NASCAR is among the most popular racing series in the world but has been absent from the Speed Champions theme over the last few years. 75891 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car is accordingly an interesting addition to the range, representing a modern stock car which has not appeared in the theme previously.
The model looks superb when compared with its source material in official images, capturing the distinctive shape of stock cars with surprising accuracy. In addition, this set comes with some new wheel covers which appear interesting so I have been looking forward to building the Chevrolet Camaro ZR1.
This set contains a driver for the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, wearing branded racing overalls and a blue helmet. Chevrolet symbols with a metallic silver border adorn both sides of the torso along with a few blue highlights. The white legs appear plain by comparison and some decoration would certainly have been beneficial here.
Furthermore, the overalls worn by NASCAR drivers often feature numerous sponsors and I think that would have improved this minifigure. Presumably it was not possible to include advertisements on the uniform for licensing reasons. The driver comes with a wrench which is can be used to remove the hub caps from Speed Champions cars.
The Completed Model
Chevrolet introduced a NASCAR series version of their Camaro ZL1 in readiness for the 2018 season and the same vehicle will appear during 2019. This rendition features a blue colour scheme that looks pretty good in relation to the original car, although a slightly darker shade would have been ideal. The model measures 14cm in length, matching other Speed Champions vehicles, but it is slightly broader than most because of the new wheel inserts.
NASCAR racing cars generally feature a forward rake and that is reflected here as the rear wheels are elevated by the height of a plate. The vehicle looks great when viewed from the side and features fairly realistic proportions as the rear extends further beyond the wheels than one would generally find on an unmodified production car. There is little ground clearance which is authentic but causes issues during play on carpeted surfaces.
The radiator grille and Chevrolet emblem at the front of the car are formed using stickers which might disappoint some people but the resultant design looks superb in my opinion. I like the 2x2 curved tiles above the wheel arches and the decorative symbols on the bonnet are excellent. However, a series of curved slopes are found in this area and they do not form a smooth surface, unfortunately.
Additional stickers are applied on the flanks, forming the driver number. The original vehicle shown on the box features the number eight, belonging to Daniel Hemric of Richard Childress Racing during the 2018 season, but this model is actually decorated with the number five. I like the window nets and the printed wheel covers look brilliant, accurately recreating the branded tyres which appear on track. A plain version of this component comes with 75893 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T.
There is space to place a minifigure behind the steering wheel inside, as usual. However, this car also includes a light bluish grey roll cage which reflects the design of real NASCAR vehicles and it fits very neatly around the driver. This continues behind the figure where part of the roll cage is visible through the rear window and a corresponding design even appears on the neighbouring stickers!
Rapid refueling is an integral aspect of NASCAR racing and this model includes a fuel port where you can connect an enormous fuel can. This red accessory appears unrealistically large but actually looks very good when compared with the real equipment which is designed to deliver its contents as quickly as possible. The angled hose is ingeniously represented by a harpoon and a sticker wraps around the can too.
A couple of 1x3 plates are printed with the Chevrolet branding behind the rear wheel arches, although the decoration on the back consists entirely of stickers. These designs look marvellous and I love how this section of the model is attached upside down, allowing two 1x2 grille slopes to form tapering side skirts underneath the vehicle. The spoiler is slightly too large but this is an important feature and no smaller slopes are available.
Speed Champions sets sometimes receive criticism for their reliance upon stickers and that is certainly the case here. Nevertheless, this is a brilliant model of the Chevrolet Camaro Z1. It features numerous realistic details, the most notable of which are probably the internal roll cage and branded racing tyres. The distinctive shape and forward rake of NASCAR vehicles has also been replicated effectively.
Moreover, this car represents a departure from the design of previous Speed Champions sets, focusing upon a racing series which has not appeared in the theme before. I would therefore recommend 75891 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car to NASCAR fans, although those with a particular dislike for stickers may wish to avoid this set as I think they are important to the vehicle's design.
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This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.