Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

LeMans Legend: The 956

This was supposed to be my sole Rennsport diecast purchase...but I should have known that would prove impossible. Nevertheless I think I am now on team 1:43 (sorry team 1:18... I got limited space in my life haha).

I’ve been seriously wowed by these smaller models. I just don’t get how they get the details so nicely done. Yeah, they’re typically resin, but hey I’m more about display than play.

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Anywho! Off to the model.

This is a 1:43 resin model (as mentioned) by Spark. This is also the 2nd model I’ve bought that didn’t have the cigarette livery installed, but came with decals for me to put on... huh....

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Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956

Let’s talk about some history for a second. With Group C starting in 1982, Porsche was pushing the bounds of aerodynamics. There are some signatures on the model case you can sorta make out above. One of those is Norbert Singer, the famous Porsche engineer.
Here’s a great video where Chris Harris interviewed Singer about the 962 (just an evolution of the 956 with near-identical bodywork). Seriously, this is a great video, Chris Harris and his /Drive videos are my favorite car videos to watch.

As a mechanical engineer, I think I was most excited to meet Norbert Singer than the drivers at Rennsport... yes I shook his hand and thanked him for his work haha. He gave out a quick excited laugh at seeing the model of his car when I asked him to sign it. Man that was surreal.

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BACK TO THE CAR.

So. Spark. 1:43. Resin. It looks fantastic.

Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956
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From some angles it is quite rectangular...

Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956
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Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956

Also the story goes that this was the first car to generate enough downforce to be able to drive upside down... this is a shot I took at the Porsche museum many many years ago. (Schnell means ‘fast’ more or less).

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Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956

This specific model represents the 1983 LeMans winner, it had also won the previous year in 1982 at the hands of Bell and Ickx (I can’t believe I can say that I met both of them as well). The 1983 car was driven by Schuppan, Holbert and Hurley Haywood. Haywood’s signature is the one below Singer’s on the case.

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Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956

Very nice tampos.

The 1983 LeMans was the first sign that the 956 and later 962 would be truly dominant. I’m sure many have seen this poster:

Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956
Image: Pinterest
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1983 also saw the year that Bellof set the Nurburgring lap record in a 956 that wasn’t beaten until this year by the 919 Evo.

More photos. Some are a touch dark...

Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956
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Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956
Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956
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Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956

Spark did a really nice job on the details.

Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956
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Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956
Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956
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Illustration for article titled LeMans Legend: The 956

Finally about the 956, it was the first car to go with a double clutch gearbox and it even tested out what we now know as the PDK transmission that was used in 962s.  Racecar technology does trickle down to the road... it can just take some time...

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That’s all for now! Final Rennsport model will have to be revealed with an ORAT post.

Also... #Team143

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