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1/43 Gulf Porsche 917K, Le Mans Test Weekend 1971


klubman01
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Completed over the weekend, this is my model of the Gulf Porsche 917K as it appeared during the Le Mans Test Weekend in 1971.

 

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The aims of the test were to evaluate the new tail with the vertical fins, and also to try the twin airbox arrangement for the engine which had been seen for the first time on one of the Martini 917K's at Brands Hatch two weeks previously.  JWAE liked the new tail but rejected the airbox because it generated too much drag and did not distribute the air evenly to the cylinders.

 

The mixture of paint schemes and the unusual configuration attracted me to make a model of this car.  Previously, this car (chassis 016) had been a principal race car in 1970 but was mostly used as the T Car in 1971.  It had the "third car" colour scheme of blue, with everything above the bottom of the windows in orange.  It was also fitted with a "Daytona window" above the windscreen, although this was blanked off at the test weekend.  In addition, it was fitted with doors from a different car.

 

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The base kit is the Provence Moulage kit of the Martini 917K that won Le Mans in 1971.  Modifications were the airbox, plus the JWAE arrangement of cockpit ventilation and rear brake cooling ducts.  The electrical cut-off switch and extinguisher button also had to be relocated.

 

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To make the airbox, I cut the top of the engine from the chassis, trimmed away the normal intake covers, and made the airboxes from 20thou plastic card filled with Milliput to add some heft to the structures and also allow me to round off the edges without creating holes in the structure.

 

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The new inlets were created from 20thou card, as was the vac-formed vent on the cockpit roof.  The rear spoilers were re-positioned at a flatter angle.

 

Masking the minimal amount of orange remaining from the original colour scheme was a bit fiddly, but came out OK, I think.

 

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The narrow stripe sections at the tops of the doors, and on the engine cover came from a spare decal sheet.  The blanked off Daytona window was a piece of Xtradecal yellow stripe cut to shape using a template from a kit with the window opening.  The shape marked on the paper was cut out and stuck to the decal backing paper and then the decal was trimmed to match the paper template.

 

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Humbrol enamels were used throughout the build.  The Porsche badge, race numbers and roundels were from Virage sheets, with the Gulf decals from the spares box.  Xtradecal silver stripes were used for the tape sealing the gap between the cockpit and engine cover.

 

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Quite pleased with the end result.  Another 917 completed, and the "non-standard" configuration made for an interesting build.

 

Thank you for looking.

Trevor

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Another lovely finished model, and it's always very interesting to see test cars modelled, and well researched too! I often find test cars interesting, showing off sometimes wild ideas that didn't quite made it through, and there is often some mean and very purposeful aura around them. This one shows of a lot of those things. Excellent choice of subject and very well executed.

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14 hours ago, Bengalensis said:

Another lovely finished model, and it's always very interesting to see test cars modelled, and well researched too! I often find test cars interesting, showing off sometimes wild ideas that didn't quite made it through, and there is often some mean and very purposeful aura around them. This one shows of a lot of those things. Excellent choice of subject and very well executed.

Thanks very much.  Test cars, particularly of that era, are always interesting.  Aerodynamics were still a bit of a "dark art" back then.

 

13 hours ago, keefr22 said:

Yet another cracker Trevor, really interesting car too! Great finish from Humbrol enamels too - very impressive!

 

Keith

Cheers Keith.  I grew up with enamels and have never really considered anything else.  I guess it's what I'm familiar with.

12 hours ago, Sabrejet said:

Lovely work: every car collection should have at least one 917!

Gotta love the 917!  My favourite race car of all time.

1 hour ago, Kitkent said:

Excellent result!  I don’t remember ever seeing this actual car,a really good piece of work. You can never have enough 917’s.Chris.

Thanks Chris.  Plenty more 917's in the pipeline.

43 minutes ago, PatW said:

Very good! I've seen the car in person, I can't forget the twin intakes on the roof!

Thanks Pat.  I've not seen this car with twin intakes, but I was at Brands Hatch in 1971 and saw the Martini car with them.

 

Trevor

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4 hours ago, desert falcon said:

Very well done Trevor, this is definitely my favourite race car too 👍 

 

1 hour ago, bigbadbadge said:

Oh boy what a beast, and a lovely model of it too, great work on this little beauty. 

Chris

Thanks guys, much appreciated.  More 917's soon(ish).

Trevor

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