1976 Porsche 936 #20 Pilots: J. Ickx, G. Lennep Team: Martini Racing / Porsche System Race: 1st overall (S 3.0) at Le Mans in 1976 Ixo - LM 1976 (diecast)
The 936 was Porsche’s elected weapon for the World Sportscar Championship of 1976. Built for Group 6 rules, it was an interesting car. It was the combination of Porsche’s new (for 1975) 2.1 l turbocharged engine, a 908/3 tubular space frame, 917 gearbox and a smaller version of the 917/30 body. Hence, it came out as a two-seater spyder powered by an air-cooled 2140 cm³ flat-6. With a single turbocharger and 12 valves, it delivered 540 hp. Porsche produced two cars, #936-001 and #936-002. The 936’s first real-life trial was at Nürburgring in early April of 1976, and chassis #936-001 come in fifth. Later in April, chassis #936-002 came in first at the Monza 4 Hours race. Astonishing, that was just 6 months (!!) after the development of the project started. Hence, the 936 was ready for what really mattered – the 24 Heures du Mans.
Initially both chassis had basically the same configuration, however for Le Mans Porsche altered 936-002. While 936-001 continued with a flat roll cage behind the pilot, 936-002 gained an air scoop. This air intake provided more air to the intercooler, to optimize the temperature. With sponsorship from Martini, Porsche took both cars to La Sarthe, with numbers #18 (#936-001) and #20 (#936-002). Though car #18 had to abandon on the 218th lap, car #20 came in first place overall. The Porsche 936 #20 was the first turbocharged car to win at La Sarthe. It would also bring one more victory at Le Mans (1977) and one World Championship for Porsche. For a car that took less than six months from the drawing board to a podium, that sure is something.
When I started collecting 1:18 cars in the early 2000’s, the 936 #20 wasn’t available. Nevertheless, the overall success of the car really piqued my interest. Therefore, when I began collecting 1:43s, this was an automatic grail model for my collection. So of course I bought one, Troféu’s version in 2017. Unfortunately, however, Troféu fumbled the model. Misaligned decals, unmarked tires and, worst of all, that terrible gap behind the dashboard…😫 As soon as I got it I knew I had to replace it, and (finally!) here it is. Ixo did a MUCH better job on the car; to the point I could almost say it looks “Spark good”. So if the 936 #20 is an important model for you, go for the Ixo version (or the Spark one, if you can find it).