1965 Ferrari 250 LM #21 Pilots: M. Gregory, J. Rindt Team: North American Racing Team Race: 1st overall (P 4.0 class) at Le Mans in 1965 Ixo - LM 1965 (diecast)
By 1962, a mid-engine layout became the norm for sportscar racing. Yet, Enzo Ferrari (stubbornly) insisted on a front-engine disposition. In spite of old man Enzo’s convictions, things needed to change. Therefore, for 1963 Ferrari started to work on a new car, the 250 P. It would use the same V12 engine of the previous 250 models, though located in the middle of the chassis. The car was aimed at a new prototype class for the upcoming season of the World Sportscar Championship. With rear-wheel drive and with a barchetta body, the car started out with great success. In 1963, it won at Le Mans, Sebring and Nürburgring. With the success of the 250 P, Maranello decided to produce a coupe version of the car, the 250 LM. Ready for the November 1963 Paris Auto Show, it was the homologation model for FIA’s Group 3 GT class.
The new berlinetta counted on a tubular space frame with disc brakes all around. A 5-speed transaxle gearbox handled shifting, and the car had two aluminum gas tanks. The engine was a V12 displacing 3286 cm³ with SOHC, producing 320 hp. Interestingly, since each individual cylinder displaced 275 cm³, according to the traditional Ferrari nomenclature, the car should have been called 275 LM. Enzo Ferrari opted for 250 LM instead to facilitate homologation with FIA. However, since Ferrari only produced 32 models instead of the required 50, it was not homologated. With that, it had to race as a prototype, against much stiffer competition. Even so, in the hands of Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt, 250 LM #21 came in first place at Le Mans in 1965. That was Ferrari’s last overall victory at La Sarthe.
In 143rd scale, the model is honest. Being from Ixo, you can’t expect something fantastic, though you do get a nice model. In fact, it is one of the best vintage Ferraris I have from Ixo. Even so, being sincere, I think this one should be from a better brand. Don’t get me wrong, I like the model, I really do. However, a car with such a colorful history deserves something better.
This 250 LM #21 has one of the most interesting histories I’ve ever heard. Over two years ago I posted a VINwiki video where they tell that story. One of those stories that could only happen at Le Mans, and something that would be impossible nowadays. I posted the video again above. It is only 20 minutes long and TOTALLY worth the watch.