Sunday, March 21, 2010

Motorsports Style - The Mooncraft Shiden (MC/RT-16 Model)

John Marine | 3/21/2010 04:56:00 AM | |
Many Americans feel the Mooncraft Shiden is what a Daytona Prototype SHOULD look like. The closed-top prototype was designed by both Mooncraft and produced by Riley Technologies (source: Mooncraft Shiden on Wikipedia). This car signaled the revival of Mooncraft when the Mooncraft Shiden 77 was racing in Japan back in 1977. This is not the first GTP-type car to compete in the series now known as Super GT. In fact, there used to be a Porsche 962C that raced in the old JGTC days in the mid-late 1990s. This is one of the most beautiful prototypes in Japan since the 1999 Le Mans runners-up, the Toyota GT-One. According to Wikipedia, this car is basically a modified Riley Daytona Prototype. In fact, its chassis code is MC/RT-16, with the RT standing for Riley Technologies. This car made its debut at the Suzuka 300km in 2006.

--- Motorsports Style: The Mooncraft Shiden ---

Here is a look at the Mooncraft Shiden. Now time for me to talk about how I think this car looks.

Mooncraft Shiden MC RT-16
^ from: - Mooncraft's 21st Century racing machine seems better at home at Le Mans than in the Super GT series.

When you look at the overall design of this car, those Daytona Prototype cues are there. You have the tall headlight clusters and the front air opening. It has that Daytona Prototype body style on the sides. The biggest difference is that the canopy doesn't look all blunt and distorted like Daytona Prototypes you'd see in the States. I tend to look at this Mooncraft as a beautifully-designed car that could probably race in proper sportscar racing championships. It is a car that looks like it should be contending with the Aston Martin-powered Lola prototype coupes rather than cars in Super GT. The car boasts lovely curves and looks much more like a proper GTP racing machine than the Daytona Prototype body style it's based on. Even if just for exhibition, I'd love to see this car race in the United States or even in European sportscar racing series. I would even love seeing this in the upcoming Gran Turismo 5 if there was ever room for just one more car in the game.

The Mooncraft Shiden... or should I say, the 21st century Mooncraft Shiden is a beautifully designed car. It's just too bad a car this beautiful isn't raced in the United States or in other racing series the world over. The car's looks suggests this car was born to compete and win. It is a fantastic-looking race car. What I personally didn't know about this car until looking at Wikipedia is that Riley Technologies had a hand in building this car. Mooncraft had the design, and Riley produced it. If that's true, then I'm sure there are lots of Daytona Prototype haters who would wonder how come more Daytona Prototypes can't look like the Mooncraft Shiden, despite the fact that Riley produced this beautiful car? Whatever the case, it's one of the loveliest racing cars non-Japanese teams can't have or use.

PERSONAL NOTE (added October 5, 2011):

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