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McLaren F1 die-cast model from Autoart

By Mark Savage
Published: December 13, 2010
McLaren F1 Autoart

Product: McLaren has been a pre-eminent name in motorsports since the 1960s when its namesake, Bruce McLaren, raced in Formula 1 and created his own McLaren Racing Team. That team went on to dominate Can-Am racing and since the New Zealander’s racing death in 1970, Team McLaren has won eight F1 titles.

From that background sprung McLaren Automotive, based in England, that has created a variety of cars, most famously, the McLaren F1 supercar, sometimes called the Short Tail Road Car. That’s what Autoart has so beautifully sculpted in 1:18 scale here in its highly detailed Signature Series.

The real McLaren F1 was a spectacularly designed supercar, and the fastest car in the world from 1994–1998, and still the fastest normally aspirated car in the world. A slightly altered version even won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995.

The McLaren cranked 627 horses from its BMW-built 6.1-liter V12 engine, with a torque rating of 479. Top speed was 240 and it did 0–60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. The Bugatti Veyron supercar unseated the McLaren as fastest production car.

Another thing that makes supercars super is their price and availability. The McLaren sold for $970,000 and just more than 100 were ever made.

Performance: Enough about numbers, the McLaren is nothing, if not gorgeous to look at with its butterfly doors being a styling signature. These are hinged from inside, just like the real deal, so the doors close with authority and with minimal seams.

Like other supercars, the McLaren is a glassy, low-slung racer with a wide stance and short overhangs front and rear. Unusual though, it has three seats, the driver’s mounted dead center as in a racer, but with two passenger seats offset behind it.

Autoart’s version is flawless. Highlights include beautifully sculpted side panels and doors, two hinged rear bonnets that open to reveal a giant 12-cylinder BMW engine. One bonnet is the glass rear window, the other a finely screened and vented cover just in front of a small rear spoiler that also is adjustable.

The engine has McLaren and BMW M Power stenciled on the headers and the electrical wiring and hoses look authentic. In front is another small compartment that opens to show a labeled Kenwood CD system. Headlight lenses are realistic looking too, with a giant clear lens over the quad lights up front and detailed red rear lenses.

On the car’s sides, just behind the doors, are flip-out storage areas that include removable luggage in each compartment. The compartments are finished to resemble carbon fiber too, adding to the car’s exotic look and feel. The real car’s chassis was made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic.

Other nice touches include little amber reflectors just in front of each door and McLaren badging on the hood and tail.

The 5-spoked wheels are finely finished with copper-colored lugs securing them and exquisitely detailed gold cross-drilled disc brakes behind the wheels, with red script Brembo labels on the calipers. The McLaren also features working suspension front and rear, a rarity in die-cast of a lesser quality.

Steering is directly linked to the steering wheel for a realistic feel, while the tires have no branding on them, but do feature an aggressive tread pattern.

The interior is sharp, with the main racer seat and belts, detailed dash and steering wheel along with a console that includes a variety of buttons and again, a carbon- fiber look. But this is a model you’ll mainly want to display for its body and engine.

Let’s be honest, this model is not for everyone. You’ll want this for your high-end customer who is serious about his collection and has some coin to drop on a premium quality die-cast — possibly a special order for a special customer.

But if you’re looking for a grabber for a store window or main display case, this is a winner. To generate sales off of it though, load up on some 1:43 Autoart models to surround it (Autoart has plenty of supercar models) and count on those to be your main movers. Don’t forget to sell individual display cases, a great add-on, for all your die-cast models. No collector wants a dusty model!

Product: McLaren F1 Short Tail Road Car
Maker: Autoart
Scale: 1:18
Stock No.: 76001
MSRP: $259.99

Fantastic detail
Rare exotic car
An eye-catcher in a display

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