Red and White and Black All Over
A few new arrivals from Spark in 1/43
It's not the most popular Porsche livery (that title would go to Martini, Gulf, or Rothmans), but it might just be the most recognizable Porsche livery.
Salzburg, a livery named for Porsche's racing team based out of, you guessed it, Salzburg, Austria. Porsche had another major part of their company there, so it only made sense to name their factory-backed team Porsche-Salzburg. Interestingly, in 1970 the main factory-backed team was Gulf-Wyer, but Ferdinand Piech wanted more 917s competing, so he put this new Salzburg team together headed up by... his mother.
Keeping it all in the family, Ferdinand Piech needed the 917s to win. 1969 was a poor start to the car that could make or break the company, and it needed every chance it could get.
Of course 1970 saw the 917 begin its world domination. With some large body changes to the car, the 917 came out and won the first big race of the season - Daytona - with a Gulf car. The 917 would win 3 of the next 4 races it was entered in. Then came Le Mans. The biggest race in the world.
The Gulf-Wyer cars were fitted with new, larger 4.9L engines whereas the Salzburg cars would retain the 4.5L versions. In all, 9 917s were entered. 3 Gulf cars, 3 Salzburg cars, the 2 longtails, and one privateer with David Piper. In qualification, the salzburg cars took it easy and were about 10 seconds slower than their counterparts, this put them at 15th in starting position for the race. No worries, however, as finishing the race was the biggest challenge, especially during this period of time. This car entered sporting the same number as its chassis - 23.
As with many races at LeMans, it rained. A lot. Despite being slower, the red Salzburg car came out of the final morning downpour unscathed, and in the lead. The race was so brutal that only 16 cars finished the race. 2 of the 917s finished. This Salzburg car and (my personal favorite livery) the 917L hippie car.
Besides winning Daytona and the other previous races, Le Mans proved that the 917 was the new endurance king, and Ferrari was going to have a heck of a time dethroning it. The rest is pretty much history. Porsche had its first overall victory at Le Mans, and would continue to dominate endurance races through 1971.
Sadly, the rules changed and its engine size was too large to compete in endurance racing after 1971. Of course Porsche started to put more focus on the no-holds-barred Can Am series in North America and turned the 917 into a real juggernaut. It dominated in 1972 with the 917/10 with 'only' 1000hp and a metric ton of downforce, and then in 1973 won just about everything with the updated version in the 917/30 and with the most power from any road racing car at 1500 hp.
Of course, the rules changed even in Can Am and the 917 was not able to compete there either. Luckily after the end of the 917 in endurance racing, the 917/10 was created for Can Am, but it was also being used as a sledgehammer in the German Interserie. The 917 in either 917/10 or 917/30 guise would dominate the series through 1975.
With the amazing racing history of this car, it's no surprise then that this livery would be used throughout the history of Porsche on other homages. I remember when the 918 came out and Porsche offered this livery on the car and it looked great. The martini livery for the 918 may have looked better, but that's besides the point. The history, design and striking colors of this livery will never go bad.
So Porsche made a literal homage. Enter, the 917 Living Legend.
This concept car comes from the idea of "if the 917 were being made today, what would it look like?". There are some very obvious 918 cues, but you can see how it was married with that 917 look. Unveiled in 2019, this car was to shown off with the rest of the 917 exhibit that year, celebrating 50 years of the 917.
The actual car does not move and is just a painted clay model, but the potential for this car was high. It was intended to have a 5L twin turbo V8 putting out between 740 and 1000hp and a top speed well over 200mph for the long straights at Le Mans. Sadly it can't be driven in real life, but it can be driven in Gran Turismo Sport, so that's something!
As mentioned before, other Porsche cars can be had in this livery, and their latest track-only weapon can be had in it as well.
The new 935 is pretty incredible. It's a slightly hopped-up 911 GT2RS Clubsport with even crazier aero. Meant to pay tribute to the 935s of the 70s, this car certainly looks the part. It may look a bit more like the 1978 Moby Dick car, even the cars in '77 had crazy aero. I suspect that's where the number on the side comes from. Porsche even limited this car to a run of 77. I love that it also has turbofan wheel covers like back in the day, has the super cool slant nose, and then carries the 911 RSR side mirrors.
The rear is even cooler, with the twin exhaust reminiscent of the old 908s race cars, and you can just tell that there is a 911 under there, tucked under that massive rear lid. That wing is insane and I don't believe is shared with any other Porsche vehicle - even the GT2 RS Clubsport, which it shares almost everything.
The GT2RS was already a monster of a car, now the 935 and GTRS CS have turned that needle up a little further. These are strict track-only cars, and I hope in the near future we can actually see them raced in anger. We may have to wait for the next Rennsport Reunion to see that actually happen.
These three cars are incredible works of art and design, and I'm happy Spark has brought them to us in both 1/43 and 1/18 even though these specific versions are 1/43. Spark always does an amazing job with the details at this scale. The 917 is limited to 1917 versions, the 935 to 1935 versions, and the 917 Living Legend to... well it's unlimited actually. It's neat that Spark put little numbered plaques for the 935 and 917 on their respective base. As for the Living Legend, I don't collect concept cars, but this one was such an amazing design that tugged at my love of the 917 that I simply had to get one.
Now here's a bunch more photos I couldn't leave you without:
Thanks for looking! Btw this was my Christmas present to myself and it arrived last week. Shipping from overseas due to Covid is crazy!