Words and photos courtesy of Wes Shakirov
We finally got the opportunity to get our hands on an example of the forthcoming, and highly anticipated, CMC 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. It is probably the most celebrated Ferrari, trading hands for the kind of money that could buy you a sizeable island. CMC used a legal loophole to produce this model, which was pleasantly surprising. Most collectors were sad to learn that the CMC-Ferrari partnership was expiring. I certainly enjoyed the discounts on the final remaining stock of the licensed models, but now I’m looking forward to the new “CMC Ferrari” line of models. Initially there was a tiny bit of concern, when these images surfaced, that this model wasn’t based on any actual existing chassis, a la their recent Aston Martin DB4 Zagato, which wasn’t very well received mostly due to the fact that it looked awkward. When we learned that it looked awkward due to CMC borrowing several design features from multiple cars and combining them to build their model, many heads were scratched in an attempt to understand their strange decision. In this case, however, CMC were quick to address the concerns by releasing an image of the chassis on which this model is based, and everything went back to normal.
CMC are releasing 4 colours – Red, Silver, Yellow, and Blue. The Silver and Yellow come with the quilted leather in the interior, while the Red and Blue do not. Worry not, we’ll get to the quilted leather shortly, but for now we’ll start with the initial impressions. As soon as you see the model, you see that there are no differences from their previous efforts. This is doubly true if you own any of their Ferrari models. The 250 GTO will definitely feel like familiar ground. The shape and stance are great, the paint also, and there is, as usual, the smorgasbord of different noble materials used in the construction. I counted at least 11 features that could be opened. Doors, trunk and hood, fuel cap, another opening compartment behind the passenger door, a latch on the nose, three removable vents in front of that, and a removable panel which covers the undertray.
I think it looks great in silver – very lithe and athletic, especially those delectable rear haunches, which are borderline obscene. CMC’s official pictures used lighting that did not compliment the model, making it seem as if the nose angled downwards abruptly. I am happy to report that this is not so, and the nose swoops downwards very smoothly. All the tiny details are executed extremely sharply. I honestly have no complaints. You’re provided a screwdriver, which you can use to open the three vents on the front and the panel that covers the undertray. Having said that, the screwdriver is too big to open the latter, which makes it nearly impossible to re-mount those screws, so I advise to just leave it open, lest you risk breaking something. I think the car looks better with the front vents open and what’s the point in hiding that resplendent undertray anyway? Leave it open so you can flip the model over, look at it, and be reminded how good life is!
Now, about the quilted leather in the interior. You see, the individual diamond shaped segments that form when leather is stitched in that quilted pattern tend to puff out, which gives it that luxurious look. It appears that CMC unfortunately failed to translate that effect into 1:18 scale, and it looks like the leather was simply stitched in a criss-cross pattern, with none of that puffing out that’s supposed to happen. As I mentioned above, the “quilted leather” is only present in the Silver and Yellow cars, so if this kind of thing keeps you up at night, I advise you go for either Red or Blue to remedy the situation.
There are going to be obvious comparisons to the Kyosho High-End version, but I can tell you right now, that’s not even remotely a fair comparison. The CMC blows the Kyosho out of the water, as it should, considering it costs nearly twice as much. Oh yeah, the cost! So, if CMC no longer has to pay license fees to Ferrari, shouldn’t the models cost less? Just thinking out loud, as I’m sure many others are. Anyway, getting back to the Kyosho comparison, I would agree that the Kyosho version has the more pleasing overall shape. As you may know, this car is from a day when cars were hammered into shape from sheet metal over a wooden buck, and all of them are different. Of course, CMC could have found a different car to replicate, but I imagine sourcing any of them must be a difficult task.
Word on the street is, this car has been through a couple of crashes and rebuilds, so it is very likely that its shape is not even coming from the original wooden buck, but that’s just me speculating. Either way, comparing the looks of the CMC and the Kyosho is like trying to choose between Kate Upton and Scarlett Johansson. Sure, I like Kate more, but I wouldn’t exactly be depressed if I ended up with Scarlett. Plus, if you’re like me, which means all about the detail, you won’t even consider the Kyosho as an option as long as the CMC version exists. Indeed, I sold my Kyosho version long ago, in anticipation of Exoto’s effort, which now isn’t even necessary.
Getting back to the meat and potatoes, I think the belts are very well executed. So they’re not too huge like on the Testarossa. Nothing seems jarring or over-scale. I love that the exhausts are the items that poke out the back instead of the side. I absolutely love the sliding windows. The underbody is one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen from CMC, but then again, I seem to say that with every one of their releases. The engine detail is great as always. The spare tire in the trunk is removable, and there’s even a cute little fire extinguisher. Unfortunately we can’t provide any comment on the packaging, as this is a prototype/display model and came without it. My theory is that the model must be screwed in at the front. You can see two holes that look like they would accept screws adjacent to the front tires. There are no such holes at the back, which makes me think that the model is fastened using some other method there. Again, this is just speculation, and you’re welcome to come to your own conclusions.
Having seen the model in person, held it, judged its weight, opened up all the panels and inspected it thoroughly, I can breathe a sigh of relief and say that I’m quite happy with the effort. I had a bad feeling about this model when it was announced, which certainly wasn’t helped by how awkward the model looked in the official photos, but now I can look forward to adding it to my Ferrari collection. There are criticisms with every model, and things are no different here. The quilted leather was a fail, I very much wish that there were Scuderia shields on the flanks, but the chassis #3809, on which this model is based, doesn’t have them, so it is accurate. However, that car also doesn’t come in 4 different colours with 2 different interior combinations, so I’m sure it wouldn’t have hurt to add some iconic trademark shields. In any case, you can always buy a decal and add it yourself. I’ll certainly consider doing that once I get mine. Good luck choosing your colours, and I hope you’re looking forward to this model as much as I am!
Buy the Ferrari 250 GTO at Racing Heroes