Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

So I was gonna wait to post this when the display case arrived so I could take these pics and immediately throw it in there, but according the tracking that won’t arrive until next week and I ain’t waiting that long to rub this in your faces share my new pride and joy with you, so here we are.

Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM
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In 1992, Mclaren introduced themselves to the road car world with what is now commonly accepted as a legend among legends. The Mclaren F1. Then in 1995, against the intentions and beliefs of the F1's creator Gordon Murray, Mclaren took the F1 racing with the F1 GTR. It participated in, among many other events, the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. And besides a pesky Courage C34 taking the silver medal, the F1 GTR monstered it, 4 of the 6 competing cars taking 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th, beating race-prepped roadcars like itself and full-blown purpose-built racecars. A few months later Mclaren would build five special F1 variants to commemorate this historic win. They called it the F1 LM. Basically Mclaren took the F1 GTR and did the necessary bits to make it road-legal, but didn’t have to worry about engine intake restrictions that choked the racing-only counterpart. It’s the F1 at it’s peak, and we’re talking about a car many people still consider the best a roadcar can be.

The same year the F1 LM came to be, something else happened. In a forgettable small town in Illinois, the world cried out in horror as I entered the mortal coil. Yep, the F1 LM and I are same age. And I know who’s aged better. Knowing something actually awesome happened on the year of my birth, I pretty much had no choice but to waste my first real paycheck from my new job and get AUTOart’s interpretation of the F1 LM. And yeah, it was worth it.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

The first hinter that this is gonna be good comes before you even get the model out of the styrofoam protection. I’ve never owned *anything* with a certificate of authenticity. The world would be a much better place if there were about 3,000 actual F1 LMs around.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

I paid little under $300 for this, and the first sign of that price is how you open up the doors on this thing. That little car key there? That’s what AUTOart gives you to open it all up.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

This thing is so fancy and expensive that I don;t even want to put my dirty, sweaty hands on it. I’ve been handling this thing with cotton winter gloves on. Just having it on my carpet makes me nervous.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

If you don’t know much about the F1, first of all, the hell’s wrong with you? Second, it doesn’t have a front-trunk (frunk) like most mid-engine supercars. Instead there are these two cavities on the sides of the F1 just behind the driver cabin. On the F1 LM though, only one of these opens up. That doesn’t change with the AUTOart model, but it leads to my first issue with it. This trunk (and the hood up front) are held on with magnets. Pretty good ones since they’re covered up by small metal fragmets, making them a bit less effective since the side compartment is a littler looser than it should be. I cleared out some of the fragments and the magnets are spotless, so I doubt they’re wearing down. Still, annoying.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

The hood up front just pops right off and inside you find...I honestly have no clue. But whatever it is AUTOart replicated it in great detail. The CF pattern is good, other bits are well-painted, and its actual multiple pieces, not one big hunk of plastic molding like in lower quality models.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

Here’s my favorite detail. The Mclaren F1 and its variants use gold in the engine bay NOT to give the Saudi sheikhssomething to think about when they have a few minutes to themselves, but because gold is a great heat reflector which was necessary since that BMW V12 ran hot. Mind you the whole engine bay in this model is awesome, I just love that they included that.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

Now here’s another detail I love, and one I’m sure fans of the Porsche Carrera GT will get a kick out of this. On the right side the F1 LM’s center wheel locks are blue...

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

And on the left they’re red. This is done so whoever’s currently messing around with the wheels know which sides the lugs go on, since one side’s left-handed threads and other right. If memory serves me right this gets it’s origins in endurance racing, which is fitting.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

Another really awesome detail is in the mesh. In that it’s actual mesh and not just more molded plastic. Does make me glad I’m putting this in a case, though. Imagine something poking this mesh...

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

The detail continues in the interior, too. There’s 3 earmuffs to deal with the noise since the F1 LM dumped the sound deadening of the roadcar, and simple put, they detailed the seatbelt locks. That says all you need to know.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM

Heres a detail I’m not sure on the specifics of. I know the orange XP1 LM prototype Mclaren holds onto (and what this model’s likely based off of) has the GTR decal on the wing. No clue if the other 5 LMs have it, though.

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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM
Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM
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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM
Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM
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Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM
Illustration for article titled AUTOart Mclaren F1 LM
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“I shall call him...Mini-Me.”

If you actually read through any of that, thanks. As for model, I’m more than happy I got my hands on it, and if you’re a big Mclaren fan you should save up for one of these. It’s a helluva and addition to the collection.

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