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Slot.it Ferrari 512M - 24 Heures du Mans 1971
#1

   

Slot.it CA51a Ferrari 512M #16 - 24h Le Mans 1971 - Chris Craft and David Weir. RRP £64.95. Available June/July 2022

I admit to having gone weak at the knees looking at these images when they were sent through by Slot.it - so please make yourself comfortable and turn off any heart-monitoring devices before continuing. Long-awaited, but most definitely worth waiting for, this is the first Ferrari to appear with Slot.it branding since the original 312PB - and it's an absolute stunner...

       

The Ferrari 512 was created to take on Porsche's 917 in the Group 5 sports car category - something Enzo Ferrari was determined to do and he sold half the company to Fiat to free up funds for the project. The new Ferraris were made available to customer teams, but none of the original 512S could match the 917k. The tally in 1970 was one victory to Ferrari (Sebring) and nine to Porsche. By the end of the year, the modified 'fast circuit' spec 512M version showed promise and won the non-championship Kyalami 9-hour race, but Ferrari abandoned their factory involvement in 1971 to concentrate on developing what would become an all-conquering 3-litre prototype programme for 1972. However, the 512M would continue in the hands of private teams...

       

The story of Ferrari 512 chassis #1028 begins as a 512S Spyder built for NART and delivered to Luigi Chinetti in January 1971. The car was immediately sold to New York entrepreneur and gentleman-driver David Weir, which he raced at Sebring in March, alongside Chuck Parsons. They failed to finish. NART rebuilt the engine and the car was entered in the Monza 1000kms, where Weir had hired Alain de Cadenet to co-drive, but the car didn't make the start. The car was then converted to the 'M' spec by Ferrari - under the supervision of David Piper - and was made ready for Le Mans...

       

That's where de Cadenet's pal and top British saloon and sports car driver  Chris Craft comes in. I'll let him take up the story...
Quote:Alain ran me in '71 in a 512M that was a truck - very heavy steering - but I pulled 230mph and more on the Mulsanne once the motor loosened up. We had something like 560bhp, a real stonker. I was down to drive with car owner David Weir, a wealthy American playboy who went on to write for Road & Track. I admit that I was not at all keen.

David was a party animal and an erratic driver, but Le Mans was his dream. We got him down to Dave Prowse's gym in the East End - Dave being the old Green Cross Code man who played Darth Vader - and got him in shape. Weir knuckled down and drove well, while the car was fantastic. You have to keep in mind that we were a potless privateer team up against manufacturers and well-funded semi-works teams.
Remarkably, the car finished fourth - behind two Porsches and one of the NART Ferraris. It fulfilled Weir's dream, although Craft went one better five years later - sharing Alain de Cadenet's Lola to third place in 1976. It's difficult to do Chris Craft's racing and engineering career justice - but it's probably fair to say that he's one of those dozens of highly-talented drivers who really should have hit the big time...

       

The '71 race set a record for distance covered that would stand for over forty years. The #16 Ferrari finished 42 laps behind the winners, but outlasted seven other Ferrari 512 entries of various S, M and F guises - all of which would make fabulous Slot.it models. Here are some of them up close in a restored ACO film of the event - great pictures, not so great sound...



Weir sold his Ferrari to another American Ferrari enthusiast in May 1972. It was sold again in 1989 to Jeffrey and Marge Lewis, who began to show and race the car at historic events in North America. The car returned to Europe in 1996 and has remained on the historic racing circuit ever since. If you wanted to buy a 512M today, you're looking at upwards of $15-20 million. Thankfully, Slot.it's version has a much more affordable price-tag...

       

The chassis is just as we'd expect for a Slot.it or Policar classic sports car model - a 0.5mm offset sidewinder motor pod with the MX16 23k S-Can motor and 32-tooth plastic crown gear, paired with an 11-tooth brass pinion. The car is fitted with the SP45 cables to allow for easy, non-solder conversion to digital, using the latest Carrera and Scalextric compatible Slot.it chips.

If Maurizio makes it over to Gaydon next weekend, I'm sure he'll have samples of this car with him. It should be arriving with the next batch of Slot.it and Policar models, alongside the CA33d Audi R8 LMP and the CAR02g JPS Lotus 72. Many thanks to Jo and the sales team at Galileo Engineering for the fabulous images - here's one more to finish...

   
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#2

The Chris Craft / David Weir 512M has an official release date of today - Friday 15 July - with the cars already arriving with retailers and distributors. I expect this car to fly off the shelves.

To coincide with the release of the first 512M, Slot.it have unveiled the prototype of a second model - the Penske Ferrari that finished third in the 1971 Daytona 24 hours...

   

This is most definitely a pre-race version... the pole-sitting 512M of Mark Donohue and David Hobbs finished the race held together with duct tape...

   

This CA52b Ferrari 512M 24h Daytona 1971 is scheduled for release in the final quarter of 2022.

Slot.it have certainly started this new model series with two cracking liveries. And there are more to come - Maurizio hinting that the Escudería Montjuïch 512M is "almost a sure thing" when I chatted to him a couple of months ago. The yellow Montjuïch car was also a converted 512S and was raced widely in 1971 by the Spanish privateers, most notably to second place at the Tour de France Auto.
[+] 1 member Likes woodcote's post
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#3

Thanks for confirming, yes a long wait for livery #2.
I would attempt a white kit, but looking at pics of the paint finish on the red one, I doubt I could come close to that.
Although I really like the Sunoco livery, a yellow one would be my #1 preference as a partner for the red, either one of these would be sweet:

   

   
[+] 1 member Likes Savage GT's post
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#4

The Penske car is confirmed for a Q4 2022 release - so only three to six months away.

I couldn't say when the Escudería Montjuïch livery might appear - and there may be other liveries scheduled before that one. However, the choice of yellow 512M options is not limited to the Montjuïch car. Plus there are few more red ones to do too!

The red Chris Craft car and white kit are both listed as in stock at Pendles.
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#5

Hello - Get em while they're hot!!

I also have 2 white kits en route from Pendles - but they are now OOS on them - sorry.

Right now, my build will be the yellow Camel car and the 1,000K Austria 71 mount of Jacky Ickx!!

Trying to pre-guess Maurizio is not easy -- but I also figure the Penske LeMans car #11 will be a bit down the line ---

UPS truck has my first one and I hope he gets here soon!!!
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