Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Car Of The Day: March 22, 2011

Today's car of the day is Matchbox Premiere's 1996 Ferrari F50.

The Ferrari F50 is a mid-engined range-topping sports car made by Ferrari. The F50 was introduced in 1995 to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary. The car is a two door, two seat convertible with a removable hardtop. It has a 4.7 L naturally-aspirated 60-valve V12 engine that was developed from the 3.5 L V12 used in the 1992 Ferrari F92A Formula One car.

Only 349 cars were made, one fewer than Ferrari estimated they could sell. This was, in the words of Ferrari spokesman Antonio Ghini, because "Ferraris are something cultural, a monument. They must be hard to find, so we will produce one less car than the market." The last F50 was produced in Maranello, Italy in July 1997.

The F50's engine predated the car: It was used in the Ferrari 333 SP for the American IMSA series in 1994 allowing it to become eligible for the stock engine WSC category.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Ferrari F50

I always did love the Matchbox Premieres.  This one could use better headlight tampos (we've come a long way in the last fifteen years) but overall is a very nice example of the Premiere line.

Following the motorsport theme, Ferrari developed the F50 GT, a prototype based on the F50 that was built to compete in GT1-class racing. The car had a fixed roof, large rear spoiler, new front spoiler and many other adjustments. The 4.7 litre V12 engine was tuned to generate around 750 bhp (559 kW). In testing in 1996 the car proved to be quicker even than the 333SP, but this went unnoticed as Ferrari cancelled the F50 GT project, instead focusing on Formula One. Ferrari sold off the three complete chassis that were built - the test car 001, 002 and 003. Chassis 002 and 003 had bodies fitted before being sold. The remaining three tubs were apparently destroyed.

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