The Nissan R390 GT1 Road Car has been a dream machine for so many. Nissan made only one to homologate for Le Mans in 1997, and never put it up for sale. However, come 2021, you can buy it for $1 or so at most big box stores in America. That’s right, the Nissan R390 GT1 Road Car is coming to Hot Wheels.
Last March, Hot Wheels designer Ryu Asada asked JNC if we had any reference photos for this holy grail of Nissans. We gave him access to all our photos from when it made landfall in the US for the first time. The result was this stunning 1:64-scale replica of the ultimate JDM supercar.
To make a miniature R390 GT1, you can’t just shrink everything down. The Hot Wheels must capture the insane proportions, its sheer lowness, and the bulging curves of its fenders and canopy. Its many shutlines, from its very wide doors to its engine cover, have to be recreated in exacting detail, a balance of thickness that lets you see the detail without overwhelming the design. Its ducts and valleys have to be shaped in such a way that capture the fuselage in all its wind-sculpted glory.
We asked Ryu what the hardest part of transforming this iconic car to a 3-inch likeness was. “Fitting the standard-size wheels on the front was extremely tough as they are over-sized for the body, he explained. “This applies to most of the toys we make but this was one of the toughest. I didn’t want to make the car look like an off-roader, so I had to tweak and fine tune the front end to make it look proper.”
“Although there was tons of info, photos, and models of the racing versions, there weren’t many reference materials for the road-going version,” says Ryu, “So thanks to JNC I was able to add more details, and to nail the stance.”
Naturally, its inaugural color will be metallic blue, which happens to be Hot Wheels’ trademark race team color. The graphics are well executed, too. The detailing of the headlights, Nissan’s old corporate grille, and simple rear lamps are spot-on as well.
The car has already been teased on the Hot Wheels Dream Team Instagram account, but these new images really blow us away. We think Ryu has done a tremendous job with this model. Even in its tiny size, its sleek lines capture the feeling of what it’s like to stand in the presence of the real thing, and that is an experience in itself.