The brand new Nissan R89C was run for the first time in March 1989 which didn't leave much time before its first race on May 21 at Dijon... not to mention the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 11! Shortly after the first shakedown, Nissan took the new R89C to 240mph, thus proving it had the top end for Le Mans. Qualifying 6th at Dijon hinted at quickness and agility, in addition to outright speed!
The top executives at Nissan headquarters in Japan had endorsed a full-on factory effort in the World Sports Car Championship and at Le Mans. They backed up the effort by forming NISMO Europe to look after their world championship efforts. And the evidence of big commitment was unmistakable.
Nissan's world-class effort wasn't restricted to a single race in the French countryside either! The Nissan R89C and a development of it called the R90V proved to be effective tools for competiting in the the World Sports Car and All Japan Sports Prototype Championships, flying the red, white and blue colors of Nissan as well as a variety of privateer paint schemes.
Features of the Exoto Racing Legends Nissan R89 is grand 1:18 scale include:
• Spring-loaded quick fuel fillers• All metal rear spoiler support• Removable and lockable front section• Opening double-hinged doors• Removable and lockable front section• Removable and lockable rear wheel covers• Functional shock/spring suspension system (front and rear)• Functional steering• Removable wheels featuring machined center nuts and semi-pneumatic tires• Functional and lockable pit service fast hydraulic jacks - an Exoto first!• Photo-etch metal disc brakes and complex brake assembly• Machined antenna from metal rod• Pins on side windows and windshield retaining brackets• Multiple metal parts in engine bay• Hexagon head machined bolts over engine valve covers• Photo-etch metal radiators, nickel plated• Fully wired and plumbed engine, electrical, and mechanicals• Realistic finishes throughout• Genuine rivet pins (total 17 on production models) by exhaust outlets
The R89C represents a change in Nissan's approach to international racing and was the starting point for what would become a highly successful and unforgettable program! Nissan was out to prove that Japanese engineering, innovation, and determination was a match for the years of experience the best European teams could boast. It was going to take an enormous effort, but with the R89C, Nissan was on the right path!
The 1989 Nissan R89C deserves a place in any collection of modern sports racing cars!