Hot Wheels Elite 1970 Ferrari 512S #55
Driven by Surtees/Vaccarella to 3rd place in the 1970 1,000Km of Nurburgring.
This model shows what HWE was capable of. I'm sure there may be some issues compared with the real thing, but the level of detail for what was an under $80 model at its release, is very impressive.
with the 1970 Longtail by CMR
I thought they did a pretty good job on this model and still have three in my collection including the coupe version
I did lower mine just a bit as I felt they sat a bit too tall.
I do think they could use lowered...how difficult was that, @franklemire?
Love that Coupe version. I wish I'd grabbed one. Those mirrors are crazy.
'How difficult' is kind of a loaded question. I don't recall it being that hard but I've been taking cars apart and putting them back together on a regular basis for a long time. This is how I explained it back in 2012
You have to be willing to forever alter the car.
The rear wheels are on a solid axle. You remove the wheels by twisting the wheels and pulling out simultaneously. Once the wheels are off you will see the brake rotors. The brake rotors are held in place by the calipers and a flange on the chassis. Remove the rotors and set aside. Cut off the flanges leaving the plastic flush around the axle hole. I used a Dremel tool with a circular saw bit but you can use any manner of saw or file to remove the plastic flange.
Then using a drill, inset a drill bit the size of the axle into the axle hole, through the suspension and into the rear end. Turn on the drill and exert upward pressure to vertically slot the axle pathway. The higher you go the lower the car will sit. You likely will not have a drill bit that will be long enough to do both sides at once so do one side and then the other. Work slowly! You do not want to extend the cut so high that you cut clear through.
When you reinstall the wheels the rotors will set in place on the plastic wheel centers. The calipers will be slightly ‘offset’ but it is really not noticeable. You might have to trim the calipers slightly on the bottom depending on the depth of the slot you drilled out. Do a test fit to see if the calipers are getting in the way and trim as required – I didn’t need to.
With the rotors in place you just thread the axle back through, press fit the wheels and you are done with the back.
For the front you take out the six screws on the bottom of the car and remove the chassis from the body. Then separate the interior from the upper body. This will expose two screws at the front suspension. Remove those screws and you can separate the upper and lower “A” arms of the suspension and remove the front wheels which will remain attached to each other by the steering connecting rod.
The key here is to file down the underside of the upper “A” arms. The more you remove the lower the car will sit when you re-install the wheel assembly. The beauty of the Hot Wheels construct for this car is that the ‘pins’ that go through the holes on the upper and lower “A” arms are so long that you do not have to build up the inside of the lower “A” arms or extend the pins. You just trim the inside of the upper arm and reassemble. Once again, work slowly and carefully. You do not want to take off so much material that the upper “A” arms break off. If it looks like you are getting to that point you will have to beef up the upper side of the upper “A” arms by gluing on some styrene pieces with a hole drilled for the pin. I did not have to do this and I think that I got the car low enough without doing so.
Once you have the upper “A” arms trimmed you are ready to reinstall the wheel but you have one more job to do.
On the connecting rod you will see two tabs. These tabs sit on either side of the steering column and are what causes the wheels to ‘steer’ when the steering wheel is turned. You will need to trim them down. You need to remove about the same amount from the tabs as you did from the upper “A” arms. The key is that once reassembled the connecting rod has to move freely without any ‘bowing’ if it does not lie flat the wheels will toe in and not steer.
Reinstall the wheels and reassemble. You do not need to ‘pad’ the lower “A” arms as the weight of the car will hold the wheel axles against the upper “A” arms and the pins are long enough so that they will not come out of the lower arms.
It took me longer to write this than it did to do the job. It is really quite easy but even though you can put it back to ‘stock’ ride height if you choose the car itself will never be ‘stock’ again.
@gavin I love all those period Ferraris starting with the 330P4. They are such beautiful examples of automotive sculpture.