Tag Archives: Le Mans

Die-cast: Autoart 2017 Ford GT

Ford GT, old or new, beautiful in any form …

Even before the recent Ford vs. Ferrari publicity machine rolled through our collective conscience car guys and gals knew all about the original Ford GT40, and at least a bit about its more modern Ford GT spinoff.

While the first was a butt-kicking racer that ruled Le Mans for four years, the latter is a beautiful street-legal remake that only the wealthy can afford. Now Autoart does something about that with its 1/18 scale rendering of the 2017 Ford GT in various paint schemes. Our review car was a snazzy black number with orange racing stripes and interior trim (my high school colors). Cool! Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart 2017 Ford GT

Die-cast: CMC’s 1952 Jaguar C-Type

CMC’s detail is drop-dead gorgeous on Jag C-Type …CMC 1952 Jaguar C-Type

Jaguar was dominant at Le Mans in the 1950s as a series of its sports cars were developed into racers. The XK120 started it all after World War II and the long-hooded sleek sports car set the styling and performance standards.

What grew from that was the C-Type racing Jaguar and now CMC produces the 1952 variant in several paint schemes and race trims. Our review sample was the unmarked British Racing Green model in 1/18 scale. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC’s 1952 Jaguar C-Type

Die-cast: Ixo’s Ferrari 275LM 1965 Le Mans winner

Ferrari’s final Le Mans winner, the 275LM  …Ixo Ferrari 265LM

Ferrari established itself as an endurance racing powerhouse in the 1950s and early 1960s. It won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright eight times between 1954 and 1965, six in a row from 1960 to ‘65. It hasn’t won Le Mans since.

For many, that last win in 1965 embodied the Italian car maker at its peak, entering a variety of red racers to ensure better odds of winning. And then there’s a bit of a mystery as to who actually drove that car to Ferrari’s last win. The tale is interesting. Continue reading Die-cast: Ixo’s Ferrari 275LM 1965 Le Mans winner

Die-cast: Autoart’s Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Nissan GT-R surprisingly put the engine up front …Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Since the mid-1960s most Le Mans-style prototype racers have put the engine behind the cockpit. Certainly the winning cars have featured this layout.

So it was a surprise in 2015 when Nissan opted to swap that layout, putting its muscular twin-turbo V6 back in front of the cockpit driving the front wheels. The car looked a bit like a spinoff of the Delta Wing, just not quite so radical. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Die-cast: Autoart’s Bugatti EB Veyron (chassis No. 001)

Bugatti Veyron wows in 1/18 scale …Autoart's Bugatti EB Veyron

Some numbers can’t be ignored.

Bugatti’s sleek Veyron has a top speed of 258 mph, according to Road & Track magazine, with 1,184 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet. of torque. Cost? $2.6 million. That’s monster!

Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Bugatti EB Veyron (chassis No. 001)

Die-cast: Ixo’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57G Le Mans winner

Bugatti was racy from the get-go at Le Mans … 1937 Bugatti Le Mans winner

In the early years, a lot of competitors, and winners, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race were from France. Many of those makes are legendary, but many also are gone.

One that remains is Bugatti, now known as a super car maker of impeccable quality, speed and styling. Its pedigree is long and distinguished. That pedigree includes two Le Mans wins, one of only 11 car makers to score more than one win and one of just 24 brands to win at Le Mans. Porsche and Audi have each won more than a dozen times, but who’s counting?

Ixo now delivers a sharp 1/43 scale die-cast model of Bugatti’s 1937 Le Mans-winning Type 57G. Bugatti won with a similar car in 1939.

The History

This car, and its drivers, make for a unique tale. Only three Type 57G Tanks were built and this one won Le Mans in 1937. It was driven by Jean-Pierre Wimille and Robert Benoist (more on them in a moment) and completed 243 laps, 7 more than the second place Delahaye 135CS. The Bugatti ran a 3.3-liter straight 8 while the Delahaye was powered by a 3.6-liter straight 6.1937 Bugatti Le Mans winner

 

The team was owned by Roger Labric, making this an all French team. In fact, the top four finishers were all French, with a British Aston Martin coming home fifth to be the top finisher among non-French entries. Only 17 of the 48 entries were running at the end of 24 hours. Continue reading Die-cast: Ixo’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57G Le Mans winner

Die-cast: Spark’s 1982 Ligier JS19, Monaco GP

Laffite’s Ligier JS19 a blue flying wedge … 1982 Ligier JS 19 

In the early 1980s Formula 1 cars, like open-wheel racers at Indianapolis, were quickly progressing through a series of aerodynamic changes to give them more downforce for faster cornering speeds.

The drivers sat nearer the car’s nose while the engine and tunnels and wings were alongside and behind them. The Ligier team, a French-based and sponsored F1 team had top-shelf drivers and plopped them into these flying wedges with some success.

One of the more interesting looking F1 cars at the time was the Ligier JS19 with its boxy tunnels that extended from the driver rearward to a big boxy wing on the tail. That’s what Spark creates in 1/43 scale and with handsome results.

The History

The JS19 followed the relatively successful JS17 in which French driver Jacques Laffite won two races in 1981 and finished fourth in the F1 standings. As with the 17, the new JS19 was powered by a Talbot-badged Matra V12. Laffite and American Eddie Cheever were the drivers. Continue reading Die-cast: Spark’s 1982 Ligier JS19, Monaco GP