Volume IX, Number 3

Ferrari and Hot Wheels - The Story Continues
by Doug Breithaupt

Several years ago, a story on the variety of Ferrari models by Hot Wheels was published in 'Tales of Toy Cars'. There are two good reasons for updating this story. Hot Wheels has continued to produce new Ferrari models and better images can now be provided of all the models.

There are 26 Ferrari production and racing models from Hot Wheels that are shown here. The 512S Concept model, an early Hot Wheel Redline that I do not have, is shown below. Not shown are the cartoonish Ferrari Enzo and 360 models done recently. Hot Wheels also produced a plastic-bodied P4 for their Sizzlers line and a Ferrari 328GTB with a wind-up motor. Only Kyosho has produced more small-scale Ferrari models, currently at 42. Hot Wheels' has brought Ferrari models to kids and collectors for the past 36 years. This contribution to the general promotion of the Ferrari name and mystique cannot be overlooked.

TR (Testa Rossa) 250 (1990)
This early variation is still one of my favorites as the blue seats are true to actual examples I have seen. A collector version with thin rubber tires and racing numbers is quite nice too.
365GTB/4 'Daytona' (1999)
This lovely metal-based casting shows how good a basic Hot Wheel model can be. The shape, wheels, interior and colors are exactly what they should be.

308GTB (1977)
This casting dates back 30 years and was the third Ferrari done by Hot Wheels. The final version was done in 2005 and it even had one variation with a plastic body.
308GTS (Corgi casting)
Corgi offered this model as their 'Magnum P.I.' casting. Hot Wheels actually improved the look with the wheels shown here. it has better detail than Hot Wheels' own GTB.

Testarossa (1986)
The boxer V12 and wide-body stance made the real car and this Hot Wheel a schoolboy favorite. Two-tone interiors added a nice touch.
348GTB (1990)
Compared to the earlier 308/328 models, the 348 looks rather bland today. This variation is the best one done by Hot Wheels to date.

F40 (1988)
With the F40, Ferrari challenged the Porsche 959 for the super-exotic crown. The opening engine cover made this a favorite with kids and collectors alike.
F512M (1997)
It was a bit of a surprise to see Hot Wheels do the F512M as it was a modest facelift of the Testarossa. Few other toy car companies bothered with this model.

355 Berlinetta (1995)
The first of three versions of the 355 is also the weakest example. It is a slightly smaller scale and has not seen many variations. This red example was finally offered.
355 Spider (1999)
In 1999, Mattel and Ferrari signed an exclusive licensing contract. The 355 Spider looked much better than the Berlinetta of 1995 and was looks great in these colors.

F 355 Challenge (1999)
The Hot Wheels boys went Ferrari crazy in 1999 and even did this club racer where owners could enter their cars in a cross-country challenge, all sanctioned by Ferrari.
456M (1999)
Another 1999 casting, most came in red with the biscuit interior, a very nice combination. The 456M was intended to carry the styling cues and front-engine V12 of the earlier Daytona.

F50 Berlinetta (1999)
Hot Wheels already had the F50 Spider but in 1999, elected to offer the Berlinetta as well. The Berlinetta turned out the better of the two castings.
F50 Spider (1996)
As the replacement for the F40, the F50 never quite had the same appeal. The Spider casting was the first done by Hot Wheels and it is a bit smaller than the later Berlinetta.

550 Maranello (1999)
Yet another 1999 model, the 550 Maranello represented another front-engine V12 model for Ferrari. The light colored interior looks much better than the models with black interiors.
360 Modena (1999)
The 360 was new in 1999 and Hot Wheels were certainly not going to miss this model. The Berlinetta was offered with traditional wheels.

Enzo (2002)
The Enzo continues Ferrari's super-exotic line of the F40 and F50. The styling is a matter of taste but this model was a sure hit for Hot Wheels. New wheels feature low-profile tires.
F430 Spider (2005)
The most recent Ferrari street car from Hot Wheels is the F430 in Spider form. It will be interesting to see if the Berlinetta is also done. The wheels from the Enzo are used.

156 F1 (2000)
Hot Wheels have not neglected Ferrari's many racing cars. The 156 F1 was an easy choice for it's beauty and the fact that American Phil Hill became driver's champion in it.
P4 (2001)
One of the most beautiful Ferrari sport/GT cars was the P4 and Hot Wheels did a fine job on this casting. A collector version is even more detailed with rubber tires.

312P (1969)
The first Ferrari by Hot Wheels was this sleek 312P. The opening engine cover has continued on select Ferrari models. It would be great to see this model re-released.
512M (2005)
The latest Ferrari racer is the 512M, just released in red. Like the 312P, 36 years back, the engine cover opens. The traditional gold wheels look perfect for this vintage Ferrari racer.

333SP (1999)
The eighth Ferrari of 1999 was the 333SP, winner at the 24 Hours of Daytona. For some reason, Hot Wheels never did it in correct racing colors. Perhaps they still will.
F1 2000 (1998)
In 1998 Hot Wheels produced the then current Ferrari F1 model. With annual re-paints, it has represented all the 2000-05 Ferrari championship years. The casting has also served for other teams.

575GTC (2004)
It was nice to see the 575GTC produced. The racing graphics are a bit self-serving for Hot Wheels. Perhaps a new version will carry a more authentic design.
Pininfarina 512 Concept (1971)
This is the only Hot Wheels Ferrari model I am missing. It is also the only Ferrari concept car done by Hot Wheels. It was offered in metallic red as seen here. The casting dates to 1971.

With 26 Ferrari models already offered, what should Hot Wheels consider as they look to offer new castings? The new 460 Spider continues the Hot Wheels tradition of offering examples of the newest Ferrari models. This still leaves many gaps in production, racing and concept cars for Ferrari since 1948. With the production cars, some of the most obvious choices would be the 250 California Spider, 250GTO and Lusso, 275 GTB/S, 512 BB, Dino 246 GTB/S (which exists as a collector model from a Bruce Wayne boxed set) and a personal plea for the 308GT/4. Racing models could include any from the 1950's up to the TR250 and 156 F1. Racing versions of the 250GTO, 246P, 250LM or Daytona would be wonderful. Additional concept cars from Ferrari might include the Bertone 250GT, Pininfarina's Modulo, Mythos or even the 4-door Pinin of 1980. Another year like 1999 seems unlikely, with eight different Hot Wheels Ferrari models introduced. One or two Ferrari additions each year would be just fine.