In honor of Porsche’s last-minute victory at Le Mans last weekend, I’ll share this excellent previous Stuttgart 2-time Le Mans winner which just came in from Russia yesterday.
First I need to pay respects to Toyota Gazoo Racing for their herculean effort. As much of a Porsche enthusiast as I’ve always been, I have a deep respect for Toyota and have owned several of their trucks (and now *ahem* a minivan) which have all been perfect vehicles. As many times as Toyota has played bridesmaid at Le Mans, I was pulling hard for them to break through to victory this year, even before the race. Having worked in endurance racing, I know the feeling of losing a car when running well, but nothing like the heartbreak they must have endured. I’m not afraid to admit I teared up when the #5 TSO50 ground to a halt. I look forward to their efforts in the future, I’m sure they’ll be back and remain a force to be reckoned with. As I regrettably don’t have any Toyota racing models (need to change that...), this’ll have to do.
Now to the model at hand. This 956 was run by Joest Racing, now of Audi fame, but their heritage is in Porsches and this would be their first victory. The car was driven by some of the hottest shoes of the day, those being Klaus Ludwig, Stefan Johansson, and Henri Pescarolo. Despite the factory Rothmans Porsche team boycotting the race due to a disagreement with the ACO, 1984 would give Porsche their 9th overall win since 1970, and the third in a row for the 956 after the iconic Rothmans cars had dominated 1982 and ‘83. Amazingly, this same chassis would go on to win the 1985 event as well, one of only a few cars to manage that feat. No wonder it and the 962 became known as the “Le Mans Limousine.”
This model is by Minichamps, and though it’s an older model it’s very nice. It was a great score too, at less than half the going rate including slow-boat shipping. It was time I added a 956 to the collection, especially after lusting after Philipilihp’s stunning Trust version. Since the only other way to get Le Mans winning 956s is the Rothmans cars that command big premiums, I’m stoked on this!
Now only 363 days until Le Mans...