This is Ferrari 250 GTO number 3505GT, and it cost me $11.50. Quite a deal when you consider that the real one sold for $35,000,000 dollars in 2012, then (and possibly still) the most expensive car ever.
Built for Sir Stirling Moss before he was a Sir, 3505 was painted in this unique pale green color for his UDT-Laystall team and delivered prior to the 1962 Le Mans trials, where it would qualify second fastest in the hands of Willy Mairesse. Moss was to drive the car himself for Le Mans, but as those with a better memory than I might recall, he suffered his career-ending crash at Goodwood on April 23rd. Thus, the car was prepared for Masten Gregory and Innes Ireland to be run at Goodwood (Sussex Trophy, DNS), Silverstone (2nd), and Brands Hatch (1st) before crossing the Channel for Le Mans.
From what I can find, it was only run as #20 at Le Mans. Unfortunately, despite having qualified second, it would not see the end, suffering an electrical failure of some kind. Shame, because two other GTOs would finish second and third overall not far behind the lighter and more powerful 330TRI of Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien. Better results would come at later events, with a 3rd at the next Brands Hatch race, and the one that it is perhaps best known for, an overall win at the Goodwood Tourist Trophy in August. For 1963 it was sold on to amateur racer (also apparently an actor and possibly doctor racing under an alias) Gunther Philipp where it would achieve good results at minor touring car races around Austria through 1964, winning the Austrian GT championship per one source. There is some conjecture that it raced in Portugal once after that with a different driver and possibly owner in 1965, but nothing that seems to have been confirmed. In fact I can’t seem to find much information at all past 1964 except for the ownership and event chain on barchetta.cc, but one of the remaining wonders about old racing cars is that not everything is on the internet, it requires real work to compile full histories! RacingSportsCars, my go to, has it dropping out of racing after August of 1964.
3505GT was subsequently owned by several UK enthusiasts and racers, notably Richard (Dick) Crosthwaite, founder of Crosthwaite & Gardiner, and Alain de Cadenet until it entered more or less long term ownership from 1973 until the late 90's. It was reunited with Stirling Moss (still not yet a Sir) for a race at the second Goodwood Revival in 1999 (and again as Sir Stirling in 2009), before seeing the record price in 2012. That purchase would base the car with a renowned collector here in CA, and it’s been displayed sparingly since.
This model is in 1/43 by Box Model of Italy, and it’s not perfect. While some GTO’s may have been fitted with side pipes after delivery, they certainly weren’t standard and this wasn’t one to receive them, from what I’ve seen. The nose does not have the unique vertical cooling inlets outboard of the auxiliary lamps that 3505 has, nor the lower front signals next to them, instead showing the usual round inlets and bullet signals farther toward the wheel arch. The only picture I’ve seen of it as #20 at Le Mans has the three cooling slots in front closed off. The wheels are reminiscent of the generic wire wheels Bburago used on 1/18s, definitely not Borranis. It also doesn’t quite sit level. Box Model obviously used their standard 250 casting, in other words. Honestly it’s on par with the old Solidos I like, more fun and hefty than purely accurate, an “old school” feeling piece. I had a 250GTO-shaped hole in my collection that needed filling, and this one will do for now.
And after a bit of detailing...
I do like this color. There’s a much better 250 model feature coming soon!