While the 1:18 scale minichamps model of 1983's world championship-winning Brabham BT52 is not especially rare, one that is signed by its 3-time world champion pilot, Nelson Piquet most assuredly is, and that is precisely what we have here.
The 1980's was certainly the 'Turbo Era' of Formula One racing, and Brabham utilized the remarkable BMW M12/13 engine to great effect. This straight-4 1499cc power plant developed an astonishing 800bhp, although it was slightly detuned for racing. FIA rules had outlawed ground-effect sidepods, so the BT52 was designed with short, lift-negating pods, giving the car its unique and appealing 'arrow' shape. The massive rear wing was employed to regain some of the lost downforce. The chassis was of monococque design, utilizing carbon fiber and aluminum to reduce weight.
Nelson Piquet fought epic battles during the '83 season, with legendary drivers Alain Prost and Rene Arnoux, eventually finishing victorious with the first turbo-equipped car to ever win a world championship.
Minichamps 1:18 scale representation of the car is a good one, featuring a lift-off engine cover, simulated carbon fiber fuel tank, detailed cockpit and driver figure and steerable front wheels. The paint and decal work is excellent, although a small loss to the decals on the engine cover and left front pinstripe are evident.
All-in-all, a very nice model commemorating an outstanding '80's Brabham, made all the more special by Piquet's signature. The model is minus its original factory box.