Forgotten Ferraris Posts

Forgotten Ferraris: Ferrari 599XX

Ferrari 599XXWelcome back to our series looking at some of the Ferraris you might not have heard of – and the models made of them by Looksmart! This week, it’s the 599XX.
We call series this blog “Forgotten Ferraris,” but that’s perhaps not quite the right phrase for this week’s entry – it’s less a case of it being forgotten and more a case of it being so ultra-rare that it might almost be mythical!

Ferrari 599XXThe Ferrari 599XX debuted at the 2009 Geneva Motor show and is based on the 599 GTB Fiorano, with numerous (mind-blowing) tweaks and additions to give it even more power. The engine, the V12 out of the Enzo, has the combustion chambers and inlet and exhaust tracts extensively modified to boost the maximum RPM to 9000, at which the engine produces 690bhp. The motor is also lightened by a combination of design optimization and using advanced materials like the carbon-fiber used for the intake plenums.

The car’s mechanical and electronic systems have also been optimized to work together as perfectly as possible to maximize performance. Handling is also tweaked to perfection via a second-generation SCM system and for when the car’s on its intended home of the racetrack, the driver has a “virtual car engineer” screen on the dash that provides a real-time indication of its efficiency and performance.

Ferrari 599XXNumerous wind-tunnel sessions were employed to further cut down the 599’s already impressive drag coefficient, and the 599XX has 280kg of downforce at 200km/h. This is achieved partly by completely fairing in the underside of the car at the front and relocating the vents that channel hot air away from the engine to the bonnet.

It also features Ferrari’s ingenious “Actiflow” system to increase downforce and/or cut drag depending on the conditions. This employs a porous material in the diffuser under the rear bumper and two fans mounted in the boot which channel airflow from underneath the car and out through two grilles by the rear lights. The rear buttresses also get added winglets to boost downforce and synthetic jets are incorporated into the back of the car to smooth airflow and further reduce drag. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, the brake disks and wheel rims are partly covered by F1-derived “doughnuts” which improve aerodynamics AND brake cooling.

Needless to say, the materials used in the body are just as advanced as those used for the engine. Aluminum, carbon-fiber, and composites abound. Carbon-ceramics are also used for the brakes, with carbon-fiber brake pads allowing for smaller but no less efficient calipers and a lighter but equally efficient braking system overall. It also gets slick tires specifically designed to maximize cornering stability and increase acceleration.

Ferrari 599XXAll of which adds up to an unparalleled package – one which retailed at well over $1 million. And at that price, you can be sure that the 599XX won’t ever actually be forgotten – but it will always be mega-rare!

If you don’t have that kind of money, Looksmart’s version of the car has a worldwide flair with an American flag on the roof and distinctly Italian stripes on the boot and bonnet. Other diecast brands including BBR Models have offered a track version of the 599XX (aren’t they all really track cars though?). And Hot Wheels has you covered for a very reasonable price.

hobbyDB will be featuring additional Looksmart models of Forgotten Ferraris over the next several weeks! Next week, it’s the GTB Fiorano Panamerican 20,000.

Forgotten Ferraris: Nine Obscure Ferrari Diecast Concepts and Cars

Welcome back to our series looking at some of the Ferraris you might not have heard of – and the models made of them by Looksmart! This week, we look at nine of the Best Obscure Ferrari Diecast Concepts and Cars

Looksmart has covered an awful lot of unusual Ferraris, and they come from all eras of the marque’s long and distinguished history – from the very first cars to come out of Maranello in the 1940s, through the heydey of coach-built designs in the fifties and sixties to the very latest designs produced just a few years ago. So let’s take a quick break from our more in-depth pieces and count down ten of the most unusual Ferraris made by Looksmart, all in 1/43 scale.

Tipo_166B_Carozzeria_Allemano_1948The Tipo 166 was among the very first of Ferrari’s road cars, first appearing in 1948. Farina, Touring, Vignale, and Ghia were among the coachbuilders whose designs graced the car’s tubular chassis. This coupe, however, was bodied by Allemano.


342_America_Coupe_1952The 342 America arrived in 1952, at the point where Enzo Ferrari realized that he needed to exploit the US market with an easier-to-drive car with a bigger engine than that in the 212. The 342 was designed as a GT and just six were made between 1952 and 1953, three coupes, and three cabriolets, all bodied by Pininfarina except for one Vignale-bodied Cabriolet.


410_Superamerica_Telaio_0761_Dr_WaxDr. Enrico Wax was a prolific Ferrari customer – this 410 Superamerica was another car specially coach-built for him.


400_Superamerican_Coupe_1961The 400 Superamerica was designed to be larger and more luxurious than the company’s late-fifties sports cars and replaced the 410 model. Around 50 were made, with each being unique.


375MM_IngridThis 375MM Pininfarina Speciale Coupe was also known as the Bergman Coupe, as it was originally ordered by the director Roberto Rosselini for his wife, actress Ingrid Bergman. She never took delivery, however, and Pininfarina supposedly used the car’s design as a styling study for the 275GTB some ten years later.

Nembo_hardtop_3771CSCalifornian designer Tom Meade converted three 250GT SWB cars into Spyders, following a design by Neri & Bonacini. Dubbed the Nembo, the cars had their V12s equipped with six twin Webers and featured a removable hard-top only with no soft-top alternative. The Looksmart model depicts the car with the hard-top in place and is expected to be released shortly!

La_Rossa_by_PininfarinaThe Pininfarina Rossa show car was built in 2000, using the 5.5 liter V12 from the 550 Maranello.

575_GTZ_Zagato_CSThe 2006 Ferrari 575GTZ was built especially for Japanese car collector Yushiyuki Hayashi by Zagato in 2006. Styled in the classic tradition of 1950s and 1960s coach-built Ferraris, it has an all-aluminum body and two-tone paint.


The Ferrari SP1 appeared in 2008, the first one-off car produced by Ferrari’s Portfolio Program, providing bespoke cars for the super-wealthy. Designed by Fioravanti for Japanese businessman Junichiro Hiramatsu, the car was based on the F430.

hobbyDB will be featuring additional Looksmart models of Forgotten Ferraris over the next several weeks! Next week, the 599XX!

Forgotten Ferraris: Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California With Hard Top

Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California Welcome back to our series looking at some of the Ferraris you might not have heard of – and the models made of them by Looksmart! Check out the Ferrari 250GT Spyder California With Hardtop.

The Ferrari 250GT Spyder California hardly qualifies as a “Forgotten Ferrari” on its own. As one of the most desirable members of the 250 family, Californias were owned by the glitterati when new – Alain Delon, Roger Vadim, and Steve McQueen, to name but a few.‚   Some 50 years later, the cars are hugely sought after by Ferrari collectors, changing hands for seven-figure sums. And, of course, the California is a bonafide pop culture icon thanks to its appearance (or at least the appearance of a very realistic replica) in the classic 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Ferrari 250 GT Spyder CaliforniaWhat is barely known about the car, however, is that you could get it with a hardtop!

Ferrari 250 GT Spyder CaliforniaLooksmart was aware of this obscure option, however, and offered it in 1/43 scale. In fact, they did different colors of their diecast model.

Ferrari 250 GT Spyder CaliforniaThe California Spyder originally came about at the behest of the marque’s US distributors, Jon von Neumann and Luigi Chinetti. California was Ferrari’s best market in the US and the pair felt that a high-performance convertible named after it would be a big hit. They were right.

Ferrari 250 GT Spyder CaliforniaMade in strictly limited numbers, the car had the same engine and underpinnings as the Tour de France winning 250GT SWB – and the same 150mph top speed, blistering stuff for 1958. There are two separate series of California Spyder; the first shared the 250GT Tour de France model’s frame and wet sump V12. The later series arrived a year after the car’s launch, in 1959 and had the less flexy short wheelbase chassis – hence their being referred to as SWB California Spyders. They also benefitted from an increase in engine power and disc brakes. The cars remained in production until 1963, with a further handful apparently made in 1967.‚

Ferrari 250 GT Spyder CaliforniaThe car’s lithe body was hand-made at Carozzeria Scaglietti after a design based on the first series 250GT Cabriolet, but with new vertical tail-lights and headlamps located in scallops, covered by plexiglass on some cars.

Ferrari 250 GT Spyder CaliforniaThe interior of the Spyder was pretty Spartan, with a tiny heater being the only nod towards luxury. The roof, a functional folding fabric structure wasn’t even lined. If you wanted better weather protection, you had to opt for the optional removable hard-top, with its glass rear window but few did, hence their rarity today. But as these Looksmart models show, unlike many hard-tops, the California’s unit blended very nicely with the car’s lines and doesn’t look out of place at all. And they also prove that the California does look just as great in colours other than red!

hobbyDB will be featuring additional Looksmart models of Forgotten Ferraris over the next several weeks! Next week, an assortment of rare, one-off and custom Ferrari models.

Forgotten Ferraris: Ferrari Mythos Concept

Ferrari MythosWelcome back to our series looking at some of the Ferraris you might not have heard of – and the models made of them by Looksmart! This is the Ferrari Mythos Concept.

Pininfarina’s Ferrari Mythos concept car was one Ferrari that’s very much of its era. One of the first Pininfarina creations to debut outside Europe, the Mythos broke cover at the Toyko Auto Show in October 1989.

Ferrari MythosDesigned as a topless speedster, the Mythos harked back to Ferrari’s 1950’s Barchettas, lacking both a roof and side windows, but melded this nostalgia with very cutting edge styling. A lower lip spoiler adorned the pointy front end, while the rear overhang was even shorter than that of the Testarossa on which it was based. At the sides, two huge intake holes fed the 12-cylinder engine with air, unencumbered by the grilles that adorned the Testarossa. At the back, there was an automatic, electrically-operated spoiler, a feature shared by the front wing. And of course, the single windscreen wiper parked out of view under the front cowl while the headlamps and tail lamps were incorporated into the flow of the panels in true 80’s fashion.

Ferrari MythosPininfarina said the styling placed emphasis on the “relationship between volumes” ditching “linked panels” with the styling made up of two separate elements, one with the engine and radiators, the other with the cabin and nose, both joined together, something along the lines of a violin. Rather enigmatically, chief designer Lorenzo Ramaciotti said that the design could be “adapted to fill the needs of production… of tomorrow’s cars.”

Nevertheless, the car was fully functional, and more than just a pretty face – it was highly aerodynamic, with that electric rear wing capable of raising nearly a foot higher than its rest position while rotating through 12 degrees. This and the front spoiler popped out at anything over 62mph, then retracted again when the car dropped to 44mph. Elsewhere, the Mythos’ incorporated its swoopy lines and design in surprisingly functional ways – with no windows, the side of the body could serve as an armrest while the control panel, steering wheel, and pedals, all designed into a flowing block, could be adjustable as a whole.

Under the skin, the Mythos was pure Testarossa, with that car’s five-liter flat boxer engine and suspension setup. It did have its own bespoke exhaust system, however, as the drastically truncated rear was so small it couldn’t house the Testarossa’s standard pipes. No top speed was quoted, but downforce for the rear spoiler was given for a speed of 155mph, so the car could presumably do more than that!

LookSmart’s 1/43 scale Mythos was produced in dark metallic blue, and of course, Ferrari Red.

Ferrari Mythos Ferrari Mythos Ferrari Mythos Ferrari Mythos

In addition to LookSmart, The Mythos has been memorialized in miniature by Revell, and Guiloy.

hobbyDB will be featuring additional Looksmart models of Forgotten Ferraris over the next several weeks! Next week, the Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California Hard Top.

Forgotten Ferraris: Felber Ferrari 365 GTC/4 Beach Car

Ferrari_BeachWelcome to the first entry in our new series looking at some of the Ferraris you might not have heard of – and the models made of them by Looksmart! Meet the Felber Ferrari 365 GTC/4 Beach Car

. Ferrari’s 365 GTC/4 is little-known enough a Ferrari as is. Produced for just 18 months between 1971 and 1972 alongside the famous Daytona, the car was a 2+2 designed to replace the 365GTC and 365GT offering (tiny) rear seats and more luggage space than the Daytona.

Ferrari_BeachJust 500 were made (and for the record, there was just one contemporary model of the car, made by Mebetoys) with a welded tubular steel chassis evolved from the spaceframe used to underpin the 365GT 2+2, although with 150mm removed from the wheelbase, as Ferrari wanted the car to straddle the 2+2 and large-two-seater-touring-coupe markets, and have sportier handling. Independent suspension was fitted all round, along with power steering and a hydraulic self-leveling rear ride height. The cars rode on Cromodora alloy wheels, but customers could substitute Borrani wire wheels at extra cost. Engine-wise, the car was similar to the Daytona – both displaced 4.4 liters, although the GTC/4 had new heads, wet-sump lubrication a lower compression ratio, and six side draught Weber carburetors. Performance was similar to the mighty Daytona too, with a top speed of 163mph and a zero-to-sixty time of 6.1 seconds.

Ferrari_BeachDesigned by Pininfarina, the GTC/4 bodies were also fabricated by the designer in Turin before being shipped to Maranello for finishing (unlike the Daytona, which had the body made by Scaglietti in Modena). The GTC/4 was steel-bodied, with an alloy bonnet and boot lid and a very distinctive black front resin nosecone-type bumper. Inside, the car had a completely new interior design, with integrated dash and console, making it a far more comfortable place to be than the Daytona. The boot was bigger too, allowing far more cargo space and the tiny rear seats folded down to provide for additional luggage. Air conditioning was standard, but a full leather interior was an optional extra.


Ferrari_BeachThe GTC/4 debuted at the Geneva Salon in March 1971 but unfortunately remained in the Daytona’s shadow – the styling received criticism for not being Ferrari-like enough, and the rear seats were slated for being too small. Sales of the 500 cars were rather slow too – production ended in 1972, but the last cars didn’t leave showrooms until almost two years later in late 1974.

Ferrari 365 GTC4All this said, 365GTC/4s are unusual enough, but two became even odder. Swiss Ferrari dealer Willy Felber had a history of rebodying and restyling cars from the Autbianchi A110 to the Pontiac Firebird and turning them into neo-classic one-offs or limited production vehicles – indeed, he’d already had several Felber-Ferrari 330GTCs constructed, with the standard coupe bodywork replaced by neoclassic styling which aped the 1950’s Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa. Turning his attention to the 365GTC/4, he commissioned Michelotti to rebody two cars – one as a shooting brake and the other, shown here, as an open beach car, making it a far more expensive and luxurious alternative to the Mini Moke or Fiat Jolly. No further examples were made and Felber apparently sold the one example to an unnamed famous golfer.


It’s a strange footnote in the history of Ferrari indeed – although, thanks to LookSmart, it’s been recorded for posterity in 1/43.

hobbyDB will be featuring additional Looksmart models of Forgotten Ferraris over the next several weeks! Next up, the Mythos!