Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Miniature 1/87 Porsche Racers From BUB

Regular readers of the Slot Car News blog will have seen my previous review of the Mercedes BUB miniatures. While I do like German racing cars, I have a particular soft spot for Porsches. Much to my chagrine, my local automobilia store keeps a display of BUB die-cast right on top of the checkout counter. Considering the size of these beauties, Mini-Grid can fit quite a few different models in their display.

First up a Porsche 906: the 1966 Targa Florio winner #148 (Art. No. 08051). The Targa Florio Porsche 906 depicted by BUB in this instance is the Scuderia Filipinetti car driven to victory by Willy Mairess and Herbert Müller. This entry bested the 9 other 906s and all the Ferraris entered in what turned out to be a rain soaked race. Fly Car Models has modeled this famous racer as a slot car. BUB has used their featureless 'moon disc' wheels on this car though they did correctly model the yellow perspex engine cover and surprisingly small tampo details.

The next Porsche 906 to make it into my shopping basked was the #42 car that competed at Sebring in 1967 (Art. No. 08054). A few aspects of this particular car caught my attention: first - the striking black and yellow striped livery. Fly Car Models has also released this particular 906 as a slot car. What also caught my attention about this car is that the 1:1 counterpart was driven by Canadian John Cannon. The car had qualified 18th., and DNF'd due to engine failure. BUB has used slightly more detailed wheels on this 906. The bumblebee livery is crisply rendered.

The last Porsche to be added to my miniature racing team is the 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1 (Art. No. 08550). The car depicted by this model raced at LeMans in 1974. The Porsche Factory had taken the knowledge gained about turbocharging in the CanAm series and applied it to their potent RSR. Owing to a difference in the suspension between the RSR and roadgoing 911s Porsche entered this car as a prototype in teh S3.0 class. Eight years after his Targa Florio victory, Herbert Müller and his co-driver Gijs van Lennep drove the this entry to 2nd. place behind the winning Matra 670 driven by Pescarolo/Larrousse therby besting a strong entries fielded by Matra, Mirage, and Ferrari. Again, BUB has used a more detailed wheel on this model. The Martini livery is crisply rendered as are little details like the ACO sticker on the front fender.

So what's a guy to do with three classic racers from Porsche? First off, I'd want to tranport them in style. To that end I picked up BUB's Porsche Renntransporter "rot" (Art. No. 07150). I first saw the 1:1 prototype for the tranport in the vintage park at the Rolex 24 way back in '96. I saw this truck again at Rennsport Reunion III last November in Daytona. It was interesting to see some of the details of the 1:1 truck in the flesh: driver signatures in the cargo bay, and wicker baskets to stow munchies and blankets in the cab. Power assisted sterring comprised a huge steering wheel. Thankfully BUB has used a decent black truck wheel on this vehicle instead of the silver discs they otherwise seem to use. The cargo bay doors open and close, and a ramp for loading the transporter is included. This model is also available from BUB in a silver Martini livery.

To ferry parts to and from the track I added VW T2a Kastenwagen "Porsche Renndienst" (Art. No. 08701) to my BUB racing team. As a kid we had a VW microbus as a family hauler so I have a soft spot for these vehicles to begin with. Splash the Porsche logotype across the side and I'm an easy sale. BUB has graced this model with a decent protypical white rim / moon hubcap. Paint on the VW van is as flawless as the other models in this review. I'm amazed as to how small and crisp BUB can get the print rendered on these models.

So if you're looking for some desktop toys then give the BUB line some consideration. These cars and trucks will provide any race fan with a welcome diversion and fulfill small scale dreams of victory.

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