1969 Ferrari 312 P #1 Pilots: T. Zeccoli, J-C. Andruet Team: N.A.R.T. Race: 9th overall (S 3.0 class) at Le Mans in 1974 Hachette (pw) - ? (diecast)
In 1967, FIA changed the rules for Group 6. For the 1968 season, sport prototypes could only use 3-liter engines. With that, Ferrari’s 4-liter 330 P4 became illegal, and old man Enzo was furious. Consequently, Ferrari boycotted the 1968 World Sportscar Championship. Eventually however, things cooled down at Maranello and work began on a new car for 1969. To keep things cheap, this new car received the engine and gearbox from the 312 F1 and the chassis from the 612 P (1968 CanAm car). The engine, a 2990 cm³ DOHC V12 with 48 valves, was cutting edge for the time. The chassis was a steel tubular space frame with stressed sheet aluminum panels for a body. This new car was the 312 P, and in essence was an F1 with a sportscar body. Built initially as a barchetta, to reduce drag engineers later transformed the car into a berlinetta.
From the start, Ferrari planned only limited racing for the 312 P. With the high expenses in F1, they couldn’t afford much in terms of sportscar racing. Therefore, Maranello only built three 312 P chassis. This one here is chassis #0872, built as a berlinetta in 1969. That year it only raced at La Sarthe, where it crashed and burned. Ferrari sold it to Luigi Chinetti’s N.A.R.T. (North American Racing Team), racing it at Sebring, Daytona and Le Mans in 1970. The following year they converted it to a barchetta, and only raced the car three times in 1970 and 1971. In 1974, however, N.A.R.T. came back to La Sarthe, with a four-car strong team. N.A.R.T.’s 312 P #1 came in ninth place overall, 39 laps behind the winning Matra.
This is a partwork model, from Hachette’s “Ferrari F1 and Racing Collection”, issued in Japan. As most pw series it comes in a blister (no acrylic case) and with a magazine. The magazine brings photos and information on the car, however being in Japanese, I can’t say how good the info is. And this being issue #98, the series seems to be pretty popular in Japan.
Sooooo, a pw model 🤨? In general terms, I’m actively avoiding partworks, focusing instead on “good” models. However, the 1974 312 P #1 is, as far as I know, only available as a pw. Besides, I have a soft spot for my 312 PB #16, one of the best pw I’ve seen so far. Even so, this 312 P is definitively not as good. I say that mainly because the tires are not marked, and in my eyes marked tires do a lot for a model. In addition, the paint job is not as good and cockpit details are much worse. Nonetheless, it was cheap, though I only found it on sale about a month ago. In the end, do I recommend it? Only if found for cheap, and even so, then maybe.