Sometime past spring my last order from my good friend Art at darthobbies.com came with a surprise. As of now, still a one off for me of a lovely Ferrari 312P for which I am grateful. I just puttered around with what I had in the parts bin and created this lovely runner. It strikes me as based on an old and rare Aurora 1/32 shell but I'm guessing here. Driver, transmission housing, wheels and inserts all from darts/BWA...wheels long out of stock. Tires are my own urethane "cupcakes". Guide is slot.it as is the white can motor. The gearing is TSRF 64 pitch and so smooth.
Chassis is obviously the Penelope Pitlane sidewinder.
The shell is slightly out of scale compared to my previous TKP versions but very nicely done considering the origins from the early 70's
A great historical write up thanks to ultimatecarpage.com. The site is well worth a peek.
Throughout the 1950s and well into the 1960s Ferrari was extremely successful with evolutionary sports racing cars. The V12 for example in the 330 P4 Le Mans racer of 1967 was still closely related to very first Ferrari engine designed some two decades earlier. The gradual development had resulted in bullet-proof machines that dominated sports car racing for many seasons. In 1966 the small manufacturer finally lost their Le Mans stronghold to the might of the Ford Motor Company. Despite valiant efforts, the 1967 edition again was a prey for the American manufacturer. Shortly after the race the sport's governing body, the Commissione Sportiva Internazionale (CSI), announced drastic rule changes that rendered Ferrari's cars obsolete for the following season. Enzo Ferrari was furious at the sudden changes and announced that his cars would not compete in the 1968 World Championship. Building a brand new car would take up considerable resources and Ferrari felt it was better spent on the ailing Formula 1 effort. So the team sat out the championship in 1968 for the first time in many, many years.
Following the new CSI regulations, the championship was open for Group 4 and Group 6 racers. Group 4 was open to sports cars with a maximum displacement of five litres and a production minimum of 50 examples. The Group 6 prototype racers that Ferrari and Ford had fielded the previous seasons now had their engines restricted to three litre. Using a much enlarged version of the P4 engine, Ferrari did build a new sports racer in 1968 to campaign in the popular and lucrative Canadian-American Challenge (Can-Am), which was run under the very lenient Group 7 regulations. Dubbed the 612 P, the new Ferrari was not ready until the very last race of the season and the little tested machine failed to make an impression. To attract more teams and manufacturers back into sports car races, the rules were changed once more for 1969, although in detail only. The homologation limit for Group 4 cars was lowered to 25 cars, while the limitations on Group 6 cars like windscreen width and a mandatory spare tire and luggage compartment were all lifted. This opened new opportunities for Ferrari as they could use the 612 P type chassis in combination with the V12 engine and gearbox from the Formula 1 car to create a brand new Group 6 prototype racer.
In good Ferrari tradition, the three litre V12 engine was based on the highly successful sports car engine. Although with its cutting edge twin-cam, four-valves-per-cylinder heads, it was easy to mistake it for a brand new engine. Its sports car roots made the sturdy V12 a bit too heavy for Formula 1, but an ideal unit for endurance racing. Ferrari quoted a figure of 420 bhp for the fuel-injected engine in endurance trim. Mated to a five speed gearbox the engine was bolted to a downsized version of the 612 P semi-monocoque chassis. Used for both the company's sports racers and Formula 1 cars, the so called semi-monocoque used a spaceframe reinforced with aluminium sheets, while a full monocoque was constructed from sheets alone. Completed late in 1968 the first '312 P' was fitted with a cut down, high downforce Spyder bodywork. Although the off-set driving position gave the truth away, Ferrari's new sports racer could easily be mistaken for a Formula 1 car fitted with an all enveloping body. The first 312 P (chassis 0868) was shown to the public in December of 1968 at a press launch at Hotel Fini in Modena.
From the outset Ferrari planned only limited racing activities in 1969 with chief engineer Mauro Forghieri and considerable resources dedicated to the design and development of a new flat-12 Formula 1 engine. The first and at that point single 312 P was damaged during testing so Ferrari could not compete in the opening round of the championship at Daytona. Fully repaired, the 312 P was entered in the Sebring 12 Hours for Chris Amon and Mario Andretti. Facing a contingent of lighter, but less powerful Porsche 908s, the new Ferrari impressed with a pole position just ahead of a Group 4 Lola T70. Mechanical problems hindered the 312 P during the opening stages of the race, but once sorted the blisteringly quick Ferrari sped to the head of the race. A collision with another car damaged the nose and despite repairs the car suffered from overheating for the remainder of the race. Nevertheless the 312 P managed to reach the finish in second overall and first in class. A second chassis (0870) was built and sent to the next championship round at Brands Hatch. Fitted with highly effective wings and spoilers, the Ferrari again claimed pole and eventually missed out on the victory because of a puncture in the opening stages and a lengthened throttle cable towards the end.
While the new 312 P was competing at Brands Hatch, the first example was at Le Mans for the official test weekend. Designed for high downforce tracks, the Spyder body proved to be a big handicap on the long Mulsanne straight. That, however, was the least of Ferrari's concerns as Porsche rolled out the all new 917, which was built to the Group 4 regulations. In a creative interpretation of the regulations the German manufacturer opted to build 25 examples of their new prototype racing car. Powered by a 550 bhp flat 12 engine, it looked set to eclipse all that had come before. Despite the poor performance at Le Mans, both 312 Ps excelled at the high speed Monza track during the next round of the World Championship. The two cars qualified on the front row due to their superior speed through the high speed corners. Unfortunately the track's banking was particularly rough on the Ferraris' Firestone tires and both cars had to make unscheduled stops from the lead for fresh tires. Both Ferraris failed to reach the finish with the new car dropping an engine and the original 312 P crashing dramatic fashion after its tail came off at high speed due to accident damage incurred earlier.
With just one 312 P left, Ferrari opted to skip the Targa Florio and reappeared at the Spa 1000 km round of the World Championship. Here the 312 P Spyder first encountered the Porsche 917 in racing conditions. Now fully homologated as a Group 4, the slippery Porsche easily clinched the pole. The 917 was no force during the race and despite another unscheduled pit stop to repair damage from an accident early in the race, the 312 P finished a credible second. Next on the agenda was the Nürburgring 1000 km, which saw an even slippier version of the Porsche 908 Spyder. Compared to the Ferrari, the eight cylinder engined Porsche had about 60 bhp less, but made most of that up with its lighter weight and better fuel efficiency. With six Porsches on the grid, the sole Ferrari was also outnumbered. The 312 P again qualified on the front row and during the race formed the only opposition for the fleet of Porsches. Unfortunately the V12 engined machine ground to a halt just halfway through the race, just after Amon had broken the lap record. The mount of the ignition box had failed. Porsche won the race and the Championship.
To cure the drag problems at Le Mans, Ferrari's engineers had developed a very clean Coupe body around a shortened 206 SP Dino windshield. The second car was rebodied and a third chassis (0872) constructed to replace the car that was wrecked at Monza. As Ferrari had officially entered chassis 0868 and 0870 in the race, the new chassis was stamped 0868 to prevent administrative problems. The Porsche 917 again showed its superior speed during qualifying, but few believed they had a real chance in the race. The first retired in dramatic fashion in the opening lap in a hefty crash, taking the live of driver John Woolfe. Aboard one of the 312 Ps, Amon hit debris from the Porsche and also saw his race end during the first lap. The surviving Ferrari proved to be fast and for a change more frugal than the Porsches. Sadly a silly problem again prevented the Ferrari from reaching the finish. This time it was a retaining nut of the gearbox that had vibrated loose, causing an oil leak. The problem was solved twice, but eventually the gearbox failed altogether. At 5:30 a.m. that Sunday morning the 312 P program, as far as Ferrari was concerned, ended.
The arrival of the Porsche 917 had shifted the balance and Ferrari knew that the 312 P could not be a real competitor once the Germans had cured the big beast's problems. Immediately after Le Mans, Ferrari began the development of a Group 4 racing car. Dubbed the 512 S, it was used by the Works team during the 1970 season. Both 312 Ps that had raced at Le Mans were sold to Ferrari's American agent Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.). The first chassis was repaired, fitted with an empty 612 P engine and handed to Pininfarina, who turned it into the 512 S Concept shown in Turin late in 1969. In the hands of N.A.R.T. the two 312 Ps were not able to fight for overall victories, but they scored several class victories in major races like the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours. They were eventually eclipsed by Ferrari's new flat-12 engined 312 P, more commonly referred to as the 312 PB, which was raced in the Group 4 class with great success from 1971 onwards. In the few months the 312 P was raced by Ferrari, it showed great promise. With a more substantial program, it is not inconceivable that the beautiful Ferrari could have been a race winner.
This will be the fifth year I have entered the VRAA proxy. The Vintage Race across America is under new management this year and I'm sure it will be hugely successful after the rather fractious conclusion to the previous VRAA ( lack of communication, late car returns etc.) after several good years run by another individual. Stewart (old23) is highly efficent and the team he has for support around him is skilled and proficient. The proxy lives and is based on cars representing the 1.5 liter era in F1 with spec BWA FFcan motors and clearly defined rules.
My first entry was a Ferguson on a scratch built chassis and as a rookie effort I learned much and finished poorly.
Penelope Pitlane has provided the entries since that fatefull year. My 1512 was a tad tippy and heavy white metal inserts did not help but again lessons learned.
Then came my little bile green Lotus 18 which ran quite well and indeed went on to almost win last year's Tasman proxy and then have major mechanical iisues in this year's Tasman. And so after a refurbish the car will be retired from proxy racing for now.
Ah, last year's Lotus 24 resplendent in Polish racing colours and making full use of lessons learned. No beauty queen and penalized for not knowing the origins of the guide the car would have won on points alone for racing but a poor concours and penalties robbed it of victory. I was a tad ticked but that is racing. The chassis houses a lowered BWA can with off set gearing and 10/23 ratio. Smooth runner and fast, Ugly yes but so much fun and very stable.
And so this years return makes use of all that I have learned and what has worked best. Took some effort to get the transmission housing in place. Exhaust pipes are ball point pen tubes empty of ink, paper clip struts and my own urethane cast tires on the rear. Its equal to the Polish Lotus performance but is that good enough as development marches on? Other's are master scratch builders, me...not so much but am enjoying 'kit bashing" a great deal. Let the racing begin in a month's time!
oooooowwwweeeAnnie wheez made it to the 'drome all the way from the Calgary Stampede! Now that's over, heard tell there's some good racin' here....and only racin' we know is Chuck Wagon racin'..hhheeehhaaawww!
Bloody hell wot?? Good Lowd wot is all that racket at corner one? And the smell. Some strange brown substance around their boots.
Heh, Nigelo take a de easy. They iz a cough boyce. They not so bad eh! They like a de horse infronta de cart justa lika de engines should be in a my kars...in a da front.
God heavens Enzo old chap I do believe they have my daughters stead.
Welcome back to the World Famous Autodrome for the last of this year's Lost Open Road Proxy. The cars are here, tested, tuned and qualified. We are aiming for a Friday race so stay tuned as Sir Nige, Enzo and the gang wait for the race and excitement to come.
Oh hello...hello...I do believe you have my trusty horse Rose Bud. I say the sadle won't fit...you'll bruise your twig and berries...hello...oh never mind.
Oh carp those crazy crackers from out west are here. Stay calm. We'll sell them lots of tobacco and kill 'em off slowly smokin'...we'll open some casinos and get the rest of their money.
Then we buy the NFL Washington franchise and rename it the Pale Faces. Ha...shhh good idea....get ready to marshall the hair pin turn Clumsy Fingers.
It was a fine night at the 'drome! One of our "cough boyce" is track side with Sir Nige.
HOOOOWEEE!.. these here sporty cars sure is a darn sight faster than chuck wagons Nige!
Hrumph well yas old boy and we Brits produced a fine sweep of both podiums I'd say...save for that Bosch interloper.
Amazing racing and look how close the results were in Class B!
I dunno boss, de motoro she a give a up!
Heh...nut your fault Nunzio..but never..you never a say a bad ting abouta da Ferrari...you fired...I get da boyce to give a you da ride.
Well at least the red cars looked mahvalous dahlink!
The Dixie Trix sing us farewell till next time..."Happy trails to you untill we meet again..."
That wraps the TLOR for another year. Congrats to all the racers here. Petera..ever calm...Stewart the analytical machine and Brian "Sparky" who drove all the way in from camp to race THANK YOU! The WIMCC crew though diminished by holiday commitments did a fine job on the night.
So a while back I was reading up for some info from a previous post and magicaly changed the order of my Eldon post. No idea what I did...frightened I stayed clear of the blog for a while.....seems ok...shhhhhhh!
Years ago when I started this blog I mentioned that my first taste of slot racing as a young lad was with Eldon products. No they were not of the greatest quality nor was the detail anything to write home about. Scale was very roughly 1/32 or somewhat larger and chassis were crude and adjustable to fit many body styles. Still the product holds a bit of a soft spot in my heart and though very toy like I recently purchased two examples cheaply on "epay" and decided to dress them up a tad.
So this is what I started out with,gathering possible donor parts from various bins.
I decided to replace the rear axle with a threaded 1/8' EJ's unit and Revel vintage gear. I threaded the original plastic wheels on and used a nut to hold them in place. One of the wheels was slipping so a dab of "Crazy glue" did the trick.
Hit the bodies with Krylon spray paint I had rattling around the "skunk works" and as you can see cleaned up the chassis.
I kept the original motors as they worked well at ten volts, siliconed the motor in place, siliconed the expandable chassis so it was more rigid, replaced the guide with a Strombecker EJ's repop after I reamed the post holder a bit with a file so things were loose but firmly in place with a collar on the post.
A bit of detail work with Tamiya paints and EJ'S decals out of the "left overs" file. and things where looking good. I failed to mention that I stretched a pair of my own cast urethane tires on the rear but found them disproportionately narrow so took a chance and cast the dry hard original Eldon tires and luckily was able to come up with a couple of decent usable pairs.
The "Indy Lotus" and I use the description with poetic license and...
the Indy roadster came out rather well and are charming to race around, at a surprisingly brisk clip for such old "toys"
Hi! From high a top the control tower here at the world famous Autodrome located half way between here and there, on the shores of the mighty St. Larry River, we bring you the 74th running of the VRAA Grand Prix of the Autodrome and as you have already guessed the VRAA has been here 34 times before. I'm Dick Grande and, by way of Brazil and some sort of "twinning "proceedure we await this years special guest, Enzo. Tributes to Ferrari glory are being shown on large screens around the track as we await his second coming......where in the world is Enzo? Let's take you down to the pits where our regular commentators Jack E. Stewart and Sir Nigel await Enzo's arrival.
Right Dick. Jack E. heeerrrre with Sir Nge and no sign of Enzo. Where in the world is Enzo? Nothing unusual herrre. The pits arrrre a behive of activity as the carrs are unloaded and soon tested. Not many Scot's carrrs so as usual they're all crrrap. Sirrr Nige any comments.
"Mwell ..hramppph here here..God Save the Queen...where in the world is that Eyetalian chap?...rude sort...wot?"
We take you high a top the observatin carnival ballon over a meeting of "German mechanics".."ve see nuthink..ve hear nothink...hess nut vith us...rouse..schnell"...no sign of Enzo. Where in the world is Enzo?
Dick here. I've just been informed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have deployed their highly trained sniffer horses in hopes of finding Enzo. Flag staffs at half mast incase ill has befallen him at a very "sketchy "family business in the "Eyetallion" section of town. Where in the world is Enzo?
As the search continues tradition here at the 'drome warrants that the Royal Princess Fridgedaires commence their march to begin festivities mindfull to always remain behind their mascot the Bejewelled Turtle. This could take sometime as in previous years so we take you to some fans in the park to see if they know where in the world is Enzo?
Heh! mahn. We don see senior Enzo no where amigo? Where in the world is Enzo? Dunno mahn..hehehe! so why don chew look at the carnival mahn?
Fans party prior to the race here at the park but no sign of Enzo? The Umpah band entertains to keep the worried crowd calm. Where in the world is Enzo?
As the day ends and preparations for qualifying begin no relief is insight from the search for Enzo. We leave you as confused as ever here at the 103rd running of the 82nd VRAA Grand Prix with but one burning question in mind, "Where in the world is Enzo?"
Welcome back to the 40th running of the VRAA at the Autodrome here in Cornh...errrrr...wall Ontarrrio. Jack E. Stewart speaking and I'm afrrraid to say we have as yet to find our guest of honourrr strraight from Italy by way of a Brazilian cloning lab wherrre he may have had a slight face lift.
We sent Sir Nige out and about on the streets and by the carnival rides but no sign of Enzo. Where in the worrrlld is Enzo?
Dick Grrrande was on assignment at the rrefrreshment stand and still no sign. Wherre in the worrld is Enzo?
In any case the carrrs have done a parade lap by numerrrical order and all seem to be...in a word...crrrap! They're not Scottish...if ye didn't get 'em fer free you paid too much!
Thank you Jack E.. Dick Grande here from race central ,no sign of Enzo but we must continue. If all goes well qualifying will happen late tomorrow with results posted sometime after. Excitement fills the air in anticipation for the 12th running of the VRAA and 58th race in the series this season. Only NASCAR runs more. More news tomorrow.
Where in the world is Enzo?:
We're back here at the 'drome. It was decided to get the local constabulatory force involved to find, where in the world is Enzo?
Officer John Doe Naught even though very busy with police work, was more than glad to set up lookouts to find out "where in the world is Enzo?"
Spotters were deployed and it was decided to look first where RIR was invited by the Gregory Peck look alike to visit, perhaps to see his nice Doberman dogs or perhaps something or someone else.
OMG it is ENZO. Where in the world have you been? Wh are you here?
OK OK..everrey budy take it da pill? I'ma ok, just a visit a grave..nevernominda who...justa good friend EF...whadda you wanta?
So nowa dey go finda me I gotta do da job. So okay shtarta de qualificationna!
Cars dey look a so nice but too manni garagistas, no? All lina up now and getta going.
Ho boyce looka how dey go fasta!...dattas nice....dey all race around uno minuta eacha to see who so fasta, middleof traka ada 10 volta...nice.
Dey finish lika dis.
Finally grrracia Enzo for showing up so the rrrrace could start. Unforrrtunately RIR is now missing as is Grrregory Peck's double in a white suit. Maybe holidaying in Brazil? Jack E. herrre and the chart tells the story.( 1st # order of quali, then car number or name then time) Really no surrrrprise as the Polish Lotus was built and tested on this its home trrrack. The tirrrres are well worn indeed! As forrr the rrrest of the competitorrrs...they're carp!:
..and so we await the running of the 113th running of the 4th VRAA at the Autodrome.
Dick Grande, Enzo, Sir Nige and Jack E. signing off for now!
Jack E. Stewarrrt herrre and wot an extrrraordinary night of rracing it was. Let us just say a crack team of drivers and track mangement ran another successful prrroxy herre at the world famous Autodrrrrrrome...
...lovely cars to see racing on the track....
A car built for this track edged out a one lap victorrrrry as it ran last in the rrrotation and was brrilliantly drrrifen by the young McG on the very last stint.
And wot a fine run by the Porsche and the lovelyBRM...and look at the tightly packed 4th through 8th places...WOW!...heck 10th....wooo
Dick Grande here signing off for Jack E. Stewart, Enzo, Sir Nigel and the cast of characters here at the 'drome. Rest assured all is well at the track. As for where Enzo was and rumours of aliens and cloning and other nonsense reminiscent of the old Boys from Brazil movie we have no idea why people would suspect anything "funny" here. Do you see any look a likes???...silly!
Good day till next time, eh!
So this car has existed in the collection over a decade. It is an MRRC Vanwall with an MRRC chassis. modified, with BWA wheels rear and Ninco wires at the front, to start with.
The origianl change was to replace the MRRC driver with an EJ's driver. Now I opened up the cockpit and used a Darts driver. I decided to carry on improvements for a proxy VRRA Spring series. Fresh coat of green and my racing number.
Years ago I read an article and modified the chassis so it was a pan with floating front axle. The whole thing functions in theory like the old Scalex sledge idea.
More changes with a BWA S can and new gearing.
Close up of the now very stable slot.it rear with bushings after opening up the brass frame holes that previously held the axle. New tires that I cast myself.
BWA/Dart wheels and inserts, polished up the chassis, TSRF guide left in place, car runs like a charm.
Only one problem...rules for proxy state that the chassis cannot show below the body when viewed from the side....boo...my chassis shows a tad...so even with a bit of grinding and effort it just won't disappear. After all I often stand at the side of the track hunched over one eye squinting looking for a slight peek of chassis at the correct angle....( tad upset )
So lovely runner stays home for me to enjoy and proxy loses an entrant. That's how the cookie crumbles.
PS...car drives much better than the Scalex Vanwall of modern release...hehehe!
Picked these two lovelies on epay a while back. They came with assembly instructions found in the original box. One GT40 is endbell drive, the other can drive so I assume that they were released at different times.
Both cars need considerable clean up and paint.
The original tires were replaced by my"Cupcake castings"
I have further cleaned things up. Scrubbing Bubbles non abrasive bathroom cleanser and a soft tooth brush works wonders. Each chassis got a coat of clear acrylis to stop further oxidation. Crown gear will be replaced on the blue Ford.
Rear of black car was reconsrtucted from sheet styrene.
One Ford is done. Other is still in the shop and will get a whimsical orange Jager livery. Both were offered for sale to a friend but alas they run so well the offer is off the table! I'm keeping these beauties.
Once again both cars are and are being painted by Glen Norris, my pro paint and body restorer, a newbie slotter to our WIMMC&C group, who suffers from a propencity for orange colours and certain livery. He is a master modeler with many awards for static models to his credit. The paint job makes these cars extra fast.
Can't say enough about how well these cars run 45 years on.
As blogged, along with photos of the first Canadian Grand Prix, some time ago, 1967 was a seminal year for my country, Canada's Centenial. Our nation was full of hope and promise and granted a Grand Prix which is now one of the older races on the calander that "Bernie" and big money have created. ( Not that he and others have not tried to drop and replace Canada with a race in Ugabuhgastan for the cash and 6 fans who could afford to attend with the reigning dictator.) But I digress. I was long ago 16 going on 17 and now I'm "maturing " and nostalgic!....and STILL RACING SLOT CARS! One of the chaps in southern Ontario, where I once resided and raced, sent along a great clip. Let's share and enjoy.
Along with the poster and disk of photos of this event, that I cherish, this link makes for a perfect day.
From the cast of characters and misfits that inhabit the World Famous Autodrome, here in Cornwall Ontario Canada, a Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.
Thanks to all who continue to browse and read the blog over all these years!
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I've been racing slot cars since I was 12. Started with Eldon, routed my own track, raced H.O. and since 1999 back to 1/32. Had built a road course and oval at my school in H.O. four lanes for the kids to race. Now I'm retired since 2007 after 34 years of teaching and administration. Enjoy a variety of 1/32 makes and scratch builts. Tinker with the cars constantly. Have expanded to a 65' three lane routed MDF layout and its great fun adding to the scenery and racing.A bit of a collector (425+ and growing) , club racer and proxy racer. Add stuff costantly! Building and tweaking is as much fun as racing. Enjoy writing my blog. Good day, eh!