Model: Spark Petit 64 Nissan DeltaWing, #0, Le Mans 24, 2012
Line: Spark Petit 64
Ebay link: Spark Nissan Delta Wing
Why I am featuring it: The Nissan DeltaWing is such a unique car, I’m surprised that only Spark have risen to the occasion to model it in 1/64. But to be honest I can think of few companies more qualified to give it a shot, given the legendary quality of their 1/43 scale race cars.
The DeltaWing was based on a Ben Bowlby design put forward for the 2012 IndyCar season. But after losing the contest to competitors Dallara, Bowlby teamed up with legendary sportscar builder Don Panoz and approached the ACO, organisers of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Now with backing from Nissan, the DeltaWing was invited to take part in the 2012 race in the Garage 56 slot reserved for experimental cars.
The car retired after 75 laps but proved to be relatively competitive, lapping around the pace of some LMP2 teams. In the Petit Le Mans later in the year, the car managed to finish 5th overall.
Nissan later withdrew from the project and Don Panoz carried it forward into the LMP1 category of the United SportsCar Championship. A reasonably successful 4 years in the US followed, but then the whole project fell into a rather bitter and odd legal battle between Don Panoz and Nissan, and finally disappeared from the track in 2016.
The Spark diecast replicates the 2012 Le Mans entry. This is the first version made by the company, and came loose in a relatively unflattering carboard box with plastic window. Subsequent versions are packaged as neatly as you’d expect from Spark, screwed to plastic bases in clear plastic presentation boxes.
I also hope they sorted the decal issues that my version has. Bits of them flaked off with barely a touch. But I was instantly taken with the model and the price was good enough for me to invest. The newer versions remain competitively priced at around £20 on Ebay, which is a plus if like me, you’re a collector on a tighter budget. It’s a great subject for a 1/64. It rolls relatively well too if you’re a stickler for that sort of thing. It would look good in any collection, an interesting and more leftfield choice for sportscar fans and diecast collectors alike.