Story and Photos by Kyle Listul
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After spending many years fabricating at off-road shops in the Salt Lake area, I found myself unexpectedly drawn into the RC world one day after stopping in at a local hobby shop and found myself purchasing my first RC. The thing that really drew me into RC fabrication was the fact that most everything in the RC world utilized the same concepts as their full-size counterparts. For example, both the chassis and suspension designs look and function exactly like their full-size counterparts. After doing a little research, I decided to move into the RC Fabrication space and go into business for myself. In February of 2013, Ultra Custom Fab, “UCFab” was born.
From that very first day of opening shop, I found myself slammed with work. It was clear that there was a market for a skill I had to offer. To date, I have built around 200 RC chassis for customers worldwide (somewhere along the way, I lost count). When I started, I was building one-off designs for customers. My vision then moved towards building a brand and after some design time, I came up with a few production designs that account for the majority of chassis I have built. As with any industry, trends come and go, and business owners tend to adapt by offering what is in demand. Currently, there is a considerable interest in creating replicas of full-size cars. As of today, my portfolio includes replicas of the Lasernut FIS Ultra4 car, The Campbell’s Dragon Slayer, one of the Campbell’s moon buggies, Top Shelf Chassis from Trent Fab, Tom Wayes FishMouth Fabworx car, and many others.
The project that I’m currently working on is for Cody Waggoner at Lasernut. It’s a replica of his Pretty Penny/ JHF moon Buggy. I’ve been able to add a lot of extra details to this car, in part, because it’s not going to be a functioning replica which allows for a bit more flexibility (most replicas I do are fully functional). For most builds, I typically build by using pictures of the cars. For Cody’s build however, Jesse Haines provided me with the CAD drawings, so I could get it to an exact 1/10 scale replica.
Recently, I’ve started doing a mix of full-size fabrication and RC fabrication which has been a great change of pace. I enjoy mixing it up in the shop and find the challenge of going from RC to full-size and visa-versa exciting. At this time, UCFab’s future plans are to continue to only offer RC chassis replicas to individuals who own a full-size version of the car. However, UCFab is constantly changing and adapting to consumer demand, so I can’t say with any certainty when that will change or what those changes will look like. It’s something that keeps me on my toes and I wouldn’t have it any other way.