Tag Archives: Enzo Ferrari

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio AWD

Beautiful Stelvio puts in the crossover fast lane …2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Even if Italian beauty were only skin deep, maybe that would be enough when it comes to cars and crossovers.

The new Stelvio, Alfa Romeo’s first crossover or SUV, whichever you wish to label it, is a beauty. Its face is unique in today’s bland auto world with a rounded distinctive nose that immediately signals to car connoisseurs that this is an Alfa. And what the hay, a little Italian styling passion can be easy on the eyes.2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Stelvio, named for a famed road in Italy’s Alps, also embodies the Alfa heritage for sporty performance. For years Alfas were major competitors and winners at European racetracks. Heck, Enzo Ferrari got his start managing Alfa’s race team pre-World War II.

Even in the tested base trim Stelvio performs more like the sport sedan it’s based on, the Giulia, than you’d expect in a modest-sized crossover. Like so many of today’s new vehicles, the Stelvio goes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 under its lean and long hood. That might sound small for an SUV, but this unit cranks a spritely 280 horsepower with a 306 torque rating.

There’s not a lot of rumble since it’s a turbo, but the Stelvio gallops up to highway speeds like a race horse that has just been spurred in the rump. There’s a bit of engine yowl from under the hood, but only a twinge to let you know you’re not driving a domestic.2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Not surprisingly the Alfa prefers premium fuel’s higher octane to light the fire in its belly. Power kicks in quickly with no noticeable turbo lag and the sporty 8-speed ZF transmission seems beautifully suited to the turbo, providing smooth, efficient shifts. Continue reading 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio AWD

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Die-cast: Looksmart’s 2016 Ferrari SF16-H

Looksmart delivers sharp Vettel Ferrari from 2016 Australian GP …Ferrari SF-16 F1 racer

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari joining forces seems a deal worked in heaven, or at least Maranello, which to the tifosi is one and the same.

Vettel is a four-time world F1 champ and Ferrari has the most wins of any F1 team ever, 227. So when Vettel came aboard three seasons ago the tifosi’s dreams of another F1 title grew quickly.  By 2016 they were expecting wins, if not a title, and the new Ferrari SF16-H looked to be the car to do it.

Looksmart, a fairly new Italian die-cast maker, has just begun making gorgeous 1/18-scale resin models and this version of the SF16-H is as it appeared in its debut race, the 2016 Australian Grand Prix. The review car is a replica of Vettel’s ride that day. He finished third. Replicarz provided the review model.

The History

Scuderia Ferrari, started by Enzo Ferrari in 1929 to be Alfa Romeo’s factory racing team, has been successful in Formula 1 racing since its inception. It’s the only F1 team to compete in each season since F1 was formed in 1950.Ferrari SF16-H F1 racer

Ferrari has won 16 constructors’ championships and its drivers have won 15 driver championships, most recently Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

The SF16-H (SF for Scuderia Ferrari, and H for hybrid) ran the entire 2016 season. Vettel had the best results for the team although the car never won a race. Vettel notched seven podiums including three second-place finishes, while Raikkonen had four podiums and two seconds. The team was third in the constructor’s contest.

However, this car led to the SF70-H which is proving much more successful. It already has won three F1 races as of this writing, putting Vettel atop the F1 driver’s championship. Continue reading Die-cast: Looksmart’s 2016 Ferrari SF16-H

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo’s Giulia makes us giggle it’s so much fun …2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

            Rare is the sports sedan, or any car, that makes you giggle when you tromp on its gas pedal. Rare too is a car that makes your friends envious.

Corvettes have become too common, Jaguars too mainstream, BMWs too numerous. No, for something special you want an Italian sports car, preferably in red and preferably with a sexy sounding name. You want something not everyone of a certain economic standing has.

Today, that car is an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. That’s Giulia, as in the woman’s name, Julia. And the Quadrifoglio? Well, that means four-leaf clover, which is emblazoned on the car’s front quarter panels. More on that in a bit.

Alfa Romeo embodies Italian car history, especially its racing history. It’s who Enzo Ferrari worked for, or with, before Ferrari became Ferrari. Despite its long history the Italian make pulled out of the U.S. market in 1995 and only recently, along with its parent, Fiat, has come back.2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Giulia is the car it needs to regain a foothold in the American market and from a performance standpoint it is an absolute home run. Or in the sporting vernacular of its homeland, GOOOOOOOAL!

With any sports car, or sports sedan, one must start with the power plant. Alfa snags a 2.9-liter bi-turbo V6 created by Ferrari and it is magnifico! It’s strong and sings like one of the Three Tenors, a thing of beauty. Continue reading 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Die-cast: CMC’s 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

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CMC creates Ferrari’s most beautiful, the 250 GTO

The term “icon” is bandied about nearly as much as politicians promise tax cuts, but if you’re a Ferrari lover of a certain age, the 1962 250 GTO is likely the first car you think of when you hear “Ferrari” mentioned.

I know, I raced an HO version on my old Aurora slot car track as a kid and fell in love with Ferrari’s long, lean, muscular GTO immediately. Models and more slots followed, but now CMC does us GTO lovers the favor of re-creating the 1962 model in museum quality die-cast and perfectly sized in 1/18 scale. Oh, Baby!

The History

GTO’s backstory is that Enzo Ferrari was worried in 1961 that Jaguar’s sleek new E-Type was going to eat Ferrari’s lunch. So he set Giotto Bizzarrini to designing the 250 GTO, based on the 250 SWB Competizione’s chassis and using its solid Columbo V12.

But this one would have larger valves and create about 300 horsepower, use a 5-speed gearbox, add a new rear axle and thin aluminum body panels. Plus Bizzarrini would work with the University of Milan’s wind tunnel to improve aerodynamics. It worked, as top speed was 170 mph with a 5.0-second 0-to-60 mph mark.

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CMC creates a stunning interior.

The emotional Ferrari fired Bizzarrini later in 1961 in one of his many firing binges, yet the car proved a success. Top-notch drivers Phil Hill and Oliver Gendebien finished first in class at Sebring and second overall in the car’s first race. The 250 GTO won the GT manufacturer’s title 1962-’64. Overall, just 39 were made. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC’s 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Die-cast: CMC 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C

CMC’s Alfa Romeo 6C another beautym-138-025

Alfa Romeo only recently returned to the U.S. market, but it has been wowing Italians, and other European drivers with the lively nature of its sports cars for 105 years. Enzo Ferrari worked for Alfa and raced them. In fact, early Ferrari teams drove Alfas as part of Scuderia Ferrari.

In the 1930s its racing cars were among the best in the world known for their engine technology and handsome styling as evidenced by CMC’s beautiful 6C 1750 GS here in 1:18 scale.

The History

Alfa’s naming convention was easy to understand, the 6C designation meaning the car had six cylinders, and Alfa’s was a straight 6, not a V. The first 6C was made in 1927. Vittorio Jano designed the new model to replace the older Alfa RL and RM models, basing the new 6C on Alfa’s P2 race car with a single overhead cam 1,487cc inline six creating 44 horsepower. In 1928 a double overhead cam version was launched and Alfa won the 1928 Mille Miglia, Italy’s legendary race over public roads.

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The 1750 model that CMC produces followed in 1929 and was produced until 1933 and featured a top speed of 95 mph along with a flexing chassis. The GS, or Gran Sport, and Super Sport models used Alfa’s double overhead cam engines and continued the company’s racing success, some generating as much as 102 hp. In 1930 Alfa’s 6C won the Mille Miglia for the second time and then the Spa 24-Hour endurance race. Ultimately 2,635 of the 6C were made, but just 257 of the sportier GS models from 1930 to 1933. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C

Die-cast: Autoart Maserati MC12

Maserati MC12 a winner on track, or on displaymaser1

For a century Maserati has been churning out distinctive, sporty and often championship winning cars. Maserati’s place in the U.S. market has never been huge, but their cars’ reputations for speed and style have been legend. They are considered rare gems in the U.S.

Autoart knows that and introduces another stunning Maserati model in 1:18 scale, this one the racing version of Maserati’s two-seat supercar, the MC12. The review car is the 2010 FIA GT1 Champion in the beautiful turquoise and black Vitaphone Racing Team livery.

The History

Maserati got back into racing in 2004, after a 37-year absence, creating only 25 MC12 models initially and another 25 the following year. That gave the Italian car maker plenty in order to be eligible for FIA endurance racing in Europe.

maser3Always having a close relationship with Ferrari, due to their proximity in Italy, Maserati planted the MC12 on the Enzo Ferrari exotic sports car chassis. So the Maserati has bona fide performance DNA at its core. The body and engine tuning was all Maserati, but at its heart is a true Ferrari heartbeat, a 6.0-liter Ferrari V12 mounted at 65 degrees. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart Maserati MC12

Die-cast: Autoart Lamborghini Aventador

Autoart creates flashy Lamborghini Aventador

Oh, baby this looks fast!
Oh, baby this looks fast!

For many years now, Lamborghini and Ferrari have worked their Italian design magic to tug at supercar aficionados’ heart strings like another rendition of “O Sole Mio” in the mother country.Lamborghini was created to spite Enzo Ferrari, who insulted Ferruccio Lamborghini, who was, at the time, a customer. And it’s safe to say, Lamborghini proved his point, his firm designing edgy supercars that with their massive 12-cylinder engines ultimately have put many a Ferrari to shame from a performance standpoint.

Among its most recent efforts, the Aventador LP700-4, modeled here by Autoart, is a stellar example. Aventador, named for a famous bull (in Europe), as are all Lamborghinis, features a monster 700 horsepower, 12-cylinder 6.5-liter engine. That raging bull under the rear bonnet pushes the real car to 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds and boasts a top speed of 217 mph, enough to earn you a ticket any time you drive it! Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart Lamborghini Aventador