Reviews, pictures, hints, and links 1/24, 1/25 car kits
1987 Porsche 959
This is a review of the Tamiya Porsche 959 kit#24065
As long as you aren’t afraid of trim and detail, this is one of the easiest exotic cars to build out there. I had built this one 4 different times and have loved every one of them. I built the exact same blue seen in this review, a maroon, and then this one (with one fail on my part), and I cannot stress how good it is. The only part that is hokey in the slightest is the engine area (I’ll get to it later), but the remainder of the car… well..
There aren’t many kits to choose from if you are looking for this beauty. The kit with the red border is the same as the above with a differently designed front cover. The two on the left are Gunze and Revell and look fairly the same. They are static kits of what appears to be the prototype of the car, so there is no engine, detail looks lousy, and it wouldn’t be what you’d see in a car show today. The last one is a design for the rally racing the 959 participated in, however, it is also a Gunze and has the same low-detail/no engine as the others. Honestly, the 2 Tamiyas are all you have… but they are realllyyy good.
CAR BACKGROUND :: If you had to list Porsche’s best vehicles over the past 100 years, this is one that would *still* be at the top of the list (maybe not first, but up there nonetheless). It was NOT a corporate win-fall in sales as the car never sold for what it took to produce it, but is was more what was produced that made the car a success. It was light.. really light. It was technologically advanced as well: all wheel drive system, tire-sensors, twin-turbo engine, super-light magnesium wheels.. there wasn’t anything on the road more advanced. In fact, the car cost Porsche almost 3 times their asking price just to make it! What you got was almost 450hp, a 195+mph top speed, and a 0-60 time close to the three and a half second mark. This was in 1987! Yes, you can buy a Dodge Charger today for about fifty grand that has more horsepower, but you cannot imagine those figures back when 5 seconds to 60 was considered “elite”. Moreover, the 959 paved the way for Porsche using an AWD system on their standard vehicles – which did nothing but improve performance across the Company’s line. Like most things in this world, its reign as the fastest, most advanced car in the world would be toppled pretty quickly, but not before its mark was left on the auto industry.. a mark that I will never forget.
Like I said earlier, I used a simple Testors Light Blue for this model and I think it really brings out Porsche’s lines perfectly. I didn’t even need a gloss coat. There is a myriad of flat black trim to do, a bunch of tight painting with the front and rear lights, and even the grey-plastic wheels will need some work, but just detail nonetheless. The rest of the model is a joy to work with. There is a bit of assembly wiggling that you’ll have to do to get the engine in and the wheel wells to sit properly, but it has worked every time for me.
The interior is standard Porsche fair, but with the plastic glass, it is tough to photo and give justice too, so omitted here. Safe to say it is a GREAT duplicate of the actual car. The dash sports a decal of the gauges that are very detailed and authentic. The seats and doors have a lot of grooves and lines that add good detail and there is nothing missing. I went with a three-tone grey interior, but I would have done even more if the glass wasn’t there.
Something I think Porsche gets a failing grade for – in general – are their engines. No, not for power or even sound, but for looks. Aside from some of the very newest ones, Porsche’s flat-six engines look a bit like a dorm-room mini fridge in the back end. Don’t get me wrong, it is also very precise and compact, and they can churn 600hp or better, but they look kinda pathetic compared to even a Testarossa. My issue with this model’s engine has to do with the turbo/exhaust lines. They are multi-pieced and HAVE to connect exactly or they will have to be removed and re-glued. That said, you can also not give a rat’s ass and leave most of that stuff off if you really wanted to because you can’t see it from the “millimeter” opening in the rear hatch. Not that it isn’t correctly molded, there just isn’t much of an opening to see the engine’s components.
Tamiya have done their typical-good job on this one. The pieces fit easy and save for a bit of fiddling with the exhaust, will give you a fun build. IMHO, this is my favorite Porsche and one of my top cars of the eighties without even a hesitation. This is also a favorite kit of mine and is one that – even now – will not break the bank. I’ve seen these as low as $18 on the web and they seem to still be plentiful. They could also possibly be a good investment too as I don’t see them re-issued again anytime soon. Super car… super kit.