Sunday, April 9, 2017

Porsche 907: Complete

This turned out to be a very quick and simple build, which is just what was needed as a break after working through some of the more complex kits on the bench.

It's very similar to the Heller model of the Alpine A210 in more ways than one. As a kit, there are fit issues in a couple of places, in particular the rear tires not really fitting inside the rear bodywork all that well. This was a problem with the Alpine as well, and in neither case is there too much camber or track due to an assembly or fit issue -- the rear track is simply too wide, or the tires too big for the scale.

There are also issues around lack of detail. The gas caps, for instance, are molded in the forward body section, but there is nothing in the chassis below them. As well the engine is very short of detail, only partly alleviated by my addition of plug wires. Some scratch building would have fixed these problems, but then it wouldn't have been a quick build. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of underhood shots online to start from.

As race cars, the two are very similar in concept: a relatively small mid-mounted engine which still manages decent top speed due to a low, aerodynamic profile and a long tapered tail. While Ford was running 7-litre Galaxie motors, with buckets of torque and ~450 hp from 427 cubic inches (say 65 hp per litre), these little tiddlers were making well over 100 hp per litre -- 123 in the case of the flat 8 in the Porsche, giving 270 hp from the 2.2 litre. I am not sure what the A210 had available, but given the biggest motor was a 1.3 litre outfit, I am guessing 130 to 140 hp is probably not too far off the mark.

From an aesthetic point of view, the 907 is probably one of the least appealing of the Porsches from this era. The little upswept side windows, combined with the overall profile that rises in the front to a peak then drops slowly to the rear, do not scream speed. The Alpine, while featuring a greenhouse that is taller and wider than the prototype-inspired 907, is remarkably attractive in this context.

Aesthetically, the view from the forward three-quarters is probably the best angle. (Obviously I missed a couple of sinkholes in the sides of the front fenders just behind the headlights). I think I'll live with it.

Overall, this a useful addition to the Le Mans shelf which now includes 12 cars, ranging from the 1959 Aston Martin to the 2006 Audi R10, and including cars from the slower classes. Only 20 more Le Mans cars in the stash, ranging from a 1930 Blower Bentley to a 1997 McLaren F1 GTR.

So what's next? Well, the weather is improving so I may be out more. Starting with right now!

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