1970 Porsche 917K #20
Pilots: J. Siffert, B. Redman
Team: John Weyer Automotive Engineering
Race: DNF (S 5.0 class) at Le Mans in 1970
Brumm - R493 (diecast)
After a disastrous start in 1969, with input from John Weyer, Porsche finally sorted out the 917. So Stuttgart was confident that in 1970 a Porsche would finally earn an overall victory at La Sarthe. And to maximize their chances, it was an all-out 917 assault by three factory teams. JWA enrolled three 917K, Porsche Salzburg had one 917K and one 917LH and Martini had a 917LH. And for good measure, there was also David Piper’s semi-official 917K. The race of 1970 was the first to start without the pilots running to their cars. The grid was full, and 51 cars started the race. However, what spectators really wanted to see was the battle between Porsche and Ferrari. To complicate things, just some two hours into the race the heavens opened up to a true deluge of water.
The expected battle did happen, but it was short-lived. Because of the rain, in just two hours five of the eleven 512s were out of the race. After that, it was the first Porsche Fest – with 23 cars in total, Stuttgart’s cars won all categories. Piloted by Joseph “Seppi” Siffert and Brain Redman, 917K #20 was in the lead with a 10 laps advantage. But around 2am Siffert missed a shift and destroyed the engine, abandoning the race on lap 156. In the end, Porsche Salzburg’s 917K #23 came in first overall, the first of Porsche’s 19 victories at Le Mans.
This was my first gamble of the year: a Brumm model. Their track history in my collection is shady at best, with one nice model and another a complete turd. And this car is quite important: Michael Delaney piloted the 917K #20 in “Le Mans”. That was the car that started my love affair with Le Mans and Porsche in general. I would l-o-v-e to get the Spark version, but prices on that are absolutely bonkers. So I took the gamble…
And I think I scored! I was REALLY surprised by the model. I feared a turd, but the fact is that it’s quite nice. Obviously not Spark-nice, but old Ixo-nice. Hence, it’s just one or two notches below my Minichamps #19. Though the windshield’s is a bit too narrow. And the nose is a bit long… But the rest is okay. Also, a few touches of paint on the rear and it would improve a lot. So of course the Spark version is preferable, but since this is affordable, I say it was a VERY good buy.