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Prince of Destruction
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Discussion Starter · #121 · (Edited)
Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari 126 CK, 1981 Spanish Grand Prix winner

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Hi all, it's been a while since my last update but I have been working on a special project that I wanted to show here now. It's the car that my childhood hero Gilles Villeneuve took to an unlikely victory in the 1981 Spanish Grand Prix at the twisty Jarama circuit. No slot car manufacturer has ever made a serious model of this historic car (with the exception of the underscaled Polistil model produced in the 1980s) so I decided to make it myself.

The 126CK, Ferrari's first turbo car, was not exactly the most sophisticated machinery at the time. After winning the world title in 1979, Ferrari's focus had mostly been on developing the new turbo engine. Sacrificing the 1980 season and also lacking behind on chassis development and ground effect aerodynamics, the result was a very powerful car but more than a handful to drive! Villeneuve managed to win two Grand Prix though at the most unexpected venues, namely Monaco and Jarama.

In Spain Gilles qualified 7th but maid a blistering start to jump to 3rd. At the end of the first lap he was already in second behind race leader Alan Jones. But when Jones went off on lap 14, Gilles was in the lead. Villeneuve used the power of his Ferrari engine on the straight to gain a little margin and not get overtaken by his rivals (Lafitte, Watson, Reutemann and De Angelis), but in the corners they were all over him. Many times Laffite pulled alongside the Canadian as they went out a corner but the Ferrari would stay ahead as the horsepower kicked in. The five remained locked together right to the flag, crossing the line covered by just 1.24 seconds to record the second-closest race in the history of Formula One! This was to be Gilles Villeneuve's last victory.

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Okay, so far for the history, now about the car I made. Bodywork is completely scratchbuild from polystyrene. Chassis and motor from Policar with a Shapeways Williams chassis extension. Front suspension is from the Fly Williams as I wanted the steering to work. I think the first picture explains why, I wanted to have those typical Gilles oversteer moments! The very light body is kept into place with a small button magnet. Decals are by Indycals (thanks Michael for doing the small change on the Olivetti logos!). The typical cooling ribs on the side panels are done with a self made decal. Driver figure, windscreen and mirrors are from SRC.

Thanks for watching and reading!

Cheers
René

The building process.

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The result.

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Gilles Forever!







 

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An amazing job you've done there, really REALLY good!
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Looking at the driver's position explains why they moved them back in later years, his feet must be waaaaay forward of the front axle line!
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What a fabulous model of a car that I have long wished was available. You have done a wonderful job!!!
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I also like the idea of keeping the body in place with magnets.
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Thanks for sharing

Philip
 

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A brilliant slot car, so well planned and executed - superb work in progress photographs as well.

I bet you love driving it.

David
 

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Prince of Destruction
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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
Thanks all for the nice comments, much appreciated!

Andi, David, the car goes very well and is a real pleasure to drive. You all know the quality of the Policar running gear and combined with an ultra light wide body, it goes like a rocket!
 

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Very nice! Did you have to "heat bend" the nose/cockpit cowling?
 

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Prince of Destruction
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Discussion Starter · #135 ·
Hi René,

You have been too quite ...

What are you planning or doing to show to us ?
Andre, I finished the 126CK in June and I don't work as fast as some other builders. I do however have a plan to build another of Gilles's cars but not a Ferrari!
 

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Prince of Destruction
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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Very nice! Did you have to "heat bend" the nose/cockpit cowling?
Nope, I did not 'heat bend' the nose section. I use very thin sheets and I shape them using a round object like a brush or pen or screwdriver. I carefully roll the part I want to shape over the round object. Takes some practice but it works. And when glued together they stay in shape.
 

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Andre, I finished the 126CK in June and I don't work as fast as some other builders. I do however have a plan to build another of Gilles's cars but not a Ferrari!
Well, not many choices. March formula Atlantic, Wolf CanAm or (the one I would prefer) McLaren m23 #40, Silverstone 1977.

Scalextric has done it but I am sure that you will do something much superior. Or improve the Scalex m23.

SCR sells their m23 body but it is the 1973 - 1974 model, with smaller side "boxes"for the radiators and high motor air intake.

Anyway, we all know that masterpieces take a while to be ready ...
 
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