formula143

Grand Prix History in Scale Models

The Story of La Storia

La Storia is a famous premium series of Ferrari Grand Prix car models which was launched three times but every time was stopped prematurely. Why the series was so unsuccessful and what is the history of its creation and decline?

The attempts to reproduce the whole history of  Ferrari Grand Prix cars in high quality scale replicas were made reputedly starting from  1990s. At least three various manufactures launched the official Ferrari F1 collections called La Storia in order to represent each model of Grand Prix Ferrari from the beginning of Maranello’s make till modern times.  But every time something went wrong and collections were discontinued earlier than planned.

Vitesse. La Storia Number One

The first La Storia series was started by Portuguese diecast manufacturer Vitesse Group at the end of 1990s. Vitesse used the models of its brand Quartzo for Ferraris of 50s – 80s, and models of other Portuguese related brand Onyx for cars of 90s. The plans were ambitious – it was supposed to release 45 models covering the period from 1951 to 1995. The main focus was on the premium status of the collection, underlined by the original luxury packaging. The models were packed in a stylish black drop-down box, enclosed in a red cardboard case with the Ferrari logo. The collection itself also had the original logo and, of course, the status of the official Ferrari collection. Each model was accompanied by a small booklet on the history of the car and the driver. But the models themselves were ordinary diecasts  of Quartzo and Onyx of rather good, but far from premium quality. For example, the detailing of the pilot figure and the decals of the helmet were significantly worse than on the contemporary Minichamps models.

In total, in the first attempt of La Storia, 14 issues of the planned 45 were released in 1998-1999. Eleven of them were based on the Quartzo models and 3 on Onyx.

List of planned releases of La Storia from Vitesse Group. First 14 were issued

Cat. No.CarDriverYearRaceModel by
LSF01 Ferrari 500 F2 Ascari1952French GPQuartzo
LSF02 Ferrari 312TLauda1975Monaco GPQuartzo
LSF03 Ferrari 156Bandini1962Monaco GPQuartzo
LSF04 Ferrari 641Prost1990British GPOnyx
LSF05 Ferrari 312TRegazzoni1976USA GPQuartzo
LSF06 Ferrari 375Gonzalez1951British GPQuartzo
LSF07 Ferrari 625Gonzalez1954British GPQuartzo
LSF08 Ferrari F93AAlesi1993Italian GPOnyx
LSF09 Ferrari 500 F2Ascari1953British GPQuartzo
LSF10 Ferrari 156Hill1961Italian GPQuartzo
LSF11 Ferrari 312T2Lauda1977German GPQuartzo
LSF12 Ferrari F1-89Mansell1989Brazilian GPOnyx
LSF13 Ferrari 625Trintignant1955Monaco GPQuartzo
LSF14 Ferrari 312T3Reutemann1978 USA GPQuartzo
LSF15 Ferrari 642Alesi1991Monaco GP 
LSF16 Ferrari 412T1BBerger1994German GP 
LSF17 Ferrari 156Surtees1964German GP 
LSF18 Ferrari F1-88CBerger1988Italian GP 
LSF19 Ferrari F 92ACapelli1992Brazilian GP 
LSF20 Ferrari 312Ickx1968Austrian GP 
LSF21 Ferrari 412T2Alesi1995Canadian GP 
LSF22 Ferrari 312Rodriguez1969Italian GP 
LSF23 Ferrari F1-86Johansson1986Italian GP 
LSF24 Ferrari 312T4Scheckter1979Italian GP 
LSF25 Ferrari 312Scarfiotti1966Italian GP 
LSF26 Ferrari 246Hawthorn1958German GP 
LSF27 Ferrari 312Amon1967Monaco GP 
LSF28 Ferrari 312T5Villeneuve1980Canadian GP 
LSF29 Ferrari 156-85Alboreto1985German GP 
LSF30 Ferrari 126CKVilleneuve1981Monaco GP 
LSF31 Ferrari F1-87Berger1987Japanese GP 
LSF32 Ferrari D50Fangio1956German GP 
LSF33 Ferrari 246Brooks1959German GP 
LSF34 Ferrari 158Surtees1964Italian GP 
LSF35 Ferrari 246Von Trips1960Portugal GP 
LSF36 Ferrari D50Musso1957French GP 
LSF37 Ferrari 312BIckx1970Austrian GP 
LSF38 Ferrari 126C2Pironi1982San Marino GP 
LSF39 Ferrari 312Rodriguez1965USA GP 
LSF40 Ferrari 312B2Andretti1971South African GP 
LSF41 Ferrari 126C3Tambay1983San Marino GP 
LSF42 Ferrari 312B2Ickx1972German GP 
LSF43 Ferrari 312B3Merzario1973French GP 
LSF44 Ferrari 312B3Regazzoni1974German GP 
LSF45 Ferrari 126C4Arnoux1984USA GP 

Packaging and Booklet

Outer case

LSF01. Ferrari 500, Alberto Ascari 1952

In 2000 Vitesse La Storia collection was discontinued. The major reason was that Ferrari has granted the exclusive license to produce Ferrari scale models to Mattel, American toy manufacturer who launched production of the Reds under Hot Wheels brand. The license came into force from December 1999 and, looking ahead, operated until the end of 2014.

Mattel. La Storia Number Two

Granted by exclusive license from Ferrari, at the beginning Mattel was quite enthusiastic in continuing La Storia. Despite exact plan of the series was never published, during 2001 five La Storia models were released by Mattel, including 4 models inherited from Vitesse and new Hot Wheels production – Michael Schumacher’s F1-2000. All the models were branded as Hot Wheels. Vitesse,  Quartzo or Onyx weren’t mentioned on the models, boxes and outer cases. Mattel retained the format of the packaging, but slightly changed the logo. The list of La Storia issued by Mattel in 2001:

Cat. No.CarDriverYearRaceModel by
HW50215Ferrari Dino 246Hawthorn1958French GPQuartzo
HW50216Ferrari 312Scarfiotti1966Italian GPQuartzo
HW50217Ferrari 312B2Ickx1972German GPQuartzo
HW50218Ferrrai 126C2Arnoux1982San Marino GPOnyx
HW55572Ferrari F1-2000Schumacher2000 Hot Wheels

Actually HW55572 F1-2000 initially planned to be included in La Storia was released in similar packaging but with Campioni del Mondo 2000 title. Exact reasons why Mattel series was interrupted so quickly is not known to me. Most likely that Mattel and Vitesse did not agreed in the continuation of the collection. After all, Mattel has the rights to produce only models of  contemporary cars under Ferrari license, while only Vitesse and Brumm produced historical Ferrari Grand Prix vehicles in an industrial scale. By this time, Quartzo and Onyx ceased to exist, and, probably, Vitesse did not find enough interest in extending the production of their models for Hot Wheels.

Packaging and booklet

HW50215 Ferrari Dino 246 Hawthorn

HW50217 Ferrari 312B2 Ickx

HW55572 Ferrari F1-2000 Schumacher

Five models from Vitesse La Storia and 126C2 Arnoux from Hot Wheels variant (far left). Both series used the same packaging and similar logos

IXO / Hot Wheels. La Storia Number Three

Third reincarnation of La Storia was the most long-lived and most successful one. This time Macau-based PCT company with its IXO brand came to the fore.

After a great deal of time and negotiation with Ferrari, IXO was granted with the right to produce the officially licensed collection of Grand Prix Ferraris in 1/43 scale starting from 2006. It is worth to note that at this time (namely, from 1999 to 2014) exclusive license for manufacturing of Ferrari scale models belong to Mattel, owner of Hot Wheels brand. It was the reason why models were co-branded as IXO and Hot Wheels and the collection was released by these two brands, albeit in a slightly different format.

Initial plan was to issue 56 different Ferrari Grand Prix and F1 models representing each year from 1948 to 2003. The collection was started earlier – in 2004, but the ambitious plan was realized only partially – only 31 models were released.

As it was noted in announcement of the collection published by IXO dealers, the level of quality of IXO’s La Storia is extremely high. Company produced each model from brand new tooling, and manufacturing process included extensive use of photo etching, micro-moulding techniques, detailed interior, realistic suspension and hand finished decoration. Models were accompanied by small booklet which illustrated the history of the car. Models in IXO collection were without driver figures, while Hot Wheels counterparts were fitted with the pilot. In addition, the same models sometimes were assigned to different drivers in  two versions of La Storia.

Another difference between IXO and Hot Wheels collections was in presentation packaging. Both used Ferrari branded exclusive luxury packaging. Each model of IXO collection was packed into red book-shaped metal box with an outer cardboard case with Ferrari logo. IXO used the logo of La Storia similar to those by Vitesse used in first edition of the series. Hot Wheels used the same logo and stylish black boxed-down packaging in a cardboard box in red-black colors as in Mattel short series.

List of planned and released (first 31) issues of IXO / Hot Wheels collection:

Cat. NoCar – RaceDriver
SF01/56Ferrari D50 – German GP 1956#10 – Juan Manuel Fangio (World Champion)
SF02/00Ferrari F1 2000 – USA GP 2000#3 – Michael Schumacher (World Champion)
SF03/63Ferrari 156 F1 – German GP 1963#7 – John Surtees
SF04/75Ferrari 312T – Monaco GP 1975#12 – Niki Lauda (World Champion)
SF05/49Ferrari 125 F1 – Italian GP 1949#8 – Alberto Ascari
SF06/90Ferrari 641/F1 90 – French GP 1990#1 – Alain Prost
SF07/71Ferrari 312B2 – German GP 1971#5 – Mario Andretti
SF08/83Ferrari 126C3 – German GP 1983#28 – Rene Arnoux
SF09/59Ferrari 246 F1 Monaco GP 1959#50 – Tony Brooks
SF10/96Ferrari F310 – Spanish GP 1996#1 – Michael Schumacher
SF11/52Ferrari 500 F2 – German GP 1952#102 – Alberto Ascari (World Champion)
SF12/87Ferrari F1 87 – Japanese GP 1987#28 – Gerhard Berger
SF13/68Ferrari 312 F1 – French GP 1968#26 – Jacky Ickx
SF14/03Ferrari F2003 – 2003#1 – Michael Schumacher (World Champion)
SF15/64Ferrari 158 F1 – Italian GP 1964#2 – John Surtees (World Champion)
SF16/79Ferrari 312T4 – Monaco GP 1979#11 – Jody Scheckter (World Champion)
SF17/74Ferrari 312B3/74 – German GP 1974#11 – Clay Regazzoni
SF18/92Ferrari F92A – French GP 1992#27 – Jean Alesi
SF19/77Ferrari 312T2 – German GP 1977#11 – Niki Lauda (World Champion)
SF20/02Ferrari F2002 – German GP 2002#2 – Rubens Barrichello
SF21/67Ferrari 312 F1 – British GP 1967#8 – Chris Amon
SF22/94Ferrari 412T1B – German GP 1994#28 – Gerhard Berger
SF23/54Ferrari 553 F1 Supersqualo – Spain 1954#38 – Mike Hawthorn
SF24/85Ferrari 156/85 – Brazilian GP 1985#28 – R Arnoux
SF25/61Ferrari 156 F1 – Italian GP 1961#2 – Phil Hill (World Champion)
SF26/98Ferrari F300 – British GP 1998#3 – Michael Schumacher
SF27/70Ferrari 312B – Canadian GP 1970#3 – Jacky Ickx
SF28/81Ferrari 126C – Monaco GP 1981#27 – Gilles Villeneuve
SF29/51Ferrari 375 F1 – German GP 1951#71 – Alberto Ascari
SF30/89Ferrari 640/ F1 89C – Portugal GP 1989#28 – Gerhard Berger
SF31/57Ferrari 801 – German GP 1957#8 – Mike Hawthorn
SF32/78Ferrari 312T3 – British GP 1978#11 – Carlos Reutemann
SF33/48Ferrari 125 F1 – Italian GP 1948#28 – Raymond Sommer
SF34/95Ferrari 412T2 – Canadian GP 1995#27 – Jean Alesi
SF35/72Ferrari 312B2 – German GP 1972#4 – Jacky Ickx
SF36/01Ferrari F2001 – French GP 2001#1 – Michael Schumacher (World Champion)
SF37/60Ferrari 256 F1 – Argentine GP 1960#30 – Wolfgang Von Trips
SF38/82Ferrari 126C2 – Dutch GP 1982#28 – Didier Pironi
SF39/55Ferrari 625 – Monaco GP 1955#44 – Maurice Trintignant
SF40/99Ferrari F399 – German GP 1999#4 – Eddie Irvine
SF41/76Ferrari 312T2 – USA GP 1976#2 – Clay Regazzoni
SF42/88Ferrari F1 88C – Italian GP 1988#27 – Michele Alboreto
SF43/65Ferrari 512 F1 – Monaco GP 1965#17 – Lorenzo Bandini
SF44/84Ferrari 126C4 – Belgian GP 1984#27 – Michele Alboreto
SF45/69Ferrari 312 F1 – Dutch GP 1969#8 – Chris Amon
SF46/91Ferrari 642 – Spanish GP 1991#27 – Alain Prost
SF47/53Ferrari 500 F2 – British GP 1953#5 – Alberto Ascari (World Champion)
SF48/80Ferrari 312T5 – French GP 1980#2 – Gilles Villeneuve
SF49/58Ferrari 246 F1 – French GP 1958#4 – Mike Hawthorn (World Champion)
SF50/86Ferrari F1 86 – Austrian GP 1986#27 – Michele Alboreto
SF51/50Ferrari 340 F1 – Geneva GP 1950#40 – Alberto Ascari
SF52/93Ferrari F93A – Monaco GP 1993#27 – Jean Alesi
SF53/66Ferrari 312 F1 – Italian GP 1966#6 – Ludovico Scarfioti
SF54/73Ferrari 312B3 – Austrian GP 1973#4 – Arturo Merzario
SF55/62Ferrari 156 F1 – GP TBA 1962#TBA – Lorenzo Bandini
SF56/97Ferrari F310B – Japanese GP 1997#6 – Michael Schumacher

Advertising of the new IXO La Storia by Trax Motorsport Marketing

Packaging

Ferrari 312B2, 1971, Andretti
Ferrari 158F1, 1964, Surtees

Ferrari 553, 1954, Hawthorn

31 models issued by IXO. Photo (c) IXO models

Why the series was discontinued this time, even though it turned out to be the longest? One of the main reasons was economic. The series’ models were expensive for 1/43 segment. For example, British stores took pre-orders for each La Storia model at around £ 50. Despite the fact that the models were high-quality, the substantial part of price was paid by the buyers for the premium status and expensive and bulky packaging.  For comparison, the F1 models from other manufacturers of similar quality but in simpler ordinary packaging were two-three times cheaper. According to dealers’ reports, the series was clearly not a bestseller.

Life after Death. Ferrari F1 Collection

Despite IXO La Storia collection was discontinued earlier than scheduled, all the planned models were designed.  And the efforts of the company, which is known for its models in the magazine series, were not wasted. When in 2009 Fabbri Publishers agreed with Ferrari on the release of a collection of Ferrari Formula 1 cars in the kiosk series format, the IXO models became the basis of the series. In the first edition of the Ferrari F1 collection released in 2009-2010 there were 71 cars, and in the second edition of 2013-2014 – as many as 79 (for details on Ferrari F1 Collection see the corresponding section of the site). With the release of the collection, Ferrari models have appeared in the mass segment at the prices of ordinary magazine series (10-15 euros) but with the quality of the premium collection inherited from La Storia. Some of the IXO’s Ferraris designed initially for La Storia, as well as some new ones, were also included in Formula 1 Auto Collection published by Fabbri-Centauria in 2016-2020.

So the story of La Storia was one of the most dramatic in the world of F1 scale models. But everything is to the better. And now a significant part of all that set of 1/43 Grand Prix Ferraris, displayed on the shelves of collectors, is a legacy of this series.

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