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Diecast Delights: An ’89 911 Speedster in 1:18 scale.

Chris Haining November 23, 2015 Cars You Should Know, Diecast Delights 4 Comments


I’ve never been bothered by the Star-Wars franchise. I’ve never been a fan of Bon Jovi. That film, and that band, are among the most followed and most popular of their respective genres, drawing in huge crowds whenever a new episode or a new album is released. The thing is, to me, every Star Wars film and every Bon Jovi album is just another one just like the last.

Of course; I’m an uneducated oaf. No doubt if somebody tied me to a chair and held my eyelids and ears open Clockwork Orange style, I could learn how to appreciate both of them. Which brings me to the Porsche 911. I’ve never really got the 911. I appreciate what it is, and what it does, but I’ve just never felt any great lust for it. I’m sure, though, if I owned one things would be different. And if I was to choose one, it would probably be the one you see before you, only about eighteen times as big.


The 911 is the car for which the term evergreen was coined. For half a century the rear-engined German has dominated the serious sports car market, and recent versions have encroached on supercar territory. Due to its massive, constant popularity every 911 you could mention has been modelled in 1:18 at one point or another, both really well and extremely poorly.

If I was going to choose a favourite 911, I’d have to choose the car which would become known as the 911 Classic. This was the long-lived original model, which went through various nips and tucks and mechanical and stylistic upgrades over a 26 year period, before being succeed by the further evolved 964 variety. The car depicted by this ancient Maisto model is the ’89 Speedster, the very limited production low-roof variant of the 3.2 Cabriolet.


This is another of those budget models which was produced in colossal numbers and only just priced above toy-grade. As such, kids around the world had them, sped them around the carpet and impacted them into the skirting boards with reckless abandon.

It was one of the core models of Maisto’s early portfolio, and has probably been largely forgotten by keen model collectors. When I say forgotten I don’t mean it’s not appreciated- I daresay many of these collectors have one of these models in storage somewhere, and just how good it actually is has probably slipped their mind.


As has been said several dozen times, this is a model which scores on general rightness rather than precise detail. The shape is correct (see the Anson version of this generation 911 to see how to do everything wrong) with the headlamps and front fenders where they should be. The bumpers are well placed and nicely produced, and the graphic decals which protect the rear fenders from gravel rash are well observed. One of the best features is probably the headlamps, which- despite the clearly visible mounting sprue, manage to have depth and realism to them.

Stance is pretty convincing, though the wheels have a tendency to tuck under a bit due to the peculiar swing-axle suspension which Maisto insist on their models having.

The paint is pretty good, too. It’s possibly a little thickly applied and there is some orange-peel in places, but if somebody obsessive got a bit of cutting compound to it I’d imagine they could make a world of difference. There were white, red, yellow and silver versions of this offered, but I just thought the black one looked the meanest….


….thanks to the polished silver rims on those Fuchs split alloys. These are one of my favourite aspects of the model and would do justice to a 1:18 from a far higher price-point. The tyres are branded, too, though the labelling is possibly not quite to scale.


There’s just enough detail under the engine cover to confirm that you’re looking at a 911 flat six, the big belt driven cooling fan is the giveaway. Elsewhere there’s not a huge amount to look at, and heaven forfend you turn the car over and look underneath, as the engine and transmission are all moulded from the ghastliest plastic chrome nonsense you ever saw.

So, apart from the odd glimpse, keep away from the engine compartment. It’s not much better under the hood, either, a spare wheel is in situ as is a plastic block representing the battery, but it’s not really worth looking at, so I’m denying you a photo.


Thankfully, the interior is rather better. It’s helped by the fact that 911 interiors up to and including the 964 have always been sparse affairs, so the cockpit of this one ain’t a million miles from the truth.

Though the instrument panel is depicted by a sticker, at least it’s a pretty crisp one, and it’s been applied straight. There’s a gear lever and a handbrake, as well as reasonably accurate seats. That’s your lot. Actually, I suppose that’s about all you really needed.

So, despite being basically a toy, this is overall a pretty good likeness of the Classic 911, and if you collect historic sports cars and don’t have Ferdinand’s legend among them, you really should. As always, eBay is the place to go, you should be able to get your hands on one for next to nothing.

Of course, if you own an ’80s 911 and want an accurate facsimile of your own car, this probably won’t cut it. But if you just want a 911 to fill a gap in your collection, step this way.

(All images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2015)

  • JayP

    I gave my nephew a bit of Turtle Wax and a cloth to buff out the Mustang Cobra R model he’d bought. It really did make a difference.

  • Rover 1

    You’re so right about the Anson model 911 – and this Maisto one, of which I appear to have one of each colour. Yes, they were cheap.
    Cheaper still, briefly were the 1:18 Minichamps Porshes when the local importer went bust. I paid NZ$10.00 each and I think I got the full set.

  • When I was in the throes of my 1:18 collecting and was perusing the catalogs regularly, I remember seeing this model. I too have never been particularly enamored with the 911 so it never made my wish lists.

    The reflections in the second shot make it look like there’s something seriously bad with the die cast in the left front fender.

    • It does, doesn’t it. I’ve checked again though and it’s spot on. Perhaps black isn’t the colour.