Like many of Ferrari's road cars, the 375MM was a direct beneficiary of the Factory's Formula One racing efforts. The product of continual technical development, the 375 F1 4.5 litre engine propelled Ferrari past its arch-rival Alfa Romeo for the first time in 1951 and into a dominant position in international grand prix racing. Rules changes forced the abandonment of the 375 engine for the 1953-54 F1 season, so the engineering staff simply modified the powerplant for use in their sports cars. The 375MM's crowning glory occurred in 1954, when it won the 24 hour race at Le Mans in '375 Plus' configuration.
Our 1:12 scale rendition of the 375MM is by the Italian manufacturer MG Model Plus, and represents chassis #0374AM, which spent its entire racing career in Argentina. Campaigned by Enrique Dial Valiente, the car participated in 17 races, where it accrued eight first place finishes, six second, and one third. #0374's competition career was brief, from 1954-57, but it achieved a remarkable finishing ratio of 88%!
MG Model Plus has done a superb job capturing the very feminine yet purposeful lines of the Ferrari's Pininfarina-designed body. The casting work is crisp, and the Argentinian national color scheme certainly enhances the curvaceous shape. The model has just the right amount of detail; not so much as to be fussy, but because we are again dealing with a larger scale, the tiny bits can be proportioned correctly.
The egg-crate grille is very accurate, allowing a good view of the radiator, visible just behind. The headlight lens patterns are deeply etched, and the front air cleaner is nestled just inside the open hood scoop. Pirelli racing tires grace all four corners, and tiny hood pins and straps secure the lift-off bonnet. The model features double overlapping windscreens, and the cockpit is very well outfitted. Chrome-bezeled instruments cram the binnacle and employ clear plastic convex lenses, while three 'jeweled' warning lights are arrayed on the cowl. The saddle color seats match the overall color scheme very well, and the transmission tunnel/shift console is detailed with minute switch gear. The 340 horsepower Lampredi-designed engine also deserves a close look. The triple air cleaners are secured with microscopic wing nuts, and the motor is fully plumbed and wired. Brake reservoirs, steering box, oil filler tubes and ancillaries are all nicely detailed. Since the radiator is so far forward, the hinged coolant filler door is visible just past the bonnet. Lastly, the car's rear quarter features a large, chromed fuel filler, simulated spring-loaded boot latches, chrome bezeled tail lights, and of course, the signature Ferrari quadruple exhausts.
The model is supplied with its factory display case, wooden base, and brass data plaque. Our example is #092/500 (we are uncertain whether the entire edition was ever completed). The piece is in new, undisplayed condition, and to any collector of Ferrari models, this wonderful rendering of #0374AM would add a bit of color relief to a sea of racing red!