SlotForum banner

Ferrari 553 Squalo

4088 Views 21 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  circuittaps
Searching the entire www for classic F1 Ferrari RTR, kits, shells etc. I can come up with loads of 500, 625 and 555 "Supersqualo" solutions.

But nowhere can I find a 553 "Squalo". Anybody out there knows a site where I can order a resin or fibreglass shell?

The funny part is, that I do not intend to build a 553, but I need a body to try and make the Arzani-Volpini Special from the Italian Grand Prix on Monza 1955.

1 - 6 of 22 Posts
An interesting project, Holger, and a tricky one. From the one photo I have, the Arzani-Volpini bodywork curves out quite gracefully, unlike the Ferrari's with those distinct bulges. The nose is probably broader than on the 553. The A-V has quite a large rad. grille. However, it's a good-looking car.
From my one photo, I agree with Tony that a 250F body may be closer than a Squalo's, though the Maseratis had straighter sides. I wondered for a moment if a B-type Connaught shell would be useful. Probably not (for one thing, it doesn't have a fairing behind the driver's head), but you might like to take a look.

The A-Volpini chassis came from the Ruggeri brothers' Milano team but was not one of the modified 4CLT chassis that the team campaigned in its Maserati-Milanos in 1949-50. The Ruggeris designed their own chassis and built two, though just one complete car. It ran in a few races in 1950 as a Milano - probably only one championship race, the Italian GP, driven by Cometti.
Both the Maserati-Milanos and the Milano used 4CLT-based engines modified/built by Mario Speluzzi.
Arzani and Volpini obtained the unraced Ruggeri chassis for their 1955 effort, plus one or more of the Speluzzi engines, enlarging it/them to 2.5 litres. Arzani was apparently an engine-builder himself. The body shape is distinctly mid-50s and is said to have been built by Carrozzeria Colli in Milan.
Sadly, the A-V's only race was the non-championship Pau GP, where its inexperienced driver, Mario Alborghetti, crashed and suffered fatal injuries. The car was repaired and entered in the Italian GP for Luigi Piotti, but it either "failed to appear" or "non-started due to engine problems".
Main sources: A-Z of Formula Racing Cars by David Hodges and Formula One in Camera 1950-59 by Paul Parker. Neither mentions any use in the 1953-54 two-litre period.

The photo in the Parker book (taken at Pau, 1955) shows part of another rare F1 car, the DB Monomill, a small front-drive car with a supercharged 750cc engine. That was a little-used alternative in 1954-60 F1. Apparently the Monomill never ran in a championship GP, but it could be a subject for someone who likes building unusual cars from scratch.
Rob J
See less See more
Good to see that photo, John. Remarkable how two just photos can give very different impressions. The one I was looking at was taken from straight in front and a low angle, and the car looked much broader.
Have just found another online at . Very like yours but a rear threequarter view.
Rob J
Holger: The race numbers were probably white. The photo I have was taken earlier at the Pau GP, where it carried a white #28 in Italian-style numbers (slightly angular, rather than fully rounded, and the top of the 2 closed).
The only number visible is on the right side of the nose, facing right (not diagonally).
The name ARZANI is in small capitals in the usual place on the nose above the grille.
I will try to scan and send you the pic in a message in the next day or two. I'd rather not risk a copyright breach by posting it openly on the Forum.
The pic would also give you some detail on the grille, front brake drums, etc. It also gives a different perspective on the body shape.
Rob J
Hello, Holger. You have a message and (I hope) a photo as an attachment. Let me know if it doesn't show up.
Best wishes for the excellent project.
Rob J
Holger: Glad the Pau photo came through, and I hope it's useful. Have you decided which shell you'll start your project with?
On the position of the front number, I also mentioned the location of the pits and/or control tower. I was just guessing that the Arzani-Volpini's could be the same at Monza as at Pau (facing right). Perhaps you should follow the trend in the photos of other cars at Monza (centred or left).
I'm not sure why the Ferraris and Lancias had numbers on the left of the nose at Monza. Perhaps for the benefit of patriotic spectators in the grandstands on the outside of the circuit. Perhaps the lap-scorers were on the outside too.
In 1955 the race was run on the rebuilt track with the banked oval added. I have a map and it looks as though the pits (boxes corsa) are on the inside, but I understand very little Italian and can't pinpoint the control tower or other location for the official lap-counters.
Rob J
Holger: I am no expert on resin and fibreglass shells and can offer only a couple of comments.
Pattos does several 250Fs but they're 0.5mm clear vac shells. I don't know of any resin or f'glass bodies from him.
On the Penelope Pitlane resin shell, most of the louvres could be sanded off (and filled if necessary). However, like the AA Bodies shell, it is a model of the 1954 car with a low tail or rear end. The Arzani-Volpini, at least before the crash at Pau, had a high fairing behind the driver's head (think Lotus 16, Vanwall, Stanguellini FJ). A model of a 1957 250F or the 1958 Piccolo may be worth searching for, as they had slightly higher rear ends than the 1954-56 cars.
The Airfix 250F has an unusually high tail, the closest I've seen to the A-V's, and only a few louvres. But you'd have to remove the long duct on the bonnet (and fill the resulting gap), and the splashguards, and of course it's not resin or f'glass.
Betta and Classic do a 1957 V12 in their Classic fibreglass range but it has two long ducts on the bonnet.
We look forward to reading of your progress and seeing the Arzani at last taking to the grid at Monza.
Rob J
See less See more
1 - 6 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.