Porsche 917K #20 – Spark

917K #20
1970 Porsche 917K 
Pilots: J. Siffert, B. Redman
Team: John Weyer Automotive Engineering
Race: DNF (S 5.0 class) at Le Mans in 1970
Spark - S1969 (resin)  

Published 06/22/19

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.

917K #20
Without a doubt, one of the greatest race cars of all times.

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 Brian 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.

917K #20
As expected, detail level is top notch. A great Spark.

This car is quite important to me. It was the hero car piloted by Michael Delaney in the movie “Le Mans”. Without a doubt I can say that this car started my love affair with Le Mans and Porsche in general. Thus, it’s a true grail model. I always wanted one, and basically you have three brands offering it in 1:43: Brumm, Greenlight and Spark. Being blunt, Greenlight’s version is quite bad and Brumm’s was at least decent. Without a doubt the best was Spark’s, but it was scarce and cost a fortune on eBay. So in the beginning of March I got the Brumm version. However, out of the blue, in May Spark reissued the model! Being a grail model, I had to upgrade, and here it is. Though the Brumm is nice, this is just exquisite.

917K #20
For me, this is the car that started it all.

BUT, if I were to be 100% rational, I would keep Brumm’s 917K #20. Yes, it’s really quite nice. My only excuse to get the Spark is that it’s a grail model. And as you know, since Michael had to drive flat out, I needed the Spark…

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