Automotive Christmas Gifts: The McLaren P1s You Can Actually Afford
It’s that time of the year again and no matter how many presents I’ll find under the Christmas tree I known I’ll be a bit disappointed. That’s because Santa can’t bring me the supercar I’m in love with: the McLaren P1 GTR. With the track-only hybrid sold only to P1 owners and the road-going P1 already discontinued, there’s no hope, no matter how hard Mr.Claus and his army of elves will try. I’m sure many of you are in the same situation as me.
But if you’re willing to make a compromise and settle for a P1 you can’t actually climb in, McLaren and several miniature manufacturers have you covered with a range of static and radio-controlled models in many shapes and sizes.
The smallest P1 you can buy for yourself or as a gift for someone else comes in 1:64th scale from Mattel-HotWheels. The miniature is quite small at 75 mm (three inches) long, but it’s available in two of the car’s official colors — Volcano Orange and Supernova Silver. If you want to build your own P1, Lego also created one as part of its Speed Champions series. It’s not as accurate as a diecast model, but at least you can put it together piece by piece.
Slightly larger models, this time around in 1:43 scale (about 106 mm / 4 inches), are available from True Scale Models (TSM), Minichamps, and Tecnomodel. Although TSM’s don’t come cheap at around €80 a pop, they’re quite accurate for the scale. Not to mention they come in many colors and versions, including the camouflaged prototype and the version that set the P1’s impressive Nurburgring lap time.
Fans of radio-controlled models can have a look at Maisto’s new 1:14 replica. It has illuminating headlamps and taillights and a decent amount of details for a plastic toy.
Finally, there’s the 1:8 scale replica (573 mm / 22.5 inches) built by Amalgam, the Rolls-Royce of the modelcar industry. Their creations are as precise as the rear thing and detailing includes the hand-beaten asymmetric bodywork and creases in the fabric of the seats. Unfortunately, Amalgam’s products are also very expensive, retailing for £4,200 (about $6,255) according to its website. I guess this is the kind of scale model P1 owners could easily afford...
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Why it matters
Still depressed you can’t afford the real P1? You shouldn’t be really. The fact that only a few people can buy it is what makes it an exclusive piece of brilliant automotive engineering. If we could all afford it and have access to it, the P1 wouldn’t be a P1, but a Toyota Corolla.
I’ve been collecting model cars for years and believe me, having one of these little gems on your desk can be very rewarding, especially when the miniature replicates a car you can’t actually buy. I already have 1:43 model cars of the F1 and F1 GTR, but I’ve yet to get the P1. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to place an order.
P.S.: Scale models are very addictive! You buy a P1 today and, before you know it, you’re the Jay Leno of miniature cars.
Read our full review on the McLaren P1 here.