Monogram 1/24 Porsche 904

KIT #: 2954
PRICE: $6.50 new in 1991 from the base exchange
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1991 release


After having withdrawn from Formula One at the end of the 1962 season, Porsche focused again on sportscar racing. The 904 debuted late in 1963, for the 1964 racing season, as a successor to the 718, which had been introduced in 1957. Porsche designed the GTS variant to compete in the FIA-GT class at various international racing events. The street-legal version debuted in 1964 in order to comply with group 3 appendix J homologation regulations requiring a certain number of road-going variants be sold by the factory. Porsche produced one-hundred and six 904s at four or five a day with a list price of US$7245 (FOB Stuttgart). Orders far exceeded the one hundred car requirement to satisfy homologation rules and more cars could have been sold. The 904 marked the beginning of a series of sportscars that culminated in the dominant 917.

The 904's mid-engine layout was inherited from the 718, also known as the RSK (Rennsport = racing, kurz = short), the factory's leading race car. It was powered by the 1,966 cc (120 cu in) Type 587/3, four-cam flat four-cylinder engine producing 180hp, "probably the most complex four-cylinder" ever. It drove a five-speed transmission with a standard 4.428:1 final drive, with available 4.605, 4.260, 3.636, and 3.362 ratios.

Making an inauspicious debut at Sebring in 1964, where it suffered clutch trouble, "a four-cylinder 904 took an astounding first overall" at the Targa Florio. It went on to a third at the Nürburgring and a perfect finish at Le Mans. Both times, all five starters finished, placed in the top twelve overall, among many much more powerful cars. 904s showed remarkable durability; they "almost always" finished, and at Reims in 1964, a customer car fresh from Stuttgart, driven to the track, went on to win without the need for any spares at all. For 1964, 904s racked up a 1-2 at the Targa Florio and class wins at Spa, Sebring (co-driven by Briggs Cunningham and Lake Underwood), the Nürburgring, Le Mans, Watkins Glen, Zandvoort, Canada, and the Paris 1000 Kilometer, in the process taking SCCA's C-Production and E-Sports Racing titles. In addition, it won rally events including the Tulip, Munich-Vienna-Budapest, Geneva, and "highly acclaimed" Alpine Rally. For 1965, results were "equally impressive", seeing wins at the Spanish, Rossfeld, Hellbronner, and Gaisburg rallies, as well as a class win and second overall in the Monte Carlo Rally which saw just 22 finishers in the points, out of 237 starters. In addition, 904s won their class at the Monza 1000 Kilometer, Targa, Spa, Daytona Continental, Le Mans, and Zandvoort, among others, repeating their E-Sports title win and adding an SCCA E-Production championship.


Monogram released a pair of Porsche 904 kits in 1964. The 1/32 kit was basically a slot car body and this one, to 1/24 (though the box says 1/25) was more of a proper model kit. Typical of the time it has working bits such as an opening engine bay and forward compartment.

As you'd expect from the opening bits, it has a full engine. The kit has a proper single piece lower body tub into which a ladder chassis is installed. This is followed by the engine, suspension pieces, and the interior. Quite a bit of the instructions concern building up the various body panels and attaching them. The side windows are installed from the inside and held in place by tabs as is the rear window. The front windscreen and headlight covers are installed from the outside. This is some flash on the clear sprue that will have to be cleared up. The kit has a well done chrome sprue and many modelers may wish to strip some of this and paint the parts aluminum. Four rubber/vinyl tires are also included.

Instructions are well done with 37 construction steps. Color information is generic. Markings are provided for two cars. One is the Targa Florio winning car as shown on the box art. The other is a #11 car. However, the decal sheet has several glitches. One is that it does not include the grey section as shown on the nose of the #86 car. If you take a look at the photo I've included, you can see these light grey sections. The other is that it shows a #11 car, but only has enough #11s to fit in two places on the car and not in the four shown in the instructions. I think this car is fictitious and I could not find a photo of it. What the #1s are for is to add to the #86 to make the #186 car that uses the red nose sections. Note also that the black sections are really for the #84 car which you can't do with this sheet. The sheet is nicely printed and a bit thick, but quite usable.


According to those who have built this kit, it takes careful construction to get everything to fit in place as it should. However, this is pretty much it when it comes to 1/24th Porsche 904s. This kit was also reboxed by Hasegawa.


May 2022

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