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After packing the necessary items (Christmas-themed wooly hat, scarf, camera etc.) for a hastily-planned trip to visit XRAY in Slovakia we were warmly greeted as we touched down in Bratislava and proceeded to drive 130km north to Trencin – the Home of the Hudys.

Arriving at XRAY’s headquarters is something quite special indeed, from the moment the doors open one’s eyes are continually treated to delights. Seeing inside a ‘real’ RC Car company’s factory is a privilege we’ve been afforded on the very rarest of occasions, rarer still is a full tour of the normally off-limits XRAY factory.

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Most RC companies of today reflect globalization in the shift of production from West to East , XRAY in that respect is a shining light, bucking the universal trend, maintaining production in house at their HQ.

To say its uncommon to manufacture in a western country let alone inside the EU is an understatement, going further and looking at the RC industry, China & Taiwan are where the majority of companies go to get their products ‘made’ from a rather small handful of actual suppliers and manufacturers.

“The humble beginnings and socio-economic landscape of the past are perhaps difficult to express to the ‘RC public’ of today.”

Its clear that the Hudy family have the opposite philosophy with their companies XRAY, Hudy & FX, employing a different strategy which has brought them success in multiple fields – manufacturing everything in house bar a few small pieces of hardware.

We were very honoured to be allowed into the depths of the factory, not only to see for ourselves but also to document and photograph – something never done before with XRAY. Whilst every courtesy was extended to us, some areas inevitably were very much ‘off-limits’ to photograph in order to protect propriety know-how, naturally we respected this, but as you’ll see over the coming articles the level of access was unprecedented!

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Before we continue, ‘Factory’ is not the word I’d used to describe what the Hudy family have built in Trencin, Slovakia – it’s a true facility – extremely modern, clean, precise – more akin to Formula 1 team Mclaren’s well-known base with similar levels of detail, technology as well as an underlying perfection with nothing out of place.

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The factory itself was built and finished in 2006 on a former soccer stadium – thus giving you an impression of scale, aside from the huge production hall, the facility includes two large storage warehouses, two storage office / R&D blocks and of course a variety of tracks; indoor asphalt, indoor carpet, outdoor asphalt and a large covered off-road track currently under construction. If there was ever a ‘Mecca’ or heaven for RC, XRAY’s HQ nails it.

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Whilst we readily admit that production processes and technology has never been our strongest asset, observing the various machines whirring and humming way was oddly reassuring – reinforcing the precision element, no loud bangs or noise – gentle refinement reflecting the XRAY ethos of luxury.

Whilst being guided round the production hall by none other than Mr Juraj Judy himself –founder, designer and bossman he explained the intricate details of each machine with an excited passion – “This one is from Germany, whilst those others are from Switzerland Italy, Austria, Czech Republic and the USA”. Each one customized to suit the requirements for RC car parts production.

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Whilst many icons of RC tend to be heavily linked to the racing side, a special place in the hall of fame should be reserved for Juraj Hudy – starting a company from nothing, battling his way through the restrictions of communism and it’s fall – the humble beginnings and socio-economic landscape of the past are perhaps difficult to express to the ‘RC public’ of today.

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Juraj started out by hand making and designing his own cars as a teenager under a repressive regime where entrepreneurialism was outlawed – starting from a garage with a single vision and now one of the most successful pioneers of RC with companies that set the benchmark for quality, service & support.

Juraj shared many stories from the past, all which served to further impress upon us just how difficult the conditions were to overcome and renewed respect for believing and investing in his own country and people – a sentiment echoed by employees we met and spoke to. The sheer amount of work, man-hours and effort involved in producing parts – it’s amazing that these cars don’t end up costing more than a real full-size car!

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The original purpose of the trip was not only to have a sneak peak at XRAY’s factory, but rather have a look at the new buggy, however Juraj, his stories and the facility left such a lasting impression we said that they should consider publishing a book! Trailing Mr Hudy for a good few hours allows an insight into a man with extreme passion for his craft and an almost fanatical dedication to what he has built. On occasion it would seem he was going off-topic on some strange subject only to magically reveal the link to RC Car production – a connection we would never have imagined but making perfect sense now.

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To condense the discussions with Mr Hudy we will be publishing a few selected questions as part of an exclusive interview mainly focused on the new car, out of respect to our kind hosts and their generous invitation we won’t publish any details on manufacturing processes that were explained or shown to us as XRAY have plans to publish a full-blown book or rather bible detailing the actual process of making an RC Car. 2014 can’t come soon enough we promise you!

Stay tuned for the exclusive interview with Mr Hudy!