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  Ferrari 512S
 


The only other Ferrari that was immortalized in 1:64 scale by Mattel during the redline era was a prototype show car known as the Ferrari 512 S Speciale.  While Mattel's version of the Ferrari 512S was not part of the Grand Prix series, the real car that inspired it has an interesting connection to the Ferrari 312 P Spyder.

As described on the Ferrari 312P page, the red Ferrari 312 P Spyder with #60 badges that the redline car is based upon was one of three built in late 1968/early 1969 as part of a renewed Ferrari racing program, and it carried chassis number 0868.  This particular 312 P Spyder was raced three times in preparation for the 1969 Le Mans 24-hour race.  In its inaugural race in April of 1969, Mario Andretti and Chris Amon drove 0868 to a 1st place in class finish at the 12 hours of Sebring.  The car was wearing #25 badges for that race.

 
 

A few weeks later, Amon and Pedro Rodriguez drove 0868 – now sporting #60 badges – to a 4th place finish at Brands Hatch in the UK.



Two weeks after the Brands Hatch race, Rodriguez and Peter Schetty drove 0868 in a 1000 km race at Monza.  The car was doing well until it went off the track briefly and sustained some minor damage.  After quick repairs in the pits, Rodriguez went back out, only to have the rear bodywork come loose down the high-speed main straightaway!  The car spun out and Rodriguez went backwards into the safety barriers. Rodriguez escaped injury but 0868 was badly damaged and went back to the factory, never to be raced again. 

In mid-1969, the damaged chassis of 312 P Spyder number 0868 was rebuilt and fitted with a 612 Can Am engine as the basis for a new 512 S sports prototype.  This 312-512 combination chassis (renumbered as 002) then was shipped to Pininfarina headquarters in Turin a couple of months later.  Pininfarina fitted the chassis with a wild and futuristic new body with bright yellow paint and a lift-up canopy.  The resulting concept car, the Ferrari 512 S Speciale, was the star of the Turin Salon in October 1969 and was the inspiration for Mattel’s Ferrari 512S.




Mattel's version of the Ferrari 512S faithfully re-created the large lift-up cockpit hatch and rear engine cover with black louvered vents.  The window "glass" is blue-tinted and can be removed, although cracking is a potential downside!  All four wheels are medium-size caps.  As with all 1972 castings, the 512S was produced only in Hong Kong.  Since total production in 1972 was substantially reduced relative to previous years due to low sales, the Ferrari 512S is a tougher casting to collect than Hot Wheels cars from 1968-70.




The Ferrari 512S was produced again in 1973 in several enamel colors as a Shell promotional car.  These cars were distributed in a small plastic bag rather than a blister pack.  Note that the '73 issue lacked the flat black rear louver paint.  Click here to go to the '73 Ferrari 512S page.


Ferrari 512S Color chart


HK COLORS:
COMMENTS:
light green
uncommon
magenta
uncommon
gold
uncommon
red
hard to find
blue
hard to find
rose
very hard to find
aqua
rare


A red 512S in a Canadian blister pack with a rare "mag wheel" button.
 

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