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Stealth Le Mans Winning Mazda

Autoart's carbon-fiber-look Mazda a stunner

By Mark Savage

The 24 Hours of Le Mans 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.

While Autoart has created that winning car previously in 1/18 scale, with this new Signature Series model it boasts a Stealth carbon-fiber-look version that accents the car’s lines and high-tech features, not its sponsors. The car also is modeled after the Stealth model that is featured in PlayStation’s Gran Turismo 5 games, an obvious play for the younger diecast collectors.

As with other Signature Series cars, this rendition of the historic 787B is spectacular and extremely finely detailed, reflecting its $275 price. The racer is made from 480 metal (60 on the exterior) and plastic parts, including many photo-etched plates, along with metal wiring. It looks authentic, no matter how closely you inspect it, nearly on par with CMC brand models. 

Naturally the hood and bonnet are removable and the doors open. Inside you’ll find a finely detailed dash with glass-covered gauges and fuse panel, plus fabric seat belts with photo-etched buckles. Talk about realistic! But really most folks will examine the outside, and engine compartment the most, and these are stellar. 

The suspension is fully functional, the rear spoiler has metal supports, there are steel cables and metal clips to lock the hood and rear bonnet down and there’s wire mesh to keep the front radiators from damage, just like on the real racer. 

The 787B’s 2.6-liter Wankel rotary engine is what made this car particularly special, the only rotary to ever win Le Mans. It used three sequential spark plugs per rotor and created more than 700 horsepower. And it’s beautifully detailed here, right down to the oil cooling and fuel system for an authentic look. There also are cool Brembo brake calipers, two antenna atop the cockpit’s roof and nicely detailed wheels and Dunlop tires. 

Fit and finish is stellar, as it should be at this price. Yes, this costs a bit, but unless you move up to a CMC model you won't get more detail than this. Plus this is a historic racer, and beautiful in its stealthy carbon-fiber-look body. Winner!

FAST Stats
Product: Mazda 787B (Stealth)
Maker: Autoart (Signature Series)    
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: 81043
MSRP: $274.90
Rating: 5 stars
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