Slot.it Nissan R390 GT1
Le Mans 1998 Pre-Qualifying
Driven by K.Hoshino, A. Suzuki & M. Kageyama
After returning to sports car racing in 1995, Nismo had some measure of success
with their Skyline GT-R LMs which had competed in the GT1 class. However, these
cars were quickly outpaced by the influx of new manufacturers who were using
loopholes in the GT regulations to build racing cars that bore little
resemblance to their GT1 class competitors. This led to such machines as the
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR and Porsche 911 GT1, as well as the development of the
McLaren F1 GTR. Nismo's Skyline GT-Rs therefore needed to be replaced with more
purpose built machinery.
Completed in time for the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans, the three black and red R390
GT1s were fast in their first competition. One R390 GT1 was able to qualify in
4th on the grid and 2nd in its class behind a Porsche 911 GT1, while its
partners qualified 12th and 21st. During the race both cars were able to perform
admirably, but around halfway through the race two of the three R390s suffered
mechanical failure. The third R390 was able to survive the rest of the race,
finishing 12th overall and 5th in class, although many laps down from the race
As a reviewer, I was spoilt to receive 3 Slot.it cars in one go, the Mazda 787B, the Jaguar XJR 12 and this Nissan R390 GT1. All exceptional cars with excellent running characteristics.
Take each one by itself and it is stunning, compare it to an average slot car and it excels, but compare them to each other and you find that it is tricky. They have the same motors and similar chassis. The Nissan however has a 26 tooth crown gear compared to a 28 tooth crown on the Mazda and Jaguar. The Nissan rides a fraction lower then the other cars. It is not as smooth as the Mazda though - why? I can't determine. I don't have any means to measure smoothness, but the Mazda is definitely the smoothest and seems the fastest (I don't have a timing system set up on my track yet - hopefully soon.
The chassis has an adjustable pod and can take an anglewinder motor setup if desired.
The build quality is great as you would expect. Details that look good are the etched grills and engine components under the rear window. The rear spoiler is very secure and robust so no spare spoiler is supplied. The light (lenses) look great and cry out for a lighting kit to be added.
The pale blue paint and orange highlights look great as you can see from the photos. No fault to any of the tamo on the body.
My sample had a drop of glue on the rear of the car - hardly noticeable, but it slipped though quality control. My other gripe is the driver's helmet has most of the visor painted over with a Nissan logo. A slip-up on the tampo machine I expect. No way the little guy could see out of there.
This Nissan R390 GT1 Long Tail #32 Pre Qualifying Le Mans 1998 model is available now for less than £45. The Calsonic model - Nissan R390 GT1 - #32 3nd Le Mans 1998 and the Clarion model - Nissan R390 GT1 - #30 Le Mans 1998 are on pre-order for 2010 also for less than £45 each.
Another must have for Slot.it fans. I can can see collectors getting all 3 cars.
DT - November 2009
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