Volume VIII, Number 5

A HISTORY OF FERRARI IN FORMULA ONE BY KYOSHO ­ THE 1980'S
by David Cook


1982 Ferrari 126C2


1984 Ferrari 126C4


1982 Ferrari 126C2


1987-88 Ferrari



This is part four of our series about Kyosho's 1/64th scale Ferrari F1 cars. These models were originally manufactured for the Dydo Company of Japan as prizes in a canned coffee drink promotion. The level of quality and detail in these small cars go way beyond that of the usual cheap give-away toy. You really have to see them up close to believe how beautifully they are done.

The 1980's were a decade of few highs and many lows for Ferrari. The team began 1981 with high hopes for their new turbo-engined cars and a stellar driver line up of Gilles Villeneuve and Didier Pironi. Villeneuve won 2 races that season, and the team redoubled their efforts for 1982, producing the 126C2 (120-degree V6, C=competizione or compressore, both were used) pictured here. Curved underbody channels with ultra-stiff suspension produced unreal levels of downforce so that smaller front and rear wings could be used. Ferrari could have won the driver's championship that year but for two huge accidents; Villeneuve was killed in practice for the Belgian GP while Pironi suffered career-ending injuries practicing in Germany. The team did manage to win the constructor's championship in both 1982 and 1983 with this model.

For 1984 Ferrari followed the then current trend (this happened a bit too often to the team during the 80's!) of an arrow shaped car based around the V6 turbo engine with unlimited boost pressure producing amazing amounts of power (up to 1000-hp in qualifying trim!) balanced with huge front and rear wings to keep the whole thing plastered to the track. The 126C4 pictured here won only one race but finished 2nd in the constructors championship.

For 1988, the teams were allowed to use last year's cars since the F1 regulations would change the following year. The F1 87-88 pictured here won the last two races of 1987, so hopes were high for a better 1988. This was not to be, however, as the McLaren-Honda super team of Prost and Senna won every race but one. That one, however, was a very important and emotional win at the Italian GP just days after the death of Enzo Ferrari.

Throughout the 1980's Ferrari seemed to be a step behind their rivals especially in chassis design. Even hiring British engineers did not seem to help; while Ferrari engines were as powerful as anyone else, poor reliability dogged their efforts. A side-by-side look at the cars from the 1980's shows some real innovation in the 1982 car but generally copycat looks in the later models. One thing not seen on these models is the increasing financial influence of Phillip Morris (Marlboro cigarettes) whose logo can be seen below the drivers names on the 1984 cars and later. This indicates that they paid the driver's (very large) salaries. Later in the 1990's PM would step up to become a full sponsor of the team as Ferrari and Fiat acknowledged the realities of funding a top-level F1 effort.


1982 Ferrari 126C2 - Kyosho


1982 Ferrari 126C2 - Kyosho


1984 Ferrari 126C4 - Kyosho


1984 Ferrari 126C4 - Kyosho


1987-88 Ferrari - Kyosho

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