I'm a collector. Not sure what it is about my personality, but there are number of items (other than Porsche) I like to collect (watches, bourbon, guns, RC Cars, pens, cufflinks, etc.). Well, the other day HPI sent us a care package that, amongst other things, included a 1/43 scale model of a Porsche 956 LH. At first I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Obviously, I recognized it as a Porsche. How could I not? Even at 1/43 scale the detail seemed quite remarkable. However, it's not like an RC car, you can't really play with it and unlike larger scale models it doesn't have a ton of working parts. So, I put it on the corner of my desk and just kind of forgot about it.
Fast forward three weeks and I'm a man obsessed. I can't stop looking at it and I keep picking it up. This neat little model has piqued my curiosity to the point where I've researched the history of this particular 956 (Jackie Ickx and Derek Bell won with it at Le Mans in 1982. Which also happens to be the same year Porsche placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 956.) and Porsche die-cast models in general.
The rear-engine cover comes off to expose a highly detailed engine and exterior details include things like radiators, disc brakes, brake calipers, mirrors, wings, exhaust, headlight buckets,tow hooks, radio antennae and sponsor logos (unfortunately, it's missing it's original Rothmans logos due to restrictions on Tobacco advertising. Silly if you ask me when it comes to model cars).
If you're not familiar with die-cast scale models, 1:43 scale is a smaller size but apparently a very popular one. As an aside, for those not familiar with how scale works, it's an indication of relative size. A 1:43 scale die-cast Porsche is one 43th the size of the real thing. Look at it the other way, and the real Porsche is 43 times larger than the model. From largest to smallest the most common size die-cast seem to be 1:18, 1:24, 1:43 and 1:64 (the size you most likely associate with Matchbox Cars). HPI makes die-casts in 1:43 and 1:18 (combined, the two most popular collector sizes).
When we inquired to HPI about their ability to recreate the car with such accuracy, we were told they use drawings and plans from the manufacturer to reproduce an incredibly detailed model. While we're new to the hobby, we agree with them. Because of their convenient small size, the 1:43 scale is perfect for my office and I've already started researching my next purchase. I figure each time I get a new scale model Porsche I'll learn that much more about the history of my favorite marque. If you're interested in one of these HPI Porsche die-casts (this one is $99) you can learn more on their site or purchase your own via one of their authorized retailers or on Amazon.com
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