Porsche has long been associated with taking regular 911s, stripping them of weight, adding some power and then selling them for a massive premium over a standard 911. It started with the 911R, which was so rare that it couldn't really be considered a regular model. It really hit its stride with the 2.7RS, it sort of lost its way with the 3.2CS and then the nineties came about. The first major redesign in, oh, a very long time, brought the 964 to the world. It was still the same basic car, but with quite a few design tweaks. Porsche revisited the RS concept with the 964 and gave the world the frankly brilliant 964RS. Power was up, weight was down, awesome was off the scale. Funnily enough these cars languished, largely ignored, on the second hand car market for an extremely long time, their unforgiving nature and stripped out ethos not being of interest for the vast majority of Porsche buyers. Then trackdays took off, the 2.7RS went into the stratosphere and anything with a Porsche badge on the front and an RS one on the rear became a tradeable commodity. Nowadays in Europe, those two letters on the back of your 964 mean that you can ask three to four times the price of a regular 964.
That makes them unobtainable for the average individual, the same cannot be said of the miniaturized version of the 964RS, which is the subject of today's review. Specifically the 1/18 scale Auto Art rendition of the 964RS in a rather fetching shade of, erm, peppermint?
Design and Accuracy: 9/10
Your usual top shelf Auto Art fare. Lots of little details mark it out as a premium product. The door handles in particular are absolutely perfect, the lock mechanism is separate and detailed. The little Porsche crests in the middle of the wheels are amazing, perfectly detailed. The braking system is also amazing, Porsche-branded calipers, drilled discs, the whole deal. The interior's amazing too, but I'll come to that later.
Fit and Finish: 10/10
Auto Art really knows how to screw a model together. Admittedly panel gaps on real air-cooled 911s have never been perfect (as evidenced by this picture taken barely a week after a full bare metal restoration on mine).
And the model's ones are arguably better! The rather fetching shade of Mint Green is also absolutely perfect. No runs, no orange peel, nothing, show-quality stuff when it comes to paint. Last week I said that road cars don't show off as much detail as race cars, but I'm taking that back, this is really amazing.
Opening panel count is four, so nothing out of the ordinary. But it's still getting a high score because the details that are available to you when you open those panels really are a sight to behold. See all those stickers in the engine bay? Yes, I know that last week I said that opening panels only hold a passing interest and that once the car's displayed who cares, but look at those little stickers! As usual with these things, this would have been a 9 but we're missing articulated suspension so that's one point off.
Oh yeah, I mentioned interior detail.
See that little knob under the air vent? It's the hood release. That's the amount of detail we're talking about.
This model cost me €130 when I picked it up last year. That's damn good value to me. A quick inspection of eBay shows that the model is listed between $138 (in Italy, so shipping will be a bit salty) and $298 for a model in the US with a fair few in between, although they're all in Europe.
Seven of these models are currently listed on eBay around the world. There's another one but it's in a different colour so I'm not going to count it. Not rare, not common, so not really much to say there.
Not a bad score overall, the same as last week's Jaegermeister, that was let down by a lack of opening features, this one is let down by its comparative lack of rarity. Does that bother me? Not really. This is a really nice model. Part of the appeal of air cooled 911s is their simplicity, engine, wheels, some vague form of interior and that's your lot. This model is a perfect example of that simplicity and as such it's a great addition to any 911 aficionado's collection, just like the real 964RS would be.
Wish I could afford one of those...