1989 (part 3/4) - Traxxas Hawk - The era of bird names begins
The Traxxas Hawk is the brother of the Radicator, sharing much of the design and even many of the parts. The primary difference between the two is the taller/longer suspension components and higher body mounts to accomodate the truck body. The wheels are also different, as they are more off-road truck tires. They were pin tires with wide gaps, having what appears at first glance to be completely random pin placement. When I first saw the tires on this vehicle, I thought they were errors, as if the mold was damaged when they were made. There is a pattern one you examine the pin placement more closely, but it is strange and extremely prone to wear due to the large gaps between them (very small contact patch) and fairly soft compound on the pins. The body is very nice for the era, especially lexan from that time period. The stickers are nice and complement the body after a simple one-color paint job. For the size of the truck, it's fairly heavy. The plastics are the brittle white plastics seen on the Traxxas vehicles of that time period. The kit included bushings and a high-mounted motor which raises the center of gravity and makes the truck prone to picking up the front wheels on acceleration. While this is great on the Sledgehammer monster truck, if this truck were designed to race, it was a poor design choice. The JRX-T and RC10T were far better performers and most of the Hawks ended up being bashers after a short-lived (if any) race career. They were very good bashers, but the plastics were (as stated earlier) brittle. One major issue was that after a few good impacts, the chassis would break near the front or rear bulkheads, rendering the truck useless without replacing the chassis, which involved removing every last component on the truck to transfer it. The broken chassis ended up being the end of the road for many Hawks, as they were thrown away or put in a box at that point. To this day one can find many Hawks in this condition on eBay.
This truck was an important part of the evolution of Traxxas vehicles (or better yet, this chassis) and is a great addition to any collection. The Hawk that I own is the kit version, with plastic shocks. It has a XL-1 ESC and Traxxas radio equipment. The box and truck itself are both in excellent condition. Please feel free to comment/email to correct any misinformation. Also, please feel free to speak your mind and/or share your experiences with this model. As always, enjoy the pictures and feel free to ask questions.