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  • Carrera Ferrari P4 remake

    No question: the Ferrari P4 is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. And performance: lithe, athletic, agile, FAST! I mean, just look at it!!!

    the-story-of-the-1967-ferrari-330-p4-much-more-than-ford-gt40s-nemesis_5.jpg

    Not many cars that get even close to being that beautiful. Just gorgeous, isn't it?

    And then we have the Carrera. No question: the Carrera 1/24 version is likewise a beautiful model.

    ZP stack.jpg

    No complaints here.

    But

    Then you put it on the track. Lithe? You are kidding, right? Athletic? In your dreams! Agile? Don't make me laugh! Fast? OK, I have run out of suitable comments... In desperation I did try to resuscitate it somewhat by putting in a more powerful motor. But that was just flogging a dead horse. And to add to the animal similes: it is a dog. A SLEEPING dog! And at 207g it is a porker. A massively overweight porker.

    But it is so pretty. And it would be so nice it it was enjoyable to drive. So what to do?

    I finally decided that the only way of hopefully turning it into at least a somewhat reasonably good runner would be to yank the Carrera chassis and replace it with something more suitable. It does not have to be my fastest 1/24 car but I really want it to just be a pleasure to drive. So I settled on gutting the mechanicals and replacing it with a Scaleauto Home Series chassis. Yes, there are faster foundations available out there. But a complete running chassis for $59? Wow! And my Home Series BMW Z4 runs beautifully, so if it can get the P4 anywhere even close to that I would consider it a major victory.

    I agonised a fair bit on wheels and tyres. I was looking for metal wheels that would retain the original look and for which there are appropriate urethane rear tyres available. In discussing tyre options for the Scaleauto wheels with Paul Gage, he suggested I try BRM TransAm wheels. Doh! I was so completely focused on Scaleauto parts that I completely forgot about BRM as a potential source.

    I made up an order of the bits I needed... and of course I had to make a last minute addition: getting old is HARD!... but Alan and/or Julia (as always!) took it in their stride. After the border restrictions of the past year, it is finally possible to have stuff delivered to the parcel service in Point Roberts and then quickly scoot across the border and collect it. Much quicker and cheaper as having the stuff shipped to Canada is expensive and the whole customs thing adds a lot of time. But even by 132slot standards this delivery was a peach: finalised the order on Tuesday morning, it was delivered to the parcel service Wednesday morning and I picked it up around lunchtime! Brilliant service guys: you absolutely rock.

    OK, and then onto the actual work:

    * As mentioned I used a Scaleauto Home series RTR chassis. This came complete with motor, wheels, axles, gear, guide, braid, mounting hardware etc. I think it is a brilliant piece of kit. It had sufficient length adjustment to quite comfortably fit the P4. I did have to cut off the excess front parts of the main chassis section as this covered the setscrew access for adjusting the front axle height. I also replaced the braid with my preferred NSR soft braid

    DSC02370.jpg

    * I replaced the wheels with the aforementioned BRM TransAm wheels and I must say it worked out very well indeed. I used the stock BRM TransAm tyres on the front and Paul Gage urethanes on the rear. Glued and trued the rears, trued and profiled the fronts, just enough to remove the tread.

    * The overall width of the chassis and wheels without any spacers was perfect in front: like it was designed for the P4! The rears were extremely tight. I ended up grinding away the small raised edge around the opening for the rears bushing and increased the depth of the bushing opening to allow it to fully seat again. This only gained like half a millimeter (if that!) but things were so tight this was all it needed!

    * I used the original Carrera wheels to make inserts and this is probably the best result I have ever had with "adapted inserts". The BRM wheels have a taper on the outside edge so I decided to use that as part of the appearance of the wheel. It might just be the fact that the wheels are bigger than the 1/32 stuff I normally work with, but I think it ended up looking really good. I thought even the tyres looked quite realistic!

    DSC02400.jpg

    * I used the body mounting posts that came with the chassis:

    DSC02372.jpg

    * Mounting came out nicely I thought. Everything is nicely centred and neat and tidy:

    DSC02408.jpg

    * I was planned on adding rubber spacers on the body mounting posts. Because of this and the fact that I had not installed the spacers at the time of taking the photographs, I think the car looks too low in the photographs: it does look a bit "slammed", a look that I do not like. Initially the Carrera had a body sill height of 5.5mm behind the front wheels and 6.5mm in front of the rear wheels. I felt this was too high and I wanted to lower it, just not as much as it looks at the moment. I have since added some of the BRM body quick mounting grommets and I feel it now looks just right.

    Some images of the results:

    Focus stack P4 2022 07 27 1.jpg

    DSC02393.jpg

    DSC02403.jpg

    Overall I am very happy with the appearance. BUT, now for the $64,000 question: HOW WILL IT RUN???!!!! I am taking it to the track on Friday so all will be revealed... ????

    But it was a fun and very satisfying build, so even if it does not run as well as I hope it will it was still worth it.

    Alwyn

    EDIT: Oops, I posted in the wrong forum! Force of habit plus diminishing mental faculties = stupid mistake! I am hoping some friendly moderator with suitable powers (here's looking at you Pal!) could move this to the 1/24 forum please!
    Last edited by SuperSlab; 07-28-2022, 10:07 AM.

  • #2
    Nice work, old timer!

    What do you reckon it weighs now?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Wet Coast Racer View Post
      Nice work, old timer!
      Thanks Paul!
      Originally posted by Wet Coast Racer View Post
      What do you reckon it weighs now?
      Whittled it down wittle by wittle (as Elmer Fudd would have said) from 207g to 162g. Which is close to the same as a metal chassied BRM Porsche 917. With the major difference that the Porsche's weight is mainly in the chassis while the Carrera P4 still has a lot (56g) in the body.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well done and beautiful car!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks kindly!

          Alwyn

          Comment


          • #6
            Fantastic work Alwyn

            Comment


            • #7
              Forgive my picking at an otherwise impressive build, but...

              My first reaction looking at the underside of the car is there's potential to move the guide a fair bit forward. I happen to like a car with a lot of guide lead. It can make a major difference in a car's handling.

              Yes, it would require clearing away some of the underside body work, hopefully without damage to the aesthetics. And you'd need to add an extension at the front of the chassis.

              Keep this idea in your back pocket in case you find the handling wants improvement.

              Ed Bianchi

              Comment


              • #8
                I have to agree with you, SuperSlab (interesting tag; what is the story behind it), the 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 is a body that is so attractive, it could be referred to as "sensual"........

                And, what you have done to "improve" the performance is both interesting and impressive. I hope you report your test results on the Forum when you complete your testing Friday.

                Just curious; do you ALSO have the Ford Mk.IV & Chaparral 2F (after all, what is a car without it's natural competitors), and have you had to modify them in the same manner as well?

                Back in the 60's, I had versions of this Ferrari, both an HO (on a modified T-Jet chassis) AND a 1/24 scale version (scratch built brass rail/plate chassis) , both with vacuum-formed (pre-Lexan) P4 bodies, and they were great......

                Now, being strictly in "HO" (and that varies from 1/87 to 1/64), IF one wants to replicate such a car, they can still go with Lexan (the detail IS better), or cast-resin:

                IMG_0495.jpg IMG_0497.jpg IMG_3096.jpg

                These examples are on TYCO 440x2 "Pan" chassis; but the next pair will be on Mega G+ 1.7 chassis. I finally had a use for those TOMY "Campagnolo" wheels that they stuck on most all their cars (including the first series of Ford GT Mk.IIs), as they are the front wheels here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by slotbutton View Post
                  Fantastic work Alwyn
                  Thanks Darren!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HO RacePro View Post
                    My first reaction looking at the underside of the car is there's potential to move the guide a fair bit forward. I happen to like a car with a lot of guide lead. It can make a major difference in a car's handling.
                    My first objective... make that "my ONLY objective!.. with this rework was to get the P4 to run "nicely". That while it stays beautiful. I set a lot of store by cars running well. I do not strive to build every car to be my fastest car: I already have a lot of fast cars but I do not have a lovely 1/24 P4 that runs "nicely". Quite frankly I am also not convinced that a possible 4mm increase (before the guide becomes obtrusive) to an already long 117mm guide lead would really provide a "major difference" in handling in this case.

                    Originally posted by HO RacePro View Post
                    Yes, it would require clearing away some of the underside body work, hopefully without damage to the aesthetics. And you'd need to add an extension at the front of the chassis.
                    Indeed. The guide and front axle are on a common "carrier". To extend the guide would have required a significant amount of work. For the aforementioned reasons I just did not consider that worth the effort. So all in all I am quite happy with the way it is.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Speedhoppy View Post
                      I have to agree with you, SuperSlab (interesting tag; what is the story behind it).
                      Ahh yes, I am to a certain extent showing my age here... And it is a bit of a longish, convoluted path to this screen name on a slot car forum!

                      I grew up in South Africa and was a keen follower of the local motor racing scene. In the saloon car class (as it was then known in South Africa in the sixties), one of the leading competitors was a gentleman by the name of Basil van Rooyen: he was from a different province to where we lived and was the arch enemy of a local hero, first running Lotus Cortinas and later notchback Mustangs. This is where this sort of started: his tuning shop and race team were known as... Superformance. So when we had slot racing competitions I adapted our team's name to Team Superfast. Weak, I know, but hey: I was in my very early teens so not really into great original names.

                      Fast forward to the the early 2000's and the advent of forums. I have always been into motorcycling (riding sportbikes all my life) and needed a forum name for a sportbike forum. Three things then played into the choice of name:

                      * The aforementioned Superformance -> Superfast names
                      * Another activity from the sixties & seventies: CB radios! With the Superfast name in mind and riding a sportbike on highways it reminded me of the CB radio slang for a highway: the superslab
                      * And the clincher: my last name is Slabbert, so it all sort of made sense to me at the time.

                      And then when joining slot car forums it was just easy and convenient to continue on with the same name. I must admit I have had some second thoughts about the name several times over the years as it DOES sound rather arrogant...

                      In any case: long story for something silly and a wee bit embarrassing!

                      Originally posted by Speedhoppy View Post
                      the 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 is a body that is so attractive, it could be referred to as "sensual"........
                      Indeed: I have always just loved this car. I saw them racing in real life in the day and I was smitten!

                      Originally posted by Speedhoppy View Post
                      And, what you have done to "improve" the performance is both interesting and impressive. I hope you report your test results on the Forum when you complete your testing Friday.
                      Thanks very much and I absolutely will report back: good, bad or indifferent!

                      Originally posted by Speedhoppy View Post
                      Just curious; do you ALSO have the Ford Mk.IV & Chaparral 2F (after all, what is a car without it's natural competitors), and have you had to modify them in the same manner as well?
                      Our club is essentially a 1/32 club. OK, I mean the cars: us guys are full 1:1 size! Anyway, because of this, 1/24 is a bit of a "fringe activity" for us. So while I have a lot of 1/32 cars... and I mean a LOT! ... I only have a small number of various 1/24 cars. So unfortunately no: the P4 is a loner in its class in my collection

                      Originally posted by Speedhoppy View Post
                      Back in the 60's, I had versions of this Ferrari, both an HO (on a modified T-Jet chassis) AND a 1/24 scale version (scratch built brass rail/plate chassis) , both with vacuum-formed (pre-Lexan) P4 bodies, and they were great......

                      Now, being strictly in "HO" (and that varies from 1/87 to 1/64), IF one wants to replicate such a car, they can still go with Lexan (the detail IS better), or cast-resin:

                      These examples are on TYCO 440x2 "Pan" chassis; but the next pair will be on Mega G+ 1.7 chassis. I finally had a use for those TOMY "Campagnolo" wheels that they stuck on most all their cars (including the first series of Ford GT Mk.IIs), as they are the front wheels here.
                      Interesting that I believe around 90% of current slotters were in the hobby in the sixties. Makes me a bit concerned for the future of the hobby. And lovely HO cars. As a larger scale person I have always enjoyed the greater level of detail and more scale-correct look of the 1/32 and 1/24 cars. But your examples are way better than I am used to in my (jaundiced/[prejudiced?) view of the hobby, so very nicely done!

                      Alwyn

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, the $64,000 question has been answered!

                        Took the P4 to our weekly races yesterday evening. It was not a 1/24 race day so the P4 was the only 1/24 there. The racing was at Perry's track, not our Tanex club track, so I could not compare the lap times with what I did with the car pre-upgrade. Perry has two tracks: the Rocket (a relatively fast flowing track with some tight-ish, little bit more technical bits) and the Canyon. FWIW I normally test cars on the Rocket.

                        So: no 1/24 cars to test it against, only 1/32

                        And it ran BEAUTIFULLY! Very smooth, very quiet, handles brilliantly. Even though the Rocket is not as well suited to 1/24 as the club track, the P4 still handled the track extremely well. Not a whole lot of power but not too little either: just a nice balance. For perspective: I was able to match the lap times of my quite well prepared NSR Porsche 917 on this track! This was a very pleasant surprise as I did not expect it to be that competent. The only car to really set better times last night was my friend Chris (F1Fan on forums) with his beautifully prepared NSR Mosler. The quickest lap he did I believe was around 5.06 while I did a 5.19 with the P4.

                        I am one VERY happy camper!

                        And for info: I took a quick cellphone photograph of the track last night. The Rocket is the one closest to the camera.

                        IMG_2893.jpg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow! What a great looking track! There appears to be another section of it to the right of the picture; by chance do you have a shot of that section?

                          Glad to read "SuperSlab" that your mods on the P4 worked as planned; that is always a satisfying result when everything tests out in the manner you wanted......congratulations!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Speedhoppy View Post
                            Wow! What a great looking track! There appears to be another section of it to the right of the picture; by chance do you have a shot of that section?!
                            As mentioned there are actually TWO tracks. The part marked in RED in the following image is the track I ran the car on. This pretty much shows the complete track other than the bit hidden behind the controller on the right. The blue part is the second track.

                            IMG_2893.jpg

                            Originally posted by Speedhoppy View Post
                            Glad to read "SuperSlab" that your mods on the P4 worked as planned; that is always a satisfying result when everything tests out in the manner you wanted......congratulations!
                            Thanks and indeed very satisfying!



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To complete the circle here: I took it to our Tanex club track last night so I now have comparable lap times:

                              Pre modification: 8.026 seconds
                              Post modification: 7.182 seconds!

                              Two comments:

                              * Comparative performance: obviously I am extremely satisfied with almost a 0.9 second improvement that the modification yielded.
                              * Absolute performance: A lap under 7.2 is very quick on this track. This is the territory of very well prepared Slot.its and NSRs. And the cherry on top: it is significantly quicker than my Scaleauto BMW Home Series BMW Z4! As in more than 2/10ths quicker!

                              Colour me pleased! VERY pleased...

                              Comment

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