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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I finally caved, and opened the wallet for a Fly Porsche 917K. This is a classic case of the heart leading the head, as the car cost $90.00CAD + tax. I would not have even considered it if it was anything but a 917K. This particular version is the C88 #16 Salzburg car, entered at the 1970 Sebring 12 Hours for Vic Elford and Kurt Ahrens. The car was classified as a DNF following a crash, but went on to achieve greater fame with a starring role in the film "Le Mans", as the #20 JW Gulf car.

Here's a photo from the Lugnuts' studio:



So, what does a hundred bucks buy you? In this case, shockingly little. Are all Fly cars this sloppily engineered? Why, this car is little more than a GB Track Chevron with a fancy body and almost twice the price. As opposed to the GB Track, which uses plastic, the 917 comes with brass axle bushings, but the end result is the same with an embarrassingly sloppy rear end. This was cured with a couple of shims. The front, however, is completely unacceptable. For the premium price paid, one would expect more than the cheesy plastic stub axles used. The amount of play is criminal. Though this car has yet to turn a wheel, it's my understanding that shaving or grinding of the fenders will be necessary. Not happy with this prospect, I found an alternate solution. Digging through the spare parts bin, an old Chevron rear axle was installed. Why the heck doesn't it come this way in the first place? A drop of CA glue was used on each wheel hub; I was fortunate enough to have both wheels pre-cracked from the factory. Did I mention that this car cost $90.00?

With only one example of the 917 available at the retailer, and guided by lust rather than logic, an opportunity to be picky did not exist. A quick examination at the hobby store proved satisfactory, but all was not well upon removal from the case. The #16 tampo on the driver's door was significantly scratched, and most unattractive. By the way, this car cost $90.00. Perhaps it was time to reevaluate. Should I return the car, and take a chance on whether it can be replaced, or keep it and attempt repair? I chose the latter (remember the lust part mentioned above).

Once the #16 tampos were touched up (both sides, actually), the body was stripped of all accessories and clear coated.

While I don't mind this sort of tinkering, I resent having to do it on this particular car. In case you've forgotten, this car cost $90.00. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect top quality in this price range. For thirty dollars less, I also acquired the #59 1973 Riverside Fly A162 Porsche 917/10 of Hurley Haywood. This car has equal detail, a beautifully finished body, a properly engineered front end complete with full length axle, and is generally more robust. Truly a case of getting more for less.

Do I have anything nice to say about the 917K? You betcha! The detail is excellent, particularly the spare tire and the simulated tape around the headlights, though the driver detail is a bit disappointing. The best part of the car, though, is the shape of the body. This is one area where Fly got it absolutely right; the proportions are perfect.

Thanks for reading this rant, though in all honesty, I knew exactly what I was getting into when I made the purchase. I 'spose high prices and low quality will continue to be the norm as long as there continues to be idiots like me who buy 'em.


Johnny
 

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I think the stub/solid axle debate is kinda like the mugnut one, a perennial dichotomy, because to me the stub is the better option.

Granted you may want a better engineered stub but running on a really bumpy surface, such as the knackered Classic track at Ramsden, I prefer cars with a good degree of float in that front axle and preferably, independent float.

Similarly, with a fleet of sidewinder Fly cars I've never seen the need to shim the rear axle. I have, after I started coming to the slot car boards, occasionally shaved the inside edge of the tyre nearest the gear. But I don't do it to all of 'em. Maybe with a smoother surface I would see the benefit of shims.

Welcome to the board. I'm not reading your post as a rant, by the way.

And excellent photo, could be the 1:1. I hope you can offer us more like that.
 

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Welcome to SF Jonny!
As you said, you knew what you were getting into when you made the purchase. Hopefully, FLY will be making improvements in the areas mentioned, but that's a little too late with your car.


Mark.
 

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Scott Brownlee
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I understand your disappointment and admire you skill and patience in sorting it out. However, that car, both in real life and 1/32 slot car forms, is fascinating and if I can offer one piece of advice it would be clear space - you will be buying more and more.

Scott
 

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I Agree with Ecurie, clear shelf space for more. As much as I detest the price and quality of the Fly/GB products, they are the only game in town for these siren-like Porsches. Just something about them, like old English sports cars. The latest version I have seen up close had the rear quarters cut away at the top inside to clear the wheels (Aaron?). The opening was that way before coloring, done at the factory(not at home). There wasn't much side play in the rear axle, either. Maybe things will get better at Fly/GB.


Cheers!
 

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Russell Sheldon
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Absolutely superb photography, Johnny!

I'm patiently waiting for Scalextric to produce a car to complement their excellent Ford GT40, like I'm sure many of us are. I'm hoping that when they do, it will be with a range of Porsche 917s, since there are many more that can be made that Fly haven't yet done.

I don't know what the situation would be with Scalextric producing 1970s Ferrari Sports Prototype cars, also on my wish list, given the Mattel/Carrera arrangement, but this hasn't prevented Fly from making the 512s.

Thanks for the brief history of the Salzburg car, I hadn't realised that it was the car made famous by Steve McQueen.

There were seven 917s entered in the 1970 Le Mans classic (discounting the no. 24 Salzburg car that was withdrawn before the start of the race):-



1st #23 Porsche KG Salzburg Porsche 917K, Hans Herrmann, Richard Attwood



2nd #3 Martini International Racing Team, Porsche 917LH, Gerard Larrousse, 'Willi' Kauhsen



18th (DNF) #25 Porsche KG Salzburg, Porsche 917LH, Vic Elford, Kurt Ahrens Jnr



24th (DNF) #20 JW Automotive Engineering, Porsche 917K, Jo Siffert, Brian Redman



31st (DNF) #18 David Piper Autorace / AAW Racing Team, Porsche 917K, David Piper, Gijs van Lennep



41st (DNF) #22 JW Automotive Engineering, Porsche 917K, David Hobbs, Mike Hailwood



48th (DNF) #21 JW Automotive Engineering, Porsche 917K, Pedro Rodriguez, Leo Kinnunen

Kind regards

Russell
 

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Alan Tadd
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Russell

Thanks for the great Schematics. The David Piper Sandeman car is an interesting livery, as I only have a picture of the Watkins Glen car which is Green and Orange.

I was going to use this livery on my Airfix car, so now I know there is another one it looks like I'm going to have to purchase another kit!.

Regards

Alan

PS Why is the Fly Red/White (#23) car so expensive to purchase compared to the other cars in the Series?......Was it a special edition?
 

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As many others - I have also on many occations been pleasantly surprised by russels posts. Impressive as usual. He seems to excel in what I can only describe (in a positive meaning) - practicing a classical engineering approach with high level of discipline.

//peter
 

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Scott Brownlee
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Thanks for posting those drawings Russell. Are they from a book? As a Le Mans/917 fan you've got me very curious.

Sott
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE Why is the Fly Red/White (#23) car so expensive to purchase compared to the other cars in the Series?......Was it a special edition?

Special, indeed. The #23 Hermann/Attwood car was the first Porsche to win Le Mans overall.

Thanks for the fine illustrations, Russell!


Johnny
 

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Hi all,

Fly's Classic Series has been one of the biggest hooks to draw people into the hobby. Their Porsche 917 is a great model.

I have several (all magnetless now), and once you firgure out the spacer on the rear axle, a quick truing of the tyres, a 1/4 oz weight up front, they are great runners - PURE SLOT CAR FUN!

Johnny, I hear your rant, and I know all too well the high price of Fly's latest releases here in Canada, but with Fly you need to take a cavaet emptor approach when buying. Look carefully at the model, ask if the dealer has any more in the back to compare, ask to take it out of the box for a 360º view, and if its not up to snub... then try walking away! By the way, I've never heard of having to cut away the wheel arches on a 917 (unlike the Fly GT-40 and BMW GT3!).

As for the Herrmann/Atwood Le Mans winning Porsche, I sugget because of its race winning heritage and striking looks it was all snapped up fairly quickly and wih Fly's one run policy, the demand was well ahead of the supply from the get go.

I hope one day we see either Fly re-issue a "Best sellers" series - Sunoco Lola's, Jagger Capri, Gulf 917s, Oreca Vipers to satisfy continuing demand OR we see Scalextric or Ninco or someone else deliver a fleet of 917's, 512's and Lolas to the marketplace!

Le Mans fans should check out this link. Its a registry of all Le Mans results by year. I chose the 1970 year to post here. Great historical facts - drivers, cars, laps, classes, results, etc. all in a neat easy to reference table.

http://user.tninet.se/~aiq291w/1970.htm

There were several other 917's whose 1970 Le Mans entry wasn't accepted by the ACO - Escuderia Nacional and Gesipa to name two (Fly has done their liveries from other races!).

Cheers, Ken R
 

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Thanks a lot for all those illustrations Russel! Where do you find all your pictures? I'm in great awe!

I've been planning to make the #18 Piper car from an Airfix kit for some time now, and I finally ordered the decals for it from Fantasyworldhobbies a month ago. They still haven't showed up
. But I'm a patient man...
Allthough that was probably the last time I order anything from the US... Anyway, I've been searching for more pictures of that specific car but only come up with this one pic from www.porsche 917.com:


Toby
 

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Hi Johnny, and may I say that I am sorry you have had problems with your Fly model.

The price you have paid does seem expensive, as it is over the rrp even here in the UK - it is not a limited edition after all, just a standard model. Remember though, it is your dealer who sets this, not Fly. I am also concerned about the scratching on the side of the car, as again I would have presumed your dealer would have dealt with this and returned it to the distributor.

However, all this said, there has been the problem of rear axle movement for a long time with Fly but we are currently making moves to try and eliminate this (see Difflocks post before or many other threads concerning this one). Hopefully , by the time you buy your next one
you should see a marked change. All your comments though have been added to my list for Fly's visit to the UK.

Thanks for your posting. all info is good info, and I am pleased that you are happy with the eventual result of your model, even though you had to 'tinker' .

Cheers

Aaron
 

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Russell Sheldon
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The drawings were scanned from beautiful posters made by Rob Soutar, who also made the decals for this 1/24th scale David Piper Autorace / AAW Racing Team Porsche 917K, which my German friend Markus Reichl is building:-





Here is some more of Rob's magnificent artwork:-



Rob can be contacted via e-mail at: [email protected]

Kind regards

Russell
 

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i have many 917s the best mod which is little tryed unless you are a bit handy is strip chassis of body romove guide trim aproxx 1mm of inside of guide hole with razor sharp knife KEEP THE RING YOU TRIM OFF place on guide post put guide back in chassis this lifts front end buy 1mm and completly transforms the car and if you turn upside down while car is complete check motor pod screw at rear which keeps rear axel straight if not straight will rub on body to straighten undo straighten retighten any more help just ask
 

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I too have succumbed to their spell ,,many times in fact.! shim ,a liitle weight up front and low profile front tyres makes a huge diference to these cars. I spent a long time whinging about them also but then the demonic tinker urge grew till I almost felt cheated by cars that drove well out of the box. Whats happening to me?
 

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Johnny, I'm amused to hear you say it was the first 917 you got - that model was my first Fly car 18 months or so back. I cursed at it 'cause it wouldn't stay on the track but I wasn't sure whether it was me being rubbish as I hadn't raced for a while.. then I started fiddling.

As someone else said clear the decks 'cause more of the sassy devils will be coming into your life. I've got fifteen of the buggers now & every time I tend to say "I can't believe I'm paying this much.. again.." and don't let the missus see the invoice!! I got a new one in the mail today..


By the way - a saw your crashing trick on the website a while ago - very cool!
 
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