At the recent Short Course Showdown tour stop at S & N’s Trackside I got a chance to sit down and talk to Mr. MIP himself, Eustace Moore Jr. MIP has been offering RC products for over 30 years now, and before Eustace formed the company in the late 1970’s he was an accomplished professional off-road racer competing at our industry’s highest level. The combined experience of racing and manufacturing have given him a vast amount of RC expertise over the years. He shares this knowledge with us in this edition.
Radio Control Car Action – How did your first involvement with RC vehicles begin?
Eustace Jr.: Actually, I began with RC aircrafts. When I was a kid I used to build and design my own aircrafts. There were also a couple of guys who were into airplanes in the neighborhood, so I took that up. At the same time, while viewing the RC magazines, you’d notice they had cars there also. I was interested in cars because I used to make model cars. I made them from items such as bread twist axles and eraser wheels.
RCCA – At what stage in your RC career have you decided to start your own company? Was that always your goal?
EMJ: Well initially it wasn’t a goal. I’d say the first plan started when I was about 16, when I was initially designing some parts for myself, which initially became products, and it just kind of went forth from there.
What are your daily duties and official job title at MIP?
EMJ: I am currently CEO Genius, and my duties are extensive. I work with every department of the company from sales and marketing, to product development, I work with the factory race team, the manufacturing group, quality, engineering, shipping, receiving, packaging….I am involved in every aspect of the company, so I would just say that I am involved.
RCCA: The company name MIP stands for Moore’s Ideal Products, but before you settled on that name were there other names you considered? Perhaps there’s a funny/interesting tale that accompanied the choice of this name?
EMJ: No story. It was actually Moore’s Ideal Products and Hobbies – initially there a small Hobby Shop I had started with, it didn’t quite open, it was more just gathering all the information, and at some point I had just decided to drop the hobby part and just focus on the manufacturing…no story. The Ideal came from the ideas sparked from where the products came from – participating in racing, and just talking with the racers and finding out what they need and also from what my needs were at the time, you know, for RC racing.
RCCA : Over the years, RC has developed into the hobby which we all enjoy. What, in your opinion, are the most positive changes you have witnessed within the industry? What about the bad ones?
EMJ: The best are the chargers and motors. It is possible to create and run with a lot of power for long periods. The guys are running 100 mph now with these little cars…it just really made a big difference in what we are doing. The 2.4 radio system has made it possible for trains, planes and cars to have radios. This is a huge step forward. Backwards? I’d say that when nearly everybody decided to go to China and have things made there, and the products and cars became just commodities, rather than the custom, specialized vehicles for RC racing and for the true enthusiast.
RCCA: You and Matt Olson, the factory driver, have attended a lot of races nationally recognized like the Short Course Showdown in order to compete in truck short course classes. Why do you think that it is important for the class to grow? What do you think about short-course buggies?
EMJ: I won the short-course buggy class when I decided to return to racing. The buggies really are nice. I don’t know if they are going to catch on. Because they don’t have the aerodynamic package of trucks or smaller buggies, they are not as fast and aggressive. You can’t really put a modified motor in there and get those things to hook up and really go – that’s what really appeals to people. We will see how the stock or beginner class develops. It is important that all classes grow. Whatever people are enjoying, that’s the direction we will go. We are a multi-faceted company, and we will contribute to the direction of our chosen class, regardless of whether we have a focus on one or more classes. As part of our marketing strategy, we decided that it was important for people to take us seriously in the area that we’re in, which is performance RC parts. So really, the only way to get people’s attention is to go out and win, and we’ve definitely done that. We have been very successful nationally with the short course truck events we have gone to – fastest laps, top qualifiers, and actually winning 20 plus events, so just dominating completely. And right now it seems as though, generally, no one can touch what we are doing – and that goes to represent that what we are doing is pretty badass. Period.
RCCA: Many manufacturers chose to run a mid-motor configuration at the 2013 Pro-Line Cactus Classic, while traditionally US drivers use a rear-motor configuration. Do you expect this trend to continue in future races, and if so, why?
EMJ: The trend is continuing. I believe it’s just an evolution in car design and concept. But there’s a lot more development needed to get it to work with both loose surfaces and high bite surfaces. As a company we think that this trend will continue to grow. Good luck to everyone else.
RCCA: Over the years you have offered many conversion kits and performance packs, but have you ever seriously thought of designing a completely new car?
EMJ: Yes we have. In the past, we produced car kits in 10th, 12th, and 1/8th size. The cars were custom and specialized. In the future, we could do it again.
RCCA: Of all the MIP products you have offered over the years, which one would you say is MIP’s best seller?
EMJ: That’s hard to answer. Our servo-tape has done well. Our MIP CVDThe Bypass1 shock pistons and valving project has performed very well. Bypass1’s shock pistons project and valves have done well. Tire Buddies were a big hit when we launched them several years back. We have done a slew of products that have done very, very well – probably a good 50 odd products that have held well in the marketplace for long periods of time.
RCCA: Which MIP product are you most proud of?
EMJ: You know that like asking which kid do you like the best! I can’t say one specific product because there have just been so many that have just been amazing – from our differentials to the CVDOur servotape. The tire buddies project, which we completed, the Pro4mance Package. Our tools – the allen drivers that we have done have been extremely innovative – there has not been a company in our marketplace comes close to what we do, and that has been going on for over 20 years – that shows not only innovation but longevity. The CVDs have done exceptionally well, in every configuration we offer them in – the C-CVDThe reverse RCVDThe X-Duty CVD Now we are working both on Race Duty and Light Duty. It would take us decades to examine the past century. I can remember the products and designs we had at the beginning of my professional career. MIP Legend brings constant velocity drives for the RC market and 4 Wheel Drive conversions, the chassis, the suspension systems and shock parts…all of those things were extremely innovative! The differential designs that we introduced, the slipper designs…The thing that separated what I did, as opposed to other companies, is we really pushed the envelope in terms of materials and concepts, with finishes and substrates on materials that at the time weren’t considered to be standard. Now, many of these things are standard, including high-end plastics used in clutches, finishes on shocks or shock shafts, and the hardness level of materials in drive systems. Our US factory, where we have a fantastic team, allows us to quickly respond to the market. It seems everyone is trying to catch up to us. In our current designs, it’s just pushing the envelope from both the visual, which you see in our Pro4mance Packages, to the technology and performance – working with weight biases, with polar points of inertia, for the actual handling and stability of the car. It’s the Bypass1 and working with our patents-pending RealShocks systems that no one has really done before, not just offering those concepts and ideas, but actually building scale dynamometers and other test equipment to prove our design concept and technology. With everything we do and everywhere we go, we have definitely pushed forward the boundaries. The difference is we are willing to actually prove something, not just follow the leader – we are trying to become the new leader. There is a lot that I have been proud of working on, as well as people I have been working with, there isn’t just one specific. I’d say that after 30 years of doing this, and looking at another 25 to 30 years of doing this – that puts me at the halfway mark, we will see as time goes on.
RCCA: What is your favorite class to compete in and why?
EMJ: Here we go again, which kid do you like to take to the ballgame with you! I have raced almost every class. Electric/gas, road/offroad, everything. I really don’t have a preference. What I feel reflects the best of my abilities as an artist, engineer, business person and racer is 4 Wheel Drive. I won the ROAR title for 4 Wheel Drive. Our MIP Legend The RC10 4WD conversion kit is the reason I was able to compete twice at the IFMAR Worlds, ranking number 10. We’ve had tremendous national results with our MIP Pro4mance Chassis and tuning package. Our success in 4 Wheel Drive has been standing for decades – whether it’s electric or gas, it’s all good.
RCCA: Name your most memorable race moment at the RC track. Even today, you may still remember something.
EMJ: I was in Hawaii in the early 80s, and I had won a race there, and I remember being on the driver’s stand yelling out “I won, I won, I won, I won!” because I was so happy! As you probably know, it’s possible to do this for years and not win anything! There was a lot of competition at that event and we introduced new products and new concepts. So it was a big deal for me. There are still many more! It was great to see my team and I do well in a lot more events.
RCCA: Everyone needs a break now and then, so what do you like to do in your spare time outside the RC world?
EMJ: Race RC cars! I love to spend time with my family. We like to enjoy good meals and go to movies. We also love to hang out and visit my extended family. Since I started playing golf about 10 years ago, I love it, but I haven’t had much time to play this year due to my racing schedule. Sitting around the house, just chillin’…that’s always good! Also, my son has gotten involved in downhill mountain biking so that’s exciting, although a bit scary, as a parent, watching your kid fly down the hill on a bicycle! It’s fun for him and us as a family. Every once in awhile, we get to see my daughter, who is in her second year at college. It’s always nice, watching her develop and grow.
RCCA: What is one thing about you that might surprise people to know?
EMJ: Well, I am going to say the thing that shocks people the most, lately, is that I am 52 years old, and have been racing model cars, literally for 40 years.
Check out this other article on MIP if you liked this one.
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