The Mazda 787B is a very special car. Not only did it win Le Mans in 1991, it was also the first and only Japanese car manufacturer to win the prestigious race. Powered by a 700bhp rotary engine, the engine format was subsequently outlawed in Le Mans after the historic win. AUTOart (Aa) befittingly made a replica of this extraordinary racer in 1:18 in their Signature line of diecast models – their top of the line range.
What’s in the box
The 787B is Aa’s first 1:18 model in the Signature line. This line of models is above the Millennium series, their previous top of the line in 1:18, in the Aa product hierarchy. The Aa 787B is made of 371 separate parts and comes in a classy black box with silver lettering. Inside the box you’ll find the standard fare Aa styrofoam clamshell with the chassis of the model sandwiched tightly within. The front body section and engine cover of the model is well protected by form fitting dugouts in the top part of the lid. Sponge blocks are place strategically inside the styrofoam box to help prevent damage to delicate parts of the model. You won’t find any annoying screws that you have to undo before you can remove the model from its packaging. Instead the model is secured to the base by an even more patience-testing plastic covered wire. Urgh! Along with the model, you also get a serialised certificate of authenticity, booklet with brief history of the car, cleaning cloth, magnifying glass, 2 antennas and 2 wheel covers.
Aa has done an excellent job on the exterior of the model. The low stance, the form of the car body, the paint and the striking Renown Charge livery are all reproduced to perfection. The dart like nose, the intricate mid-section and the abrupt tail are all very accurately modelled. All body parts are metal, with the exception of the rear wing, which is plastic. Various vents on the bodywork, especially the asymmetrical ones on either side of the car, are amazingly detailed. They are faced with real mesh and flanked by photo etched parts where applicable. Headlight assemblies are equally well done. They feature nicely chromed main lights and have only a hint of an attachment stub in the indicators. The light units are finished off with crystal clear covers that sit flush with the bodywork. Paint on my example was smooth and shiny. The entire livery is tampo printed, with the exception of a few smaller logos. The only thing that slightly disappoints is the cables that are supposedly used to lock the front body section and the engine cover in place. Not only do they look decidedly oversized, I am not entirely sure if they should be there in the first place, judging from the reference photos that I have seen of the real car.