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September/October 2014
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1/24 scale Porsche 917 PA by RCM9.15.14

s everyone probably knows by now, I'm a pretty avid scale modeler.  And when I see something new that tickles my fancy I like to promote it.  A new outfit, RCM, run by Allen James, has emerged in the low volume cottage resin industry and their first offering is a 1/24 scale Porsche 917 PA.  

The 917 PA was the essential aerodynamic predecessor ahead of the 1970 917K.  The original Porsche 917 introduced in 1969 was a bit of an aerodynamic mess.  Porsche had coupled really high horsepower (from 350+ in the 908s to 600+ in the 917) into a low-drag, Porsche 908-influenced body, during an era where the concept of downforce was only just becoming an emerging idea.  Subsequently Porsche began to have issues with lift at speed.  With nearly 600 hp on tap, you can probably imagine things started getting really hairy at 220+ on the Mulsanne Straight.  Drivers nicknamed the original 917, "The Ulcer."  

The 917 PA ('PA' for Porsche+Audi, in recognition of the US Porsche factory race team that was to run the 917 PA) was Porsche's initial foray into the Can-Am Championship.  However, given that it was essentially just a
1/24 scale Porsche 917 PA by RCMtoe-in-the water exercise to judge competitiveness, Porsche quickly assembled the PA utilizing bodywork influenced by the Porsche 908/2 Spyder mated to a spyder version of the 1969 World Championship 917 chassis.  And in their rush to produce a Can-Am car Porsche actually stumbled upon the elements that would lead to the Porsche 917's success.  By coupling the 908/2's open top Spyder bodywork, which had been developed for events such as the Targa Florio and Sebring, slower, high downforce tracks, they had moved away from the low-drag coupe version.  And it was during a post-season comparison test between the 917 PA and the 1969 World Championship 917 Coupe that the epiphany occurred that would soon lead to the 1970 and 1971 World Championships for Porsche via the heavily revised 917.

At least that's why I'm interested in the 917 PA!  I know, most will fix in on this car being the leading edge that eventually led to the Can-Am dominant 917/30.  This new kit is certainly a missing link.  Allen James has produced a straight forward, curbside kit of the PA and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it!

Cost is $110 + $6.50 S&H.  More images can be seen on RCM's FaceBook page.  To purchase your copy email Allen James:  Let him know Mulsanne's Corner sent you!

Sources:  Porsche 917:  The Undercover Story, by Gordon Wingrove and Porsche 917, The Winning Formula, by Peter Morgan.
>>Spring cleaning in September.  See something you like and make a bid!
>>Oh, and free shipping this month for US orders from M&S Hobbies.


ęCopyright 2014, Michael J. Fuller