Hot Wheels Elite Nigel Mansell F1-89

Hot Wheels Elite Nigel Mansell F1-89

Formula One’s turbo era of 1.5 liter engines producing upwards of 800 horsepower ended in 1988; 1989 regulations specified naturally aspirated engines with a maximum displacement of 3.5 liters. Ferrari, of course, went with a V-12 in a new chassis. Nigel Mansell joined the team and won two Grands Prix and Gerhard Burger another, but the unreliability of the new paddle-shifted 7-speed gearbox left Ferrari 2nd in points and Mansell 4th in the Driver’s Championship.  Like all race cars, the F1-89 changed throughout the season, but race day photos show that Hot Wheels Elite’s new 1:43 scale model is a very accurate miniature of Mansell’s Hungarian Grand Prix winner.  Its paint is excellent, and race photos confirm the graphics are accurate, along with the late-season flared front wing and a taller airbox, without the earlier inlets on its sides. Suspension geometry is correct all around, and the nicely molded thin plastic pieces are more realistic than the flat photo-etched parts in contemporary kits. Yes, the carbon brake disks should be black, but there are good-looking printed belts with photo-etched hardware in the cockpit. The shift paddles are too far behind the wheel, and there’s no gauge detailing, but everything else about this model matches photos, and its dimensions are right on, too. – Wayne Moyer

1:43 | $55.99

Updated: June 4, 2014 — 5:21 PM

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