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Friday, July 3, 2015

Hot Wheels Porsche 914/6, Porsche 935/78, and 993 GT2



The latest release at Wal-mart is the Porsche series, and at less that a dollar you can't go wrong with the selection of models, the deco's, and the blisterpack design.  Now I do not have the full eight-car set to review but I do have five out of the eight to review.  Two are in a separate post, so here's the other three: two new to me and one that I am already familiar with.




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First is the VW/Porsche partnership (way before VW bought Porsche) in the 914.  Heck, both the VW and Porsche's look similar with the same powertrain layout, but that's not a bad idea as this car brings back the memories of the 356 and 550 Spyder's of the 1950's and the precursor to the Boxster.  Located mid-ship where the only access to the engine is a small grill cover behind the rear window is where the Boxer flat-4, or in the case of the 914/6 a flat-6 that is air-cooled and 2.0L to produce 108 hp. through a 4-speed manual.  Interestingly enough the 4-cylinder was a better sales success than the 6-cylinder, and Porsche though it was a good idea to sell all of them, including the VW versions, in the U.S. under the Porsche name.




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Unlike the stock Matchbox version introduced in 2010 this Hot Wheels version introduced in 2012 takes a race car approach as the interior features an open-top look with an integrated rollcage and 5-point belts in the seats to spice up the otherwise simplistic dashboard layout.  The B-pillar windows look ragged-cut and tie in with the front and rear bumpers for no apparent reason, while the pop-up headlights are missing from the lightweight hood with pin clips, though the lower foglights can take over for the missing headlight job.  The white with racing graphics look great on this car, as does the 5-spoke wheels to fit the small wheelwells.  Also small is the beltline and length of the car, though it's still larger than the smaller 1962 Mustang concept car.  The fenders have flares, the driver only gets an exterior mirror, signal lights on the front fenders, the rear spoiler on the trunk lid, and taillights with dual exhaust below complete the details.  Underneath is the only way to view the flat-six motor or even access it!  This is a great handling car that has neutral cornering reflexes and quick acceleration, putting it in the same camp as the Matchbox Alfa 4C and Hot Wheels 1990 Acura NSX.




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Next up in size is the Porsche 935/78, so-called the Whale Tail or Moby Dick thanks to its large aerodynamic rear fenders.  In the 1970's Porsche was looking for a way to be more competitive on the track, so in that regards they looked at enhancing the aerodynamics of the 911 body shape on the 934 race car.  After countless variants the climax to this design occurred with the 78 model that featured so much aero add-ons that it was barely recognized as a 911!  The car also featured right-hand drive to supplement the driver's weight to the right on left-turn tracks.  The engine is the air-cooled flat-six that produced 370 hp. through a 5-speed manual transaxle.  Ironically despite the added aero benefits the 78 was far less successful than the earlier models and capped the end of Porsche racing in the FIA championship.  The aero body did make it to the front-end of the 930 911's under the Slant Nose name.



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This Hot Wheels casting appeared briefly in the short-run Racing series in 2012, then revived in the Flying Customs and now the Porsche series.  The blue with red graphics and windows, along with the PR-5 wheels, look improper for this car but then again the graphics faithfully recall the flow of the graphics on the real car.  The flat front hood has headlights located lower in the bumper next to a larger grille with integrated front brake cooling ducts and a large lower spoiler.  The front fenders have air extractor vents while the hood has open ports for refueling.  The sides show how big the large fenders are as the doors are really recessed into the new bodywork, though these fenders do allow the extractor front and intake rear vents to function.  Oh, and not the exterior mirrors that are always missing on most Hot Wheels castings.  Things get wilder at the rear with the flowing rear fenders tapering off, the fixed wing flying high, and the only other 911 evidence is behind the recessed lower rear section that shows the central exhaust and 911 taillights; getting into the engine bay is now more of a choir with the large rear fenders in the way.  The interior has the stock 911 dash layout, in right-hand drive, with a driver's racing seat and other necessary gear where the front passenger seat used to be, and a rollcage.



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The 930 Turbo is based on a 911 Turbo but with the slant-nose front.  This Hot Wheels casting is in my opinion one of the best castings with the proper details and the clean body lines shown off with great color combinations like the light blue or the red with door graphics.  The front hood is smooth with detailed vents and lower bumper details, the fenders nicely flared and merge in with the body nicely.  The back-end has the stock 911 look with the large spoiler, detailed taillight bar, and bumper pads.  The base shows off the detailed rear 3.3L turbo flat-six engine (producing 300 hp) and body rivets on a metal base, while the interior has seats and a dashboard that is also part of the window piece.  This 911 is so nicely done that even the classic 911 casting of 1975 can never live up to this version!









(Alongside a 2010 911 GT2:)




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Finally is a familiar face in the 993 GT2 race car.  As you've already seen in a past review the 993 GT2 started life as a Boulevard casting in yellow with metal base, rubber tires, and excellent details let down by thick paint.  For those who didn't get the opportunity to get the first one got a second chance in the red 2014 mainline release with a plastic base, followed by a flat white version.  The latest is this Porsche Series release in flat silver that finally shows off the body details in great length from the fender mounting bolts to the hood filler caps.  The decals are limited to the hood and roof, leaving the rest of the car in bare silver.  The headlights are part of the interior trim, the lower bumper has the large scoops and signal lights in the bumper.  The sides have the flared fenders, exterior mirrors, and 5-spoke black wheels with red rims, while the rear has a fixed spoiler (the front part of the spoiler support brackets have holes for the turbo six underneath), dual exhaust, and taillights that, ironically, now can use some color details.  The base shows off the twin-turbo 3.8L air-cooled flat-six that produces 450 hp. through a 5-speed manual for the last air-cooled engine in the GT2 line.  The interior features only one racing seat, a roll cage, stock 911 dashboard, and added racing gear where the front passenger seat used to lay  It's nice to finally see one of the GT2 's that has less thick paint to show off the more impressive body details of this car.

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Not bad for these three showing off excellent body details and subdue racing graphics that look realistic and not foolish-looking.  I can see this series getting off to a great start and selling at a brisk rate!

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