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Autoart nails McQueen's racy Porsche 356 Speedster

By Mark Savage
Published: August 28, 2013
Bullitt
Steve McQueen

If you’re old enough to remember the chase scene in Bullitt, you’ll likely appreciate Autoart’s fastidious recreations of any of Steve McQueen’s cars, including his 356 Porsche Speedster.

McQueen was a movie star first, then a racer of some note in the sports car world. Two of his movies, Bullitt and LeMans, particularly highlighted his car-handling abilities. Autoart already recreated that Bullitt Mustang and McQueen’s rare Jaguar XK-SS. Now it delivers a glossy black Porsche 356 Speedster, with a white No. 71 on the doors and hood, just as McQueen raced it.

The car’s shape and simplicity are well-modeled, with perfect proportions and fine detail. For instance, the headlights are taped as the car was raced, plus there are chromed screens by the tiny bulbous running lights up front. Autoart also did a superb job with the chrome work on the Porsche, including ringed taillights and thin dual exhausts, along with chrome trim along the Speedster’s sides, top, and bottom. Even the chrome door handles are realistic, as are the wipers and a tiny round windshield-mounted mirror.

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These cars were street cars first and racers second, so a full, black-leather interior is featured along with cream-colored steering wheel and detailed dash (including chrome rings around the gauges and cream-colored knobs — including a choke pull). There’s also a gloss black roll bar behind the driver’s seat. Gorgeous!

Naturally, the model includes a fairly detailed-yet-simple engine under the tiny rear deck lid that includes a fine chrome mesh covering to help the air-cooled engine breath. The car also features what looks like a soft tonneau cover with imprinted snaps, and the Speedster name etched in silver just above the chrome side trim on the front quarter panel.

Wheels are chrome with knock-off spinners, and under the front hood you’ll find a spare tire. Even the sleek long-armed door mirror looks elegant compared to today’s blah utilitarian designs.

The McQueen name gives this particular model a bit more collectibility, but this would be a beautiful 356 Speedster no matter what. Certainly in the 1950s the 356 was a hot commodity among returning WWII vets who had some cash and wanted to race at the local road course or abandoned military airfield. Today the 356’s successor, the 911, continues to be a favored racer among the sports car set. Now you can have your own Porsche.

Vital Stats
Product:
Steve McQueen Porsche 356 Speedster
Maker:
Autoart
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: 77866
MSRP: $163.90

Prefer 1:1 cars? Visit www.savageonwheels.com to read full-size new car and truck reviews by Mark Savage.




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