Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled 1969 Porsche 917 Restorationem/em

This little guy started life as an afterthought in an eBay lot of unloved diecasts. The no-name Hong Kong casting is crude, lacks detail, and was in bad shape. However, the shape was perfect.

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The 917 just before its race debut - 1969 Spa 1000 Km
The 917 just before its race debut - 1969 Spa 1000 Km
Image: Pilote semi-pro (Caradisiac )

The 917’s first race was the 1969 1000 km of Spa and it wore the short tail of this diecast and no front dive planes. From the moment the flat-12 powered monster took to the track, it was lightning quick and completely undrivable. The short tail was particularly bad, and was only run a couple times before being scrapped altogether. It wasn’t until an extensive redesign in 1970 that the 917 reached its full potential.

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Illustration for article titled 1969 Porsche 917 Restorationem/em
Illustration for article titled 1969 Porsche 917 Restorationem/em
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I took some liberties with this restoration. The 917 ran just once in this configuration (short tail and dive planes), and it was in a fairly dull all-white livery. I decided to go for a paint scheme that resembled something Porsche would’ve run, even if they didn’t actually do so. All 917’s in 1969 were run with a white body and a brightly colored nose, usually in green. I used Tamiya spray cans for the paint and leftover Shell decals from another project. I replaced the terrible original wheels with my usual Matchbox tri-spoke wheels. One thing I had to add was the double flap rear spoiler. This was an adjustable wing that the driver could flatten on straights, not unlike DRS in today’s F1. I made one using a piece of wire, aluminum sheet, and fishing wire.

Illustration for article titled 1969 Porsche 917 Restorationem/em
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Illustration for article titled 1969 Porsche 917 Restorationem/em

I have another one of these castings that I will probably finish similarly, with an orange or blue nose.

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