MRRC Porsche 911 Carrera

MRRC Porsche 911 Carrera

Postby wixwacing » Tue 22 Mar, 2011 11:59 pm


Porsche 911 Carrera



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By Phil Wicks


The Porsche 911 was a bold move by Porsche at a time that variants of the 356 were still selling strongly to the public and to club racers. The 356 A’s, B’s and C’s were capitalising on a niche market carved out by Porsche based on styling and track results but by the early sixties Porsche were running out of ideas and updates, having taken the 356 to the extremes of possibility in finish and tuning; culminating with the 356 Carrera 2000GS.



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Surprisingly, the 911 project started life in 1956. The idea was that it would be a big Brother to the 356 but as development progressed it was obvious to Porsche that the model was a pretender to the 356 throne. One of Ferri’s four sons (Ferdinand lll) was entrusted with the body design and his requirements were simple, The body had to retain the styling of the 356 but the car had to be functional. He wanted a lot more space inside. An improved luggage area and room for a set of golf clubs!



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Known internally as the T7, the body was extended to make it a true four seater and the two litre, six cylinder OHC engine was earmarked to be the power plant. the trailing link suspension was dropped along with the swing axles, but the torsion bars were retained. To make it a true four seater Porsche adopted the now familiar ‘fastback’ type roofline.









The model in its presentation form was first publicly displayed at the 1963 Frankfurt Auto show. By the time of its release the car had been designated the 901, something which excited Peugeot somewhat, as they laid claim to the exclusive right to name car models using three numbers with zero as the middle digit. Threatened with a ban on car sales in France, Porsche relented and changed the middle zero to a one!



Racing 911’s



Because of its high price, Porsche also developed its sister in the form of the 912. This was to be a four cylinder model with more basic fittings . A detuned 1600 c.c. engine and a far cheaper price tag. Of the 13000 Porsches built in 1966, 9000 had four cylinder engines. Needless to say it’s track debut was only months in the making. It soon became apparent that the new Porsche was prone to understeer and Porsche’s fix for this was a couple of cast iron ingots which were inserted into the front bumper! As we all now know, the 911 and its variants were a runaway success and who can say, maybe it was the model responsible for Porsche’s meteoric rise in popularity both on and off the track.



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Well its been a long time coming but has it been worth it ? An accurate scale model of a Porsche 911 Carrera!!! Too good to be true??? we will see shortly. My first surprise is that we have had to wait for a small company like MRRC to release this iconic model. Why Scalextric and Carrera have danced around it for so long is surprising. Maybe SCX could have been there with it as they are becoming specialists in reproducing small cars like the Renault 5’s, 8’s and A110 Alpines! Even volume manufacturers like AUTOart or Revell could have had it out by now, but no!!



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So what is wrong with MRRC making it? On the face of it, maybe not a lot; but when you look at their track record it doesn’t bode well. They have been releasing models of old sixties cars from Monogram, like the Ferrari 275, The King Cobra and others. The main problem with these is that the models and moulds are decidedly dated. As nice as they appear, when you get close up and personal they are VERY sixties.



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Body mould seams are prevalent in the finished item and mounting posts and chassis are a little bit passé. The adjustable ‘Sebring’ chassis is almost a plastic reproduction of the old Monogram sixties brass chassis, complete with adjustable length. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing major wrong with the Sebring chassis if you are a plastic track racer. It even has three mount fixing (but I would have preferred the single mount at the rear). So has this mindset flowed on to the 911 Carrera In places? I’m afraid so, plus other things; but let’s start at the beginning.




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In the box the model is a beauty!! Out of the box it is still more of a beauty, but I fear a ‘holy grail’ moment is blinding my judgement. With the camera slewing in at an angle to take a passing shot we are brought down to earth a little. First up, the model has very little shine! In fact I would go so far as to say it has been finished in a yellow colour coat and that’s it, No trace of a clear coat at all?



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Paint marks in the topcoat



This has left the model with a ‘satin’ finish and a patchy one at that. Better in some places than others, and as we know, cars don’t and never did come with a dull finish. Pity, because as we have found with other makes, a good clear coat also acts as insurance against paint damage in the toughest of situations. I suspect this will loose a bit of paint early on in the piece.



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Even more marks at the front!!!



Apart from that there are a couple of marks/blemishes in the colour coat which must have happened in the factory as the model was sealed in its box on arrival. The model is made in China which isn’t a problem, but it is often the case that manufacturers don’t have trained QA staff on production lines, relying on the general observations of production staff to do this task. A pity all the same but not the end of the world. There is also some overspray of the silver on the engine grille, accompanied by a couple of spots of silver on the engine cover. I'm hoping they will all polish out?



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The moulding itself is great. A fabulous rendition of the real thing and nothing to be ashamed of. Fine detail like the anodised parts are first class. Door mirror, wipers, door handles, lights and bumpers are an accurate rendition, and the little tampo there is, is spot on. The model comes with almost no history on the box and which model this is supposed to be I’m not sure. I spent a good while on the internet searching for it and the only real life car I could come close with was the ‘Toad Hall’ racing team 911 Carrera of 1972.



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Porsche have always given a Fuchs!



There are a couple of omissions I would liked to have seen on the model. Most racing 911’s of this period have the Porsche coat of arms badge on the bonnet and chromed lettering across the engine cover. But we do have the distinctive Fuchs alloy wheels which are part and parcel of this model. As mentioned before, the headlights are some of the most convincing I have seen in a 1/32 model and the wrap around side markers and flashers do the model proud. The clear parts are a good shape and there are no sweaty fingermarks on the insides, which is always a plus.



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Looking inside the model (as you do), there is a nice three quarter drivers tray. It has been cut a little short to accommodate the ‘FF’ motor beneath but MRRC have retained enough detail to cause a slight curling of the lips when looking inside. Full seating, a very well detailed dash and a driver ready to do the business. I think I have seen this guy somewhere before but I won’t dwell on it. One observation is that Mr MRRC has gone to the lengths to produce a nice interior but has used a driver from days of yore. He is well painted but he is wearing goggles? In an enclosed car??. Also he is a very poor moulding and the most visible part of him (the helmet) has unsightly moulding seams up the side?!



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With the body off we can see a little more of the business end of the model. As mentioned before, the ‘Sebring’ chassis is functional, but I can’t help feeling more could a been done. There is an element of an economy measure with this chassis. It enables MRRC to focus on body moulding only and as such, it must reduce production costs not having to tool a new chassis with each new model. But it does work! So what’s your gripe Phil?? Well, it all comes back to my first love, non magnet racing. This model is that light that it will need a quantity of ballast of some sort to get it half decent as a board track racer.



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Damage to the front body mounting post



This is where the chassis is counter productive. It has a row of adjustment screws along each side. Just the place where ballast would need to be located! Placing weight above these would be counter productive as it would be raising the centre of gravity above the wheel centres! Not god news. The other thing is that if you try to ballast the model from underneath, it looks unsightly and prone to other obstacles!



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Nice sturdy wheels, and concentric too!



But enough of that, moving on, the tyres are two separate sizes front to rear but are very true. Almost imperceptible eccentricity and run out! The tyre rubber is a nice medium compound too and the wheels have substantial reinforcing gussets as part of their moulding. It would have to be a wizard prang to break these beauties! No problem with the axles themselves but the Sebring chassis does allow the front axle to flop around a lot. With a model this wide I would be inclined to fix the axle in place and remove the slop.

Moving back there is the motor. The only information I can find on this is that apart from being what has become popularly known as an ‘FF’ type motor, the rest of its pedigree is somewhat of a mystery. Mr MRRC is currently in the process of updating his web site, and hopefully at some time in the future we will be informed of his models statistics. It is stated in other places that it is a Scaleauto 20,000 rpm motor. If this is right it will seem to be a case of using a sledge hammer to crack a walnut!!



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The guide is fine and firm, but the braids are rubbish, too stiff by far. In actual fact they hold the front of the model off the track which is a no-no. In my view it would be better to change them for some of the Ninco or SCX Pro tinned braids. The motor is off set down in the chassis, again, not a problem, and the pinion mesh doesn’t seem to be affected by it.



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Motor and pinion offset down about 1.5 m.m.



While we are on the subject, the pinion is the old style ‘through valley' tooth type. In the past with other makes this has resulted in pinions splitting along their length in the bottom of the tooth valley. The fact that the pinion is also being asked to grip a small diameter shaft is also a contributing factor to unreliability. The motor shaft is splined but it is still a high risk set up.



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The demon of the set up is the traction magnet. Huge magnetic downforce hovering only parts of a millimetre above the rails! Make no mistake, this magnet in this position may well be able to suspend a couple of building blocks in its grip!! There is absolutely no chance of this model suffering from poor traction and adhesion on a plastic track. None what so ever!!



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So what else do I need to tell you?? Ah yes! If you are going to fiddle with wheels and axles, there is room to widen both the front and the rear axle by at least a couple of mil, and possibly three! Also, if you are going to race this on magnetic track, take the time to sleeve the body mounting posts. They’re a bit spindly and in my experience they are vulnerable to splitting. A trip to the local hobby store where you can purchase some small diameter brass tube for the purpose would be a good idea.



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Damage to the front mounting point on the chassis.




On this model MRRC have inserted a metal plate into the chassis front mounting screw recess. In itself a good idea. It will stop continual screw removal splitting or spreading the slot, but MRRC have not matched the other side of this slot to the body post. As a consequence the post which is wider than the slot, wedges itself rather ungainly in the former, causing damage to both. A fix needed here Mr MRRC!!



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The bumper, out of the box.......


Lastly as a QA point, while I was looking the model over, the front bumper became detached at one end!! This was attributable to it not having been fixed in the first place and a spot of superglue was a simple fix. The anodised parts (overriders and driving lamps) have not been fixed to the sprues by the non visible parts (fixing stems).



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As a consequence, where the anodised parts have been cut off the sprues, there is an ugly black patch amid the shiny bits. It would have been far better to attach the parts by their stems, or at worst mould the plastic in a complementary colour, white or silver, to minimise the visual impact. But then, I might just be too fussy.



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A well appointed dash!



It is unlikely my model will be raced in competition, but it will get a bit of non magnet track time in SOOB condition. I can just imagine it on Scaley sport, Ninco or SCX. The downforce might well slow the model to a standstill eventually, and I suspect there might even be the risk of a motor burn out. The speed of the motor too is phenomenal. With a 2.7: 1 reduction and a 20,000 rpm motor, I put the model’s theoretical top speed at 8.03 metres per second. Possibly the quickest SOOB model I have tested!!

But some things don’t change. The model actually comes in a box identical to those used in their 1970’s range! Saving a couple of bob no doubt!



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So what do I reckon? A great model mostly because of its subject matter and the timing of it’s release. With rumour of Ninco making one the euphoria might be short lived but let’s make hay while the sun shines. Ninco aren’t the greatest scale model builders these days so it might be a toss up as to who’s is best. I would also liked to have seen a different chassis in this but the one it comes with is fine for the black plastic stuff. One thing's for sure, if you are about to race a classic sports or GT class on plastic soon..... you’d be a mug not to race this car!!
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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Re: MRRC Porsche 911 Carrera

Postby wixwacing » Fri 15 Apr, 2011 12:14 am

I can confirm the Scaleauto motor in this model is rated by MRRC at 21,000 rpm @12 volts. This increases my motor and speed specs by 5%!! Giving it a potential top speed of 8.43 metres per second!!!


MRRC Slimline motor
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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