FLY’S PORSCHE 934

1976 TRANS-AM CHAMPION.

 

 

History:

 

          In 1976, The Sports Car Club of America opened their doors and welcomed the Porsche 934 into Trans-Am racing. And almost immediately it became apparent that they had a new champion for the 1976 racing season. Two of these 934 Porsche Trans-Am contenders were bought and prepped by Vasek Polak in southern California, and it was Polak’s two cars that ran so well that both were up for the title. It finally came down to the last race of the season, with Driver George Follmer pulling off the win. It was Polak’s white #16 car that was crowned the new Trams-Am champion for 1976.

 

          Both of  Vasek Polak’s cars that were built for Group Four Trans-Am competition came armed with the 3 Liter turbo charged engine. But these non-standard power plants came with more aggressive cams, larger valves, water cooling, electronic and fuel injection. They pumped out a very conservative 485 HP. Top speed was rumored around 190MPH and the 0-60 MPH came in at 3.9 seconds.

 

The chassis and body were race prepped, painted, stiffened, and a roll cage installed. They even had to add ballast up front to keep the nose from lifting up when at speed. Often just to make the weight limits imposed by Group 4 Trans-Am officials the operational power windows were left in place . If you can imagine power windows on a race car.  Getting the car to stop was no problem, because the brakes were taken from Porsche’s race proven 917 and adapted to the 934. This gave the car unbelievable stopping power.

 

Imagine all of this in an extremely light car and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know why Porsche took the Trans-Am title.

 

 

FLY’S VERSION

 

BODY:

Here we have Fly’s version of George’s 934 Porsche car, and it looks to me to be just as good as the real thing. The paint on this car has no runs or dust embedded in it. The clear coat is the same with no problems  and covers the white paint nicely. This is good to see as it seems Fly has finally got it together in the paint department with their releases over the last year. All of the tampo’s are laid out straight and are easy to read with none cocked or broken anywhere on the car.

 

The body of the car is laid out well and seems to be up to scale for the 1/32 purists. It looks good to me in the traditional Fly detailing that we have come to expect from this company. Look at the fender bolts, those beautiful gold rims, front grill, and the all important Whale Tail. Details that some others miss. Hey even the wipers lay down against the windows like they are supposed to.

 

 

And those pesky little side mirrors? They shouldn’t be a problem here. They’re small and are tucked in close to the doors out of reach of that track monster that likes to eat them. Here you can see the huge back tires that sit under the car. The fit up of the car is done very well and I could find no problems with tire rub. But the tires do come close to the fenders so please check yours just to make sure.

 

Inside of the cockpit reveals a full driver and more details with a fully instrumented dash, roll cage, seat belts, rearview mirror and drivers hands that are actually on the steering wheel.

 

 

Under the car we see that the details continue with a trans axle, exhaust, floor pans and such. And it is here some believe Mr. Fly may be going just a bit far in the “lets make it realistic department”. Just remember that if you scream for more details then details are what you get and what you end up paying for. For myself I don’t mind the underside detail since this is what I normally see when I drive my cars anyway. J

 

 

CHASSIS:

Four screws will remove the body and once aside it shows the chassis and motor setup.

 

And here is where the controversy begins.

 

 Fly has gone to a behind the rear axle motor mount instead of the traditional in front of the axle mount. But not only is it mounted behind the axle it is also reversed. I mean it is not a traditional drivers side sidewinder, but  a passenger side. Some of you who don’t like magnets will have a terrible time tuning this car because of the weight behind the axle. But I will say in Fly’s defense the car was designed from the beginning to run with a magnet and it comes with a heavy non-adjustable bar magnet in front of the rear axle that you can see in the pictures here.

 

 

DRIVE TRAIN:

You can also see that bronze bushings were added to the rear axle and that motor shaft and pinion do not touch the rear tires. I did find some side-to-side play in the rear axle but I will test run the car first before crying wolf on this issue. All the motor leads are held out of the way by pins in the chassis. This is something I have always liked as it saves me from having to tape things down. The Mabuchi motor is standard Fly with an 11-tooth brass pinion and a 36-tooth plastic spur gear. The front axle is a solid piece unit that sits in slotted uprights that allow the axle to move up and down in the chassis. Before you run the car I strongly recommend lubing everything up because I could not find any sign that it was done for you at the factory.

 

TIRES:

Tires are all slicks and are really pretty round and should not need much truing if any. Fly’s tire compound seems soft and hooks up pretty well right out of the box. I personally think that their new compound is better than what they have been using in the past. So just keep them clean to make them happy. Tire markings are typical Fly so that the logo won’t last long after the first tuning session. So don’t go falling in love with it as they will soon be gone.

 

 

GUIDE:

The front guide on the car is a little different in that it hangs down from under the car on a more beefy post support. But there is still the problem of not having a deep guide. Maybe some day we’ll get one. Braids are normal Fly and will need to be groomed to your own personal liking before you run it.

 

On The Track

 

The braids were adjusted and the car was lubed and placed on the track as is. As suspected the car was slowing on right hand turns due to the rear axle side-to-side play. So a shim was added to the axle and the testing continued. I could have just trimmed a little off the end of the axle but clearances were tight and I felt it was best to just add a shim. I did find out that the rims for this car do not come off the axle easily. It seems Fly is using axles that are knurled on the ends so it takes a little patience to remove them.

 

Testing continued with the car running very well but with a little more gear noise than I like. So off the track came the car. I used some toothpaste as lapping compound on the gear set to help seat in the pinion and spur. This helped and the noise dropped considerably. Just running the car would wear the gear set in but I didn’t want to wait.

 

Now I’ll admit that I’d heard some really nasty things about  Fly's Porsche because of the motor placement. But I have yet to see any of those nasty items. The car ran surprisingly well and some decent lap times were starting to show up. The one thing I didn’t see was the back end of the car slide. It just won’t happen. In fact the car stays remarkable glued to the track. Allot of this is because of the rear motor placement. But overall the speed was there and the breaking was predictable. Now it’s not the fastest Fly I own but, it can be made faster with some tuning. But than again what Fly car can’t be made faster with tuning.

 

My Opinion.

 

Out of the box the car needed minor help with a shim on the axle.  The gear set was a little noisy on my car but, running the car will quite it down. Once the shim was added the car does run well, and it wasn’t long before I was turning more laps than I realized. But here again this is out of the box with the magnet in place as it was designed.

So the bottom line here is the more I run this car the more I like it and the more it runs the better it gets.  And for those of you who think the rear tries are not wide enough, try putting on a pair of Indy Grips (IG3008) for the Fly BMW CSL. You will have to add an axle shim on each rim to get them to clear the chassis but it's worth it.

 

Tom Dandes.

 

 

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