Porsche 911 (964) Carrera 3.8 RS – Spark

3.8 RS
1993 Porsche 911 (964) Carrera 3.8 RS
Spark - SDC015 (diecast)  

Published 01/31/20

By the end of the 70s Porsche was not doing great financially. The market was not very favorable to sports cars and the 911 was a design from the early 60s. Things got to a point where there was frank talk of killing the 911 line. As a result, the 911 G series would be the last 911, substituted by the “modern” 928. However, in 1979 Helmuth Bott thought that Porsche was the 911, and decided to keep it going. With that, Porsche produced the 911SC until 1983, replacing it with the Carrera 3.2 in 1984.

Around the mid 80s the company had recovered, and 911 sales were on the rise again. So in 1989 the 911 went through some important changes, and the new Typ 964 replaced the G series. According to Porsche, the 964 was 85% different from the Carrera 3.2 (G series). The new 964 profited a lot from the 959, specially in the form of 4-wheel-drive. Also, Porsche changed the suspension system for the first time since the introduction of the 911. The 964 used coil springs instead of the archaic torsion bars of the 60s.

3.8 RS
Looked like a “regular 911” (at the time), but the Carrera RS 3.8 was far from a regular Porsche.

Initially Porsche released the Carrera and Carrera 4, with rear-wheel drive and 4-wheel-drive respectively. Later on came the Turbo and Turbo S versions, in 1990. They came with the new Typ 64 engine, an air-cooled boxer-6. Displacement went up to 3.3 to 3.6 liters, according to the version of the car. However, you can’t separate a 911 from racing.

So in 1992 Porsche released a lightweight version of the 964, the Carrera RS (Rennsport). Based on the “Carrera Cup” race car, it was rear-wheel drive only and came with the Typ M64/3 engine, rated at 260 hp. It also had race-oriented suspension and asymmetrical limited slip differential. The interior was bare, no power-steering, AC, sound deadening, etc – basically a street-legal race car. But if that was not enough, in 1993 Porsche produced the ultimate 964: the Carrera 3.8 RS. Produced in a very limited number, the 3.8 RS came with a (wide) Turbo body and the M64/4 engine. Displacing 3746 cm³, the M64/4 engine delivered 300 hp. With a curb weight of only 1210 kg, it was wickedly fast.

In scale it’s a pretty decent model, but no way I would call it Spark-good.

Porsche produced only 55 of the 3.8 RS, being one of the rarest 911 models to date. At the time, it was only available in Europe and became the object of desire to all Porsche enthusiasts. In 2018 Sotheby’s auctioned one for an eye-watering $1,655,000 💸. It’s a rare beast, with tons of style and performance. I always liked the 964, specially the Turbo model. So when I found this one locally for a good price, I bought it instantly.

However, I wasn’t aware of one small detail: though from Spark, it’s diecast and not resin. Only after I started to research the model and car that I noticed the “SDC” in the model code. I do have two diecast models from Spark, but though gorgeous, they’re (Mercedes) Silberpfeile. I didn’t know exactly what to expect but was confident that Spark wouldn’t let me down. BUT, despite my faith in the brand, it’s not what I would call “Spark good”. Fender turn signals are only painted on, exhaust pipes are not hollow and front air intakes do not go through the bumpers. It’s not bad, definitively not, but it reminds me of an old Minichamps. Heck, this looks like one of the Porsches from the Atlas series.

I had a hole in my line-up, and the W-143 Garage was sorely missing a 964. But in spite of its short comings, this 3.8 RS closed well that gap.

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