If you’re a connoisseur of vintage Formula 1 cars you may be synched with the differences between the Lancia D50 and Ferrari D50 and how they are linked.
CMC knows its stuff when it comes to F1 cars and so once it produced the Lancia D50 it wasn’t a huge stretch that it would create the Ferrari model. Now it has, again in 1/18 scale, and again a museum-quality build.
Our review model was the first offering in this line, the unmarked Ferrari D50, model No. M-180. Naturally it’s a bright shiny Ferrari red with prancing horse logos on either side of the cowl, just in front of the cockpit.
Here’s the back story. Italian car maker Lancia created the D50 for the 1954 Grand Prix season and had some success, but developing the racer ultimately bankrupted the company. Enter its competitor Ferrari, who bought up all the D50s and plans for them in July of 1955, then relaunched a redesigned version of the racer for the 1956 season.
Ultimately it would win the F1 World Championship in 1956 with Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel. Meanwhile, the car’s designer, Vitorrio Jano, had joined Ferrari. For those preferring cars with race markings, CMC will make the D50s of Fangio and his teammates in the near future.
Ferrari’s reworking of the D50 was major, but visually the car looks much the same. The outboard gas tanks were abandoned, a large tank placed in the tail behind the driver. That required replacing the giant smooth one-piece tail with two pieces to access the tank. Then Ferrari incorporated the aerodynamic pannier side tanks into the curved bodywork of the new D50, streamlining it while also improving its looks.
With the Ferrari four exhausts exit each side at the bottom of what used to be the pannier tanks, and because the side pods aren’t fuel tanks anymore, there are no fuel lines to be seen entering the racer’s body, as there were on the Lancia.
Other visual changes include a black instead of red nose grille, brown vs. black driver’s seat, plus a few other minor changes in the cockpit. There’s an opening chrome gas cap behind the cockpit and two low mirrors as opposed to two tall ones on the Lancia.
To me, the best visual change though is that the Ferrari uses a longer, more angular nose piece, giving the car a less stubby, cigarlike profile.
For the record Ferrari increased the horsepower on the canted Lancia/Ferrari V8 to 265 horses, helping it run away from much of the competition, winning five Grand Prix in 1956.
In addition to the changes mentioned above, the model is nearly as precise as the original 1:1. The wire wheels, complete with air valves, are a work of art and can be removed. The wheels also come with central locking nuts that are right or left handed threaded.
The tiny windshield pivots so it will fold down to the hood or up to protect the would-be driver. Plus there are two metal clasps that hold the hood in place. Release those and you can see the intricately detailed V8 that powered the Ferrari.
All oil and fuel caps are hinged too and there’s an oil filter in front of the D50’s radiator. Plus the driver’s seat is covered in leather. And the model comes with a booster trolley and start device to add even more realism to the car’s display.
Vital Stats: 1956 Ferrari D50