By the mid 1990’s Porsche once again focused on returning to the top levels of International Sports car racing in the GT1 class, with the 24 hours of LeMans being the number 1 priority race.
GT1 cars were at that time super modified versions of a manufacture’s street car such as the Ferrari F40.
Porsche bent every rule in the book, actually they rewrote the book. They designed 911 GT1 as a full race car in every respect of the word, even using the design of the rear chassis of their 962, a full race Flat 6, 4 valves per cylinder, fuel injected 600 hp engine mounted in front of the rear wheels compared to their 911 GT2 car which was still air cooled, and had just 2 valves per cylinder with the engine mounted behind the rear wheels as is their usual arrangement. Then to adhere to the rules they designed a street version that was actually legal for street use even here in the USA. Of course the rules only required 25 cars to be built, and that’s exactly how many Porsche made and sold.
To say that is car was more then up to the task of winning LeMans, the GT1 reached 205 mph on the Mulsanne Straight at the La Sarthe Circuit during practice sessions for the 1996 Le Mans 24 Hours Race, and won the race in 1998.
Tamiya 1st released their Porsche 911 GT1 in 1997. One would think that being a Porsche fan I’d have bought this kit a long time ago, but somehow it always fell under my radar. Well, finally the day came as ScaleHobbyist.com had the kit in stock and on sale, so I grabbed one for my stash with the expectation of building it sooner then later. And later is finally now!!
Tamiya has done an excellent job of designing this kit with full rear suspension, engine/transaxle, disc brakes, etc., while the front clip isn’t much more then just the bare basics, which is ok by me as there’s no real point in doing up the suspension, brakes, gas tank, etc, and then have no way of displaying any of it without major front end surgery. So my focus is going to be exactly as Tamiya presented the kit with a detailed interior, and the fully detailed engine compartment.
As with many of my builds, I prefer to pick a different sponsor/paint scheme then what comes in the box. And in this case that’s a really good thing as the Tamiya decals are really, and I mean really on the thick side. A quick search of my Go To Decal company: Indy Cals, actually has the Pennzoil sponsored car campaigned in the 1999 British GT Championship Series. I’ve seen other liveries all with a Gloss White car, but once I saw the Pennzoil car, no need to look any further.
So with the Lola needing a full re-strip & a whole lotta love, the Porsche 911 GT1 is now my focus build. As with all my builds, I like to start off by painting, decaling, and polishing the body, so that’s where my build has started.
1st up is the front clip. The wheel arches each have a flare with 4 rivets. Unfortunately, they’re so shallow that with primer and paint they’d be covered up, so I drilled them with a .3mm drill bit. there’s also the front brake exhaust shroud that’s a separate piece on both sides that has 4 rivets that need to be drilled out as well. But since the shell is Pennzoil Yellow, I have to paint the inside of those large shrouds after priming the body shells then glue them to the body before the color coats. Can’t figure out any other way other then leave the gluing till the end of the build, but 100% certain I’d get some glue on the body and screw it up.
the front clip hood for the tanks, brake reservoirs, etc. is slightly raised above the body directly in front of the windshield. Tamiya molded it closed, so I opened it up and thinned out the plastic for a more scale effect.
the rear clip right behind the doors has side vents on both sides, that while molded open, needed a more scale appearance, which I achieved with sand paper till there was a closer scale!
As with almost all cars the rear bumper clip is a separate part, and that applies to the Porsche as well. The fit is pretty good as the seam is on the bottom of the rear movable deck. it did require some putty work, but nothing major. The two side seams were literally a perfect fit.
At this point the body just needs a good alcohol bath to be ready for primer, then hopefully the Matt black interior of both body shells.