Collectors of scale-model JNCs have come to expect beautifully detailed 1:18 pieces from AUTOart, though new releases can come along with maddening infrequency. Thankfully, news from the 2019 Shizuoka Hobby Show indicates that the coming year will be a veritable boom era for classic Japanese diecast.
Perhaps the biggest news out of Shizuoka is the upcoming release of a 1:18 Kenmeri Skyline GT-R. Photos of AUTOart’s hand sample show a fully opening model, complete with engine and interior detail. The prototype model sits on RS Watanabe rims, suggesting that AUTOart may apply a lightly modified touch to the Kenmeri not dissimilar to their immensely popular treatment of the Hakosuka Skyline GT-R.
Also presented in hand-sample form was the Honda NSX NA2. AUTOart previously made early NA1 NSXes in R specification, which are now sought-after collectibles. Photos of the pre-production NA2 show a high level of detail in the car’s front compartment, a possible sign that the car will be offered as a part of AUTOart’s high-end “Millennium” series, so a retail price around $200 is a reasonable estimate.
AUTOart’s teaser card at Shizuoka offered a pair of tantalizing hints at future releases for the JNC faithful: a four-door Hakosuka GT-R (finally getting its proper due from the diecast world) and an RA28 Celica Liftback. Also of interest to JNCers might be the R34 Skyline GT-R and Suzuki Jimny. As no physical prototypes were presented at Shizuoka, we can only speculate that these models might not see release until 2020; we will keep a close eye out for any future developments.
Patrick Strong is founder of Model Citizen Diecast, specializing in 1:43 and 1:18 collectible scale models.