When GMP hooked up with Ferrari to make large scale replica engines we were licking our chops for them to do 1/18 scale cars from the works of the Maranello-based brand, especially the sports cars. After all, while other makers have done serviceable versions of various Ferrari sports cars, based on the vivid depictions GMP conjured for classic show stopping dragsters and historical accuracy of their Trans Am cars, marrying GMP’s superior modeling craft with the Ferrari sports car racing heritage could result in stunning images, replacing (let’s be kind here) pedestrian images such as Jouef’s 330 P4 and Polisti 312PB.
And here in hand is the evidence that this marriage will produce amazing children. The Ferrari 330 P4 is among the most revered images in the prototype racing lexicon. And GMP has captured so many of the reasons why in this Masterpiece Collection level model. When this series first appeared, it amazed us and two years on the artistry GMP has applied to their 1/18 model of the Ferrari 330 P4 is still front rank stuff.
WIth certain cars you look for certain things.
Noticeable first and foremost with any rossa painted Ferrari is the sheen and depth of the paint and here it is glass smooth with snow white roundels and the red-shadow numbers. Another attribute that craves to be captured correctly is the stance; especially with the 330 P4. Good news on this front; GMP delivers. The chassis is low slung, posed to strike like a big cat. The flowing curves of it’s body give the #23 330 P4 a muscular look even though Ferrari’s intent was to make a lighter, svelte car that would out-handle the big block GT40‘s around Le Sarthe in 1966. It didn’t work out as well as they planned.
But back came Ferrari. Roaring back!
Ferrari’s formation 1-2-3 finish at the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona let everyone know the prancing horse was back to being the Daddy. The winner of that race was the #23 Spyder reviewed here, driven by Lorenzo Bandini (who would die in a racing accident within the year) and, ironically, Chris Amon - co-pilot of the all conquering GT 40’s at Le Mans.
The 1967 World Sportscar Championship belonged to Ferrari with Ford finishing a distant third behind Porsche. It is said that Enzo Ferrari kept the photo of that Daytona finish on his office wall until the day he died. Given a choice, would he rather have one or a set of these GMP 330 P4’s? I know my answer.
In addition to the sleek stance and rich paint, this model comes with a host of working or functional features. Doors, multi-part wiper, bonnet locks, and double wishbone suspension all work with minimal effort. The model is manufactured to be robust - you never sense it will be to fragile to handle the load even with my fat fingers.
The famous bronze color five point wheels for example are removable with three eared knock-offs that reveal fabulous suspension and brake detail. The soft Firestone tires themselves are something special as GMP is the only manufacturer that provides specific tire markings that would have designated the tire location and pressure for the pit crew.
The visual buffet is just as satisfying. If the parts count of 750 is accurate then a fair amount of the reside in the brilliantly modeled Lampedri V12 engine which featured Lucas fuel injection (something the variant 412 cars did not have). At full song, it cranked out 568 bhp per ton, making it capable of pushing the lightweight 330 P4 to blistering speeds. GMP has been generous with the amount of wiring, plumbing and photo-etch detail.
The amount of real metal and other noble materials will blow you away. And not only in the engine, but the front radiator and an assortment of bolts, rivets and other fasteners throughout. Lensing, glazing and the tamped on graphics are first rate. The variable metal modeling is also not something to be overlooked - especially the front dive planes, razor sharp body louvres and rear spoiler; every angle and curve seems textbook perfect.
If you’re holding out for just one 330 P4 and you’ve decided on the classic closed coupe, I’m here to tell you that’s going to be a difficult proposition. Not only is the #23 about the most important P4 from a provenance prospective, the GMP spyders make for better viewing of the cockpit details. With birds-eye access, it’s easy to see, feel and touch the soft seating, nylon belts, spartan dash and riveted metal sills. On the P4, coupe, lovely as it is, you don’t get the same appreciation of half of these visuals because of the gull wing doors.
Some have called the Ferrari 330 P4 the most beautiful race car ever created. I don’t know if there's such a thing as most beautiful, but I do know that GMP dazzles us here, raising their model making prowess to a new and brilliant level. The combination of legendary subject and master modeler is magic. Limited edition magic, so pick up one soon.