Oftentimes, in motor sport history, as a particular car achieves legendary status, so does the power plant that propelled it. Think of the Bugatti Type 35, with its jewel-like straight eight, the incredible Alfa Romeo 2.9 litre supercharged motor, and the iconic Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa V12.
The Aurelio Lampredi-designed 3.0 litre, normally aspirated V12 that hurled the 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO to worldwide prominence is no exception. No one who has ever seen (or heard) this profound engineering achievement in action is likely to forget it. The exhaust note changes from a ripping bark at low revs to a goosebump-inducing scream as the tach climbs.
Around fifteen years ago, the model builders at GMP began construction on a series of significant 1:6 scale racing engines, of which our 250 GTO motor is a part. Its large size is immediately impressive, with the engine alone measuring in at around 11 1/2 inches. The scale allowed GMP to create a wealth of fittings and details, with the 12 carburator inlet trumpets perhaps being the most striking. They are beautifully constructed, and each pair's flared bells are faired into their neighbor, just like the real engine. The fuel rails, throttle return springs, venturi tubes, ignition wires, and twin Marelli distributors are very well executed. Of particular note, the Weber carburator labels and cylider firing-order plate are perfectly legible. A very nice touch!
The oil dipstick is removable, the 3 blade fan rotates, and the iconic ball-tipped shift lever clicks realistically through the chromed gate. If all this weren't enough, GMP decided to add another level of 'realism' by installing a pushbutton-activated sound chip which changes the engine's pitch as the shift lever is moved through the gears. Gimmicky? A little, but thankfully, the button is not obtrusive, and the model can be nicely displayed with it facing away from the viewer. The sound is powered by three AA batteries (not included) which fit into a compartment in the beveled base. The model is supplied with a clear dust cover, real wood base-surround, and all factory boxes with manuals and accessories. It is essentially new-old stock, and provides enormous visual appeal for a very moderate price.