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Fixing the wide front of the Fujimi 917?


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Great stuff Gary!  I don't have much 917 reference.   Wikipedia Indicates Porsche didn't use the suffix "LH" for the long tail version, the factory identified them as "917L", does your book confirm this?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_917

1970 917L (Langheck, German for "long tail"):

This longtail, low drag version of the 1969 917L was purpose-built for the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours. Le Mans in 1970 was almost entirely made up of long straights and this version was designed to maximise the speed capability resulting from the increased power developed by the flat-12 engine over the previous Porsche types. The 1970 917L was significantly developed from the initial 1969 car. Nevertheless, factory driver Vic Elford had found the car's ultimate speed an advantage enough over its still questionable handling in the braking and cornering sections of Le Mans. It was 25 mph faster down the straights than the 917K and the Ferrari 512Ss.[16] Two were raced in the 1970 Le Mans race, one was entered by Porsche Salzburg (SER#917L 042) (White/Red Shell livery) and another was entered by Martini International, (SER#917L 043) painted in psychedelic colors. The Porsche Salzburg 917L was qualified in pole position by Vic Elford, but this car retired with engine failure after 18 hours and the Martini 917L finished 2nd, 5 laps behind the winning Salzburg 917K of Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood. Le Mans was the only race in which the 917Ls competed in that year. Of the two, only the Martini car (917L-043)is known to exist outside the factory collection: it is on display at the Simeone museum in Philadelphia. There was a major longtail crash during testing in 1970 at the VW test track near Wolfsburg, involving Kurt Ahrens in chassis 917L-006/040. A total of six 917L models were built and used between the 1970 and 1971 season(040-041-042-043-044*-045). *Unused spare chassis reportedly swapped for 043's. (No documentation)

 

1971 917LH* (Langheck, German for "long tail"):

The 1971 model was a further development of the 1970 917L and was also made specifically to compete in only one race: the 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours. The car was also more stable than its 1970 predecessor because of new bodywork and revised suspension set ups and partially enclosed rear wheels covers. The front section was also redesigned. The three LHs were run at Le Mans in 1971: two were run by John Wyer's team (SER#917L-043 and 917L-045) (Both Gulf livery) and one was run by the Martini International team, (SER#917L-042) (Silver Martini Racing livery). Although Jackie Oliver qualified one of the Wyer 917LHs on pole position, none of the three cars finished the race. This was the last race in which the 917LHs were run in. Only three 917Ls survive and each is on display in a museum: 917L-042 is on display at the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, 917L-043 is on display at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, PA and 917L-045 displayed at the Le Mans museum. 045 was repainted like 042 and they are now both painted in identical 1971 Martini colours. Chassis 043 ( 044 ), which is now in the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, was restored to its 1970 Martini 'hippie' colours prior to its sale in the 1998 Christie's Pebble Beach auction.[17] * LH is non-factory term used here but is generally accepted by most to describe the 'rework' for the 1971 season of the previous 1970 L models.

 

dsc_3863.jpg?itok=IYK9dEVp

Edited by afx
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I honestly don't think that it will take much work to fix the Fujimi kit.

It seems to not taper enough towards the front end like the Heller does.

I did order the Renaissance corrective rear piece mainly out of curiosity and will reply with photos when it arrives in say, oh about 3 years!  Seriously I hope it shows sooner then later.

Edited by aurfalien
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First, I want to thank everyone who's posted photos and other info in this thread. Very helpful, as there are several 917 projects I have waiting.

Second...

2 hours ago, aurfalien said:

I honestly don't think that it will take much work to fix the Fujimi kit.

It seems to not taper enough towards the front end like the Heller does.

The more I look at the photos, which I admittedly have never really studied before, the more it's seeming to me that the noses of the later cars got wider and more squared over time. Not the windshields, but the width of the fenders, to compensate, probably, for wider rubber.

This would be consistent, also, with the early cars having their headlights staggered to fit in the available space, and the later cars having their headlights side-by-side, as though it was no longer necessary to stagger them because the fenders were wider.

Further study is required in order for me to come to a fully supportable opinion.

 

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2 minutes ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

First, I want to thank everyone who's posted photos and other info in this thread. Very helpful, as there are several 917 projects I have waiting.

Second...

The more I look at the photos, which I admittedly have never really studied before, the more it's seeming to me that the noses of the later cars got wider and more squared over time. Not the windshields, but the width of the fenders, to compensate, probably, for wider rubber.

This would be consistent, also, with the early cars having their headlights staggered to fit in the available space, and the later cars having their headlights side-by-side, as though it was no longer necessary to stagger them because the fenders were wider.

Further study is required in order for me to come to a fully supportable opinion.

 

Ah, very very good points.

I've never really thought about it before but race cars seem to change season to season, race to race and even driver to driver.

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13 minutes ago, aurfalien said:

Ah, very very good points.

I've never really thought about it before but race cars seem to change season to season, race to race and even driver to driver.

In particular, look at the 917 LH and the 917/20 Pink Pig. The noses of those two are very different from the 917K.

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3 hours ago, aurfalien said:

I honestly don't think that it will take much work to fix the Fujimi kit.

It seems to not taper enough towards the front end like the Heller does.

I did order the Renaissance corrective rear piece mainly out of curiosity and will reply with photos when it arrives in say, oh about 3 years!  Seriously I hope it shows sooner then later.

Brian, I regret I did  not posting this photo of the Renaissance rear piece which I bought a couple of decades ago.  I do not know if it is the same one you ordered or not but it is TK24/258.  I put a built  up Heller for comparison.

20190927_155447.jpg.b8bc4d235fcec16410a1d43ac488a532.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Gramps46 said:

Brian, I regret I did  not posting this photo of the Renaissance rear piece which I bought a couple of decades ago.  I do not know if it is the same one you ordered or not but it is TK24/258.  I put a built  up Heller for comparison.

20190927_155447.jpg.b8bc4d235fcec16410a1d43ac488a532.jpg

Hi Gary,

No problem man, I bought the other version being with out the fins.  I can aways eBay it later but I'd rather use it.

 

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1970

Disappointed by the poor results of the 917 in 1969, and facing new competition, Porsche concluded an agreement with John Wyer and his JWA Gulf Team, which became the official Porsche team, and also the official development partner. During tests at the Österreichring at Zeltweg, works drivers Redman and Ahrens tested the car, and the car still performed like it did before. The Österreichring was the circuit where the car had won its only race at that time, Wyer's chief engineer John Horsman noticed that the bodywork had a pattern of dead gnats dashed against it, revealing the airflow. The tail was clean—the lack of dead gnats indicated that the air was not flowing over the tail. A modification to the tail was cobbled-up on the spot in the pits with aluminium sheets taped together. This new short tail gave the 917 much needed downforce. The plastic engine intake cover had already been removed. Redman and Ahrens were doing only one lap at a time before, they each did 10 laps and were satisfied with the improved performance. The new version was called 917K (Kurzheck, or "short tail").

Image result for porsche 917 1969

Edited by afx
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27 minutes ago, afx said:

... Wyer's chief engineer John Horsman noticed that the bodywork had a pattern of dead gnats dashed against it, revealing the airflow. The tail was clean—the lack of dead gnats indicated that the air was not flowing over the tail. A modification to the tail was cobbled-up on the spot in the pits with aluminium sheets taped together. This new short tail gave the 917 much needed downforce. The plastic engine intake cover had already been removed. Redman and Ahrens were doing only one lap at a time before, they each did 10 laps and were satisfied with the improved performance...

:D Definitely my kind of engineering...

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On 9/25/2019 at 9:57 AM, Ace-Garageguy said:

[...] Hmmmm... ... build weathered after-the-race versions where the discrepancies in proportions wouldn't be quite so obvious... [...]

That's a favorite solution for crappy kits that I get away with!  Enjoying yours, and everyone else's comments on this topic.

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16 minutes ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

While there is some visual similarity, the 908 is in fact very different...

image.png.6c8514a89c3a168fc6dd695e24cdd3ba.png

Wow you're right.  I've seen the photo that JC posted many many times and always thought it was a line up of the 908.  Man was I wrong.  I did a quick Google images search and yep, 917.  Amazing how little I know, it's impressive actually.  

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Yep... if you compare the front of that 1971 Le Mans long tail with the nose of the cars in the factory lineup, they are VERY different. My guess is that since those cars were the 25 needed to homologate the 917 in class, Porsche had to keep the 917 designation throughout some pretty drastic evolutionary steps. The Can Am cars were still “917”s even if they were even more dramatically different visually (though I don’t think the homologation rules applied to Can Am).

best,

M.

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5 hours ago, aurfalien said:

Wow you're right.  I've seen the photo that JC posted many many times and always thought it was a line up of the 908.  Man was I wrong.  I did a quick Google images search and yep, 917.  Amazing how little I know, it's impressive actually.  

Those 917s were called the secretary cars. The sanctioning body wanted to see 25 cars in order to homologate them, so Porsche pulled almost all available employees into building them in a short period of time regardless of their title or position. All started, ran, and were driveable, but were rebuilt prior to racing/delivery.

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6 hours ago, aurfalien said:

You sure those aren't the 908 cars?

Positive.  They are the original batch of (25) 917s lined up for FIA inspection on April 21st, 1969. One of the FIA's requirements, to qualify as a production sports car, was to build (25) examples within a twelve month period.  Porsche chose to build them all at once. 

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39 minutes ago, SSNJim said:

Those 917s were called the secretary cars. The sanctioning body wanted to see 25 cars in order to homologate them, so Porsche pulled almost all available employees into building them in a short period of time regardless of their title or position. All started, ran, and were driveable, but were rebuilt prior to racing/delivery.

Indeed.  Porsche originally invited the FIA to the factory on March 20th, 1969 to verify that (25) examples were being produced. When the FIA arrived (3) cars were fully assembled, another (18) were in the process of assembly and parts to build another (7) car were shown. Because of past shenanigans, particularly by Ferrari never actually producing the required quantity of cars the FIA rejected the submission because (25) cars were not actually "built". As you can imagine that didn't sit well with Porsche, rather than argue they went to work to get all (25) cars assembled to running condition before inviting the FIA back on April 21st.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Matt Bacon said:

Yep... if you compare the front of that 1971 Le Mans long tail with the nose of the cars in the factory lineup, they are VERY different. My guess is that since those cars were the 25 needed to homologate the 917 in class, Porsche had to keep the 917 designation throughout some pretty drastic evolutionary steps. The Can Am cars were still “917”s even if they were even more dramatically different visually (though I don’t think the homologation rules applied to Can Am).

best,

M.

During that period the FIA allowed a rather liberal evolution of the body style.  As an example only (6) Daytona Coupes were ever built but Shelby was allowed to homologate them as an evolution of the Cobra roadster.  Ferrari was allowed to do the same with several of their sports cars.

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On 9/27/2019 at 6:33 AM, afx said:

Great stuff Gary!  I don't have much 917 reference.   Wikipedia Indicates Porsche didn't use the suffix "LH" for the long tail version, the factory identified them as "917L", does your book confirm this?

] * LH is non-factory term used here but is generally accepted by most to describe the 'rework' for the 1971 season of the previous 1970 L models.

 

 

JC,

I checked four 917 books and three use the designation LH and one just the letter L.  I did not find any "official" Porsche documentation, yet.  I had assumed the L was a contraction for Langheck.  I will keep looking.

I have seen the Simeone 917LH and the #35 Martini 917K when owned by Bobby Rahal and they are amazing.

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