Diecast Car: Autoart’s Stealth LeMans winning Mazda a stunner
Reviewed by Mark Savage
The 24 Hours of LeMans is just behind the Indianapolis 500 in longevity, notoriety and importance in the racing world. Long a bastion of success for European sports car makers, the likes of Porsche, Audi, Jaguar, Peugeot and Ferrari, the 1991 race will always be remembered as the year a Japanese make, Mazda, finally won the title. After 13 years of trying, Mazda won with its beautiful rotary-engine powered 787B. The winning drivers were Johnny Herbert, Bertrand Gachot and Volker Weidler, all former Formula 1 drivers. Continue reading Diecast cars: Autoart’s Stealth LeMans winning Mazda→
Back in 1967 stock cars weren’t anything fancy, in fact, they were pretty much just that, stock cars with headlights taped up and numbers painted on the sides. They still had stock bumpers and bodies – no templates!
There were a select group of top drivers then, just as now. But long before Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt there were Richard Petty and David Pearson. In the mid- to late-1960s they were the top dogs, by a long-shot.
So Revell-Monogram’s offering, Pearson’s No. 17 Ford Fairlane will be a popular model among slot car racers who enjoy vintage machines. 1967 was the year Pearson switched from Dodge to Ford mid-season, jumping to the successful Holman-Moody Team. That meant he only had 22 starts in 48 races, but still finished 7th in points. Pretty impressive! Continue reading Slot cars: Monogram’s ’67 Pearson Ford→
Long-time exotic sports car maker Aston Martin returned to racing in 2005 with its sleek DBR9 racer modeled after its DB9 street car. The intent was to challenge the likes of Audi and Porsche on the road courses of Europe and the United States.
The car, racing in the GT1 class, used a lot of carbon fiber and aluminum to meet weight requirements and its 6.0-liter V12 created a massive 600 horsepower. First race out was the 12-hours of Sebring in the U.S. and then the 24-hours of LeMans in France. Aston Martin finished fourth at Sebring, but first in class, edging Team Corvette. In LeMans the DBR9 finished 9th, third in class.
The Scalextric slot car version is the No. 57 with full team markings for Aston Martin Racing, complete with yellow nose trim, a Union Jack on the hood and side doors and decked out in a modified metallic British Racing Green that the team chose as its new color. This is the car as it appeared in the 2005 Sebring race, driven by David Brabham, Darren Turner and Stephane Ortelli. Their names appear on the car’s roof. Continue reading Slot cars: Scalextric Aston DBR9→
American Motors had a hit on its hands with their Javelin. Introduced in 1968 as AMC’s answer to the Mustang and Camer0. In 1970 they made some design changes to take advantage of the 390 V8 they offered as an option. This was at the height of the pony car wars and performance was king. They even signed up Roger Penske and Mark Donahue to campaign one in the Trams-Am racing series.
To capitalize on the car’s success on the race track, AMC offered a Mark Donahue package which included a spoiler with Donahue’s signature on it, the 390 engine and, the air intake on the hood. Javelins with this option in good shape command around $20-25,000 mostly because there were only about 2,500 of them manufactured.
The Chrysler Turbine Car was the first and only consumer test ever conducted of gas turbine-powered cars. Of the total 55 units built consisting of 5 prototypes and 50 production cars given to one person in every state to use for three months. Produced from 1962-1964, the bodies were made by Ghia in Turin, Italy, with final assembly taking place in a small plant in Detroit, MI.
Growing up in Milwaukee, WI. I saw one of these out and must have followed it for miles. Not only a very cool looking car but that sound. Most were scrapped at the end of a trial period, with only nine remaining in museums and private collections like this one owned by Jay Leno. Though Chrysler’s turbine engine project was terminated in 1977, the Turbine Car was the high point of a three decade project to perfect the engine for practical use. Continue reading Promo models: Chrysler Turbine→
Hyundai has done it again, created a styling home run, a car that people talk about. This time it’s the diminutive 2012 Hyundai Veloster, a sporty coupe/hatch with a bonus back door on the passenger’s side. Ah, you say, “Didn’t Saturn do that years ago?” Yes, but that car wasn’t nearly as attractive as this one, nor as well built.
Veloster, which sounds like a dinosaur from “Jurassic Park,” is a fun drive. It combines the swoopy appeal of Honda’s CR-Z hybrid coupe, with the light, fun to drive feel of former Toyota Celicas. Youngsters, and maybe a few of us 50-somethings looking for a stylish commuter, will dig this economical coupe/hatch. Continue reading 2012 Hyundai Veloster→