Jody Scheckter's 1980 Ferrari 312T5 by GP Replicas is a real winner in our book


GP Replicas Ferrari 312 T5 1980 - Scheckter

PRICE: £245.99
REF: GPR 045A
SCALE: 1/18

Having won the 1979 Formula 1 Constructors World Championship, seemingly with relative ease, and with its drivers finishing first and second in the Drivers World Championship, Ferrari's 312 T4 was developed for the 1980 season with sufficient improvements all round that it was re-designated as the T5.

The 312 T5 was unveiled with great hopes of claiming back-to-back titles. But the team's drivers, 1979 World Champion Jody Scheckter and  runner-up Gilles Villeneuve, could not have even begun to imagine the season ahead, when they proudly stood by their new steed at Maranello in January 1980.

Although it looked largely similar from an outward perspective, many improvements had occurred under the beautifully-crafted fibreglass body. For some reason, though, the car was, to use a very non-technical term, a bit of a flop by Ferrari's standards of recent years. The team blamed the Michelin tyres, but Ferrari was well-known back then for deflecting blame away from its engineers.

From a season where the team had won six Grand Prix in 1979, neither driver fared better than fifth place all year. But, if you take its period on-track performance away, it is still a beautiful car, and this is fully exploited by GP Replicas with this exquisite resincast. It's tempting to throw all the superlatives that can be found in the direction of this model, such is the attention to detail and the quality of the finish throughout.

That marvellously unique Ferrari bodywork (wouldn't it be wonderful to still have F1 cars that looked different from one another?) is perfectly replicated, and the ground effect 'skirts' look just right - although these scale ones don't move up and down, obviously.

The paintwork is absolutely flawless all over and the minimal sponsor graphics are totally spot on. But it goes deeper than that. Glimpse into the cockpit and the seatbelts are a realistic fabric, the steering wheel has that grippy material covering that was used back then, the simple instrument panel has all the required details and the pedals are even properly crafted too.

Take a look in the side pods and the radiator detail is stunning, as is the business end of the car, where Ferrari's flat-12 powerplant is located - all the necessary ancillaries are on view as well.

A truly incredible model that will definitely be more successful than the real car.

www.ayrey.co.uk