this is the best , for its time , great to use and build , i have three set at diferent ride hights, race track , track ,road and rally, very farst , any enjoyable, still get same filling (when i run them )as the first time , only cars that came close was the old three speed 4x4 trucks but not mutch fun . the 959 stands on its own, set up with fall ball racers central slpit dif , and antrollbars the best, celica good but never had the looks.
I love the 959, it is perhaps the best of all Tamiya models for me, as it is the car I wanted when I was a kid. You can tell a lot about the age of someone by the car they love the most! Love is blind, so I didn't see the flaws back then and don't worry myself too much about them now, as I don't race these any more. However, they were legion! The model was beautiful and well specified. The fact that it was 1/12th and had a Technigold motor (the fastest Tamiya motor of the time and quick even in a 1/10th) made it seem very fast indeed. It was a rally car, so not much on the off road and grass, but as has been previously mentioned, wonderful on rally type surfaces like asphalt (which it has special tyre options for) and gravel/dirt tracks etc. Works very well on BMX dirt tracks. Trouble was that the parts were 1/12th and the screws designed for 1/10th buggies, so parts like the front and rear wishbones would crack under the pressure from the screws, which was a big problem. I even have new built models which have never seen the track which have these cracks. Drilling the holes out a little more helped with this and is a useful tip now, if you don't want to be buying F&R parts (which can run to $50 each) all the time. When collecting the boxed versions, make sure you have both the Porsche logo on the lid and the Rothmans livery inside. Porsche fell out with Tamiya over this model. The mould has been destroyed, so there will be no re releases of this model ever. Porsche and Tamiya are 'friends' again, but you will notice Porsche badges are not displayed on Tamiya boxes any more. This makes an English language new boxed and unbuilt Porsche 959 with a badge and Rothmans livery worth in excess of $1000 at the time of writing, which is early 2008. When you think about it, this is actually less in todays money than they were to buy at the time, which was coming up to 20 years ago. One to watch for values in good condition, boxed, unboxed or even useable runners. Parts can be horrendously expensive. The body was a special effort by Tamiya, a type of blow moulding, which they decided to give up on after this model. There is a sister car, the Toyota Celica, which has some upgrades (movement of some electrics, skid plates, centre diff etc) which made it handle even better. Few loved the Celica as much and the Porsche, which is testament to the fact that something doesn't have to be better or perfect to capture your heart.
By Brat Attacks
A fantastic car to race if somewhat hair raising on the track. With its short wheel base, mental VZ Technigold motor power mounted mid-ship and 4WD it was a beauty to hold with or without the body on.
The chassis really was a piece of R/C architecture and beautifully balanced. It also came with some simple yet effective suspension alterations to the rear arms. Sadly the small and simple oil dampers were never quite up to the task in hand and soon became no more than springs.
With its grey hound racing speed, collisions with fences and race barriers soon started to take its toll on yet another polycarbonate master piece from Tamiya that wasn't cheap to replace or the easiest to paint. Painted correctly made it look the £300 it cost. 6 months of racing made it look more like a £50 banger racer.
Underneath it got worse. Front gearboxes would start moving and that little collision would soon spray the race track with prop shaft and drive shafts. Oh did l forget to mention that after a while the front would start to fold up like a huge crumple zone?? But with the ingenious use of cable ties and metal tubing, this soon became a thing of the past. That is until the back end started to collapse.
l should stop now before l put you of buying one. l still have my very used and bruised runner on the shelf and though it needs many things to get it running again l won't bother. To me it's got history of an eventful year and that is worth far more than a NIB one.
The 959 is a stunning model to look at thanks to the amazing detailing of the blow moulded shell. This does come at a price though as the lexan at the corners is incredibly thin and weak. Being a 1/12 off-roader this model was somewhat different at the time and shared it's chassis with the Toyota Celica Grp B. The Celica had an additional centre differential though. The 959 comes equipped with the RX540 VZ Technigold motor as standard and is fully ballraced and due to it's efficient 4wd system and light weight it really flies!
Don't expect it to go where a 1/10 buggy would though as it's a bit small and narrow but on high speed surfaces such as packed dirt, tarmac or loose gravel the 959 is stunning. A great performer and good looker with some beautiful engineering.