Lothar Wunsch lead

MCHOF’23: Lothar Wunsch is Customizer… Scratch Builder of the Year

Lothar Wunsch frameWhen you were a child back 50 or 60 years ago, there’s a good chance you were captivated by your favorite cars, especially race cars. You wanted toys of them, kits of them, someday, a real car that sort of served the same purpose. Lothar Wunsch, a child in East Germany back then, became obsessed with Porsche race cars of that era. And he desired to own models of those cars so, so much.

Life on that side of the Berlin Wall was difficult for so many reasons. For a kid, toys were something you had to wait for. “We learned to wait in East Germany. On the Trabbi twelve years!” he said. So he started making his own models. That alone should be enough to make  Lothar Wunsch the Customizer of the Year for the Model Car Hall of Fame for 2023. Wait, there’s more.

As an adult,  he decided to do them huge, in 1/5 scale. “I no longer wanted to have something in the display case that everyone had. I wanted to build my own models that I liked. In 1/5,” he said… “just like Porsche made its wind tunnel models.” Wunsch has now built over 20 of these huge miniatures so far. 

Lothar Wunsch porsche pink pig

And let’s be clear… to call these customs is selling them far short. These cars are practically built from scratch, including the tires and wheels. Usually, those are the available components that decide the scale for a model. Nope, Wunsch fabricates those components by hand. Wunsch, a trained locksmith who has been assembling elevators for a long time: “A drill in a stand, a Dremel mini drill, and my fretsaw. I don’t need much more.”

Lothar Wunsch wheel

Just look at the photos. 935s, 917s, 908s… Pink Pig, Martini, Can-Am, Steve McQueen…. When you see the tubular chassis/roll cage, you swear you can hear the engines roar. Rather than us explaining it further, check out this recent article. If you aren’t fluent in German, you’ll need to translate it, but trust us, it’s worth the effort.

It’s incredible how much work he put into building these things. And that’s why Lotha Wunsch is the 2023 Customizer of the Year for the Model Car Hall of Fame.

Lothar Wunsch porsche 917

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