Ferrari 312T2, 1976
This model built in 1994 represents that driven by Niki Lauda in 1976, the year during which many controversies surrounded the legality of wins for James Hunt in a McLaren M23, who ultimately won the Drivers’ title. Had it not been for Lauda’s fiery accident at the Nurburgring, it is unclear whether James would have managed to stay ahead of the Austrian in the often dominant Ferrari. However, Championships are made up of the complex mix of speed, reliability, mistakes, accidents and luck and James showed real determination to become Champion, deservedly so. The 312T2 was a logical development of the 312T when from the Spanish Grand Prix, regulations relating to airboxes particularly, meant redesign of the bodywork in time for Jarama. This was achieved in a novel way by Ferrari utilising a double skinned top bodywork cowling and channelling the air through to the carburettors via two large nostrils either side the leading aspect of the cockpit surround. This clearly worked well, for this was carried-over to the 1977 T2’s which from 1977 bore the Fiat logo, Ferrari having been allied to Fiat financially since 1969. Niki Lauda became World Champion for the second time in 1977 driving a 312T2, after which he joined the Brabham team before retiring at the end of the 1979 season. Lauda returned to race for McLaren in 1982 and became World Champion for a third time in 1984.
This model was definitely painted using a basic Badger airbrush connected to a can of air. The model was built from the box in 1994 with one area of enhancement which required fairly major surgery and that was the sidepod forward inlet profiles. Without consulting past record of photographs or examining a standard issue kit, I couldn’t now know why I felt that was necessary. The forward monocoque top-surface was improved upon at about the point where the forward roll-over bar was mounted.
I built the model quite well with good observation of as perfect a paint job as possible and minimal glue, none other that within joints. So the model looks really nice apart from the disastrous Protar tyres and these along with the wheels are destined for replacement with a set of wheels/tyres I have acquired from a friend who had a spare 1975 Ferrari 312T, thank you Richard. I did hand paint the bodywork with Humbrol enamels using a brush and with enough thickness of paint to enable the brush strokes to ‘melt-in’, yet not so much as to cause a later orange-peel effect, I remain happy with the result. However, I do have a spare set of decals and so one day I could re-build the car and apply all sorts of upgrades to the essential construction of the model and the details applied to it. Apart from this, I have little to add, save that this sort of model would be well-suited to a re-build or careful enhancement straight from the box should an unbuilt example be available. It is supposed to be the 1976 car and with some extra work could be re-worked to produce the 1977 car, which would look really good alongside the 1976 car.
Again, in an archive there will be print-film negatives etc of the model under construction and one day this year or next, a large project of scanning some of these for a number of early models, will begin.