GRAND PRIX SERIES
RACE CARS! AUTHENTIC MINIATURES!
only other Ferrari that was immortalized in 1:64 scale by Mattel during
the redline era was a prototype show car known as the Ferrari 512 S
Speciale. While Mattel's version of the Ferrari 512S was not part
of the Grand Prix
series, the real car that inspired it has an interesting connection to
312 P Spyder.
As described on the Ferrari 312P
page, the red Ferrari 312 P Spyder with #60 badges that the redline
is based upon was one of three built in late 1968/early 1969 as part of
Ferrari racing program, and it carried chassis number 0868. This
particular 312 P Spyder
was raced three times in preparation for the 1969 Le Mans 24-hour
race. In its
inaugural race in April of 1969, Mario Andretti and Chris Amon drove
0868 to a
1st place in class finish at the 12 hours of Sebring. The car
was wearing #25 badges for that race.
few weeks later, Amon and Pedro Rodriguez drove 0868 – now sporting #60
badges – to a 4th place finish at Brands Hatch in the UK.
weeks after the Brands Hatch race, Rodriguez and Peter Schetty drove
0868 in a 1000 km race at Monza. The car was doing well until it
off the track briefly and sustained some minor damage. After
quick repairs in the pits,
Rodriguez went back out, only to have the rear bodywork come loose down
the high-speed main
straightaway! The car spun out and Rodriguez went backwards into
the safety barriers.
Rodriguez escaped injury but 0868 was badly damaged and went back to
never to be raced again.
In mid-1969, the damaged chassis of 312 P Spyder number 0868 was
rebuilt and fitted with a 612 Can Am engine as the basis for a new 512
prototype. This 312-512 combination chassis (renumbered as 002)
then was shipped to Pininfarina
headquarters in Turin a couple of months later. Pininfarina
fitted the chassis
with a wild and futuristic new body with bright yellow paint and a
lift-up canopy. The
resulting concept car, the Ferrari 512 S Speciale, was the star of the
Turin Salon in October 1969
and was the inspiration for Mattel’s Ferrari 512S.
version of the Ferrari 512S faithfully re-created the large lift-up
cockpit hatch and rear engine cover with black louvered vents.
The window "glass"
is blue-tinted and can be removed, although cracking is a potential
downside! All four
wheels are medium-size caps. As with all 1972 castings, the 512S
was produced only in Hong
Kong. Since total production in 1972 was substantially reduced
relative to previous years due to low
sales, the Ferrari 512S is a tougher casting to collect than Hot Wheels
cars from 1968-70.
Ferrari 512S was produced again in 1973 in several enamel colors as a
Shell promotional car. These cars were distributed in a small
plastic bag rather
than a blister pack. Note that the '73 issue lacked the flat
black rear louver paint. Click here to
go to the '73 Ferrari 512S page.
512S Color chart
|hard to find
|hard to find
|very hard to find
A red 512S in a
Canadian blister pack with a rare "mag wheel" button.
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