Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Car Of The Day: May 18, 2011

Today's car of the day is Hasbro Transformer's 1981 Porsche 924 (Cliffjumper).

The Porsche 924 is an automobile produced by Porsche AG of Germany from 1976 to 1988. A two-door, 2+2 coupé, the 924 replaced the 914 as the company's entry-level model, and was the model that finally retired the 912. It was the first Porsche model powered by a water-cooled, front-mounted engine to make production easier, although the similarly-configured 928 was designed before the 924 these changes sped up production. The front-engine, rear wheel drive arrangement was normal for most other manufacturers, but it was unusual for Porsche having previously only used mid- or rear-mounted engines of a boxer configuration, all of which had been air-cooled. It was the first Porsche to be offered with a fully-automatic transmission.

The first official appearance of the 924 took place in November 1975 (as a press launch rather than a motorshow appearance) at the harbour at La Grande Motte, Camargue in the south of France. The model was a success and not only helped to take Porsche out of financial ruin, but created the revenue stream needed to continue building and developing the 911. The 924 was replaced by the 944 in 1983 in the U.S. market, but continued to be produced until 1985 for other markets.

For the 1986 to 1988 model years the car acquired the powerplant from the 944 model and became the Porsche 924S.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Porsche 924 & Cliffjumper

Cliffjumper was among the main cast of characters in the original "Transformers" cartoon.  His transformation is simple and his car mode accurate as a Penny Racer.  For years I thought he transformed into a 3rd generation Trans Am, so that should say it all right there.

One of the retroactively-called 'Pre-Transformer' toys, the Cliffjumper mold was originally designed and released in 1983 in Japan by Takara as part of the Micro Change subset of their Microman line. The toy was designated simply `1981 'Porsche 924' (MC-01). Its "stubby" vehicle mode proportions were designed to resemble Takara's Choro-Q toyline (Penny Racers in the US). Following Hasbro's licencing of Takara toys for sale in the US, 'Cliffjumper' was released with the first wave of Transformers in 1984. A second side effect of the use of Takara overstock was that of a similar MicroChange mold (MC-02 Mazda Familia 1500 XG in yellow) being placed on Cliffjumper packaging. This toy was sometimes also found on Bumblebee cards, leading to fans referring to the character as Bumblejumper (BUMBLEbee + cliffJUMPER). The name was later officially shortened by Transformer fiction to simply Bumper. Cliffjumper was later remolded into the Series 3 mini-bot Hubcap.

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