This is the #77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR that won the LMGTE AM class at Le Mans in 2018, finishing 25th overall, 53 laps behind Fernando Alonso. This is one of my favorite liveries, and has been for the past 3 years, when the striking blue/grey colors caught my eye. I’d been looking for a decently priced 1:43 of the car ever since, and finally pulled the trigger on the 2018 car, with its beautiful arches and wide front end.
But let’s go back to where it all began for this car.
The #77 was born January 13, 1966 in Lewiston, Maine and grew up in the nearby towns of Turner and Buckfield. He has two older sisters and a half-brother, Shane. His mother, Amanda (née Casson), was a school secretary, and his father, William, was an insurance salesman.
He attended Buckfield High School and St. Dominic Regional High School, and after moving to Houston attended Willowridge High School.
In his youth, Dempsey participated in juggling competitions. In 1981 he achieved the second place at the International Jugglers’ Association Championship in the Juniors category, just behind Anthony Gatto, who is considered to be the best technical juggler of all time.
Dempsey was diagnosed with dyslexia at age twelve. He told Barbara Walters on her 2008 Oscar special that he thinks dyslexia made him what he is today. “It’s given me a perspective of — you have to keep working,” Dempsey told Walters. “I have never given up.”
#77 is best known for its role as neurosurgeon Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy, starring with Ellen Pompeo (Dr. Meredith Grey). He saw early success as an actor, starring in a number of films in the 1980s, including Can’t Buy Me Love (1987) and Loverboy (1989). In the 1990s, he mostly appeared in smaller roles in film, such as Outbreak (1995) and television, before landing a lead role in Sweet Home Alabama (2002), a surprise box office hit. He has since starred in other films, including Enchanted (2007), Made of Honor (2008), Valentine’s Day (2010), Flypaper (2011), Freedom Writers (2007), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), and Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016).
#77, who maintains a sports car and vintage car collection, also enjoys auto racing in its spare time. It has competed in pro-am events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race and Ensenada SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race (Hard to believe with that stance, I know!). Prior to the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans, #77 declared that it would “walk away” from acting if it could and dedicate itself full-time to motorsports.
2018 was a successful season for the #77, finishing with 3 wins (Le Mans 24, 6 Hours of Silverstone, and 6 Hours of Shanghai. At Le Mans, the trio of Australian Matt Campbell, German Christian Ried, and rookie Frenchman Julien Andlauer completed 335 laps to take victory, helped by basically a flawless race.
As I said, this is a 1:43 model, made by Spark. It is, therefore, not surprising that it’s incredibly detailed and gorgeous, with laser etched mesh panels on the rear wings, and perfect tampos all around. The only drawback is always that it doesn’t roll, but who really cares? It’s a display car anyway. I got this one from Replicarz since I had a giftcard. I had to wait about 6 weeks to get it since it was still on pre-order, but it was totes worth it, especially after pining for this livery for 2 years.
I’m the Will Ferrell to the #77's John C. Reilly.
Props to wikipedia for the early life and career info!