Radio Shack BMW 323 Racer RestoMod

4 min readJan 2, 2022

A true RestoMod, this project merged the body from one old RC car with the chassis and electronics of a new model

Meet the BMW 323

There is a family member who is a fan of the BMW brand. For a long time his automotive choices were rather modest, but when his finances lined up to walk in and pick exactly what he wanted…he has good taste. From that 135i Convertible with M-Sport bits, he’s having fun with other models since then. Shelf decoration for his office could be a nice holiday gift.

Continuing the “where’d this come from” trend, the source for the Radio Shack BMW 323 Racer was via Goodwill Online. The auction winning amount was $16.01 — adding handling, shipping, and taxes the total was $28.71. Looks like it arrived the first of September 2021.

Original BMW 323 Racer — Top View
Original BMW 323 Racer — Rear View
Original BMW 323 Racer — Side View

Time to RestoMod

Because of the quality of the plastics used to make the bodies for these RC cars, the sticker removal and reconditioning preparation is often easy. Strip down the car and parts separate (electronics from plastics), warm water and dish soap soak, use fingernails or some kind of plastic scraper, and then you’re getting real close. For the leftover glue, there’s Goo Gone or straight to sanding. There’s enough thickness to the RC body that getting some sandpaper leverage just takes brief setup.

Version 1: Silver to Chrome? Nope!

Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of the donor car for this project. I’m pretty sure it was a 1/20th or 1/18th scale Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera — rear wheel drive, small electronics, and also had working front and rear lights. The original BMW 323 had no lights but did come with a separate grill and headlights. With a bit of testing and sanding bump spots, they fit together and I got started on the paint work.

BMW 323 Racer RestoMod — Version 1 — Side View
BMW 323 Racer RestoMod — Version 1 — Top Angle View (note headlights)
BMW 323 Racer RestoMod — Version 1 — Original Box + Chassis + Revision

The problem I keep having with almost every brand of spray can based chrome is the results are…not good. I’m sure it’s me. Really, I don’t blame the products and I’ve tried so many different conditions…so the attempted chrome didn’t look worthy of the effort to make the RestoMod.

Version 2: Brilliant Blue Bavarian Boss

Admitting a mistake and being willing to do the work to not only fix it, but improve from the inputs leading to the undesired result, well, that’s how I look at these things. The flip side is sometimes a project or effort turns out bad and so bad that trying to save it would be…bad. Eject! Eject!

Fortunately this BMW 323 Racer RestoMod got me digging into the paint drawer, looking up some livery type details online, creating the decals, and smiling with each improvement.

BMW 323 Racer RestoMod — Version 2 — Front 3/4 View
BMW 323 Racer RestoMod — Version 2 — Rear 3/4 View

On the new chassis and with the lights, it became a fun little ridiculous drifter on hardwood or bare concrete. Still uses AA batteries, but is held together by one of my not-favorite-techniques when mounting body to frame. There is about $6 worth of epoxy compound between the body and the contact points. The fumes in the garage could’ve put a Javelina night-night I tell you what.

Now this widebody pops in the light, looks the part with the added livery bits and drives like a big boot scooting Deutschland Boss!

I think I since took off the tires, used a Gold Metallic Sharpie on the wheels and then remounted for a cooler look. I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out this build and the result. It’s in transit to its new home as of this writing, and if he gets any cool videos of his cats in pursuit, I’ll try to share them. Thanks for reading!




Just some dude in Texas with a day job, a family and friends, and a love of cars and creativity. Trying to just keep L-I-V-I-N and be a good human.