1954 Ferrari 375 Plus Spider
Pilots: J. Gonzalez, M. Trintignant
Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Race: 1st GC (S class) at Le Mans in 1954
pw (Eaglemoss) - ? (diecast)
Ferrari produced the 375MM from 1953 to 1955. It was a sports racing car with a 4.5 l V12 engine and a welded steel tube chassis, designed specifically for the Mille Miglia. Despite wins in other (big) European races, the 375MM was not successful in the Italian classic. Therefor, for 1954 Ferrari needed a better car. And of course, a better car needs a more powerful engine. So Aurelio Lampredi, Ferrari’s chief engine designer used his previous V12 of the 375MM and expanded the piston chambers. As a result, the V12 of the new 375 Plus displaced 4954 cm3. With SOHC and 24 valves, it was not a particularly sophisticated engine, but good enough for 330 hp. The chassis was also an improvement over it’s predecessor, made of an elliptic section of steel tubes. That being so, without fluids the 375 Plus weighed 950 kg.
Ferrari produced a total of eight 375 Plus, all in 1954. The car’s career as a racing car did not start out very well, not finishing neither the Giro di Sicilia nor the Mille Miglia races. Despite the previous bad results, Ferrari enrolled three 375 Plus in the 24 Heures du Mans of 1954. The competition at La Sarthe was stiff, mainly from the new Jaguar D-Type. And after their 1953 win, Jaguar was clearly the favorite. But British favoritism notwithstanding, in the able hands of José Froilán González and Maurice Trintignant, the 375 Plus #4 came in first place overall. That was Ferrari’s second win at La Sarthe after 1949.
And we have another pw model… And this time a not very good one. Following the norm, the wheels are quite bad, and tail pipes are solid. But the model does have some added-on details, like a number plate light and hood fasteners. Even so, the wheels are too crude, even for a pw. So doing the math, though I got it on the cheap, this was not a great buy.