You can customize a modern Porsche direct from the factory in almost any way you could really want; from picking elegant paint and wheel combinations to adding carbon fiber/aluminum/alcantara and even leather in places that you didn’t even previously know existed or needed leather. Body kits and lap timers, the Porsche as it was, is truly your oyster. As long as what you want is still a Porsche of some sort, and you don’t want to go to the aftermarket, this is also one of the only, if not the only way to get the glorious Martini livery on your vehicle. And don’t we all sort of want that in one form or another?
Today I am pleased to bring you a 1/18 Porsche 911, a first-generation-991 edition, in a glorious Riviera Blue and Martini paint scheme, with a batshit interior considering the paint, from one of the few manufacturers that specialize in sealed resin casts; Spark.
Yes, you read that correctly. Another sealed resin cast, from the same manufacturer as the last Martini Porsche I am proud to have shown you; Spark. I have a theme developing here it seems...
I’ll start flat out by saying that I did not buy this particular diecast, as with the 918 Spyder from that Wilsonic piece, it was a gift from the lovely people at my local Porsche Service Center. Nice, capable, and extremely talented as they are, they are human and they do make mistakes which they feel bad for. More importantly, they own up to them and stand by their products and services. No big deal, no damage done, and the relationship wasn’t in jeopardy anyway, but I knew that they knew that I am very much one of ‘those model car people’... I felt a little quilty accepted a wrapped gift from them, but I know of this line of cars, and that some of it can be astoundingly special. So I graciously took the gift wrapped diecast sized box when it was offered out-of-the-blue, together with a delicious coffee, and now it sits in my case...
This car comes from the Porsche Driver’s Selection, which is.... uhhm... a selection of various items for drivers. Ostensibly those with Porsches but I do suppose that isn’t a requisite in any way. How this is useful to a driver of a Porsche in the same way as driving gloves, a wallet, and luggage, I do not know.
Normally it would retail in the very low $200 range, however, as with a few other particular models of this type from Spark, I had seen ones like it go for much higher than that, and the markup seemed dependent to a degree on how limited of a production run there was. I didn’t know this one existed until I saw it on my kitchen table, and immediately did a search and found there are 600 pieces like this one out there, and they’re commanding a slight premium right now.
The Driver’s Selection model car anthology is a line of mostly 1:43 and 1:18 models which are carried in Porsche dealerships, some Porsche Design stores, and the wallet-deflating website. Some of these are ‘just’ normal 911s and Macans and Boxters, while others are very special representations of some of the many assemblages of options you can spec your new Porsche with. The Porsche Exclusive cars.
Quite clearly, this model is one of the latter ones. A very special Porsche 911, loaded to the brim with a variety of options which one could fit to a 1:1 car if so-inclined and so-financially-equipped.
Notice the sports exhaust tips?
Front bumper looks different with that extra lip spoiler, doesn’t it?
How do you make a duck tail spoiler looks even more Neunelfer?
Notice all the yellow yet?
As per usual with this type of model, there is a lot going on in the interior of this Spark. No opening windows or doors mean you may never accurately and fully glimpse the splendor of yellow stitching on a black dash in a bright blue car, but you know that I will try and show you anyway.
The Sport Chrono Pack naturally features the chronograph on the dash of the car, and in bright yellow it stands out more than usual. Spark did recreate this, and the rest of the finer details of the interior, in tremendous detail consider that, again, you will most likely never fully see these components unless the following three conditions are simultaneously met:
- The ‘glass’ on the model must be spotlessly clean, zero exceptions or excuses.
- The lights on and around the model must fully illuminate the interior, without at the same time glaring over the windows. Even slightly. Ever.
- Your eyeball must be a specifically designed units obtained somehow from DARPA, or said human eyeball must be practically touching the ever-obtrusive windows. Damn you windows!!
But it isn’t all yellow strips of decal everywhere in there, the rest of the details are very nicely recreated, even if Spark prefers to use just a decal and paint, as opposed to molded parts with paint, to create the center console area. It’s very nice, just a little off when seen this close.
Moving on from the yellow...
Naturally you’ve noticed the highly-detailed brake rotors behind the black-optioned Carrera S wheels? Ohh, and the brake calipers have been painted yellow to match the almost everything else on this car. Bet you hadn’t noticed that.
These Carrera S wheels look phenomenal in this application. The curves and angles are pretty much perfect, there are no mold lines or weird paint blemishes in the creases or misplaced logos on the hubs. They look extremely good. The tires are also very nice, the feel and composition of them is spot-on and they even have appropriate tire lettering, which we all know is important (to me) to help complete the fantasy of the whole thing. There are little aero flaps in front of all four wheels, made of super thin metal, which my mind cannot comprehend when I have this thing in my hands.
Speaking of helping to complete the fantasy, the headlights are minimalistically recreated with few pieces, but they do look very convincing under those curved headlight covers. The Porsche crest on the hood of this model is quite a step more in the direction of realism than the last crest from Spark that I saw. That one was not bad, but this one is better.
The accuracy of that crest is not the end of it either. The Martini logo is obviously perfect, even if the stripe doesn’t meet the front bumper quite straight, and the “PORSCHE 911" script is ohh-so shiney and chrome. The outline of the decal overlay around the script is a little weird to see from a model at this price-range, however, but again it is not noticeable until you start doing reviews on the thing...
The head-and-taillights, as well as those prominent front LED clusters, look very realistic in their interpretation. I cannot get over the fact that this model has little headlight washer nubs, and an EU-regulation orange ‘bulb’ in the side marker. what?!
Excited as I/we may be, I do have to point out again; the flaws are present. The LED cluster units do not quite fit the hole they are destined-for quite perfectly, and that orange-bulb-bestowed side marker is missing the radius on the rear edge that would allow it to sit flush with the wheel arch’s radius. However the body has tow-hook covers and parking sensors molded in absolutely perfectly. So there’s that.
Spark has this weird balance between these two conflicting trends. All of the 1/18 scale models from this brand that I have seen, much less owned, have had these weird issues where you end up weighing the amazing details of some aspects against the blatant lack of caring in others while deciding if you like the model or not. Usually the amazing details beats your brain into submission as they use your wallet to blind your eyes to the flaws of the model. These are hand assembled and hand detailed models so perfection simply cannot be expected, even at this upper-middle price range, and even if the overall quality does suggest a theme of detail orientation which is not completely achieved in all areas. The perfect image of this for me is the fact that you receive this model in a bespoke outer box, with a wooden, numbered base plate and a sturdy acrylic case, yet the model is screwed down so vigorously and with such long, beefy screws that the car, see-through cover, and base plate are covered in sawdust when you open it. Each Spark model I have seen opened, every time. Weird.
This one I may have spent my own money on unlike the 918 Spyder Prototype I was gifted, where I decided I’d rather have a road car version from another brand. Had I known of this particular model’s existence before I got home and first spotted it coming out of the bespoke (blue!) outer box, I may have started hunting one down for as low a price as I could get it. With the series limited to only 600 units being made in this configuration, and it is the configuration of this one that really makes it for me, I may have had to wait a long time to find one at a price I’d be more comfortable with for this level of quality and attention to detail.
I like this manufacturer; Spark, and concurrently they bothers me to no end. I love the very unique options and liveries on some of the models, the quality of the majority of the components, and the deep attention to otherwise-mundane details like tow-hook covers and headlight washers that seem intended solely for the absolutely Diecast Disturbed. I am perturbed by the lack of attention that is paid to the overall product; that last 5% that would allow this to fairly compete in price with the likes of AutoArt, Kyosho, Minichamps, and even BBR at times. Even if the doors and hoods don’t open, my brain would have been torn between two factions; one controlling my eyes, heart, and drool-response, and the other controlling my logic matrix and wallet.
If I might digress for a moment; quotes tend to lose their meaning and flair when taken way out of context. Whether accidentally or intentionally repurposed, the thoughtful or insightful words of another person who spoke or wrote of a certain topic cannot possibly encapsulate the original meaning and the desired effect when applied to a subject far-enough removed that the quote will comes as a surprise to a new audience. Can they? Can they??
That was cheesy. I enjoyed that.
See you all later!