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August 4, 2014

Die-cast: Autoart 1991 BMW M3 DTM

by Mark Savage

Autoart decks out racy BMW M3 in Tic Tac liverybmw3

BMWs are racers at heart and BMW’s M Series are the hopped up versions of already racy coupes and sedans that the Bavarian automaker squeezes out of its German factories.

Naturally, Germans love to put their BMWs, Audis, Mercedes and Volkswagens to the test on the racetrack. So in the 1980s they began testing their home-country metal on road courses as part of the Deutsche Touring Masters Championship, popularly known as DTM. Think of it as German NASCAR.

The History

Back in the late 1980s and early ‘90s BMW’s awesome M3 (first built in 1986) dominated the DTM series. The M3 was the souped up small coupe that sold well as the 3 Series in the U.S. market and was known as the E30 overseas. BMW sold hundreds of thousands of these, the original rear-drive 3 Series being made from 1982 to 1992.

That’s the timeframe Autoart focuses on with a variety of 1:18 diecast models, including the review car, a colorful green, white and gold Tic Tac-sponsored 1991 racer from Tauber Motorsports. That year the car was driven in many of the DTM’s 12-race season by Canadian Allen Berg, who had a varied racing career, including one year piloting a Formula 1 car.

bmw1Berg and the No. 43 Tic Tac M3 Sport Evolution machine did not have great success that season, the 9th for DTM, but the car looks like a winner and was popular because of its unusual sponsorship and paint scheme. An M3 won DTM championships in 1987 and ‘89 by beating the likes of worthy competitors like the Audi V8 Quattro, Ford Sierra and Mercedes 190E.

The car started with 235 horses from their I4 engines, but all the cars were further enhanced mechanically and then stripped of their interiors and customized to be racers. That included all the proper safety equipment such as roll bars and one racing seat with racing seatbelts and shoulder harnesses.

The Model:

This Tic Tac paint scheme is really cool and will make this car stand out in any collection, plus there’s the usual Autoart attention to detail. Hood, trunk and doors all open.bmw

Exterior pluses include the green grille up front, realistic looking headlights and amber signal lamps, metal-look hood and deck pins, single giant windshield wiper, white aero mirrors, blacked out window trim and door handles, realistic taillights and gorgeous gold lace spoke racing wheels. Tires are not branded but there are accurate BMW logos nose and tail and the underbody is nicely detailed complete with a black dual exhaust.

Inside is a black Recaro racing seat with blue shoulder straps and belts and a sparsely decorated white race interior. There’s just a black dash and 3-spoke wheel, plus a white-topped floor shifter along with some electronics and wires. The big white roll cage also is visible behind the driver’s seat and inside the door openings if you pop those open.

bmw4The engine bay looks realistic with a black shrouded M Power 4-cylinder engine with wiring and plumbing. Up by the radiator are strong hinges to keep the front-hinged hood up too. Not much to see in the trunk except some hosing, but then this is a racer, so no spare tire back there.

Granted this is a race version, so you lose some interior detailing, but at this price the M3 is an accurate and attractive 1:18 scale model that looks like it’s ready for track action. It displays well with hood and doors open, or closed so you can get the full benefit of its “spec-tac-ular” Tic Tac paint scheme.
This is a fun racer to display in any collection.

FAST Stats: BMW M3 DTM 1991 “Tic Tac” Berg #43
Maker: Autoart
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: 74110
MSRP: $179.90

bmw2

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