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.