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      Your path: Home >> Wall-E's World >> Model Cars >> 1986 Porsche 959
1986 Porsche 959
Manufacturer: Maisto
Release dates: Unknown
Catalog number: Unknown
Date Purchased: Late 2007
Date Completed March 2010
Number in collection: 34

The Porsche 959 was a high performance sports car introduced in 1986. It was inspired by the Gruppe B concept car, and was produced in limited numbers in order to qualify it for Group B rally racing. The engine was a 174 CID (2.8l) flat six with twin turbochargers, and was rated at 444 horsepower. Unlike earlier rear-engine Porsche's, it was no longer fully air-cooled, as the cylinder heads were water-cooled. Power was sent to the road by a six-speed transaxle connected to a sophisticated all wheel drive system. Top speed was around 195 MPH (314 km/h). Although the 959 resembled the 911 series, very few parts were shared by both cars. It was not an inexpensive car, as it sold for the equivalent of US$225,000. The 959 was never officially sold by Porsche in the US, but a few have been imported by collectors and other private owners.

Maisto makes this replica of the 959. It's a good, but not outstanding, replica of this car, and comparable to other inexpensive brands from that time period. I have seen pictures of this car with opening doors. The doors are cast closed on mine, but the inside of the casting is thicker on the inside of the doors. There is also an area that looks like a door hinge would rest against it. I found this one, along with other cars, in several collector cases that I recovered while cleaning out a storage unit in 2007. The original paint and markings were chipped and worn, but the rest of the car was in good shape. I don't how old it is, but it seems to be from the middle to late 1990's based on the age of the other cars I found along with it.

I originally worked on this car long before I started photographing them. The 'before' pictures are not of my car, but ones I found on-line of cars that are in original condition. The 'after' pictures were of my car, but taken while I was originally writing this page.

Click to zoom Click to zoom
What I started with. Actual car I used for reference.


Pictures of car before any changes were made (click to enlarge)
Disassembly was done by drilling out the two body-to-chassis rivets. The parts breakdown is as follows:
  • A black plastic chassis with minimal (and inaccurate) moulded-in detail for the drive train and suspension.
  • Two separate wheel/tire/axle assemblies, which are held in place to the chassis by a plastic strip. This strip is bonded by heat applied to a pin on the chassis, and gives a slight spring effect to the axles, simulating suspension. I didn't remove the strip, as I didn't want to risk damaging either piece. The wheels have a design that isn't even close to the actual car, and one of several styles that I've seen on this replica.
  • A tan plastic one-piece interior with the dash and steering wheel molded to one half, the remainder on the other half, hinged at the front of the whole part. The seats and console vaguely resemble the actual car, but the dash and steering wheel do not.
  • An amber-tinted clear rear light panel, that runs the width of the car. It's attached by heat applied to moulded-in pins. I cut these bonds and removed the part.
  • A single piece clear window assembly, which includes the windshield, rear window, and two rear quarter windows.
  • The die-cast body, which is painted silver. A Porsche crest decal is on the front cover, which is much larger than the actual emblem. The other spells out PORSCHE on the rear wing, which the actual car didn't have.

After disassembling the car, I stripped the body with a chemical stripping gel. After a thorough washing, I removed seams from the casting with files and sandpaper before applying primer and paint. Although The overall level of detail of this car isn't the greatest, I tried to add as much detail as I would to better quality cars.

The following is a summary of the changes I made:
  • Wheels and tires: Sanded the tread surface with 220 grit sandpaper to simulate wear. Painted the raised part of the wheels Tamiya aluminum. Even though the wheels are not even close to the correct design, I tried to do the best with what I had to work with.
  • Chassis: Painted entire piece Testors acrylic flat black. Engine, frame and suspension details were highlighted with Tamiya aluminum, metallic grey, and semi-gloss black.
  • Interior: Entire interior portion is a mix of Testors acrylic flat tan and flat white. A slightly darker shade of this mixture was used for the and floor.
  • Windows: Detailed moulded-in windshield wipers and rear-view mirror Applied Bare-Metal foil to trim moulded into the side windows.
  • Body: Stripped entire casting with gel-type paint stripper and sanded mold lines. Primed body with Rustoleum grey primer, and painted with one coat of Dupli-Color silver. I then drew body panel lines in with a metal tipped 'quill' pen and black ink. Window frames, door handles, and the various grille and vent openings are Testors acrylic flat black. Painted headliner area inside body Testors acrylic flat tan, and all other areas inside the body Testors acrylic flat black. Tamiya clear orange was used for the front turn signals and front fender mounted signal repeaters. Tail light piece is detailed with Testors flat white and Tamiya transparent red.
Disassembled parts, before reassembly To the left is the car prior to re-assembly.

Assembly was completed by pressing the parts together, filling the old rivet holes with epoxy putty, and touching up the filled holes with paint to match the chassis plate.


Pictures of completed car (click to enlarge)


The proportions of the completed car look good when compared to the actual car. The table below shows how close they are.

Actual car 
(mm / in)
Model
(mm / in)
Dimensions of actual car based on model scale
(mm / in)
Calculated scale based on model to actual car
Length 4267 / 168.0 74.7 / 2.94 4781 / 188.1 1:57
Wheelbase 2771 / 89.4 42 / 1.66 2688 / 105.9 1:54
Width 1829 / 72.0 34.6 / 1.36 2214 / 87.2 1:53
Height 1270 / 50.0 24 / .94 1536 / 60.4 1:53

Maisto doesn't indicate a scale anywhere on the car. I assumed 1:64 was the target, since this car is sold with similar cars from other manufacturers. My calculations, however, find that the scale averages out at about 1:54. My guess for the larger scale was that the car had to fit within a pre-determined packaging size.

I normally don't collect smaller scale cars from Maisto. The main reason is the lack of an interior. This one appears to be a much older release than what is currently available, since it does have clear windows and an interior. The seat and dash detail aren't first rate, but they're better than nothing. I'm also not happy with the larger scale, as it looks out of place when compared to cars of similar dimensions, but closer to 1:64 scale. I have a few more Maisto cars that appear to be from this time period, and they are also larger scale. I may add more to my collection as I find them, especially if this is the only available replica of that particular car. I just don't see myself going out if my way for them.


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