Company RootsSlot Car Beginnings
Roger Curtis and Lee Yurada were working in Douglas Aircraft in Southern California during the slot car craze in 1964, and decided to open a slot car track as an after-hours business, renting a building in Lynnwood, on Long Beach Blvd, and opened Associated Raceway. They soon started making slot car wheels, tires and other accessories. It wasn't long before this turned into a full time business and Associated Electrics was formed, specializing in slot car wheels, tires, bodies, braid, slot guides, chassis, and other slot car parts.
A New Partnership
The business grew as Roger and Lee added more and more new products. At this time Associated was located in a small building in Paramount, California. Roger realized that RC cars were the next big thing, so he and his friend Mike Morrisey quickly designed their own car, called the RC1. In its first race, the RC1 dominated, so much so that others wanted to outlaw the car. There was nothing magical about car. They just applied slot car technology to the design instead of applying model airplane technology like the others had. The RC1 was a big success, so Roger decided it was time to get out of slot cars and devote all efforts to RC cars.
Roger asked Gene Husting if he'd be interested in buying out Lee's share. Subsequently, Lee sold his interest to Gene. It was now 1969 and the slot car craze had died, but Associated had just earlier introduced the new RC1, a 1:8 scale gas-powered car. Gene was racing gas cars at the time and had the feeling that R/C cars was certain to grow as a hobby. At this time there were only six employees, Roger, Gene, Gene's wife, Midge, and three others.
Gas RC Takes Off
In 1971 the business moved to Santa Ana, California. A short time later Associated starting producing the RC100 car, designed by Gene. At the first-ever IFMAR World Championships at Thorp Raceway in Pomona, California, RC100's swept the first five places. Associated really started to grow as the RC100 was used by all the top drivers in countries around the world.
1:12 Electric R/C Begins
A few years later, Roger designed the 1:12 scale RC12e, and Associated doubled in size because of this car. It was a simple, reliable, electric-powered car that more racers could afford to own, maintain and enjoy. Roger then designed the RC12i, which won the first-ever IFMAR 1:12 Electric World Championships.
Mike Reedy Joins
Now Associated had an urgent need for electric products like motors, rechargeable batteries and chargers, so Roger hired Mike Reedy to take care of those needs. During the beginning of Associated's entry into the electric part of the hobby in 1980, Mike Reedy joined Associated. With Mike as part of the team, the Associated drivers were never lacking for horsepower. (Mike Reedy was later to retire in 2004.)
The RC10 Debuts
Associated had now doubled and doubled in size again, and had 35 employees. But they weren't ready for what happened next. In 1984, Roger designed a 1:10 scale electric off road car, the RC10. In 1985 the RC10 placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the first-ever 1:10 Off Road IFMAR World Championships. The world of R/C cars has never been the same since. And neither has Associated!
The RC10 forced Associated to move to a new, larger building in Costa Mesa, California, with 75 employees, in 1987. Cliff Lett joined Associated shortly after this to head the R&D department, together with Roger and Curtis Husting, Gene's son. This combo designed the RC10 cars that won the IFMAR World Championships in 1989 in Australia, and in 1991 in Detroit. The unbelievable success of the RC10, the RC12LW, the RC10L, RC10LSS and the RC10T kept Associated back ordered on kits for five years, and prompted Associated to move into a second building.
Merger with Thunder Tiger
Thunder Tiger Corporation and Associated Electrics, Inc. have worked together very successfully for more than six years to manufacture much of Associated's current line of products, with each company performing the services that best match their core abilities. Five years after Gene Husting retired in 2000, Associated merged with Thunder Tiger. This guarantees that Associated's high standards for product quality and performance will remain intact. Two years later, in 2007, Team Associated moved into new quarters in Lake Forest, California, where its offices are still located as of 2013.