AutoArt 1:18 1991 Mazda 787B #55 Renown- Weidler/Herbert/Gachot- Le Mans Winner
The full review is published in Diecast DownUnder.
By the 1980’s, the Japanese had established themselves as the world’s up and coming automakers, consistently making cars with better quality at a lower price than the more established automakers in Europe and the USA. The only thing the Japanese automakers lacked was the patina of world-class race performance. To appeal to a new customer – the sports and luxury car buyer – the Japanese automakers set out to capture one of the premier events in motor sports: the 24 hours of Le Mans. Three Japanese automakers have competed in the 24 hours, notably: Nissan (the R390 and 89C) and Toyota (GT-1 and 88C) and Mazda.
The Mazda racing program, while not as well celebrated as those of their homeland competitors had been quietly getting more and more effective. They originally came to Le Mans in 1979 supporting RX-7 in Group C. From there, the program progressed in fits and starts, using the rotary based engine to power various works and privateer entries in Group C and later, Group C Jr. Some of these entries used Mazda chasses and some using Lolas but all were rotary powered. Between 1982 and 1985 Mazda won three consecutive Group C Jr. Titles at Sarthe. Then they moved up in class into the world of exotic prototypes. They were persistent and in 1991, the Mazda 787B with Johnny Herbert among others at the wheel hunted down more traditional Le Mans marques like Porsche, Mercedes and Peugeot.
Thus the 787B is a fitting subject for the premiere of AUTO art’s new Signature line that retails just north of $120US or so per model. Just like Mazda, AUTO art is going for a new audience with these Signature models.
The model itself is one gorgeous hunk. Shape and stance are dead on – if it were any lower to the ground it would be on it. This is one of the more famous liveries in Le Mans history and it’s brilliantly replicated using fluorescent orange and forest green. Every decal has been accurately replicated and crisply done in tampo graphics. The detail is astounding and you only need to look at the front bonnet area to begin your appreciation.