Nick Pow is the first to admit his hobby may seem a bit
silly, but he and his radio control car club mates take it
seriously. Tim Miller reports.
Nick Pow is the on-road race director of the Otago Radio
Control Car Club and has been tinkering and racing
radio-controlled cars both on and off road for about six
''Like most young boys I had a small car when I was younger
then I became a teenager and focused on more important
things, then a couple of years ago a friend of mine showed me
his car and since then I have been hooked,'' he said.
Despite getting a hard time from his friends and work-mates
about playing with toys, Mr Pow still meets 20 other
radio-control car enthusiasts every third Sunday at the
club's track in a car park on Victoria Rd. Depending on how
much someone wanted to spend, a good car could cost anywhere
from $300 to $5000, he said.
''Each year I will get a new set-up but at the moment the
set-up I have was only about $300, but there are some guys
who spend a lot of money trying to make everything perfect.''
Mr Pow has a shed full of old cars and parts, and often sells
them to people wanting to get into the hobby.
''Even though the price of the cars has come down in the past
couple of years, they can be still a bit expensive for
people, so getting a second-hand car was a great way to get
into it,'' he said.
Those who are more serious about the cars can spend hours
tuning each part to make sure the speed and the handling of
the car is perfect.
''I have kids so I can't spend too much time on mine but some
guys will spend hours and hours fine-tuning their set-up,
getting it just right.''
With only 25 members, the club was relatively small compared
with others in New Zealand.
It promoted a fun atmosphere, unlike some of the more
competitive aspects seen at other venues, Mr Pow said.
''I mean, at the end of the day we are really just a bunch of
guys down here playing with our expensive toys.
''There are some of us who do regional competitions and
national competitions, which can be get quite competitive,
but when we are down here on a Sunday it's about having fun
and trying things out,'' he said. On most club days the group
gets a lot of curious fathers and children sitting and
watching the action.
''You have a lot of dads with their kids and they are sitting
there drooling, wishing they had a car. It's great.''
Anyone interested in joining the Otago Radio Control Car
Club, or who wants to know more, can visit the car park
beside the Dunedin Ice Stadium, Victoria Rd, this Sunday from