Collecting MemoriesModels

Yes, it’s a Burago 1/43 Ferrari (!)

Inexpensive (not cheap) thrills

It’s probably no coincidence that Ferrari prefers to license Italian model makers rather other nationalities. Ferrari is the most Italian of carmakers for sure. So it’s not much of a surprise that Ferrari licensed Burago to make replica models. It’s a Burago 1/43 Ferrari 512BB you see above and it’s pretty good! Surprise!

While at the recent Lime Rock Trans-Am race, I wandered by the vendor midway as I always do. Stopping by Harrell’s Miniatures, I was looking over the assortment of 1/43 diecast models on offer when my eye noticed the Burago (or BBurago if you are a purist) display. I was struck by the fact that the assortment was out-of-the-ordinary Ferrari choices and then struck by how inexpensive they were. Well under $30 each!

For me, the 2 models that stood out were the Ferrari 312P that Mario Andretti and Jacky Ickx won the 1972 Watkins Glen 6 Hour race with. The other was the Belancauto Ferrari 512BB Series 2 that raced at Monza in 1981. I don’t believe either has been modeled in 1/43 diecast before. Of course both have been produced as kits or handbuilts (although the Belancauto 512BB is usually the LeMans “Bubbles” car).

it's a Burago 1/43 Ferrari

Tell me more!

it's a Burago 1/43 FerrariYou will not mistake these models for those made by Spark, TSM, Minichamps or Looksmart. However, you will notice the nicely presented Ferrari red outer and inner packaging. Or that there are no photoetched parts or jeweled lights anywhere. 

All of the sponsor markings are tampo printed on the 512BB and are enhanced by a very glossy paint coat. Flat vent markings are printed on top of the gloss for a noticeably nice touch. The clear parts are vac-formed plastic and very well fitted. The front lighting is painted on rather that transparent but the rear lights are all transparent colored plastic. None look wrong.

The four tailpipes are evenly mounted while the plastic wheels and rubber tires look right. The plastic windshield wiper is molded in flat black and lays flat against the windscreen.

All of the painted-on detail is right where it’s supposed to be.

I will take apart the 512BB model later to correct the poor fitting roll cage. Otherwise the model is well built.

it's a Burago 1/43 FerrariThe others

I mentioned the 312P. I did not purchase the model at Lime Rock but will soon. Those 312Ps were sweet cars and with Mario and Jacky in the driver’s seat this is a special model. I have several 312Ps but I will add this one to the collection soon.

it's a Burago 1/43 FerrariAlso worth mentioning is the Risi 488GTE that ran in IMSA. Certainly not the quality of the Looksmart car but the Burago is waaaay less costly.

And now a bit of a rant

I know many of you will turn your nose up at any Burago model as just a decent toy and not in the class of “replica”. I would disagree.

My 1/43 collection goes back to the mid-1980s and contains Best, Bang, Box, Brumm, Onyx, Quartzo and Solido/Verem/Top43 models. That was what was offered back then. Minichamps was just coming along and Spark wasn’t a thing. These are certainly not anywhere like the standard of model replicas that are routinely produced for sale now.

You know something?

When presented alongside the handbuilts, Sparks, TSMs and Minichamps’ also in my collection, you don’t really notice the differences in ultimate quality. All the models blend together to tell a racecar story, whether that story is about a brand, series or color. And they all look fine. Even if it’s a Burago 1/43 Ferrari.

Except for that Bang Gulf Ford GT40. Now that’s genuinely terrible.

See all the 1/43 Burago Ferraris here

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