|There are few if any models in the world to rival the Ferrari 312PB built by Pierre Scerri of Avignon, France. This 1/3 scale marvel is the real thing in every sense of the word, from its operating 12-cylinder engine to the exact scale operating Ferrari gauges which are calibrated precisely to indicate rpm, oil pressure, water temperature and oil temperature.|
It took Pierre 15 years and more than 20,000 hours to build this car. He learned to make glass so he could make the exact pattern lens for the operating headlights. He learned to make rubber so he could mold his own tires. His computer mainframe design background with the French telecommunication system allowed him to duplicate the Ferrari electronics system in exact miniature and also provided him with the understanding needed to make a 1/3 scale operating fuel injection system identical to the one in the full-size Ferrari.
Perhaps the toughest aspect of the car was the gearbox, for which Ferrari supplied drawings. While Pierre had an understanding of the object to be built, he lacked the very expensive specialized equipment required to build high-tolerance gears and synchros. In the end the gearbox was built by Colleti who had built the original gearbox for the full-size car.
There is no sign of deviation from the real car in terms of replication. The spark plugs are miniatures, the radiators were hand-built to the exact same core design as the real ones. Even the water reservoir fill cap is a Fiat radiator cap made exactly the same way as the real one and pressure tested. The suspension is exact and the hydraulically controlled brakes from the brake pedal have quick-change brake pads just as on the real car.
If you were 1/3 scale, you would open the door of the car, get in, fasten your seat belt as on the full-size car, take you Ferrari key (engraved identically to the real key) and put it into the ignition. You would flip the toggle switch for the fuel pumps, and with this you would hear the fuel-injection system come to life, powered by a real scale battery built by Pierre. A crew member would stick the hand-held scale starter into the rear transaxle housing and as the engine turned over you would flip the ignition toggle switch and the 12-cylinder engine would come to life with a sound you’d never forget. This 12-cylinder engine just isn’t any 12-cylinder engine, it is a 1/3 scale Ferrari 12-cylinder engine with the same beautiful sound. It took Pierre six months of running the engine on his own dynamometer to tune the header pipes so they would give off the same sound value as he had recorded from the engine of the real car.
And you may ask about reliability. Well, once Pierre had the engine bolted together for the first time, it started on the very first try and since then has logged more than fifty hours of running time with no failures or refusals to start. It probably is more reliable than the real engine.
In short, this model car is so incredible that one has a very difficult time focusing on the fact that it is a model and not a full-size car. We have put together a video on the car Real Player clip here, and a book will be published on the construction of the entire model.
Today, Pierre has begun work on a 1/3rd scale Ferrari P4. This effort ranks with building the first model Titanic, or having the lead exhibit at the Nürnberg Toy Fair—it’s exciting beyond words.
Pierre is also heading up our program to produce the ultimate 1/8 scale-model car which will exceed anything done to date including the great one-off models by known builders.