come in different prices, and some can be expensive due to their design or material.

It’s also important to note that the most expensive body shell doesn’t always mean it’s the best. In some cases, a cheaper but well-designed body shell can perform just as well or even better than a more expensive one. Additionally, some hobbyists choose to create their customized body shells, using decals and paint to achieve their desired look. Online forums and Facebook groups dedicated to RC cars are great places to find inspiration and learn from other enthusiasts.

What is the best material for RC car body?

Polycarbonate is the best material for RC car bodies as it is highly durable and flexible. In some cases, PVC plastic is also used as a cheaper alternative, however, it is not as sturdy as polycarbonate. If you are looking for RC car body shells made with polycarbonate, you may check out various websites that offer these products.

How to Maintain RC Car Body Shells

Maintaining RC car body shells is essential to keep them in good condition. Here are some tips on how to care for them:

  • Regularly clean the body shell with warm water and soap to remove dirt and mud. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they can damage the shell’s surface.
  • Trim excess plastic from the body shell before mounting it on the car to prevent interfering with the car’s performance.
  • Avoid hitting walls and solid objects to prevent the body shell from getting scratches and cracks.
  • If the body shell gets damaged, use body shell patch or tape to repair it. A cracked or damaged body shell can affect the car’s performance.
  • Always store the RC car in a cool, dry place to prevent humidity and moisture from damaging the body shell and other components.

It’s also worth mentioning that there are specialized products in the market that can help maintain and protect the body shell, such as wax and clear coat spray. These sprays form a protective layer on top of the body shell, which can prevent scratches and help repel dirt and debris.

Some popular websites like Amazon and HobbyKing offer a wide selection of body shells for RC cars, as well as complementary products such as mounting tape, spray paint, and protective films.

What is the maintenance of RC cars?

Basic maintenance of an RC car includes cleaning, tightening screws, checking the condition of the bearings, greasing them, and replacing worn out or damaged components. It is crucial to tighten the screws, especially after the first few runs with a new car, to prevent any damages. Regular cleaning of the car helps prevent dirt and dust from damaging the car’s electrical components. Checking the bearings of the car and greasing them improves performance and increases the overall lifespan of the car. If any component of the car wears out or gets damaged, it is important to replace it immediately. The RC hobbyists website provides a detailed guide to maintaining RC cars. Additionally, there are various products available online that can aid in maintaining the RC car.

Popular RC Car Body Shell Designs

The design of an RC car body shell is an important factor for many enthusiasts. Here are some of the most popular RC car body shell designs:

  • Classic Muscle Cars – These shells are modeled after classic American muscle cars from the 1960s and 70s and are perfect for drag racing events.
  • Supercars – Supercar body shells are sleek and aerodynamic, designed to maximize speed and handling. They are a favorite among racing enthusiasts.
  • Off-Road Trucks – Off-road truck shells have a higher clearance and more aggressive stance compared to other shells. They are perfect for tackling tough terrain.
  • Drift Cars – Drift cars have a distinct design to allow for easy drifting around corners while maintaining complete control. They are popular in drifting competitions and events.
  • Funny Cars – Funny car shells have a unique design that resembles cartoonish hot rods with oversize engines and wheels. They are often used for exhibition and entertainment purposes in racing events.

It’s worth mentioning that there are many body shell manufacturers in the market, such as Proline Racing, JConcepts, and Team Associated. These companies offer a wide variety of designs and styles to suit every enthusiast’s preference. Online stores such as AMain Hobbies and Tower Hobbies are popular destinations for purchasing RC car body shells and accessories. Additionally, some manufacturers offer customization options, where customers can design their own body shells with their desired patterns, colors, and logos.

Body Shell Manufacturer Popular Designs Customization Options Website
Proline Racing Classic Muscle Cars, Off-Road Trucks Yes prolineracing.com
JConcepts Supercars, Drift Cars Yes jconcepts.net
Team Associated Funny Cars, Off-Road Trucks No associatedelectrics.com

What are the most popular RC car scales?

The most popular scales used to measure RC cars are 1:10, 1:8, and 1:5. These numbers indicate the proportion of size compared to the actual race track model. For instance, a 1:10 scale RC car would be 10 times smaller than the actual race track model. There are various websites and products that offer a wide range of RC cars in various scales to choose from.


The body shell of an RC car is more than just a component that adds to the car’s aesthetics. It plays a crucial role in the overall performance, durability, and customization options of the car. Selecting the right material and design can make a significant difference in how the car operates. Proper maintenance and care can also prolong the lifespan of the body shell and make it perform better in the long run.

There are many body shell designs and manufacturers available in the market. Enthusiasts can choose from classic muscle cars, supercars, off-road trucks, drift cars, and funny cars. Manufacturers like Proline Racing, JConcepts, and Team Associated offer customization options to cater to individual preferences. Online stores such as AMain Hobbies and Tower Hobbies provide enthusiasts with a vast selection of body shells and accessories.

Whether someone is looking to race, drift, or showcase their car, choosing the right body shell can make all the difference. A high-quality body shell can enhance a car’s performance, make it look great, and keep it protected. RC car enthusiasts can experiment with different designs, materials, and customization options to find the perfect body shell for their vehicle.