Never raced. Should have.
Recent rumors of Ferrari being interested in competing in Indycar brought up memories of the last time this happened. Enzo Ferrari was having one of his tizzy fits in 1986 because he couldn’t get his way on the rules in Formula One. He threatened to quit F1, as he did from time to time. This time he also threatened to go racing in the USA in the very popular CART series. CART was getting worldwide attention as a very competitive series with several manufacturers competing and several different chassis/engine combinations available. Ferrari actually built a complete car and went testing with Michele Alboreto driving. The Tron Ferrari 637 Indy is a faithful model in 1/43 scale.
Two versions are available. One is as tested at Indy (top and left), the other as shown in the Indy Museum (right). The difference is minimal and as far as I can tell, they are in the decals and the rear wing endplates. I prefer the test version for its similarity to the Ferrari F1 cars of the period.
One can only imagine the engine note from a Ferrari Indy engine, even with the silencing effect of a turbo. You can also imagine hordes of Ferrari fans in the stands for the Indy 500, decked out in red and wildly waving giant Ferrari flags. It would have been great.
Alas, the Indy project never progressed any further than the testing at Indy. Enzo’s threat seemed real enough with the test car already extent. The Indy car became nothing more than an elaborate ruse in order to bend the F1 rules to the will of Ferrari. It seems to have worked.
The Alfa Romeo SE48 Group C car
Group C was a fantastic set of rules for endurance racing that brought many manufacturers to LeMans, and by extension, to the IMSA series. The Porsche 956/962 cars would dominate, albeit with solid competition from Jaguar, Mercedes and others. It seemed only natural for Alfa Romeo to do the same, given their long history in endurance racing.
The Alfa Romeo SE48 was Alfa’s statement of intent to join the fray. As with most red race cars from Italy, it was very pretty. It never did make it to the race tracks of the Group C series. Race plans were shelved so Alfa Romeo could concentrate on other priorities on and off the track.
Two versions of the car are offered as 1/43 models by Tron. One is as shown at its presentation (left) and the other is as run at the Goodwood hillclimb event in 2010 (right). Here I prefer the original presentation version for its naked beauty, virtually bereft of decals and simply gorgeous all by itself in Alfa red.
The options and where to obtain them
Both the Tron Ferrari 637 Indy and the Alfa Romeo SE48 models are available as kits or factory-built examples. You can order them from Grand Prix Models in Britain or directly from Tron Models in Italy.
Any which way, they make wonderful additions to any Indy or LeMans collection.
For more modeling fun, click here.