by Vadim Stepanov, Formula143.org
Photos (c): IXO models, The reds model cars
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.||Car||Driver||Year||Race||Model by|
|LSF01||Ferrari 500 F2||Ascari||1952||French GP||Quartzo|
|LSF02||Ferrari 312T||Lauda||1975||Monaco GP||Quartzo|
|LSF03||Ferrari 156||Bandini||1962||Monaco GP||Quartzo|
|LSF04||Ferrari 641||Prost||1990||British GP||Onyx|
|LSF05||Ferrari 312T||Regazzoni||1976||USA GP||Quartzo|
|LSF06||Ferrari 375||Gonzalez||1951||British GP||Quartzo|
|LSF07||Ferrari 625||Gonzalez||1954||British GP||Quartzo|
|LSF08||Ferrari F93A||Alesi||1993||Italian GP||Onyx|
|LSF09||Ferrari 500 F2||Ascari||1953||British GP||Quartzo|
|LSF10||Ferrari 156||Hill||1961||Italian GP||Quartzo|
|LSF11||Ferrari 312T2||Lauda||1977||German GP||Quartzo|
|LSF12||Ferrari F1-89||Mansell||1989||Brazilian GP||Onyx|
|LSF13||Ferrari 625||Trintignant||1955||Monaco GP||Quartzo|
|LSF14||Ferrari 312T3||Reutemann||1978||USA GP||Quartzo|
|LSF15||Ferrari 642||Alesi||1991||Monaco GP|
|LSF16||Ferrari 412T1B||Berger||1994||German GP|
|LSF17||Ferrari 156||Surtees||1964||German GP|
|LSF18||Ferrari F1-88C||Berger||1988||Italian GP|
|LSF19||Ferrari F 92A||Capelli||1992||Brazilian GP|
|LSF20||Ferrari 312||Ickx||1968||Austrian GP|
|LSF21||Ferrari 412T2||Alesi||1995||Canadian GP|
|LSF22||Ferrari 312||Rodriguez||1969||Italian GP|
|LSF23||Ferrari F1-86||Johansson||1986||Italian GP|
|LSF24||Ferrari 312T4||Scheckter||1979||Italian GP|
|LSF25||Ferrari 312||Scarfiotti||1966||Italian GP|
|LSF26||Ferrari 246||Hawthorn||1958||German GP|
|LSF27||Ferrari 312||Amon||1967||Monaco GP|
|LSF28||Ferrari 312T5||Villeneuve||1980||Canadian GP|
|LSF29||Ferrari 156-85||Alboreto||1985||German GP|
|LSF30||Ferrari 126CK||Villeneuve||1981||Monaco GP|
|LSF31||Ferrari F1-87||Berger||1987||Japanese GP|
|LSF32||Ferrari D50||Fangio||1956||German GP|
|LSF33||Ferrari 246||Brooks||1959||German GP|
|LSF34||Ferrari 158||Surtees||1964||Italian GP|
|LSF35||Ferrari 246||Von Trips||1960||Portugal GP|
|LSF36||Ferrari D50||Musso||1957||French GP|
|LSF37||Ferrari 312B||Ickx||1970||Austrian GP|
|LSF38||Ferrari 126C2||Pironi||1982||San Marino GP|
|LSF39||Ferrari 312||Rodriguez||1965||USA GP|
|LSF40||Ferrari 312B2||Andretti||1971||South African GP|
|LSF41||Ferrari 126C3||Tambay||1983||San Marino GP|
|LSF42||Ferrari 312B2||Ickx||1972||German GP|
|LSF43||Ferrari 312B3||Merzario||1973||French GP|
|LSF44||Ferrari 312B3||Regazzoni||1974||German GP|
|LSF45||Ferrari 126C4||Arnoux||1984||USA GP|
Packaging and Booklet
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.||Car||Driver||Year||Race||Model by|
|HW50215||Ferrari Dino 246||Hawthorn||1958||French GP||Quartzo|
|HW50216||Ferrari 312||Scarfiotti||1966||Italian GP||Quartzo|
|HW50217||Ferrari 312B2||Ickx||1972||German GP||Quartzo|
|HW50218||Ferrrai 126C2||Arnoux||1982||San Marino GP||Onyx|
|HW55572||Ferrari F1-2000||Schumacher||2000||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. No||Car – Race||Driver|
|SF01/56||Ferrari D50 – German GP 1956||#10 – Juan Manuel Fangio (World Champion)|
|SF02/00||Ferrari F1 2000 – USA GP 2000||#3 – Michael Schumacher (World Champion)|
|SF03/63||Ferrari 156 F1 – German GP 1963||#7 – John Surtees|
|SF04/75||Ferrari 312T – Monaco GP 1975||#12 – Niki Lauda (World Champion)|
|SF05/49||Ferrari 125 F1 – Italian GP 1949||#8 – Alberto Ascari|
|SF06/90||Ferrari 641/F1 90 – French GP 1990||#1 – Alain Prost|
|SF07/71||Ferrari 312B2 – German GP 1971||#5 – Mario Andretti|
|SF08/83||Ferrari 126C3 – German GP 1983||#28 – Rene Arnoux|
|SF09/59||Ferrari 246 F1 Monaco GP 1959||#50 – Tony Brooks|
|SF10/96||Ferrari F310 – Spanish GP 1996||#1 – Michael Schumacher|
|SF11/52||Ferrari 500 F2 – German GP 1952||#102 – Alberto Ascari (World Champion)|
|SF12/87||Ferrari F1 87 – Japanese GP 1987||#28 – Gerhard Berger|
|SF13/68||Ferrari 312 F1 – French GP 1968||#26 – Jacky Ickx|
|SF14/03||Ferrari F2003 – 2003||#1 – Michael Schumacher (World Champion)|
|SF15/64||Ferrari 158 F1 – Italian GP 1964||#2 – John Surtees (World Champion)|
|SF16/79||Ferrari 312T4 – Monaco GP 1979||#11 – Jody Scheckter (World Champion)|
|SF17/74||Ferrari 312B3/74 – German GP 1974||#11 – Clay Regazzoni|
|SF18/92||Ferrari F92A – French GP 1992||#27 – Jean Alesi|
|SF19/77||Ferrari 312T2 – German GP 1977||#11 – Niki Lauda (World Champion)|
|SF20/02||Ferrari F2002 – German GP 2002||#2 – Rubens Barrichello|
|SF21/67||Ferrari 312 F1 – British GP 1967||#8 – Chris Amon|
|SF22/94||Ferrari 412T1B – German GP 1994||#28 – Gerhard Berger|
|SF23/54||Ferrari 553 F1 Supersqualo – Spain 1954||#38 – Mike Hawthorn|
|SF24/85||Ferrari 156/85 – Brazilian GP 1985||#28 – R Arnoux|
|SF25/61||Ferrari 156 F1 – Italian GP 1961||#2 – Phil Hill (World Champion)|
|SF26/98||Ferrari F300 – British GP 1998||#3 – Michael Schumacher|
|SF27/70||Ferrari 312B – Canadian GP 1970||#3 – Jacky Ickx|
|SF28/81||Ferrari 126C – Monaco GP 1981||#27 – Gilles Villeneuve|
|SF29/51||Ferrari 375 F1 – German GP 1951||#71 – Alberto Ascari|
|SF30/89||Ferrari 640/ F1 89C – Portugal GP 1989||#28 – Gerhard Berger|
|SF31/57||Ferrari 801 – German GP 1957||#8 – Mike Hawthorn|
|SF32/78||Ferrari 312T3 – British GP 1978||#11 – Carlos Reutemann|
|SF33/48||Ferrari 125 F1 – Italian GP 1948||#28 – Raymond Sommer|
|SF34/95||Ferrari 412T2 – Canadian GP 1995||#27 – Jean Alesi|
|SF35/72||Ferrari 312B2 – German GP 1972||#4 – Jacky Ickx|
|SF36/01||Ferrari F2001 – French GP 2001||#1 – Michael Schumacher (World Champion)|
|SF37/60||Ferrari 256 F1 – Argentine GP 1960||#30 – Wolfgang Von Trips|
|SF38/82||Ferrari 126C2 – Dutch GP 1982||#28 – Didier Pironi|
|SF39/55||Ferrari 625 – Monaco GP 1955||#44 – Maurice Trintignant|
|SF40/99||Ferrari F399 – German GP 1999||#4 – Eddie Irvine|
|SF41/76||Ferrari 312T2 – USA GP 1976||#2 – Clay Regazzoni|
|SF42/88||Ferrari F1 88C – Italian GP 1988||#27 – Michele Alboreto|
|SF43/65||Ferrari 512 F1 – Monaco GP 1965||#17 – Lorenzo Bandini|
|SF44/84||Ferrari 126C4 – Belgian GP 1984||#27 – Michele Alboreto|
|SF45/69||Ferrari 312 F1 – Dutch GP 1969||#8 – Chris Amon|
|SF46/91||Ferrari 642 – Spanish GP 1991||#27 – Alain Prost|
|SF47/53||Ferrari 500 F2 – British GP 1953||#5 – Alberto Ascari (World Champion)|
|SF48/80||Ferrari 312T5 – French GP 1980||#2 – Gilles Villeneuve|
|SF49/58||Ferrari 246 F1 – French GP 1958||#4 – Mike Hawthorn (World Champion)|
|SF50/86||Ferrari F1 86 – Austrian GP 1986||#27 – Michele Alboreto|
|SF51/50||Ferrari 340 F1 – Geneva GP 1950||#40 – Alberto Ascari|
|SF52/93||Ferrari F93A – Monaco GP 1993||#27 – Jean Alesi|
|SF53/66||Ferrari 312 F1 – Italian GP 1966||#6 – Ludovico Scarfioti|
|SF54/73||Ferrari 312B3 – Austrian GP 1973||#4 – Arturo Merzario|
|SF55/62||Ferrari 156 F1 – GP TBA 1962||#TBA – Lorenzo Bandini|
|SF56/97||Ferrari F310B – Japanese GP 1997||#6 – Michael Schumacher|
Advertising of the new IXO La Storia by Trax Motorsport Marketing
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.
There seems to confusion with this model number Sf29/51 Froilan Gonzales British GP1951 . I see it on your list Alberto Ascari German GP which is the right one
Bill, according to all available sources the SF29/51 is car #71, Ascari German GP 1951.
Nice article, however I have to complain regarding your used pictures. You used my overview and packaging pictures without any request and approval. The copyright logo of my page has been removed too.
I would like you to delete the pictures or add the logo again and mention source “the reds model cars”.
Looking forward to your reply.
many thanks for your comment. I apologize for the unauthorised use of your photos. Some photos in the article were downloaded from some scale model forum as is. Now I can not find the source. Also I can not find source by your name or by “the reds model cars”, except facebook, to which I have no access now. Could you please indicate which photos are yours, and I will remove them. I also will be happy to add the logo and mention the source. If this is OK, could you please send the photos with copyright to formula143org at gmail.com? I will temporarly delete the atricle from public visibility in few hours, hoping that you will be able to see my reply before.
Thanks for your reply. Please keep as it is for time being and when back home I’ll supply the complete versions with logo.