The Porsche motorsport
division developed the 962 from the very successful 956 mainly to meet the
crashworthiness standards of IMSA (International Motor Sports Association)
with the new models first outing in 1984. The new 962 incorporated a revised
front end with the wheelbase extended 12 cms to move the front axle line to
in front of the drivers footwell to meet the IMSA safety rules, overall
length remained the same. Main external difference centre around the area
forward of the doors. The 956/962 combination had an extremely long and
successful competition life with the first 956 hitting the track in 1982 and
the 962 in late 1984. 956's won the Le Mans 24 hour event 4 years in a row
from their debut in '82 to '85. 27 956s were produced by the factory
962s won the French
classic in '86, '87 and 1994 and many of the Motorsport worlds other
endurance races and series of that time. Over its racing life the type was
refined and developed by the factory and private racing teams with different
engines, panels, wings and turbos etc. Of the over 148 cars produced, over
50 were built in workshops other than Porsche's. A number of private
companies also produced road versions in the early 1990s.
kit of the 962 was released in early 1988. Two boxing were marketed, kit
80187 included decals for the blue Kenwood sponsored #11 and kit 80188
decals for the Danone sponsored #33 car, Heller's boxings state that these 2
cars competed at Le Mans in 1986, more on that shortly.
Parts are loose in
the box, with the instruction sheet sandwiched between the main sprue and
the body and clear parts. My kit having suffered no damage in its long trip
consist of 21 parts, 18 in white with 3 clear. Parts breakdown sees a
cockpit tub complete with front faces of the side mounted radiators and the
2 racing seats (the drivers seat is a separate part) attached to a single
piece chassis. This has stub axles to which the styrene (not vinyl in this
original issue) tyres and wheels are attached. The underside of the chassis
has some molded detail but there is no front suspension and the rear units
are integral with the chassis and look very crude.
one-piece body has mostly engraved detail for the doors and other panels,
ducts and side exhaust etc. A separate rear wing is to be mounted onto a
couple of rather thick and inaccurate stubs. Other remaining parts cover the
radiator exits, steering wheel, mirrors, clear headlight covers and the
windshield/side windows. The windshield has a single wiper arm/blade
integrally molded and will be very difficult to paint.
I found only
a hint of flash and that was on the chassis and only a couple of sink marks,
which were on the back of the drivers seat and underneath the cockpit tub.
The chassis also has some mold seams which will need taking care of. Some
parts have wide and thick attachment points to the sprues and the body will
need the remnant of its sprue removed with care
With such a
low parts count construction will be quite simple with only 2 stages on the
A4 sized instruction sheet. This also includes painting details for
individual parts, Heller paint numbers are used but the reverse side of the
sheet includes a conversion chart to Humbrol paints.
bottom of the end opening box shows 5 images of a completed model with decal
locations called out. The decals are reasonably well printed with close
examination showing up some of the smaller items have colour misalignment.
The blue striping seems very solid but I would not be sure how these will
lay over the complex curves of the front wheel guards.
chosen subject is the white and blue #33 car out of the John Fitzpatrick
workshop driven by Emilio de Villota, Fermin Velez and George Fouche. I
searched the Internet for info on this car and found that no 962 with that
racing number took part in
in 1986 as Heller state. What I did find was that a 956B in the depicted
livery with the named drivers did compete that year and finished 4th. It
seems that perhaps Heller confused the 2 Porsche models when settling on a
particular car to do the decals for. Perhaps later in that season the team
used a new car with the same paintwork.
other original Heller boxing of the 962 is for car #11 supposedly also from
1986, several references were checked for this car and I found that the year
should be 1985.
the confusion with the supplied decals, Heller's kit seems an excellent one
of Porsche's all conquering prototype racer from the '80s and early '90s,
and I think much better value (around AUD$10 on Internet sites in 2008) than
the resin kits in this scale that have been issued over the years. The
moldings were later changed with the tyres done in vinyl and a different
wheel type with metal axles used to bring it into line with later issues in
the 1/43 Heller range.
www.racingsportscars.com/photo.html - Images from many Sports Car races
including the 1986
- Information on the 962.
- Results of the 1986 Le Mans 24 Hours.