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CMC 1969 Ferrari 312P Spyder

By Mark Savage
Published: April 14, 2014
CMC Ferrari
Product: By 1969, Ferrari had already been embarrassed by Ford and its GT40 for several years at LeMans and other endurance racing venues. Ferrari also had boycotted the 1968 sports car endurance season after its 4.0-liter 330 P4 was banned.

So hopes were high when the proud Italian racing team rolled out the 312P Spyder and put hot shoes Mario Andretti and Chris Amon in its cockpit. This racer was based on Ferrari’s successful Formula 1 racing 312. The P here stands for Prototype, and behind the driver was Ferrari’s 3.0-liter naturally aspirated V-12 — which is where the 312 nomenclature comes from.

In the first time out, Andretti put the car on the pole for the 12 Hours of Sebring, and he and Amon managed to finish second overall. This gorgeous 1:18-scale CMC model is of that racer. Two other 312P Spyders were made and raced; one was badly damaged in an accident and never returned to the track. By the time Ferrari got to LeMans, its intended target for the racer, it had decided to reconfigure the other car with a covered cockpit, for better aerodynamics. CMC also offers that model, the Spyder Berlinetta.

Performance: It’s hard to put too many superlatives in front of a description of any CMC model. This Ferrari 312P is both beautiful in its design execution and in the detail that CMC delivers in a model containing more than 1,000 parts.

First, its shape and Ferrari blood-red finish are exquisite. The racer’s nose pops off to expose the finely detailed chassis, radiators, front suspension, cooling intake hoses for the brakes, and the steering mechanism. One surprise, though: The wheels are fixed, not steerable. However, the wiring, plumbing and monocoque chassis are excellent.

The two scissors-style doors flip up on realistic dual hinges to expose the ventilating tunnels that ran through the sides of the car’s bodywork to expel tire heat. With the doors up, you can easily see the red leather-looking interior with the detailed blue shoulder harness and photo-etched safety clasps. The metal gear-shift lever and dash are finely detailed with a minimum of dash gauges, as was standard at the time. The three-spoke wheel features the prancing-horse logo at its center.

Behind the black roll bar is the giant rear bonnet that flips forward to expose the Ferrari’s 420-horespower V-12. The model also includes a giant air scoop that mounts over the exposed headers that protrude through the rear cowl. A small pin holds the scoop in place.

The engine is a work of art, with a series of white exhaust pipes snaking off its sides and exiting out back, just below the cowl. All the proper wiring and plumbing is in place, along with some early electronics, and much suspension detail is visible. The 312P featured independent suspension with uneven-length wishbones, coil springs in the front and rear, telescopic shocks, and anti-roll bars.

The wheels sport a five-spoke design finished in flat racing gold. There are giant disc brakes, too, which can be exposed by loosening the three-winged spinner nuts on each wheel. All of the tires are treaded and feature the Firestone logo.

The car’s only markings are the black No. 25 in a white circle on the hood, deck and doors, plus the Ferrari crest on the nose and sides, just in front of the doors.

Other details include tiny metal latches for the doors and twin opening gas caps that are exposed through the nosepiece. The caps also include clasps to latch them shut. The model also sports two well-mounted mirrors, one on the nose and the other on the passenger’s side door. The headlights also look superb under clear lenses detailed with four mounting points.

Marketing: At $400-plus, this model is not for everyone, just like the real Ferraris. But such detail makes this a fantastic centerpiece in a sports car or Ferrari display at your front counter. This will get your customers talking and could stimulate interest in other fine die-cast models you should be featuring.

Remember to stock die-cast in 1:18, 1:24 and 1:43 scale to create a market for serious collectors who demand finer detail. This also gives them varying price points to enter the hobby. This CMC is an inspiring model and could encourage your plastic modelers to build their own detailed versions of vintage sports cars. Consider a display of classic sports cars in plastic, using this as the motivational centerpiece. With plastics, you get the advantage of selling finishing supplies, while with a die-cast of this quality, be sure to keep a few high-end acrylic display cases on hand for a quick sale.

Product: 1969 Ferrari 312P Spyder
Maker: CMC
Scale: 1:18
Stock number: CMC095
MSRP: $419.99
Availability: Various distributors

• Exquisite detail
• Historically significant
• It’s a red Ferrari