18 February 2021
Solido Porsche 956LH - 1982 Le Mans 24 Hours winner - Jacky Ickx & Derek Bell
PRICE: 49.95 €
REF NO: S1805501
When we ordered an example of this marvellous looking creation, in the editor's mind, he already had it lined up for page 16 and the Editor's Choice. You see, he was there when this car won on its début at the famous French race - in fact the three works cars, numbers 1, 2 and 3, finished the race in that order, in the top three places. So an affordable model of a very memorable racing car that featured Solido's usual quality of finish and attention to detail? It seemed it was a 'shoo-in' for that slot. But, sadly, it seems that one of the ed's favourite manufacturers fell at the final hurdle - or, to use a more motorsport-orientated analogy, ran out of fuel on the last lap whilst leading.
The 956 programme had begun in 1981, for the new Group C regulations that would come into force for the 1982 season. Porsche's design team was headed up by the legendary Norbert Singer and, with a team of drivers from the very top of endurance racing lined up, the project seemed destined for success. What nobody knew at the time, though, was how successful this design would become - dominating the sport for many years, either in the hands of the works team or the many privateer entries.
So much so that a Porsche 956, or its very closely-related successor, the 962, would win Le Mans every year from 1982 to 1987 - and so very nearly in 1988 too.
Modelled here with its 'longtail' low-drag Le Mans bodywork, the shape of this incredible car is very well captured indeed, and the colours of the livery are just right. The colours are for Rothmans, back in the day when tobacco advertising was allowed. Naturally today, these decals are hidden away in the back of the packaging, for the new owner to apply after purchase. The first problem is that, somehow, the logos are very wrong. Rothmans changed its logo font between the 1982 and 1983 seasons, and the 1983 style is supplied.
On the plus side, the doors open to reveal a very good cockpit interior, nicely replicated and definitely worthy of displaying the model with the doors open. But we can't take our eyes off the wheel trims, which should be flush to the rims, not stick out as much as they do.
These niggles will be rectified and featured in a later issue of Diecast Collector, but for now, it's still a lovely model and it is proudly on display, waiting for the promised follow on releases from Solido.