Daytona, 1966: The Ford/Ferrari wars are just hitting their stride, the Ford GT40 MkII vs the Ferrari 250LM & 365P. The eyes of the world are on this clash of titans. For the first time, Daytona’s high banks and infield road course would see 24 hours of racing, the duration having been increased to that of Le Mans to take its place as part of endurance racing’s Triple Crown. The big news was on the fight for national pride, the fight of money and ego at the front, but farther back, a little American-backed German would serve warning that life in the workman GT ranks was about to change.

Fielded by a small Atlanta dealer named Jack Ryan and driven by himself, Lin Coleman, and Bill Bencker, this is the second 911 ever imported to the US (by none other than Brumos), and apparently the first one to race (and win) on a national or international stage. An underdog from the start, it would win not only its class as the only finisher in GT2.0, but would beat several faster cars to achieve 16th overall, only 12 laps behind David Piper’s Ferrari 250LM. Not bad for its first outing, especially so far from its birthplace. Needless to say, the world had been put on notice that the little 911 was a new force to be reckoned with, right off the showroom floor.

Add some stripes and number placards, open up the exhaust, fit some safety equipment, and off you go into history. What an era. The Porsche 904 was arguably the last of the “drive it to the track” dedicated sports racers, but these early 911s did a fine job picking up that mantle, providing dual purpose service for countless drivers and teams until road and racing cars began to irreversibly diverge in the early 70's, not long after the lovely RS 2.7 the Jobjoris showed us earlier:

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I’m happy to report the real car is still in remarkably original condition, as Philipilhip found in our discussion below. You can find a picture of it in in 2013 here:

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The model is in resin, 1/43 scale by TSM. When I saw Model Citizen list it I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to resist, and though I did for a time I’m happy I didn’t because it’s a beauty. If it’s not often you can treat yourself to something special, it’s all the more worth it when you do.

As we’ve come to expect from TSM, the overall accuracy is remarkable. I have another early 911 by IXO to compare for next week, and though that’s nice, it’s not even in the same world when you look closely. The only demerits on this one are the slightly askew taillamps and the front horn grilles, which while sharply rendered don’t fit too well next to the slim front indicators. I really didn’t notice the grilles with the naked eye, it’s only on close inspection or in close photos that you can see the discrepancy. I do wish the shut lines at the front hood were better defined through the white paint, but that’s being very picky. The lines are there, but the paint washes them out. But look at those wheels, that engine grille, the other delicate brightwork and trim! Overall a wonderful model of a very significant early 911 that I’m proud to add to the collection. Thanks to Citizen Patrick for the classy service, and for making it a little easier for normal guys here on LALD to buy little dream cars.

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Here’s a great edit that 13 generously made (used with permission), showing us what those great driving lights can do! I need to figure out how to do that...

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Random thought: I wonder if author Tom Clancy was a fan of 60's sports car racing, his fictional hero Jack Ryan’s wife Caroline drove a 911 in the early books...

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Man, I really blew some of these pictures, I didn’t even see the dust or red tint in some when setting this up on mobile. Full size looks a little different... Sorry!

Hope you all have a great day, but...