1970 Porsche 917K Pilots: P. Rodriguez, L. Kinnunen Team: John Weyer Automotive Engineering Race: DNF (S 5.0 class) at Le Mans in 1970 Brumm - R494 (diecast)
The 1970 24 Heures du Mans was an interesting one. For the first time the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) was now technically fully aligned with FIA. In addition, as another first, the race would not start with the famous “Le Mans start”. Moreover, to the delight of race fans, there was a huge interest in the race – 96 entries. After scrutineering, by Saturday afternoon there were 57 cars in the grid, evenly divided amongst prototypes, sports and GT cars. Furthermore, the race would be filmed. Steve McQueen’s Solar productions had a car in the race for filming. Their 908/02 #29 had onboard cameras to capture live race footage that would be in McQueen’s upcoming “Le Mans” film. However, probably the best thing about the race was the Porsche vs Ferrari battle that would take place. Ferrari had eleven 512Ss in the race, while Porsche had eight 917s.
John Weyer had three cars in the race, #20, #21 and #22. The idea was to have four cars, but ACO denied a four car team. In fact, this fourth car (#26) had, along with Jackie Stewart, Steve McQueen listed as pilot… The 917K #21 (chassis #917-016) was one of the three “Gulf Porsches”. Piloted by the experienced duo of Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Kinnunen, it counted on the larger 4907 cm³ engine. They did pretty good in practice, starting in fifth place. However, the awaited clash between Maranello and Stuttgart was short-lived. In the first hour and a half four of the leading contenders in the Ferrari camp were out. And 917K #21 didn’t fare well either, when a broken engine fan on lap 22 forced a retirement.
After the good surprise that was my Brumm 917K #20, I got the idea of completing the team. Once again, this Brumm is certainly not as good as a Spark, but without a doubt it’s “good enough”. So for the price, this 917K #21 is a VERY nice acquisition.