Child-sized vintage Porsches join anniversary sale
RM Sotheby's is selling four iconic Porsche racing cars at the marque's 70th anniversary sale. There's one small difference, though
RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale, set to take place on October 27, will include four child-sized Porsche models of Stuttgart's most famous machines, including a legendary Le Mans winner.
Scaled-down versions of the Porsche 917, 550 Spyder, 356 Speedster and 904 GTS will be auctioned, all without reserve, and will join 70 other marque legends in the celebratory sale.
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The 917 brought Porsche's first two overall Le Mans 24 Hours wins in 1970 and '71, with only 25 of the prototype sports car racer being built. It was initially fitted with a 4.5-litre flat-12 engine and based on the successful 908, which had lost the 1969 edition of Le Mans in a thrilling last-lap battle with JW Automotive's Ford GT40.
It was prone to poor reliability at first but eventually proved itself as the car to have at Le Mans, finishing one-two in 1970. A new rulebook ruled the car out for 1972, but there are no such regulations preventing the buyer of the toy version having fun, and they could challenge its endurance credentials by competing in a race-around-the-clock in the safety of their lawn.
With the sale taking place in America, the buyer may also be inspired Porsche's post-Le Mans success, in which the German manufacturer exported its racing exploits to North America for 1972 and won the Can-Am sports car racing title two years in a row. The kid-sized car is based on the 1970 Le Mans winner though, which still appears in events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and carries the same iconic red and white livery. You probably won't have much luck getting this scaled-down version past Goodwood scrutineers for the Revival's Settrington Cup, though.
The 550 Spyder was the first car designed by the Porsche factory specifically for motorsport, and was inspired by the legendary 356, the first Porsche production car. Produced between 1953 and '56, it contained a 1.5-litre flat four engine just in front of the rear axle, and the coupé prototype won the first race it entered.
Entries in the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio endurance races were common, and it was in the latter where Porsche secured its first international motorsport event in 1956. Of all the numbers to choose from, the '130' insignia on the front and side of the car is a provocative choice for the toy car given its tragic connotations with James Dean, but before then it was the definition of cool to be seen driving the '130' 550 Spyder.
Bar 'No. 1', the most desirable of the 356s are those that were built with the Speedster body, which robbed the car of its roof, gave it a more angled windscreen, bucket seats and a folding top. The miniature version only has the raked windscreen to boast about, and a vintage looking steering wheel. For the buyer, the fun will be in telling their friends they own a 356, something not many classic car collectors can say.
Another car designed with racing in mind, the 904 marked Porsche's return to sports car racing as a factory-backed effort after a stint in Formula 1 between 1957 and '62. The GTS variant of the 904 was built to comply with the FIA's GT regulations but was also adept at hillclimbing. The kid-sized version certainly replicates the looks of the original and is finished in a vibrant red.
Taking place at the Porsche Exhibition Center in Atlanta on October 27, the Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale follows Laguna Seca's Rennsport Reunion IV in the official celebrations of the brand in the US.
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