Monday, September 2, 2013

AUTOart 1:18 Mazda 787B Le Mans Winner

Behold, the Lend. The Mazda 787B. 

Over the years, this car has slowly faded out of popularity. Only die hards and fans of Japanese motoring know the significance of this car. For a lot of people, it looks just like another race car with a bunch of sponsors and wild colors splashed all over it. But gather around children, because the pride of Japanese motor sports is a story that must be told. 

On June 23, 1991 this car was the first Japanese car (and still the only one) to win the Le Mans 24 hour race. All 3 cars finished very well with #55 finishing first. Mazda has been known for many years for their unconventional Rotary/Wankel engine. Sadly the discontinuation of the RX-8 last year meant the end of production cars utilizing the rotary engine, until Mazda gets their shit together and revives the RX-7 (we hope). What is special about this vehicle besides being the only Japanese car to win the Le Mans, is that it didn't win out due to pure speed, or 100% driver ability. It won due to its reliability and engineering. Several of the cars throughout the race had to be docked due to mechanical issues and several pit stops due to fuel usage. The 787B's more reliable and much less thirstier engine allowed the drivers to push the car harder without having to conserve fuel and significantly reduced down time related to mechanical issues. 

In the end, the car pushed forward and gained the lead 22 hours into the race and crossed the finish line in first. Today, this car still stands as one of the greatest Japanese made automobiles. Lastly, I leave you with two facts which would impress your friends if you knew:

1. After the season ,Wankel/Rotary engines were barred from future events because they were too bad ass
2. After the race, the engine was opened in front of press to inspect and there was not a single sign of wear. The engine could have ran for several more races. 

Obviously being a huge fan of Japanese automotive, I had to add this iconic car to my collection regardless of the price. I waited and scouted a long time before I was able to grab this car in a price range I was happy with. Eventually, that day did come and when I opened it up for the first time, I was blown away by all the details. The amount of detail in this model is insane. It features over 371 parts and I just took as many photo's of the details I could get. The amount of screws, rivets and metal pieces used all over is absolutely insane. I opened the model up after I got off work one day and next thing I knew it was very late at night. I spent several hours going over every crease, crevice and rivet admiring how they were able to accurately scale down such a beast of a vehicle. Overall, the car was worth every dollar and will be a homage to the greatness of Japanese motoring in my collection for many years to come. 

I know what else you are wondering. How much did I really pay for this model?

If I told you how much I paid for this model. I'd have to kill you. So enjoy the pics!

Limited edition, of course. #5686

The wheels are insanely nice. It has a polished metal lip that goes in pretty deep. Wheels have the proper labels on them, made by VOLK Racing, my favourite wheel company of all time. You can also see the nice Brembo brakes in the back. All the little rivets on the wheels are molded in very nicely and I love that metal center locking lug.

Another nice touch is that they have the wheel covers provided that you can place over. They are magnetic and an exact replica of the function the real car requires it for. The fins "turbine" air into the wheel to cool the brakes for long endurance races. 

Front and rear cowls both open up and both doors open upwards and forwards. 

The cowls are both detailed very well. They have a lot of markings and livery all over the body that took very extensive tampo application to achieve. Also the interior of the cowls are fully painted as well, whether it is carbon, black or paint. 

Interior is insanely detailed. The seats and steering wheel are accurately portrayed in an alcantara finish. Even the seats backing has a carbon fiber pattern. The seat belts are made of ribbon and the locking 5 point harness is replicated exactly. 

The front radiator is also anything short from impressive. The radiator is made entirely of layers of metal and even the tow hook/front clasps for the cowl are constructed of fine pieces of metal. The rivets are also replicated all over. 

One of my favourite areas on this model is the exhaust pipe on the right side. It's constructed and placed behind those metal fins. They replicated it fully. 

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