Tag Archives: Chris Amon

Die-cast: CMC 1969 Ferrari 312P Spyder

CMC’s new Ferrari a masterful recreation of a racing beauty

ferrari1By 1969 Ferrari had already been embarrassed by Ford and its GT40 for several years at LeMans and at various other endurance racing venues. It also had boycotted the 1968 sports car endurance season after its 4.0-liter 330 P4 was banned, after winning the 1967 championship.

So hopes were high when the proud Italian racing team rolled out the 312P Spyder and put open wheel hot shoes Mario Andretti and Chris Amon in its cockpit. This racer was based on Ferrari’s successful Formula 1 racer, the 312. The P here stands for Prototype and behind the driver was Ferrari’s 3.0-liter naturally aspirated V-12, that’s where the 312 nomenclature comes from.

First time out Andretti put the car on the pole for the 12 Hours of Sebring and he and Amon managed to finish second overall, first in class. This gorgeous 1:18 scale CMC model is of that racer, chassis No. 0868. Two other 312P Spyders were made and raced, one being badly damaged in an accident and never returning to the track. By the time Ferrari got to LeMans, its intended target for the racer, it had decided to reconfigure the car with a covered cockpit, for better aerodynamics. CMC also offers that model, the Spyder Berlineta now.

Everything opens and the detail is fantastic, including the brass door hinges.
Everything opens and the detail is fantastic, including the brass door hinges.

The model

It’s hard to put too many superlatives in front of a description of any CMC model. This Ferrari 312P is both beautiful in its design execution and in the detail that CMC delivers in a model containing more than 1,000 diecast and brass parts.

First, its shape and Ferrari blood red finish are exquisite, plus the racer’s nose pops off to expose the finely detailed chassis, radiators, front suspension, copper lines, cooling intake hoses for the brakes and the steering mechanism. One surprise though, the wheels are fixed, not steerable. However, the wiring, plumbing and monocoque chassis are excellent. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC 1969 Ferrari 312P Spyder

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Die-cast: LeMans-winning Ford GT40s

Ixo’s Ford GT40 models offer good detail, value in 1:43 scale

Ford’s GT40 is the most beautiful enclosed race car ever made, and one of the most successful too. That’s my design bias, but the GT40’s success can’t be argued.

Ixo's version of the 1967, '68, and '69 LeMans-winning Ford GT40s.
Ixo’s version of the 1967, ’68, and ’69 LeMans-winning Ford GT40s.

Funny thing, it was created to settle a score at the highest levels of the automotive world. In the early 1960s Henry Ford II was rebuked in efforts to buy Ferrari and declared war on the Italian sports car maker and race team. The GT40, originally with a Lola chassis and various Ford V8 engines, was his weapon. By 1964 the first GT40 was raced at the Nurburgring 1000km endurance race and then the 24 Hours of LeMans, where three were entered and one led. All failed to finish. Yet ultimately the GT40 would win four straight LeMans 24-hour endurance races from 1966 through 1969, a remarkable run that ended Ferrari’s reign as the LeMans champ. Ferarri has not won LeMans since.With the annual endurance race being run in late June, this is a good time to look at what the diecast world offers regarding the only successful U.S. manufacturer’s race efforts. Continue reading Die-cast: LeMans-winning Ford GT40s