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BMW Concept Car: Revell 1991 Italdesign Nazca M12

When I was a young boy in the mid-70s, a friend and I used to peek into a shoe box containing the Lesney Matchbox Superfast toy car collection of my friend’s dad. Since we were not supposed to even touch the shoe box (his father would be furious if he ever found out), we cannot play with the toy cars. We can’t even open the individual boxes of each toy car. We just admired the cars depicted on their pristine, unopened individual boxes.

When my son Chevy Martin was a very young boy and I had my collection of die-cast model cars and motorcycles, I kept the display case unlocked because Chevy was taught to ask permission first if he wanted to touch any of the cars or motorcycles inside the display case. Besides, he has his own set of Hotwheels, Lego and Mega Block toy cars, so he grew up playing with his own set of toys and thus, he mostly left “Daddy’s toys” alone.

Of course, boys will always be boys, and there were times little Chevy would ask to “borrow” one of the bigger model cars to play with. I didn’t want him to experience the feeling I had when I was a small boy, sneaking a peek at someone else’s toy cars and hoping not to get caught, so I assigned him two model cars that he can get and play with any time he pleases. One of the cars I gave him was this Revell 1:18 scale die-cast model of the 1991 Italdesign Nazca M12. At the time, it wasn’t one of my favorite model cars in the collection since it didn’t have any significant meaning in my life.

The Nazca M12 is a concept car from the Italdesign house of Giorgetto Giugiaro. The high-performance GT was the design debut of then-26-year-old Fabrizio Giugiaro. It was commissioned by the German automaker BMW so that they could get into the hot supercar market at the time.

Inspired by Formula One (F1) race cars and Group C road cars, the Nazca M12 featured a carbon-fiber chassis and body, one-piece hood and trunk lid/engine cover, light alloy components, mechanized lattice, and a built-in roll-bar. The body dome was made of a wraparound windscreen, a rear window and two side window/hatches that were hinged to the connecting roof structure that joined the roll-bar and windscreen, which allows the driver and passenger to enjoy 360º visibility.

The Nazca M12 was not only lightweight at 1,100 kilograms, it was also aerodynamic with a coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.26. The overall design featured gorgeous lines, conventional doors, and a gull wing opening mechanism for the windows, where the glass canopy side hatches open skywards. The hatches can also be removed, turning the car into a T-Top, for open-air motoring.

A 5.0-liter M70 V12 engine from the BMW 850i is mounted longitudinally mid-ship and connected to a 5-speed ZF manual gearbox. BMW tuner Alpina modified the V12 to make around 380hp that allowed the Nazca M12 a projected 0-100 km/h sprint under 5 seconds and a top speed of around 320 km/h. Italdesign produced only three Nazca concept cars – two M12s and a sexier C2 version. Only one Nazca M12 car is known to exist today in an Indonesian exotic car dealership with an asking price of US$980,000 (around P49 Million).

In hindsight, I should have given my son another toy car to play with. I recently learned that, much like the real Italdesign concept car, the Revell 1:18 scale model 1991 Italdesign Nazca M12 is likewise becoming a rare collectible. Since my son played with it, the model car was missing its two side mirrors. The silver paint has some small nicks and scratches.

At first, I thought that the BMW signature kidney grill was also missing but after looking at old photos I took of the model car before my son started playing with it, I realized the nose of the car just had a plain opening. Perhaps, Revell was not able to get the approval from Italdesign or BMW to include the signature kidney grill due to proprietary rights.

Under the back hatch and behind the BMW V12, there’s a removable spare tire and luggage compartment. Underneath that, there’s a detailed chassis, suspension, and exhaust systems. The glass canopy opens up like a gull wing and the hatches can be removed, albeit too easily that you’ll think you broke it. Like the real Nazca M12, the grey interior of the model car is not as detailed as the rest of the car, but hey, it was a concept car from 1991!

Because the availability of this Revell Nazca M12 is becoming few and far between, I feel lucky that my son didn’t play with it as roughly as other boys would have. Perhaps, he has inherited my passion for cars even at a young age and has taken care of all his toy cars. After all, in time, “Daddy’s toys” will be his collectible toys. But until that time, I’ll be enjoying these model cars as my toys.

To see other scale model cars and motorcycles that we have previously posted here in the Power Wheels website, please click “The Rack” button on the header bar near the top right of your screen (if you’re using a PC, laptop or tablet), or type “The Rack” on the Search bar (if you’re using a mobile phone). Tomorrow, we’ll look at another concept car from the early ’90s that has become a popular production model, unlike Italdesign’s Nazca M12. By the way, the government has extended the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until the end of May, so let’s stay safe by staying home until the authorities deem it safe to go out. Help flatten the curve of the infection rate by doing your part. Together, we can beat COVID-19!