Happy New Year, LaLD! It’s been an interesting one. Fortunately, things have kept chugging along here and it’s been another great year as part of this community. Here’s to many more to come!
I love the Top Ten lists that people have been posting so I decided ot get in on the action. 2017 was probably a bit slow quantity-wise for me, but there was no shortage of quality. Choosing and ranking these 10 models was not easy! Alas, it has been done. These are my top 10 purchases for the year. While most of these are pretty recent, a couple of vintage pieces made it in on the list as well.
Without further ado, here we go! To start, a group shot.
10. Schuco Porsche 917- 1/64
This one was a purchased from an online friend. I’m not sure of an exact date of manufacture, but just from looking at the casting it was probably in the early 1970s when the 917 was still competing. It was made in Germany and is a fantastic period piece.
9. Oversteer Mazda Atenza- 1/64
Oversteer made a splash a couple of years ago with some absolutely stunning 1/64 dealer models for Mazda. All of these were incredible and the Atenza is no exception. I picked up a copy of the ND Miata last year and jumped on a few other Oversteers earlier this year. They’re all worth a look!
8. Tomica Limited Vintage Porsche 911S- 1/64
This was one of TLV’s hottest releases ever, and it was well deserved. This casting is perfect in about every way. My enthusiasm for it is limited by my preference for more modern 911s, but this one still makes it to the top 10 on the virtue of being nearly flawless. But it’s a TLV, what do you expect?
7. Husky NSU Ro 80- 1/64
Another purchase from an online friend, this car has been a grail of mine since I first saw pictures of it a few years ago. The Ro 80 isn’t a particularly fascinating car, but it has my interest for being one of the only rotary powered cars that isn’t a Mazda. It’s a bit strange and thus notable for a couple of other reasons as well. They were made from 1967 to 1977 and this Husky was produced early in that timeframe. It earns a spot on this list not for its significance, quality, or accuracy (all of which are fine for a late ‘60s diecast), but for its weirdness.
6. Mark 43 Subaru WRX Type R STi- 1/43
So, I’m not 100% sure“Type R” is officially part of this car’s name, but that’s what’s on the box! Anyway, this was a very late in the year purchase for me and it’s my first Mark 43, but it’s a very solid model of my favorite Subaru. The paint is incredible on this one with a very realistic metallic shine to it. It probably won’t be my last Mark 43.
5. Tomical Limited Vintage Honda Prelude 2.0 Si- 1/64
I have a thing for late 80s/early 90s Hondas. There is just something about them that speaks to me. I had a 1989 Accord coupe in high school (and now own another almost exactly like it) and have had other Hondas as well. So I was very excited to see the 2nd generation Prelude from TLV. This is the best one of those released to date in my opinion.
4. Minichamps Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG- 1/43
Who doesn’t like a good AMG? The tuning house turned official Mercedes division has produced some of my all time favorite sedans and this one is the granddaddy of them all. It’s actually a model of the Red Pig, but a later livery for the 1971 12 Hours of Paul Ricard. Minichamps has done several 300 SEL 6.8 AMGs (including the Red Pig livery, which I have) and it’s one of my favorite castings ever. So of course this will land on this list. Bonus- this particular livery is limited to 504 pieces.
3. Spark Porsche 919 Hybrid- 1/64
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is my favorite race. Porsche is my favorite make. So when Spark announced they would do the trio of Porsche 919s raced in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, I jumped at the chance to own them. This makes this list over the other two versions for two reasons- it won the race overall and was co-driven by one of my favorite drivers, Nick Tandy. This is one of the best 1/64 models I have ever seen; it’s seriously impressive. The fideliy of the detail is unmatched even by the TLVs I have in my collection. I was blown away when this one arrived and can still hardly believe just how detailed it is every time I look at it.
2. Tomica Limited Vintage Mazda 787B- 1/64
Speaking of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, how about the only car to ever win the race overall without a traditional piston engine? This car is powered by a 2.6L 4 rotor rotary motor. No pistons involved! Oh, it also happens to be a Mazda, which is today is the best builder of “normal” cars bar none. Back in 1991 when they won the race, you probably could not have said that. But they still put together a successful team for the big race that year. Along with all of that, they remain to this day the only Japanese constructor to win Le Mans overall. Anyway, I’m going on about the real car because you all know the deal with TLV. It’s every bit as exceptional as you’d expect and even has two removable panels. Astounding for something with this much detail in 1/64.
1. TrueScale Miniatures McLaren F1 GTR- 1/18
Speaking of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (can you tell that I like this race?), here’s another historic car from the race I was able to get my hands on this year- the 1996 overall winning McLaren GTR. This was the first road-based GT car to win overall in the prototype era, a feat that was only matched by Porsche a couple of years later with the 911 GT1. This was my first TSM and one of the few high-end 1/18s I own and it is truly impressive. Engine wiring, fabric interior, accurate brake discs and calipers- this thing has it all. Interestingly enough, mine actually has a small defect, but that doesn’t keep it out of the #1 spot.
So there’s my list! I hope to see yours if it hasn’t already been posted. Happy New Year!