Big things with little cars

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This window tint is probably dangerous and inconvenient

While looking for my next Porsche to post, I skimmed through an old shoebox with a good deal of classic racecars and such in it. It wasn’t until I picked this up and went to put it aside that I realized it, itself, was a Porsche! So hey, that skips a step, and saves you all the tedium of any repeats or a good deal of the Boxsters and such I have lying around.

Yep. That says Porsche on it

The Porsche 911 GT1-98 was, as it sounds, Porsche’s entry for the GT1 category in 1998. It’s really about as much of a 911 as a Cup Series Toyota is a Camry. It’s not even rear-engined like the 911; it’s pretty much a massive overhaul of the 962, refitted with the 911-esque headlights up front to stay on-brand. It was also Porsche’s first carbon-fiber-bodied race car.

There’s a little paint damage. It was definitely played with, back when I had a whole Hot Wheels city in my attic. And I had an attic.

The GT1-98 may not be the most memorable car from the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans. You may instead think of the Toyota GT-ONE, or the Mercedes CLK-LM vehicles. This wasn’t as powerful as those. This wasn’t, perhaps, as distinctive in the public consciousness as those. But it did something they didn’t.

A little sparse on the sides, but I think it’s more than made up for and probably works better this way

Namely, it finished. And thus, it won, taking first and second. It had a top speed of 194 mph and it was maybe a bit too aerodynamic for its own good, but it won at Le Mans, giving Porsche their 16th win there, a record yet to be beaten. (Audi’s come close at 13, but in the intervening years, Porsche’s bumped it up to 19, so...)

The #27 is almost perfect. Porsche’s actual ‘98 entries were #25 and #26. The #27 was actually Toyota

This particular model comes from the World Racers 2 pack of 5 Hot Wheels cars, from 2000. I know I have the police Escort (ha), Ferrari, and Countach (I’ve showed that here before), but while I definitely have *a* Panoz GTR-1, I don’t think I have the one from that set. Odd. Maybe they changed it in later releases or some such.

I don’t think I have any other Le Mans cars that outright *say* Le Mans on them

Whenever you see a bunch of original sponsor logos on one of these cars, it’s a solid bet that it’s a whole lot of artist signatures and trademarks. In this case, Mark Jones designed this casting (Jones Race Products), it seems a pretty safe bet that Michael Heralda designed this particular paint scheme (Heralda Racing), and Terry Choy made quite a few of the original castings from the late 90's (Choy Mufflers). I may be wrong on some of these, but it certainly seems like it’d line up.

What’s old is new again and what’s new is old again

All in all, I’d say this carries a heck of a lot of the hallmarks that have gotten me to love the far more recent, yet far more old-school 917 casting. The headlights, the windshield wiper, the ridiculous wing, and the undeniably Le Mans style... maybe it was a pang of nostalgia for this one that got my attention? Still, they’re both awesome racecars either way.

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