Saturday, 24 June 2017
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The Mille Miglia 335S

A bit of history

 

For the 1957 Mille Miglia, the factory sent four cars, two 315S (3.8L) for Taruffi (#684) and von Trips (#0674) and two 335S (4.1L) for de Portago-Nelson (#0646) and Collins-Klementaski (#0700). 0646 started at Buenos Ayres as a 290S (3.5L engine) with Castelloti, Musso and Trintignant and did not finish. At Sebring, in the 315S form, powered by the 3.8L engine, Musso ans de Portago finished 7th. Unfortunately the story of this car, then in the 335S trim (4.1L engine) ended at the Mille Miglia with a dramatic accident killing both the driver and co-pilot, but also several spectators in the final stages of the race. This accident meant the end of the mythic Mille Miglia.

Portago was third in Rome after Collins had been forced to retire while leading. But about 45 km from the finish, disaster struck, between Mantova and Brescia, in a large and very quick bend, the left front type of 0646 blew off and Portago could not keep it on the road and the car crashed after several rolls. In July 1961, four years after the crash, an Italian court took off the blame from the factory and Englebert, the tyre manufacturer, stating that the tyre had been damaged by the "occi di gatto", cat's eyes that were common on all the Italian road by then, after that, all cat's eyes were taken off those roads.

 

 

The 1/8 scale model

 

The de Portago 335S (#0646) is a 1/8th scale curbside model similar in its conception to the von Trips 1957 Mille Miglia 315S (#0674) or the same car driven by the Collins-Trintignant 1957 Sebring but with enough differences in shape and details to require a new master and new moulds. The front area of 0646 is smaller and presents two circular air intakes for the cooling of the brakes (0674 had the mouth including those air intakes), the bulge on the bonnet, the single scoop between the bonnet and the left front wing (two on 0674), the smaller bonnet with two small bulges on either side of the main one, the windscreen, the side openings on the body, different treatment of the cockpit to lodge Ed Nelson make those two models quite different.

It takes about 150 hours to complete the building of this model, it means that production will inevitably be slow and very limited.

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