Back in the day, before nitro-burning monster trucks, 70mph brushless systems and dirt slinging short course racing trucks, Traxxas engineered highly competitive electric off-road racing trucks and buggies. In the early 90's, Traxxas took home the gold at the ROAR Off-Road Nationals with their uber-popular TRX-1 racing buggy. Like the TRX-1, the SRT was a product of an extensive national-caliber racing effort and R&D program that elevated the performance and race-inspired features of many Traxxas vehicles to come.
Back then, batteries were just barely teetering over the 1500Mah capacity mark, and motors were of the brushed open-end bell type that required lots of brush maintenance. Track surfaces were even different back then. Many tracks watered and groomed their tracks throughout the day, which kept the dirt loose and loamy. Tires had larger spikes and suspension systems were generally set up with lots of give. Today, most tracks are only prepped in the morning or days before an event. The surface is then allowed to harden and groove throughout the day.
The SRT was king at many local race tracks across the country. With its many features and super-stiff chassis design, it was a favorite among many off-road racing enthusiasts. The ultra-thick fiberglass chassis reinforced with a lightweight battery box and upper deck combined to make the chassis virtually free of flex. Add to that, the thick fiberglass shock towers and hard-anodized PTFE-coated shocks made for one of the best handling suspension systems on the market.
Power was delivered through the low-mass three gear 272 transmission, which was equipped with an adjustable slipper clutch system and a high-quality adjustable ball differential. The aluminum motor plate helped dissipate power-robbing heat and everything rotated on precision ball bearings. To top it all off, the truck was assembled with high-quality hex hardware.
New Features / Updates
The SRT is still a competitive truck on many tracks, even by today's standards. Many features are the same except for the track width. Most new-generation electric stadium trucks are a little wider than the SRT, but on small to medium-sized tracks, the SRT can still hold its own with the best of them. Actually, the tighter stance can be beneficial on smaller tracks.
I've made a few changes on my personal SRT racing truck to get the most out of the truck along with updating the electronics. I started by replacing the slipper clutch system with the new VXL (Revo®-inspired) slipper clutch system for better reliability to handle the Velineon® Power System. I swapped out the steel shocks shafts with hardened TiN-coated shocks shafts for increased durability. Coiled over the shocks are new white Rustler springs up front and a progressive set of white springs out back. Titanium camber and steering links up front lighten the front end while providing increased strength. Front chassis screws were also replaced with lightweight aluminum screws.
I installed the new TRX 2.4GHz radio system for clean control and no frequency conflicts at the track. I installed a high-speed high-powered digital servo to control the factory bell cranks steering system. You'll also notice that I dyed all of the white nylon parts to black to keep a clean look.
Even though the SRT was designed when battery packs were considerably smaller, the battery compartment is actually large enough to accommodate new-generation Lipo packs. This is a perfect match for the Velineon power system. I topped off the SRT with a new-style Rustler® ProGraphix® lid.
Even though the SRT has been out of circulation for a while, it's still quite an impressive piece of off-road hardware. It really shows where Traxxas was at back in the hardcore days of electric off-road stadium truck racing. They've developed many models based off of what they learned back in the racing days of the early 90's. DNA of the SRT can be found in popular models such as today's Rustler, Stampede and Bandit.
There are actually a number of parts from these new models compatible with the SRT. I have a blast with my SRT truck, and it's so much fun to work on older models. If you ever run across an old Traxxas SRT or TRX-1 racing machine for sale, I suggest picking it up. They're incredible machines that represent what Traxxas is all about: Cutting edge design, durability and incredible performance.