Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512

Time flies, 12 cylinder day is already here. I didn’t have any 10 cylinder models, but the excellence of this 12 cylinder makes up for it. This is Tomica 57-1, the Ferrari BB 512. This casting entered the range in January 1979, and is from an era when, in my opinion, Ferraris were a bit more special:

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Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512

This is from a time when Ferraris were less common, and demanded more skill and patience from their drivers. This design, the direct ancestor of the Testarossa, entered production in 1973 as the 365 GTB4, and became the 512 BB series in 1976, remaining until 1984. This casting shows the lines of a car designed before everything was cgi, before cars needed menacing faces and goofy gingerbread to put on the (often) false pretense of sport and excitement. One can see plenty of fine casting lines along with accurate proportions, a detailed interior, crisp glazing, and slightly springy (again, can’t be too soft, it is a sports car) suspension, but no snappy door action - more on that later. The wide wheels are perfect for this casting. Scale is claimed to be 1:62, likely accurate, and close to 1:64. From all angles, it is something to behold:

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Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
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Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512

Front and rear have similar detail:

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Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512

The base is plastic, a trend of the time, and contains identifying data along with technical detail, especially at rear:

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This example is lucky enough to live in a nice original box:

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Now on to some fun, the reason why it doesn’t have snappy door action. Instead, it has a wonderful realistic rear hinged engine cover, with smooth precise action - opening this takes the model to a new level, With the cover open, you can sneak a peak of the machine within:

Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
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Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
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Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
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Definitely a model I am happy to have in my collection. I can’t get enough of the engine cover action, and I greatly prefer the style of 70s-80s Ferraris (not to mention 60s examples) to new models:

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And now on to the engine. These cars had a 5 litre flat 12 - not exactly a common configuration. All one needs to do is lift the cover and take a look:

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Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512

Zoom in a little, there it is:

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Some 1:1s from graypaulclassiccars.com,

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Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
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And some engine shots from classicdriver.com and pistonheads.com - pretty wild carburetors on these:

Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512
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Illustration for article titled LaLD Engine Week: Tomica Ferrari BB 512

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