1960 Ferrari 250 TR59/60 #11 Pilots: O. Gendebien, P. Frère Team: Scuderia Ferrari SpA Race: 1st GC (S3.0 class) at Le Mans in 1960 Ixo - LM 1959 (diecast)
By the late 50s, the Commissione Sportiva Internazionale (CSI) was in a tight spot. The sports car scene was a two horse race between Ferrari and Maserati, with little interest from other manufacturers. And, they were under pressure to improve safety after the 1955 Le Mans and 1957 Mille Miglia tragedies. So to stimulate interest by other brands and to (somewhat) limit engine output, for 1958 the CSI, among other measures, limited engine displacement to 3 liters. To comply with the new rules, Ferrari started to work on a new car in 1957, the 250 Testa Rossa. The new 250 TR was ready for 1958, with a 2953 cm³ V12 based on their old Colombo engine. For a chassis, it used a tubular steel space frame setup that came from the previous 500 TR model. The body was a 2-seater barchetta body, designed by Scaglietti and Chiti.
After its debut in 1958, the 250 TR went through constant evolution. Therefore, the following year Ferrari released the 250 TR59, with a new body penned by Pininfarina. He deleted the iconic pontoon front fenders, replaced by a more aerodynamic front. To improve power delivery a 5-speed transmission took the place of the previous 4-speed unit. In addition, the 250 TR59 was the first Ferrari sports car to use disc brakes. However, for 1959 both at Le Mans and at the Targa Florio, the TR59 had issues both in pace and reliability. That being so, for 1960 Ferrari revised the car, and upgraded three to the TR59/60. The upgrades were mainly in the gearbox, but Ferrari also got external help. Aston Martin withdrew from the championship, so Maranello had a solid chance in the 24 Heures du Mans of 1960.
That year at La Sarthe, Ferrari had three TR59/60 in the works team, and a total of 12 cars in the race. The TR59/60 #9 ran out of fuel on lap 9, and TR59/60 #10 abandoned on the 204th lap with a broken gearbox. Contrarily, the TR59/60 #11 fared much better, coming in first place. That was Ferrari’s fourth overall win at Le Mans, and, as a bonus, they also won the GT3000 class. In 43rd scale form Ixo did a reasonable job on car #11. An older mold, so not as finely detailed as the brand’s more current offerings, but quite honest. Besides, it’s a cheap model, so in the end a quite nice acquisition.