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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hot Wheels Ferrari 250 California and Dino 246 GTS Spider



You've seen me review the Dino before and how I fabulously praised the casting for it's gorgeous curves and attention to detail.  Now I have a second one in black, but the new one that I haven't reviewed yet is the 250 California spider.



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Bueller...Bueller...

Ferrari's first successful road car was the 250 line from the 1950's to the 1960's.  It was simple: A Columbo V-12 SOHC motor making 237 hp in California trim, a 4-speed manual to the rear wheels with live axle and leaf springs, while the front has upper and lower control arms.  Two different lengths were offered; the California shown here is the short-wheelbase model introduced in 1959 made through 1961 with 55 built.  The body is gorgeous with the long hood/short deck look, round headlight behind clear covers, foglights in the grille with the prancing horse logo, hood scoop, side vents, and vertical taillights at the rear with quad exhaust tips.  The interior is clean and simple with a luxurious layout for two, a smooth console with leather-wrapped shifter and parking brake handle, and a dashboard layout with nothing but gauges and a large 3-spoke wheel with handgrip made of wood.  This car is so sought-after that the record price for one sold in an auction in 2008 was a 250 owned by James Coburn was sold at 5.5 Million Euro dollars!  Also a replica based on a MG chassis was used for the 1986 movie 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' (and it's a good thing it was a replica with the amount of abuse it's gone through).



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The fabulous California, and why the Dino still bests it!

Introduced for the 1986 movie in the Retro Entertainment line last year, the 250 California look sharp in the red paint with tan interior, detailed trim and lights, and a metal base below resting in 8-dot wheels on rubber tires, but upon a closer inspection reveals a disappointing lack of attention to detail.  The front has the correct hood scoop, Ferrari badge, silver bumper, signal lights, and black grille, but the headlights are just decals and are so poorly placed that most of them have that cross-eyed look to them.  Worse, the foglights do not show enough out of the black grille; I remedied it by using a silver Sharpie to make the foglights pop out, and boy what a difference does it make on this casting!  The sides have the proper detailing with the side scoops, as does the rear with the taillights, bumper, FERRARI logo, but the exhaust tips are a bit small and don't really pop out like the actual car, or the Dino 246 next to it!  The interior has the proper setup, but the dashboard lacks sharper detailing and the steering wheel is small and pushed too far forward.  The base has the usual details, but at least its in metal.



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Now compare that to the Dino 246 GTS, in black with tan interior and, since the 8-dot was not used in this variation's introduction, 5-spoke wheels were used that seem a bit too large but do the job.  The details include the same silver bumpers, headlights, taillights, and Dino badges, but without the detailed driver's mirror, wipers, and rear exhaust of the Retro Entertainment version in red.  Nevertheless it hast the look and curves that the 250 California lacks.  As does the interior with the nicely-done dashboard and 3-spoke steering wheel that is nice and large.  Oh, and the black paint hides the window-less rear targa panel.  The base underneath gets the same color treatment as the exterior paint, also in metal.  This version was from the 2011 Garage series and it goes nice alongside the red Retro Entertainment version.  The only odd part was the headlights that seem flat compared to the Retro's rounded appearance.  Still, both of these are nice Ferrari's that no one else has made by far and look nice in any collection; you just need to do a little more additional detailing to get the 250 California to match the Dino 246's luster.


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