Tag Archives: Replicarz

Die-cast: Replicarz 1972 Javelin Trans Am

AMC Javelin a winner in Donohue or Follmer trim …

Muscle car lovers appreciate the AMC Javelin because American Motors Corp. was much like The Little Engine That Could, and to beat all the Javelin was handsomely styled too.

Once AMC decided to take it racing in the Trans Am series in 1970, the company gained even more respect from racers as it was instantly competitive with the Mustangs and Camaros of the day. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1972 Javelin Trans Am

Die-cast:1986 March 86C, Indy 500 winner

Rahal’s 1986 Bud/Red Roof racer looks a winner in 1/18 scale …

Not to namedrop, but as a young newspaper reporter I was in Bobby Rahal’s garage at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway just after driver Gordon Smiley was killed in a horrific qualification day crash in 1982. It was Rahal’s rookie season and the young driver was moved by the tragedy.

I never forgot that slice of humanity I witnessed and always was a bit of a Rahal fan after that. My son picked up on that and cheered for Rahal as a youngster, even making a Pinewood Derby car with Rahal’s name on it.

So, I’ve been eager to see Replicarz latest 1/18 scale release of an Indianapolis 500 winner, the March 86C that Rahal drove to his lone Indy win in 1986. This is one in an ever-expanding series of Indy 500 winning cars Replicarz has produced. It’s other latest is the 1990 winner that Arie Luyendyk drove. I reviewed that car a couple weeks ago.

The History

Bobby Rahal was a sports car and road-course racer that had been supported in his amateur racing career by former racer and businessman Jim Trueman, who also founded the Red Roof Inns motel chain. In 1982 his Truesports Team entered a car for Rahal in the Indy 500, and Rahal quickly became a contender in the IndyCar series (then CART).

He won two races in his first season, including the Michigan 500, and finished second in the championship. Some rookie!

His success continued, finishing third in the IndyCar championship in 1984 and 1985, winning six more times in that period. Then came his exceptional 1986 season when he won six IndyCar races, including the Indy 500.

With two laps remaining Rahal passed leader Kevin Cogan on a restart and held on to win the 500 in his Cosworth DFX turbocharged V8-powered March. The win was an emotional one for Rahal and the team as Jim Trueman, 51, was dying of cancer, but was in the pits to celebrate the win. Trueman died less than a month after Rahal’s win.

Rahal retired after the 1998 season, his last IndyCar win being at Nazareth Speedway (now closed) in 1992 when he earned his third series championship with four wins. He also was the IndyCar champ in 1987 and finished second at Indy in 1990 and third in 1994 and ’95. He now owns and IndyCar team with his son Graham serving as driver.

The Model

Oh boy is this a good-looking car in its deep bright red Red Roof Inns and Budweiser livery, a white No. 3 on the nose and sides of the engine cover and rear wing.

Ground-effects and aerodynamics were playing a big role in IndyCars by the mid-1980s, but the cars were still relatively clean and the monster wings of the 1970s had been outlawed. Here the air rushes through sidepods and over radiators to escape the pods just behind the cockpit. There are tiny winglets in front of each rear tire to redirect the air over the tires creating more downforce. Each is held by twin adjusting wires. There’s also a modest air scoop at the engine cover’s tail to direct more air into the Cosworth’s turbo.

The tail of the powerplant and transmission extends out the back of the car and is nicely wired and plumbed. Cool too are the shocks on either side of that air scoop.

Wings had been regulated to remain no wider than the inside of the rear wheels and this one juts up on a red support with Bud logos on each side and Budweiser lettering spread across the wing’s top.

The March has thin winglets on the nose with Red Roof’s moto, “Sleep Cheap!” in white atop them. There’s also a small antenna on the car’s nose, black trim around the windscreen’s lower edge and two tiny red mirrors extending off each side of the car’s cockpit wall. The fuel filler outlet is just behind the cockpit to the driver’s left and a thin roll bar extends above the cockpit, tapering into the bodywork.

Suspension work is all solid and painted matte black with tiny screws holding the rear assembly together. Tires are black slicks with Goodyear Eagle labeling on both sides, as on the real racers. Wheels are silver racing wheels, not chrome, with gun metal center locking nuts. And while there are a bevy of sponsor logos on the nose, the key white logos, mostly trimmed in black are Red Roof Inns, Budweiser with Valvoline and Goodyear in a couple spots.

Inside, the cockpit walls are matte black as is the low-slung seat, but there are red cloth shoulder and seatbelts with photo-etched metal clasps. The dash includes a couple dials, the three-spoke racing wheel, pedals and a small silver gearshift lever to the driver’s right.

Once again Replicarz delivers an Indy champion caliber car deserving of a trophy. Snag one before they’re gone.

Vital Stats: 1986 March 86C, Indy 500 winner, Bobby Rahal

Maker: Replicarz
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: R18030
MSRP: $249.95

Link: Replicarz.com

 

Die-cast: Replicarz 1990 Indy 500 winner

Arie Luyendyk’s Lola racer a red, white and blue 500 winner …

Dutchman Arie Luyendyk was a consistent top-tier competitor in IndyCar during the 1980s and 1990s, but he had never won an Indycar race until the 1990 Indianapolis 500. What a place to start.

He went on to be a two-time Indy 500 winner, but his first was special because he beat the top racers at the time, Bobby Rahal, Emerson Fittipaldi, Rick Mears and Al Unser Jr. And he set a record in doing it, running the 500 miles at an average speed of 185.981, a record that lasted until 2013. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1990 Indy 500 winner

Die-cast: Replicarz 1989 PC18 Indy 500 winner

Emerson Fittipaldi’s 1989 Indy 500 winner in 1/43 scale …

As a newspaper reporter I was roaming Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and watching bits of the race from inside Turn 1 when Emerson Fittipaldi won the 1989 Indianapolis 500. It was an exciting finish, but one I had to watch and re-watch on closed circuit monitors in the Indy press room. Now, of course, it’s on YouTube.

Former Formula One Champion Fittipaldi won the first of his two Indianapolis 500s with a bump and run move going into Turn 3 with just two laps remaining. Al Unser Jr. had been leading for a few laps with Fittipaldi right on his tail. Lapping slower cars they both dove for the Turn 3 apex running side-by-side. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1989 PC18 Indy 500 winner

Die-cast: Replicarz 1/18 scale 1952 Indy 500 winner

Bigger scale Agajanian Special pumps up the detail …

What’s better, and bigger, than a fine 1/43 scale Indy 500 winning race car? A 1/18 scale version, naturally, and Replicarz has been excelling at creating these for years now.

The latest is the Agajanian Special dirt car that a then young Troy Ruttman drove to win the 1952 Indianapolis 500. Ruttman immediately became famous as the youngest Indy winner ever at 22 years and 80 days. He had lied about his age earlier, so he could start competing as a teen. His racing career ended in retirement in 1964. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1/18 scale 1952 Indy 500 winner

Die-cast: Replicarz 1972 McLaren M16 (Revson)

Revson’s Indy 500 pole car another Replicarz gem …

Peter Revson was a wealthy playboy type, but a talented racer. McLaren was a noted and successful race car maker. Their link-up in 1971 was historic and launched a successful era for both at the Indianapolis 500.

Revson, the heir to the Revlon cosmetics fortune had tried his hand at F1 racing in Europe, but to no success, so returned to the United States. He hooked up with Brabham in 1969 for the Indy 500 and barely made the show, starting last but finishing fifth. He was onto something. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1972 McLaren M16 (Revson)

Die-cast: Replicarz 1952 Indy 500 Winner, Agajanian Special

New 1/43 Indy Winner a colorful replica of Ruttman’s racer …

If you’re an Indy 500 nut like me you’ll recognize Troy Ruttman’s name, otherwise he might be a mystery, or vague memory to you.

There’s a reason for that. Ruttman won the 1952 Indianapolis 500, but never won another IndyCar race during his long career. He raced from 1948 to 1964. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1952 Indy 500 Winner, Agajanian Special