Arguably, the late 1950's and 1960's gave birth to some of the most beautiful road and competition cars Ferrari ever produced. While form certainly followed function, the perfection of line and proportion that are genetically Italian in undeniable in these remarkable automobiles.
One of the loveliest groups to inhabit the 1960's were the 'SP's', o r 'Sports Prototypes'. These were the pure bred racing machines that carried the flag for Ferrari in all but Formula One. These are 'accessible' vehicles, faintly resembling automobiles one might drive on the highway; hardly anything like the open-wheel fantasies that were F-1.
Our 'SP', in eye-catching 1:8 scale, is a 196 from 1962, which participated in the Nurburgring 1000km sports car race of that year, piloted by Ferrari works drivers Bandini and Baghetti. Sadly, a retirement was forced on lap 13 (unlucky?) by an irreparable oil leak. Victory fell to Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien driving a SEFAC Ferrari 246SP. The 196SP and its higher-displacement sibling are nearly indistinguishable.
This model 196SP features the iconic Carlo Chiti-designed 'twin-nostril' front grille area, perspex headlight covers, and a wrap-around windscreen. The twin-stalk rear view mirror allowed a view above the engine-enclosing rear clamshell, which is secured by twin hand levers (non-operating). As this is a 'curbside' model, all body panels are sealed. The wire wheels are correctly painted silver, the dashboard switchgear and gauges are nicely executed, and the three-spoke 'wood rim' steering wheel presents well. Tail lights, racing license plate, twin exhausts, and lip spoiler all work to create a convincing replica of Ferrari chassis #0804.
The builder of our 196SP is unknown, but a precious few examples are known to exist. The model is secured to a wooden base, and is supplied with a perspex cover. The model is in mint condition and is approximately 18 1/2 in length. Continental U.S. purchasers are preferred.