Why is this restored 1:5 scale model of the 911 Targa worthy of the Porsche Museum?
For those of us – and that’s most of us – who can’t afford a full-size iconic sports car, a scale replica might be the closest you can get. Model cars never run out of pace when it comes to enthralling an individual of all ages. The idea of holding a car in your hands, opening its tiny doors and hood never gets old – and the more detailed it is, the more expensive it is to buy.
The Porsche The scale model you see in these pictures is large enough to carry from room to room, with two hands. We are going to take you through the life of this unique scale model of a Porsche 911 Targa which now sits nicely in the Porsche museum.
This Porsche scale model story started with a ship model
It all started with a model ship on display at the Württembergischer Yacht Club in Lindau on Lake Constance. The beautiful ship was the work of a certain Elmar Robmayer and was displayed in a transparent case. Someone from the Porsche family had noticed his craftsmanship and realized there was a signature etched into the brass, along with Elmar’s address.
After a while he received a phone call from Porsche in Zuffenhausen, asking if he also made model cars. It is said that it took Elmar some thought to give them an answer, as he had to ask his wife for her opinion. Elmar wasn’t too sure he wanted to dive into it, but after thinking about it, accepting an assignment from such an established sports car manufacturer didn’t seem like such a bad idea after all.
First a Porsche 911 Coupe, then this Targa
Elmar began his career with a model replica of a 911 coupé, after which the blue 1:5 scale Targa was designed and currently takes pride of place in the 50 Years of Porsche Design exhibit at the museum from Zuffenhausen. The Targa scale model was the German sports car manufacturer’s second order.
Models like these are said to attract a lot of attention, especially those visiting the museum – and that’s largely because these scale models remind them of their little toys from their youth. Model cars sure know how to tug on the nerves.
In addition to model cars, Porsche also presents sculptures, trophies and miniatures of technological functions. This exhibition is incomplete without such fine paraphernalia.
The 911 Targa and the man who made it
Elmar first honed his skills as a mechanic with Maybach and loved being in the shop for the most part. When he started, nothing was new to him. He knew all the techniques, like drilling, filing and milling. He started building model ships at a young age, but the scale model Targa, having been the first open-top 911, was a bit of a unique challenge.
Porsche wanted the details to be perfect, and that included the interior, the removable Targa roof and the rear window. While the 1:5 scale coupe had no cab, it did feature wheel covers. With the Targe, Porsche wanted the iconic Fuchs rims. The model is the result of pure imagination and perfecting the craft again and again.
Manufacturing process of the 911 Targa scale model
He started the project with the body of the Targa, which shines in a beautiful blue hue, from today. The solution to build the model was not diecast metal, but epoxy resin. First, the wooden model had to have the right dimensions, casting a negative and positive mold for each part, after which the epoxy resin hardened, further allowing it to be revised.
Elmar worked hard to find various solutions to perfect the details. He says he remembers that the lower half of the dashboard was textured with the profile of a shoe sole, which had to be cut to size. Making the tires wasn’t easy either.
It was difficult to get such tiny details on a 1:5 scale model, which meant it had to be sanded again. The writing on the tires was formed by a typesetter, then inserted in the correct order and cast appropriately. Even the flanks received a similar treatment.
As you can see, Fuchs rims are spectacular – and we know a lot of sweat and passion went into crafting these beautiful gems. These were made on a lathe machine. The wheels of the miniature car, just like the life-size one, have removable bolts.
The interior looks perfect, and while the sun visors can be adjusted, so can the seat position. It’s amazing how detailed the instrument dials are; it is difficult to say if it belongs to a model. Elmar’s secret behind this was to photograph the real ones and downsize them. The five dials are covered with glass.
Porsche pays tribute to Elmar and his magnificent work
Before it was time to present the model car to Porsche, Elmar said: “I was nervous. I smoked a pack of cigarettes, HBs, on the way, wondering all the time if the model would appeal to the gentlemen of Porsche. But on the way back he was so glad they liked it that he smoked another full pack.
Porsche gladly paid him the price for the craftsmanship, which took the talented model maker more than a thousand hours. Although the model returned to his studio, he felt it was best to keep them safe in the museum. Among a crowd of shiny objects, the scale model Targa sits somewhere near a pair of Porsche sunglasses.
Source: Porsche press room