Monza, the Targa Florio, Spa and the Nürburgring constituted the rest of the series. Monza was Ferrari’s home ground and the Mk. II’s were ill-suited to either the Targa or the undulating Nürburgring so the factory Fords skipped all three. But the high-speed Spa circuit could be a competitive venue so, though hampered by the fact that Spa was the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix so all Ford’s F1 drivers were unavailable, Alan Mann Racing entered the Mk. II that Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant had driven to 2nd place in the season-opening Daytona 24-Hour race for their drivers Sir John Whitmore and Frank Gardner.
Mikes Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti would drive the sole factory Ferrari 330P3 to pole and a one-lap victory over the AMR Mk. II but the Ford’s second place would provide the margin that allowed Ford to clinch the 1966 Over-2-Liter International Manufacturers Championship with their win at Le Mans the following month.
Left: Starting grid for the 1966 Spa 1000 Km.: #1 Parkes/Scarfiotti Ferrari 330P3, #4 Whitmore Gardner Ford GT40 Mk. II and #42 (hidden) Scott/Revson Ford GT40 Mk. I
Right: Whitmore/Gardner on their way to finish in 2nd place
Interesting note: often overlooked in the triumph of the Mk. IIs was that during this same season, Essex Wire Corporation of Detroit, Michigan, having entered auto racing in 1965 sponsoring a Cobra, ran a pair of GT40 Mk. Is in the Over-2-Liter Sports class (for Group 4 cars of which at least 50 had been produced). Team manager and lead driver was Skip Scott who recruited Peter Revson, Dr. Dick Thompson (“The Racing Dentist”), Ed Lowther, Masten Gregory, Augie Pabst, Whitmore, David Hobbs, Jochen Neerpasch and Jackie Ickx to drive when available in six of the seven events (skipping the Targa) for the class. They won their class at Sebring (3rd overall), Monza (2nd overall to a Ferrari 330P3), Spa (3rd overall) and with class wins in the other races by other teams’ GT40s (though none as high in the overall standings), helped win Ford the Over-2-Liter International Sportscar Championship the same year.
Scott/Revson on their way to 3rd overall and 1st in the O2L Sports class
As anyone who has viewed my collection will know, I’ve tried to collect all the Mk. IIs available in 1/18th diecast. But the Spa version is one of several that has never been released by anyone, so when I saw Diecast Select offered the 1/43rd Minichamps version of this car for under $35, I decided to break my rule and buy the little imp (with two others), the first 1/43rds I’ve owned since some years ago when I bought another car unlikely to be released in my chosen scale, the Penske Sunoco Ferrari 512M (since sold).
One of the appeals of this model is that it’s still in diecast and has the added touch of having an opening rear deck with a detailed engine compartment, something I did not expect in this scale, particularly at this price. The execution of the model is outstanding, the details very good when compared to my Exoto 1/18th versions, and the simple livery (white with a matte black front deck - sorry for not brushing it off before photographing!) is done properly. It even has the lettering on the thin ribbon below the doors: "ALAN MANN RACING LTD. BYFLEET ENGLAND".
The hooks on the nose for the tire-lifting mechanism are a beautiful touch (though the left one is slightly tilted at the bottom) as is the detailed interior. On the rear deck it correctly has the twin brake scoops that were added to the Mk. IIs after Daytona, though the center rectangular scoop between them has exaggeratedly high side walls compared to the 1:1:
I love the mesh grate on the rear but that’s also where my major criticism is leveled, as the grate isn’t properly fitted – it looks like it was not correctly formed and sized to fit the body indents where it goes.
And under the clear covers, the headlights are a bit wonky, not level, and they appear to be dual headlights, which according to the one pic I have of the 1:1 should be rectangular SINGLE lenses, as demonstrated on the Exoto versions:
Still, it’s a little beauty and for the price, easily a steal.
Edited by Jersey_Devil, 17 August 2016 - 09:57 PM.