Associated also known as (Team Associated and Associated Electronics)…
…was founded in 1964 by Roger Curtis and Lee Yurada who were technicians at the Douglas Aerophysics Laboratory. Slot cars were at the height of their popularity in Southern California at the time, so Curtis and Yurada decided to open a slot car track as a side business. Their experience in fabricating aircraft parts soon led them into producing slot car parts and accessories. So successful was the venture that it turned into a full-time business which they named Associated Electrics. The new company specialized in the manufacturing of a full line of slot car parts, chassis and accessories.
By 1970, the business had grown and Gene Husting purchased Yurada’s shares in the company, however the popularity of slot cars was fading, but Husting was certain that radio control would flourish as the technology grew. Almost as if in anticipation of the fact, Team Associated had just introduced a 1/8 scale gas-powered racer, the RC1. Designed by Mike Morrisey and it soon became the most successful car on the circuit. In 1971, Team Associated moved to Santa Ana, California where they began production of the Husting-designed RC1.
Team Associated would double in size thanks to Roger’s next design, the 1/12 scale RC12 electric on-road racer that debuted in 1978. Simpler and far less expensive than the gas powered RC100, the RC12 it is credited for much of the hobby’s growth as a sport.
Roger Curtis’s 1984 design of a serious 1/10 scale electric offroad car not only led to explosive growth within the company, but within the world of R/C racing as well. This new vehicle was the now-famous Associated RC10 buggy. Built on a aircraft alloy chassis, the new car was, unlike its counterparts of the time, a serious offroad racing machine. Another 1-2-3 IFMAR sweep would follow in 1985 at the first IFMAR 1/10 Electric Off-Road World Championship. The RC10, possibly more than any R/C vehicle before or since, is credited with making the single biggest impact on radio control racing.
The success of the RC10 forced Associated to move to a larger facility, which they found in Costa Mesa in 1987. That same year, professional racer Cliff Lett joined Associated to head the research and development department. This department, consisting of Lett, Roger Curtis and Husting’s son, Curtis, were responsible for the RC10 cars that won the IFMAR World Championships in 1989 in Australia, and in 1991 in Detroit. The success of the RC10 coupled with other cars of the time, namely the RC12LW, the RC10L, RC10LSS and the RC10T kept production going for five years and prompted the necessity of extending their building in Costa Mesa.
Gene Husting helped develop cars for Team Associated until 2000, when he retired. He is responsible for the lineup up to the RC10B3, RC10T3, TC3 and GT RTRs. Five years after his retirement, the company introduced an entirely new line of off-road racers with the introduction the 1/18 scale electric RC18T and RC18MT miniature trucks. In 2006, with 20 IFMAR victories in all, Team Associated is the world’s “winningest” R/C car manufacturer.