The 1971 Le Mans Winner at 1:18 scale
The response to this model has been enormous, but we have now managed to satisfy the initial flood of pre-orders and are delighted to announce that our 1:18 scale models of the Porsche 917, in its iconic Team Martini livery, are in stock and available to order. Based on chassis number 917-053 as driven to victory at Le Mans 1971 by Dutch driver Gijs van Lennep and Austrian racer Helmut Marko at Circuit de la Sarthe, we developed this motorsport legend using CAD data created from a digital scan of the original car.
In a race that did not see many accidents (rare for the era), many cars were still delayed or forced to retire due to mechanical problems, resulting in only twelve cars being classified as finishers. Save for a shattered headlight cover and rapidly deteriorating brakes in the closing stages, Marko and Van Lennep’s race was simply without fault, predominantly thanks to their sensitivity to the mechanics of the car, and their clockwork consistency.
Porsche celebrated their second overall triumph at Circuit de la Sarthe as the #22 car as the duo battled to victory. With the ban for over 3.0 litre engine displacements imminent, the race turned into quite the swansong; a long, fast track and good weather produced a record race distance, one that would stand strong for nearly four decades. The Team Martini Porsche finished two laps ahead of its rival John Wyer Porsche and an incredible 29 laps (386km) ahead of the third place Ferrari. The two Porsches were the first cars to cover over 5000km at Le Mans, clocking 5335km (3315 miles) at an average 222 km/h (138 mph). Remarkable for a car that, when it was introduced two years prior, was deemed almost undriveable at high speed by even the finest of drivers.
Chassis number 917-053 is the sole surviving (and only raced) Porsche 917 coupé with a tubular frame built from magnesium – an alloy that, though ultra lightweight, burns so fiercely from a very low ignition point, that it’s near impossible to extinguish. Essentially a mobile bomb driven in anger, 917-053 is a true monument to its era. The car was only ever raced once, to wonderful effect, and following triumph at its maiden outing at La Sarthe, it was retired by Porsche and never fired up again, for fear of what would happen with its ageing and fragile chassis.