REVIEW: Kyosho Lancia 037 Martini #1 Winner – Rally Montecarlo •

REVIEW: Kyosho Lancia 037 Martini #1 Winner – Rally Montecarlo

We’re sure many of you do appreciate the craftsmanship behind a full access scale model, we surely do.  In today’s market, there isn’t much available in full race trim for the avid race collector to purchase, unless they chase down some past successes from various brands.  But we all know too well that can get quite expensive.  So, what’s the alternative?

Kyosho as of late is resurrecting a slew of classic material from their vault, most of which has primarily featured streetcars.  Well, just released this month are two classics from their past, the 1:18 Lancia 037 and 1:18 Fiat 131 Abarth.  Both of these in rally trim!  At about 190 Euro a piece is the money worth it?  Read on.

The focus of this review here will feature the Lancia 037 Martini #1 Winner – Rally Montecarlo 1983, driver W.Rohrl and Co-driver C.H.Geistdorfer.  In due time we’ll post a Photo Gallery entry which will highlight the remaining assortment, they include the Lancia 037 Jolly Club Totip #18 Rally San Remo 1983, driver M.Biasion and Co-driver T.Siviero and last, the Lancia 037 Team Club Grifone Wurth #16 Rally Costa Esmeralda 1983, driver G.F.Cunico and Co-driver E.Bartolich.  All of these are dubbed the ‘Night Version’, we assume this is due to the massive auxiliary lights in front.

No matter the dress size or shape, the Martini livery is so easily recognizable.  This iconic brand has a long-standing alliance with race cars, and winning race cars are plentiful.  This leads us to the exterior side of the model.  The base paint is obviously in White, the application on the Lancia 037 Martini car is consistent throughout, the results are great!  We find no glaring issues with the paint.

As will most rally cars the decals are plentiful, a quick count lands us at 49 ( LOL, don’t quote us on it).  What we appreciate with Kyosho is there method is to apply the decals underneath the clear coat.  And if you’re a collector of race cars you all know too well that in due time with age the decals with dry and eventually peel or crack or a combination of the two.

Our team is definitely no authority of rally or race, so commenting on the historical accuracy would not be in our best interest.  We’ll leave that up to websites brass to comment below.  However, what we will say, and this is based on limited photos of the actual car, Kyosho’s representation is a respectable effort.

The replica does show some age, as this is a re-release of an original mould the team did many years back.  Based on today’s standard for shut-lines and panel gaps the model falls a little short.  Though we will comment some still appreciate this nostalgic look and feel.  I know we do.

It’s hilarious how pristine and good-looking these models look, most of their existence was quite the opposite.  Dirt, mud, snow, gravel!  You name it these rally cars raced on it!

Six lights in total share the space of the front of the model.  Kyosho does a great job with executing them along with the support decals and secondary lights.  The lower grille on the bottom centre is perforated though it presents nothing in behind other than White painted metal.

Note the quality amber side markers on each side of the fender.  Also, the hinge work to secure the hatch to the lower fame, it actually locks in place.  In reality, the Lancia 037 has two access doors to the underside here, only one is accessible on the model.

First off, the grille on the lower section of the hatch is perforated and fabricated in metal.  The smaller of the two access points feature the Lancia crest, as shown above, it is sealed, though the larger of the two access points (the entire hatch) does allow one to enter the inner working of the front suspension and related components.

Inside the detail is well established but is a far cry from the original car.  The spare tire is found along with a battery and various suspension components; suspension here is static and not functional.  What Kyosho presents is a neat and efficient package, just enough to inspire one’s imagination.  Adjacent to the wipers you find the kill switch and a chrome puck looking metal piece.  However, not sure what this part is.  Anyone?

As we move to the rear, the upper roof section does provide good detail.  You need to install the supplied antenna, and the emergency flaps/cooling vents are not accessible here.

The rear hatch does open, however, before we go inside we wanted to note the massive cooling intakes on either side.  Nice work by Kyosho to cap each with a metal grille.  Opening the hatch is achieved using a pair of primitive dog-leg style hinges.  Our example worked without issue, and the hatch comfortably stays in the open position, but we would have preferred some sort of prop rod to aid in the overall realism.

Once inside you’re treated to a wealth of detail.  It’s not Exoto level but neither is the price!  In comparison, we’d give the nod to Kyosho on overall definition over the comparable AUTOart Delta S4.  Kyosho uses colour, texture, and multiple levels of definition for the motor to create a realistic setup.

You get a nice view of the suspension and braking machinery from this view, once again suspension bits are static.

The rear body does look great from far, but under closer inspection, the primary grille is a solid piece and lower cooling is painted in place.  There are some jewels here, taillights are quality pieces and the rubber mud flaps are too cool.

As for the wheels, we’re sure there were a number of specifications based on the race and or elements.  What Kyosho presents here isn’t far off from the original car.  Not much of the supporting detail of the brakes are visible from the front, though looking from the back-side parts are present.

This leads us to the undercarriage.  Surprisingly there is much to see, more so than what is presented in scale offerings of the last few years…  The front area highlights suspension, cooling and provides a glimpse of the spare.  The rear side is even more enticing with the transmission in full view alongside suspension bits.  Overall, we like the effort.

Inside the cockpit is another treat.  Kyosho proves well once again by defining each area of the cockpit with care; colour and texture throughout help with the end result.  The full race equipped harness uses fabric and photo-etched parts on both sides.  Co-driver space adds additional supporting hardware with applicable labels.

We weren’t privy to review the original release by Kyosho, but we can definitely confirm the latest variant, the ‘Night Version’ Lancia 037 Martini #1 Winner is a very capable piece. The overall results are fabulous and the shelf presence cannot be disputed.  The model relies on some techniques of the past, though some of these are dated while others not so much.

In the end, we believe a full access representation is that much more engaging than a static one.  And Kyosho has proven full access can be achieved with more than respectable results, even at a fair price too.  Enjoy the pics!

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15 Responses to "REVIEW: Kyosho Lancia 037 Martini #1 Winner – Rally Montecarlo"

  1. Charlie says:

    Thrilled to see that Kyosho didn’t cut any corners on the re-release versus the original. It looks exactly like the very first release that I’ve had for many, many years. My gaps on the engine cover are better than the car you reviewed, but as a purpose built racer, panel gaps are not as tight as road-going cars. for comparison, note the gaps on this nice, big side view of this ex-Röhrl 037:

    To those like myself, who immediately notice the intake and door panels look off (orange), that appears to be the reviewer’s camera and/or lighting. A quick look at the car on CK’s website shows them in the closer to correct, yellow oxide-ish color.

    I’ll likely buy one, as none of my three 037’s have the light pod, and the original release night versions command a premium on the secondary market.

  2. JP says:

    These models are great. I have 2, one Martini and one totip.

    BUT…. they cost me 85 euros just a few years ago. New, box sealed from well known German retailer. It was their price at the time. And this one is the exact same stuff. Today´s prices are just ridiculous. Why? The answer is… greed! Norev is doing perfect full opening models (just got my W115/8 2 days ago) at 80-90 euros.

    • DS Team says:

      Pricing a few years back was 160 euros on average. Norev does a great job with price vs. detail but this is quite better than typical Norev piece. Also, what Norev does well is mass produce most examples to lower the cost/retail. Unfortunately those days are gone, the best at it was HWE.

  3. slartibartfast229 says:

    The bodies on these Lancia’s was Kevlar – so metal are produced is inaccurate!
    Seriously though, Kevlar would have flexed on the rough stages causing large panel gaps in real life. These cars were trashed on the events, results were more important than bling.

  4. SamtheCat says:

    I’m sorry, but every time you write “Kyosho does a great job with executing them (the lights) along with the support decals and secondary lights”, you’re being sarcastic, right? I don’t intend for Kyosho to correct their mould, but the least they could do is make new lights without pins. That wasn’t really acceptable back then, but feels like mocking collectors nowadays. They’re asking way more than they did back then (I don’t know where did you see them for 160, but here it was normal to find them in shops for 100, even less), and knowing that I’m not seeing 180 euros worth of model here.

    • DS Team says:

      No, the review is based on our opinion, how we perceive the model. No one here is stating it is the best possible replication of lights and or model on the whole.

      You are more than welcomed to submit your reviews too, its an open forum here.

      If we did tear apart each and every model that was presented, where would one stop? In the end, everyone here can provide their opinions, be it positive or negative. In the end, the final say is how collectors vote with their wallets.

      • SamtheCat says:

        I understand perfectly, and sorry if I sounded harsh against you guys, it wasn’t my intention. I know there are no perfect models, but I do think we should, as collectors, asf for better value for our money spent on them. The least we make the issues visible, the more manufacturers learn that they can get away with them. Why would they make a greater effort, if we buy them anyways and don’t even complain. I know 80-100 is unrealistic in today’s money, but it’s not like they’re prodicong a new model from the ground up, they just undusted their old molds, so there’s no I+D costs to cover here. Taking that into account, and the increase in price, their profit margin is enormous here. The least they could do, is to correct the lights. In my opinion, this model, with the head and rear lights improved, for a price of 130 euro, would be more than fair and would sell in greater quantities, so they would even earn more, and everyone would be happy. We shouldn’t use overpriced models as the bar we measure from, because we know it can be done better. Look at LCD, for example.

        I’d love to write for the forum too, thanks for the offer, but due to the Corona I don’t have my photography setup here so I can’t take proper studio pics…

        • DS Team says:

          No need to apologize, the offer is always open!

          Good point on the moulds, this will definitely save $$$. We cannot speak to sole certainty here, unless we’re Kyosho, we don’t know what the total R&D costs are. Though licensing fees for the marquee Lancia and livery are a factor too. If paid :)

  5. Giorgio262 says:

    Reissuing an older model is certainly better than not doing it at all. It gives more collectors a chance to get a specific model. That Said, I prefer Autoart approach on this matter, where they reissued some of their older models in an upgraded form. See for example Subaru 22B, Toyota 2000GT, Aston Martin Db5.
    I think these 037s would ù’ve been a much more attractive proposition if they were equipped with more realistic hinges for the rear clamshell, photoetched rear grille, front lights with no pins on, and perhaps some kevlar tampo\decals in the right places. As they are offered now I can only hope they are going to lose value and be a more reasonable purchase in the future. If not I’ll just have to do without.

  6. George K says:

    Where can I get this?

  7. George K says:

    I’ve just received this model, and I’d like to say that I am pleasantly surprised. This is not an exoto, but it is a good model for the money. The lights are a little old-fashioned, with the pins obvious, but everything else is nicely done. The panel gaps are actually better than on the real car, which I saw run in a vintage rally in Italy a couple of years ago (and I’ve been comparing this to the photos of that car!) The engine cleans up nicely, when the excess flash is filed/scraped off, and a nice black wash is added. The rear wheels are not accurate, but, I can live with that. Overall, I’m quite happy with this!

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