CMC M-056 1:18 1953 Ferrari 500 F2
When you go to the beach, you see all types of girls in all manner of fashion. There’s the flashy, curvaceous college wannabe wearing a smile and not much else, the elderly matriarch in a generic one piece, a mother of three with plump curves carefully camouflaged by ruffles and a well placed wrap.
Then you see her: classically fetching - a tall, cool woman in a simple red suit. Her age is a mystery but her confidence and radiance unmistakable. Her look is not fashion forward, but as classic as Lauren or Chanel. Her simplicity of style and effortless grace define her every step.
That serene picture of our classic beauty is a hallmark of some of the legendary motorcars of Ferrari. Yes, there is the baroque F50 with garish aerodynamic lines. Similar braggadocio marks the swoops and curves of the Enzo. CMC chose not to make these models at least initially, but to focus on two beautiful forms; the 250 SWB and now, the 1953 Ferrari F2 500.
In the Ferrari F2 500, CMC has chosen to model what is essentially an upscale economy version racer. In 1952-53 there were few entrants in Formula 1 Alfa Romeo’s decision to pull out of the series left Ferrari as the only viable contender. For these years, the world championship was run to Formula 2 spec – a series featuring cars powered by 2 liter, non supercharged engines.
The model’s flawless classic rosso corsa color is identical to the color code paint used on their 250 SWB. The color highlights that classic racing profile I always tried to achieve with my Pinewood Derby entries. No surprise the scale and stance are spot-on.
While simple in appearance, the model is actually composed of 1,463 parts, 1,150 of which are metal. I’ll take their word for it, keeping in mind the part count is driven in large part by the individual components of the wire wheels. As you inspect the exterior shell, these individual parts start multiplying pretty quickly, for example the 28 rivets that attach the cockpit section or the 8 parts of the foldable, metal framed wind screen. Not all the detail is layered on parts, for example louvered side panel vents are cut and open.
Close review of the shell yields jewels – like the stainless steel hinge that operates the door shielding the pose-able oil filler cap. Then there’s the operating micro door hiding the photo-etched metal radiator fill cap. You might overlook the usual CMC accoutrements like the operating stainless fuel fill cap and the spring loaded bonnet pins (they give you a set of tweezers in the foam clamshell package to manipulate these and they come off pretty easily).
Once the bonnet’s sprung, the contribution of Aurelio Lampredri to this world champion car is unveiled; a 4 cylinder masterwork of an engine. The original F2 engine was the aluminum block 2.0L DOHC unit with four Weber carbs powering up 2 valves per cylinder and twin-plug ignition. By the time 1953 rolled around, power had expanded to 185 hp – a remarkable achievement for 1953 engineering standards and for 2007 model building. The engine is accurately plumbed and using color coded wiring. The massive metal exhaust is clamped to the body behind driver’s left. The clamp alone is another three parts.
If you haven’t had an OMG moment yet, the rivet mounted brushed metal dash with embedded metal trimmed readable gauges, the competition faux wood steering wheel or the soft corduroy seat should do the trick. Shift levers and pedals are vividly done. To reduce weight, every bit of metal that could be cut was – notice the holes drilled in the seating brace. Tires, wheels and brakes on any CMC model are a treat. Individual nipple mounts for the hand threaded spokes, Borrani-logo knock offs, metal tire stems and treaded tires with the Englebert extruded.
Tires are removable (truth be told, my model came with a tire already off) so the massive drum brakes and suspension are easily viewed. The suspension, while not functional, is still a minor miracle featuring a front double transverse control arm and De Dion rear axle as well as metal compound springs and shocks. Removing four mounting screws in the rear (using the screwdriver provided) unsheathes the brilliant metal fuel tank held down by genuine leather straps. The front nose cone appears removable, but I learned quickly that was not the case as the brake lines are threaded through it.
The move to F2 led to a more diverse number of entries but a still dominant Ferrari effort with Ascari at the controls. In 1952, he won every race except the GP of Switzerland which he missed due to qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 (which he lost). The Swiss GP was won by his teammate Pierrro Taruffi. In 1953 he had a similar streak, this time with new Ferrari driver Mike Hawthorn winning the French GP. It was only at season’s end that Fangio’s Maserati finally broke Ferrari’s stranglehold.
This model memorializes a unique period in F1 history with perfect style and debonair. There might be flashier Ferrari models but none more refined. This is my third “non-numbered” CMC racer (the other two being the Mercedes streamliner and the Maserati 250F) and they are all stunners that display like museum pieces.
I haven’t seen the Exoto Ferrari F2 and perhaps we will still get a sample from them. For that reason, I can’t say for sure that this model is better or worse than the model paddock at Moorpark has to offer. What I can say for sure this model is a classic and gets my highest recommendation. Wow!