In the days leading up to Christmas, Minichamps announced a new collection for the legendary Ayrton Senna. It will commemorate 30 years since the Brazilian tragically lost his life in the San Marino Grand Prix. The series will incorporate 1:12, 1:18 and 1:43 replicas of many of the significant Formula One cars from Ayrton’s career, as well as a sextet of helmets in 1:8 scale.
As 2023 drew to a close, we received Minichamps’ 1:18 replicas of the Williams-Renault FW15Cs that were campaigned by Alain Prost during the 1993 Formula One season. The FW15C was the most technologically advanced grand prix machine of all time, featuring several gizmos and gadgets that were outlawed at the end of the year.
Tecnomodel recently announced a quintet of 1:43 replicas of the Aston Martin DP214. The car was based on the DB4 GT, although it featured a completely redesigned body, incorporating elements from the DP212, like the Kamm tail rear end. Just the two examples were produced, in 1963, with the car earning a reputation for being fast but fragile.
Mercedes may have experienced something of a dip in form in 2022, but the team still put together a wholly respectable performance over the course of the season. Lewis Hamilton was third in the opening encounter of the year in Bahrain, but then failed to trouble the podium for a few races before scoring five consecutive rostrum finishes during the summer.
Having run Matras for several years, Ken Tyrrell produced his first Formula One car towards the end of the 1970 season; the 001. This was then replaced by the 003 after the first race of the 1971 campaign, and Jackie Stewart used it to great effect, storming to the second of his three world titles.
CMR must have recently set a new record of sorts, as it has just delivered its latest 1:18 replica a matter of days after it was initially announced! The subject is the Rolfo M160 race car transporter, as used by the Ferrari team during the 1970s. The model is impressively detailed, featuring opening cockpit doors and rear doors, as well as movable loading ramps (the car featured in the photo is not included, by the way).
Tecnomodel recently announced four examples of the BRM P261 Formula One car in 1:18 scale; two each from 1965 and 1966. The most significant version is probably Jackie Stewart’s #32 example from the 1965 Italian GP, as this was the occasion of the Scot’s very first F1 victory. 1965 was Stewart’s debut season in grand prix racing, and he impressed greatly, taking a podium in just his second world championship start, and following that up with three more before taking the win at Monza towards the end of the season.
An exciting recent new WRC arrival is IXO’s 1:18 replica of Sebastien Loeb’s 2022 Monte Carlo Rally-winning Ford Puma Rally1. The opening round of last year’s WRC was chock-full of storylines, from the introduction of the brand new hybrid regulation cars to the fierce battle for the lead between the two most successful drivers that the sport has ever seen; Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier.
The other day we took delivery of CMC’s latest new 1:18 subject; the Alfa Romeo P3. Specifically, it is the car that the great pre-war racing driver Tazio Nuvolari took to victory in the 1932 Italian Grand Prix. The Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B was widely acknowledged to be the first ever genuine single-seater grand prix racing car. It was designed by Vittorio Jano, and based on the successful P2 that had preceded it.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, McLaren ran a ‘Triple Crown’ celebration livery in this year’s Monaco Grand Prix. It commemorated the outfit’s successes in the three biggest races in the world; namely the Indianapolis 500, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Le Mans 24 Hours. The front of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri’s MCL60s was painted black in homage to the 1995 Le Mans-winning GTR of JJ Lehto, Yannick Dalmas and Masanori Sekiya, while the middle was white in recognition of Alain Prost’s MP4/2 that triumphed in Monte Carlo in 1984.
We have just received Spark’s 1:43 ‘special’ commemorating Max Verstappen clinching last year’s F1 world title at the Japanese GP. Although Max won the wet Suzuka race rather easily, his coronation was far from a straightforward affair, as the Dutchman wasn’t confirmed as the 2022 champion until a little while after the event had concluded.
Now in stock is Minichamps’ 1:43 ‘special’ commemorating Max Verstappen winning the 2021 Formula One world championship in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The 2021 Formula One world championship was a tight, year-long contest between Red Bull’s Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. The pendulum swung back and forth between them until they entered the final grand prix of the season in Abu Dhabi exactly level on points. For most of the race it looked like Hamilton was going to prevail, but then came ‘that’ Safety Car call and the sensational final lap shootout that would see Max secure his first world title.
Red Bull isn’t usually a team that goes in for alternative liveries. And so when it went for a comprehensively different look in the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, it was a very big deal. In that race the squad ran with its cars predominantly in white, as a tribute to its engine supplier Honda. This exercise was supposed to have taken place in Honda’s home event at the Japanese Grand Prix. But, with that race being cancelled for the second year running because of the pandemic, the alternative paint job was applied for the Istanbul race instead.
The other day, Tecnomodel announced no less than half a dozen 1:43 replicas of the Lotus 18 Formula One car. The most recognised subject has to be Stirling Moss’s Rob Walker-entered example that won the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix. As the race was run on a swelteringly hot day, the side panels were famously removed from the car. Moss then kept the trio of Ferrari 156 Sharknoses of Ginther, Hill and von Trips at bay for the full 100-lap duration of the race to take one of the hardest fought wins in the history of Formula One.
Tecnomodel recently announced a quartet of 1:18 replicas of the March 701 that was campaigned by several teams in the 1970 Formula One world championship. Back in the good ol’ days, privateers could simply buy a chassis (for example a March) and a powerplant (for example a Ford Cosworth DFV) off the shelf and take on the likes of Ferrari on race tracks around the world. A far cry from today, when the 10 existing teams are doing their utmost to prevent anyone else from joining the grid!
One of Tecnomodel’s many recent new announcements is a quartet of 1:18 replicas of the little Lotus 19 sportscar racer. Two of these are race-winning machines for the legendary Stirling Moss. Taking them chronologically, the first one is his victorious silver #1 example from the 1960 Karlskoga Grand Prix in Sweden.
The other day, Tecnomodel announced a quartet of 1:18 replicas of the 1971 BRM P160 Formula One car. In a season in which Jackie Stewart and Tyrrell pretty much dominated, BRM was able to take two consecutive victories towards the end of the year.
Tecnomodel’s second exciting 1:18 classic Formula One announcement of the month is the Lotus 43. The Lotus 43 could perhaps most kindly be described as a glorious failure. With Formula One moving to larger engines for 1966, the 43 was based on the 38 Indycar, as this machine had already given Lotus experience with running higher-capacity powerplants.
Tecnomodel has just announced a quartet of 1:18 replicas of the 1950 Alfa Romeo 158. This, of course, was the dominant car in the inaugural season of the Formula One world championship. Giuseppe Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio were the key players in the 1950 title fight. They would end the season with three wins and three fastest laps each from the six races that made up the campaign (discounting the Indy 500, which was officially a round of the championship back then).
Ford entered the supermini market with the Fiesta in 1976. At the time, it was the smallest car ever made by the automotive giant. It was first displayed in public at the Le Mans 24 Hours that year, but to the frustration of UK dealerships, it did not become available in the UK until early in 1977. In 1981, the sporty XR2 was introduced.