Provence Moulage 1/43 Porsche 917 LH

KIT #: K 1623
PRICE: $34.00 wnen new. Company out of business
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin with etched brass, aluminum and rubber parts.

HISTORY

The Porsche 917 is a racecar that gave Porsche its first overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. Powered by the Type 912 flat-12 engine of 4.5, 4.9, or 5 litres, the 917/30 variant was capable of a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 2.3 seconds, 0124 mph (200 km/h) in 5.3 seconds, and a top speed of over 240 mph (390 km/h).

There are 6 variants of the 917. The least-powerful version is the 917K (the most successful), which produces around 620 bhp. There is also a long-tail version (917LH), a "pig" version, modified 917K with the 908 rear spoilers and the 917/30. In the 1973 Can-Am series, the turbocharged version Porsche 917/30 developed over 1,100 bhp (820 kW), and as much as 1,580 bhp (1,180 kW) in qualifying tune.

The 917 is one of the most iconic sports racing cars of all time, largely for its high speeds and high power outputs, and was made into a movie star by Steve McQueen in his 1971 film Le Mans.

At the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 917 LHs (the subject of this kit) were quickest in practice. Soon after the start the poor handling of the 917 and the inexperience of one of the drivers resulted in drama: British gentleman-driver John Woolfe crashed his Porsche 917 at Maison Blanche on lap 1, dying as a result. Woolfe was the first privateer to race a 917. The works 917s led the race for hours, but did not make it through the night. At the end, Hans Herrmann's 908 remained as the only Porsche that could challenge for the win, but Jacky Ickx's more powerful Ford won once again, by a mere 120 metres (390 ft). Victory would elude the 917 until the last championship race of 1969 was won by a private entry of Jo Siffert and Kurt Ahrens at the Zeltweg 500km event. The 917s first years of racing was over and not very memorable. The next year would be different.

THE KIT

This particular kit from Provence Moulage is for three of the cars entered in the 1969 Le Mans 24 hour event. Two of these are factory entered cars while one is a privateer from John Wolfe Racing.

 The kit has the correct balance of photo-etch and resin parts, not relying heavily on cast metal as do other companies for detail bits. This may result in a slightly lower level of detail, but I've found most cast metal parts to be not as well molded as I'd like, though it may well be I've chosen older efforts.

This kit has a full resin body and lower chassis section with the interior molded in. Other resin parts are provided for the instrument panel, wheel inserts and the wing with its supports. Photo etch is used for the windscreen wiper and a pair of small grilles. The headlight covers and windows are vacuform. The delineation of these parts is rather faint and the plastic rather thin so this will need great care to prepare. Two solid steel axles and four wheels and tires are included. The wheels are turned aluminum while the tires are rubber/vinyl. The headlights are self sticking chrome dots. A straight pin is provided for the gear shift and there is a separate steering wheel. The clear bits are vacuformed. For the headlight covers, they simply used a Porsche 917 front end as the master, so you get the covers that way. A rather ingenious way of doing things.

The markings are quite extensive and consist of a large sheet that has all the color bits for the nose and wing as well as the rest of the markings. It is very nicely printed and even though it is a bit old, the sheet is still un-yellowed. As mentioned, there are markings for three cars. The two factory cars with the blue and yellow noses and the privateer entry with a very nice dark blue and yellow racing stripe.  A set of full color instructions are provided with all the printing on one side of the sheet of paper. The majority of the space is taken with decal placement and color information. A small exploded diagram shows general parts placement. There are assembly notes in both French and English scattered around the sheet. I found this to be more than adequate with the 908 and they should be good enough for this as well. It is nice to have three options from which to choose as often times, these sorts of kits provide only one.

CONCLUSIONS

I fully anticipate this being a rather nice build with no real issues. This is because these kits are well designed and not complex, so make for a pleasant experience. As a final note, though Provence Moulage went out of business several years ago, the company has since been purchased by another so production is still on-going. Not sure what they offer, but it would be nice to have them reissue some of the more interesting kits.

REFERENCE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_917

July 2010

Thanks to me for this one.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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