Le Mans is still fresh on everybody's minds, right? This is my poorly timed review of McLaren's ultimate F1. Only 5 of these papaya beauties were built, as tribute to the F1 GTRs' success at the 1995 Le Mans race. The five GTR's that entered the race dominated, finishing in 1,3,4,5 & 13th position. One prototype was also built, which I believe this model was based on. To own one of these cars would put you in the rank of car collector god, like Ralph Lauren and the Sultan of Brunei (who might have three!). Thankfully, U/T made a 1:18 version for us mortal collectors.
Design And Accuracy: 8/10
This model looks amazing and to be honest, has lived in its box for the last ten years. I've taken it out just to review it, and then it will go back into its box until my display cases are completed. The OZ wheels are spot on, and the papaya orange paint makes me want to respray all of my Hot Wheels. The aerodynamic features are correct and so are the decals on the windshield and the lower rocker panel. One disappointment is the fender vents, which are just decals rather than actual openings. I also noticed that U/T has a mesh screen over the rear vent, rather than the grille the real car has. The tail lights seem to be too recessed as well.
Fit And Finish: 7/10
The car is surprisingly light and unfortunately fragile. When I pulled the car out of storage, I found both side mirrors had fallen out and one of the doors came off the car as well. I was able to pop the door back on and put a dab of glue on the mirrors to hold them in place. Neither butterfly door really stays open well for display and the rear hatch is also tempormental in that regard.
The level of detail on this car is incredible and is among the top of my collection. The interior features a seat belt, roll cage, knobs and buttons galore, what I assume is a fire suppression system, and even some wiring. You'll find the BMW sourced engine behind the cockpit with details like headers and body color matching valve covers. The wiper blade moves! The tires are racing slicks, but do not have shock absorbers. The steering is limited, as are the opening parts. Only the doors and engine hatch open, the quirky McLaren side-trunks do not.
I can't remember how much I paid for this car. I do know it was my first big boy model purchase. I had just discovered eBay, had my first summer job, and had this shipped to me all the way from Brazil. Similar cars on eBay now are all over the place; ranging from $99.99 up to $325. $100 would be a nice price for this car, I believe that's closer to what I paid.
I just checked eBay and found 4 U/T McLaren F1 LM's, half of which are painted orange. Like I said in the previous section, I had to get mine from Brazil. Based on my quick eBay search, U/T seems to be the only manufacturer who offers a papaya orange F1 LM, although there are plenty of road going F1's and GTR's
Should you get it?
The McLaren F1 LM had a very strong influence on my car obsession, so I had to have one in my collection. For everyone else, a Maisto F1 road car will probably do just fine.