A few years ago, I posted the link to a short video showing footage of Fangio testing a Maserati 250F in 1957 at Modena. The video is really cool, showing El Chueco deftly handling that beautiful car. I’m bringing up this again because yesterday I found out how they made that footage. When I first saw that video I assumed that the camera had been fixed to the rear of the car, and remotely triggered by Fangio himself. However, I was mistaken, and as you can see above, it was not shot using a GoPro either 😂. Well, I therefor conclude that if pilots at that time had balls of steel, cameramen had balls of adamantium. Even though it was Fangio at the wheel, holy cow! 😲😲😲
And now I’m disappointed with Minichamps 😣
Well, being honest, it’s more like I’m mad at them. A couple of weeks ago I discovered that the brand released quite a few new Silberpfeile. Since models of the Silver Arrows are pretty rare, I was really happy. I even posted about them – though, at the time, I wasn’t aware about the Typ A “Langheck” #1 below. However, since then I had the time to look them over in more detail. And after some research, I was pretty upset with what I found.
Above is one of the new models. Auto Union arrived at Reims in 1938 with two new D streamliners and two old Typ C. Unhappily, during practice two cars crashed. For race day the team decided to use the two remaining chassis without the streamliner body. Therefore, the two cars that raced were a mishmash of both Typ D and C with a somewhat open body. Here you can see the starting grid – the three Mercedes W154 in front and the two Auto Unions (#16 and #20) right behind. From the pic you can see that the Auto Unions did NOT have a streamliner body. Besides, Rudolf Hasse piloted car #20, and not #18. And as you see on the model’s plinth, Minichamps also got the year wrong 🙄.
The Typ A #1 above is the other model in the same boat. At the 1934 Eiffel race (June 3rd), all three Typ A were short tails (Kurzheck), and not long tails (Langheck). Not a perfect angle, yet you can see Stuck’s #1 Kurzheck in the Eiffelrennen here. The Typ A Langheck was only used at the AVUS-Rennen on May 27th, and the three cars were numbered #42, #44 and #46. Moreover, all three cars had “closed” front suspension. In summary, Minichamps royally botched the model.
So… Are these models worth having? HELL NO, they’re totally wrong 😤. I can’t believe it toke decades (!) for new Silberpfeile to come up and this is what we get. Yes, they do look very nice in terms of details and craftsmanship, yet they’re still wrong. In essence, “fantasy cars”. Nonetheless, I thought about moding them into something historically accurate. Though the Typ A Langheck is basically useless, maybe you could create a test car of the Typ D. A good and feasible idea, however Minichamps announced that they would release this car in the future (#410382000). Another idea would be to make the Reims practice car (before the crash), yet since there’s no photos of the cars before the race as a reference, that possibility is out.
So, in conclusion, Minichamps made a royal SNAFU. And yes, they really got my panties in a bunch here…
Disappointed with Spark
By now, it is more than obvious that I’m a H-U-G-E Spark fanboy. Well yes, the brand makes some friggentastic models in 1:43, for a (somewhat?) affordable price. In fact, I’m almost at the point where I buy the model first and only ask questions later. Earlier this week I found a very rare one that is a must buy for me. One of the 1973 911 Carrera RSR Martini cars.
If you look closely, you will see that there’s no wing mirror. And yes, the real car had a wing mirror on the left side. Well, sometimes manufacturers can make mistakes, I know that. However, how the blazes did Spark get the #46 car right and make such a gross a mistake on the #47 😣?
Both these models, the #46 and #47 cars, are nowadays VERY rare, and to me personally a must buy. One of those models that unless Spark reissues them, I probably would never have. And then, out of the blue, I find locally (!) a mint #47 for cheap! Of course I bought it on the spot. However, right after I bought it, while looking over the seller’s pictures, I noticed it didn’t have the mirror. Oh crap, I bought a defective model – I knew it was too good to be true! I then did some research and to my surprise Spark didn’t make it with the mirror. So just a few minutes after hitting the BIN button I canceled the purchase. Boogers.
I know I shouldn’t get my panties in a bunch for this, yet… Finding a sought after model for cheap and then learning it’s wrong is REALLY disappointing. Honestly, I expected MUCH better from Spark 🙄.
Slow day at the office
Well, more like slow weeks at the office… You must have noticed that model reviews have become somewhat scarce around here. Well, that’s because my toys & candy fund has been a bit limited lately. You know, because of stuff like coffee, car insurance, clothes for the kids and other grown-up issues 🙄. It honestly sucks to be a responsible adult. Any how, I expect that things will get better by next month (fingers crossed!), and then I’ll have new stuff to show. Even so, I will upload a new review this next Friday. Yay!
In the meantime I’m going through my previous reviews, fixing broken links, proof-reading and sometimes remaking photos. Today, for instance, I made new shots of some of my Silver Arrows. It’s been a long while since I photographed a Silberpfeil.
Books – Ford vs Ferrari
I’m pretty sure everyone here already saw Ford v Ferrari the film. You didn’t 😲??? What do you mean, you didn’t see it?!? Unless you just shipped in from a colony on Venus (or Uranus), something is wrong… No, it’s not a fantastic work of art in cinematography, far from that. Well, Le Mans the film also kind of (royally?) sucked in that regard. Yet, that’s beside the point. The fact is that both are GREAT car movies. And from that perspective, Ford v Ferrari is maybe even better than Le Mans. So if you’re a gearhead or car person, you need to watch it. ASAP.
Anyway, the book is not about the film. It’s about the events that inspired the film. And in terms of a literary piece of work, it’s pretty good. The only part that I didn’t like (or better, that I missed), was the lack of coverage on Ferrari and their cars. The book is “Ford-centric”, so not much is said about Ferrari’s cars. And we’re talking about the 330 P3 (among others), which is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous Ferraris ever. The book has a ton of photos, so more Ferrari eye candy would have been nice. Despite not much on Maranello’s cars, the author presents the facts that lead to Ford’s victory at Le Mans in 1966 in a pretty good way. Their are other books out there on those events, however John Starkey is right to the point. And shows lots of photos.
This book, fortunately (for once), is still available in paperback format, and best of all, cheap (about $20). And because of the photos, I strongly recommend the regular book version and not the e-book version. The e-book is cheaper, yet for photos a Kindle is far from great, so if you can, go for the tree-unfriendly regular book version.
Books – Against Death and Time
Originally published in 2004, I got this book around 2006 or 2007. It was a gift from my friend Jeff, a fellow moderator at DiecastXchange, at the time the biggest 1:18 diecast forum on the web. Back then I was an avid 1:18 collector, trying to build a focused collection 🙄. I wanted to stick to Le Mans and Silberpfeile, and just a few road cars, yet in 1:18 those themes were scarce. And books like this didn’t help either. Brock Yates tells a great story about the 1955 Indy 500, and Bill Vukovich’s tragic accident. He also talks about the 1955 Le Mans tragedy and the aftermath. For both cases, it was VERY interesting to see how much a pilot’s safety (and life) was important. Or better said, how little that mattered. He also writes about the death of James Dean, in the last part of the book. However, being honest, that part was subpar compared to the rest. Being blunt, he could have stopped at Le Mans.
Even so, all in all a good book. To the point that I branched my 1:18 collection into vintage Indy racecars 😣. Despite the James Dean part, it’s a very good book. However, I looked it up at Amazon and it’s out of print. If you get a chance to get one, even if you’re not into Indy, it’s a good way to understand a little how racing was done in the 50s. Oh, Brock Yates also wrote “Enzo Ferrari: The Man and The Machine”.
WEC 2023: entry list
Oh boy… Things are looking EXCITING for 2023! 🤩🤩🤩
Do I have all the Gulf 917? Not even close. Missing from that shot is one of the Gulf 917LH from 1971. It could be either the#17 or #18, I would be happy with either one – I’m not picky. And of course, the 1971 Daytona winner… The problem is that all three are hellishly rare to find, specially the Daytona car 😣. I’m aware that there are quite a few other 917s in Gulf colors, however the Le Mans cars and the Daytona one (because of the story of that race) are the ones I really covet. Lets hope that Spark reissue those, like they did with the 917K #20 and very recently with the winning 1933 Alfa. If Spark did, a LOT of collectors would go ballistic with joy (like yours truly). Besides, I’m certain they would sell like hot cakes.
Come on Spark! Pretty please? 🍀
Books – 917/10
I just finished this book on my Kindle: “Porsche Legend: The Can-Am L&M Penske Porsche That Made Racing History”. Quite short, dirt-cheap, yet I found it to be a gem. It is totally specific to the L&M Penske 917/10 in the 1972 Can-Am season, and that’s why it is so brief. Nonetheless, it brings some great stories of what happened behind the scenes in the Penske camp. It is very light on the technical side, with almost nothing on stats or specs of the Penske cars. Even so, the book is a nice read, and you can basically finish it in one sitting.
With all that, I don’t think it will appeal to all gearheads, being so specific (and brief). Yet, for the price (less then 3 bucks!) you just can’t go wrong. So, if you have an interest in the 917/10 or Can-Am, it´s a nice read.
Ferrari joins the party
Ferrari unveiled their new 499P Hypercar a few days ago. The new 499P will be ready for the 2023 WEC season. The car counts on a 200 KW electric motor powering the front axle and a 500 KW twin-turbo V6 powering the rear (that’s around 930 hp total). It is still to be seen if it’s good or not, however it looks MIGHTY fine.
My only issue with it is that probably it will only be available in 1:43 from $Looksmart$ 😣.