When Italians emigrated to the United States they took with them a passion for motor racing and a great ability for engineering, as well as names like dePalma, dePaolo and Andretti. No suprise then that another Italian immigrant Luigi Chinetti did a deal to bring Ferrari cars to the USA. Chinetti had a great affinity for the American market and while he kept his sales very quiet (to protect the privacy of his clients) he made his oppinions of the styles and names of cars that would sell very clear to Ferrari.
While the 250 California shares much with the rest of the 250 series the body by Scaglietti stood apart as something much more stylish and luxurious. The earlier 250 spyder had been on a long wheelbase chassis but Scaglietti's 1960 car, released at the1960 Geneva motor show, was based on the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB. While Pininfarinas new design continued with its LWB sibling’s styling it the coachwork was drawn and executed more tautly and sharply over the shorter wheelbase. It ooozed both style and prestige.
The 250 California predictably houses Lampredi's v-12 engine giving almost 280hp in it's tuned form. What wasn't so predictable was the use of disc brakes, this was the first Ferrari road car to have them.
One of the most desirable GT spyders ever made and is equally as rare as its mighty sibling, the 250 GTO. Only about 37 covered headlamp examples were ever made, part of a total run of around 55 SWB Gt spyders.
1/24th scale kit.
Built by Rod.
Ferrari models are always popular but usually it is the racing cars which get the attention. Not when it comes to the 250gt California. Rod built his straight from the box and this kit certainly builds into a very nice replica of an iconic car. The body finish is by Halfords acrylic car spray paints, the detail painting is all by Humbrol enamels and acrylics detailed with Citadel acrylic.
Italeri based their kit on an existing 250 swb platform and used a generic engine sprue which also had parts for the GTO engine on it too. The down side to using tooling for several versions of a similar car is that there are small flaws were different models had different features. This kit is no exception as the cockpit interior has several items more at home on the SWB or GTO interiors. On the Plus side Italeri have captured the body shape well. Replicas and Miniatures of Maryland did a very nice resin set to correct the interior and if you would like to improve other areas of the kit there are steering wheels and road wheel sets available with a little bit of searching on the internet.
The Italeri kit has been released by both Revell and Testors in the past. Academy have also released the same kit under the title of "Classic European sports car"! Sadly none of the versions are currently in production (2013) but Revell, for one, are well known for re-releasing products so this car may well return to the market in the future.
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