Ferrari Model Garage
There aren’t many Ferrari enthusiasts who wouldn’t delight in looking at their garage. I know I do as I admire my 250GTO, 288, F40, 250 Lusso, 250LM not to mention the occasional F1 car. Most sitting there in glorious Rossa Corsa! The fact they are virtually all diecast 1/18th scale gives the game away.
However it made me think Ferrari enthusiast’s model and memorabilia collections could be an interesting topic about which to write and what better one to start the ball rolling – my own.
Why is it that Ferrari buffs everywhere the world over have a collection of models and memorabilia? Pondering that question, the only answer I could come up with was either “that was how it all started” or if I cannot have a “1/1 scale”, better have the next best option – a model. That way I can fantasize. There is a tendency for “baby-boomers” to collect. Possibly because in most cases they were brought up in austere post-war era families where the opportunity to “collect” anything was limited.
The first model Ferrari I saw was a Solido, lovingly purchased with 2s6d British Postal Notes that had to be purchased one at a time from the Post Office. To build up enough currency to import something from the UK in the early 60’s took a while. That 1/18th Solido 250GTO left an indelible mark on the mind of a 7yo and I started saving straight away. With pocket money non-existent and only the odd spare penny it would take a long time. My first Ferrari purchase was a Lesney F1 sharknose and the next a Ferrari logo’d tankard. Sadly the 246 and 275 brochures were lost. School, university, work, marriage, kids and mortgage intervened and it wasn’t until the 90’s I resumed collecting with a number of Bburago 1/18th cars including a 355, 456, Testarossa and a couple of others. They were all stolen in a burglary and to this day I have been unable to replace the Bburago 355GTB.
In due course Bburago lost the rights to Ferrari to Mattel HotWheels, quality declined initially and was ramped up subsequently. For those who would like to build up collections, my suggestion would be concentrate on what interests you and build around that. Currently I have divided my collection into the V6, V8, flat 12, V12 cars and then into groups around them with the limited production cars like 288, F40, F50, Enzo or the sports racers, or F1 cars. Whilst it is not possible to cover all groups, the obvious sub groups are Berlinettas and Spyders, 2+2’s and historic cars. With patience many of these can be accumulated and there are many different brands from which to select. I have cars from Bburago, Mattel HotWheels, Jouef, Brumm, Anson, UT, Maisto, Kyosho (now part of Mattel), Chrono, Classico, ERTL, Guiloy, Solido, Exoto and CMC. Of all of these the CMC cars are the best built and most expensive (prices around €150-250) with excellent detailing and superb paintwork. Even the “Borrani” wires look real! Exoto make lovely GP cars and all the others vary in quality. Other manufacturers I have seen are Pocher who make larger scale models. A selection of 1/8th scale Testarossa’s featured on TradeMe in February 2011.
There are numerous sources for models to buy around the world including eBay and TradeMe. Other places I have found that work for me are Bongo’s in Australia, Grand Prix Legends who have a wonderful array of apparel and merchandise, Carmodel -Italy who have a great encyclopedia of available and unavailable models, scale18 (Kevin’s Hobbies – Canada) and CMC directly are a few I have used and found deliver quality and value. Some I have paid too much for and some have been bargains so it all balances out. At last count there about 90 1/18th scale cars and a selection of memorabilia (stuff ranging from the early tankard to the lanyard from the factory tour), some of the Shell cars and various other models. One of the more interesting recent acquisitions is a classic race car cast in resin or carved from wood – haven’t figured out which – that is about 1/8th scale.
Part of the fun with models is you never know where you might find them and when travelling they are still easy enough to carry and can give endless pleasure. Oh – they don’t need fuel or belts either! I enjoy gazing at my model garage and many visitors to my office do as well. Now if only I could have the real one like Ralph Lauren’s as featured in December 2010 Vanity Fair ……