History - Early Commercial Products
Several early commercially viable RC cars were available by mid-1966, produced by the Italian company El-Gi (Elettronica Giocattoli) from Reggio Emilia. Their first model, a 1:12 Ferrari 250LM was available in the UK in December 1966, through importers Motor Books and Accessories, St. Martins, London, and early in 1967 through Atkinson's model shop in Swansea. This model was followed by El-Gi's 1:10 Ferrari P4, first shown at the Milan Toy Fair in early 1968. R/C cars became possible around this time solely because of the development of 'proportional' radio control. Previously all radio was of the 'bang/bang' variety, i.e. steering was either left, center, or right and speed was either stop or go. This was usable for aircraft or boats but not for cars.
In the mid-late 1960s a British company, Mardave, based in Leicester, began to produce commercially viable RC Cars. Their first cars were nitro- or gas-powered cars sold in the local area in the early 1970s.