My model car is faster than your model car.
October 17, 2009 3:29 AM   Subscribe

What do you do if you like the sound of a Ferrari, but you can't afford to buy one? Pierre Scerri of Avignon, France loved the sound of the Ferrari 312PB, but he couldn't afford to purchase one. Pierre did what all of us would do, he started to build it, from scratch, from raw materials... Fifteen years and 20,000 hours later, he had this. If I was short, really, really short, I would want this car!
posted by HuronBob (35 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:55 AM on October 17, 2009


I note with dismay that Clarkson didn't complain that the tiny Ferrari engine fails to prove MOAR POWAR!
posted by 1adam12 at 3:59 AM on October 17, 2009


Err, produce. Need moar coffee.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:00 AM on October 17, 2009


I think flapjax summed this up pretty good. Wow. Just...wow.

He...wha...seriously? I am so impressed right now that is HURTS.

wow.
posted by Stunt at 4:13 AM on October 17, 2009


That's astonishing. Putting him on my list as a man to never piss off.
posted by empyrean at 4:21 AM on October 17, 2009


So Ferrari, so good.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 4:21 AM on October 17, 2009


Couldn't he have, in about the same number of hours and for the same money, have made himself a full-sized one? You know, that he could actually drive around? Because hand-building 1/3 scale sparkplugs is kind of fascinating, but also seriously nutty when you could do it full-sized and have something you could actually use.
posted by Forktine at 5:01 AM on October 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


That probably would have cost him a little more than $20,000 or so that the small one cost him.
posted by Atreides at 5:06 AM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe, but he could also buy some parts off the rack, rather than hand-fabricating everything. There's a cost either way. I guess what I'm really saying is that if I were going to put in that kind of time and money, I sure as hell would choose something I could actually drive, not just look at. Different strokes, different folks, all of that.
posted by Forktine at 5:18 AM on October 17, 2009


I find it amazing that a man whose capabilities are surely one in a million, apparently does not possess what it takes to become a rich man, a goal thousands of fucknuts on Wall St. accomplish in spite of themselves.
posted by digsrus at 5:25 AM on October 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


Maybe, but he could also buy some parts off the rack, rather than hand-fabricating everything.

I don't think you understand.
posted by erniepan at 5:25 AM on October 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


The really impressive thing was that Clarkson managed to interview a French person without making inane jokes about the French.
posted by mattoxic at 5:31 AM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Couldn't he have, in about the same number of hours and for the same money, have made himself a full-sized one?

Casting the full-size engine block alone would have probably broken him, and then there's all the other big parts that have to be precision-made to extremely fine tolerances. It looks like the small block was machined out of a chunk of alloy with a Sherline, or something. I'm not in the least bit envious of his car, but I'm incredibly envious of his dedication, skill, and workshop.
posted by Ritchie at 6:13 AM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


mattoxic - The really impressive thing was that Clarkson managed to interview a French person without making inane jokes about the French.

He was too busy giggling like a schoolgirl and I bet there were tears of joy in his eyes. Can't say I blame him.
posted by vanar sena at 6:23 AM on October 17, 2009


If he hand-made the casts, couldn't he just build, like, a hundred more of these and sell them, then go buy the real thing with the profit?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:38 AM on October 17, 2009


Could this guy drive it?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:51 AM on October 17, 2009


What is it with the French and building awesome stuff lately? This is a fantastic trend.
posted by oddman at 7:27 AM on October 17, 2009


Not a flat 12, but a V-8, made out of paper! (Youtube, though the AVIs on his site are far better).
posted by geoff. at 8:09 AM on October 17, 2009


"Mr Magar, who enjoys karate ... "

Meh ... I could take him.

Probably.
posted by RavinDave at 8:13 AM on October 17, 2009


Astounding.
posted by luckypozzo at 8:35 AM on October 17, 2009


I don't care about cars, really, but I love this! Fantastic crazy dreamer pours 20,000 hours into a model! And why? So he can hear the sound of a Ferrari in his living room. Beautiful.
posted by bepe at 8:51 AM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


If there's a Nobel Prize for modeling, this guy should get one.
posted by Skygazer at 8:55 AM on October 17, 2009


I can't comprehend that level of talent. I really admire people capable of stuff like this.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 9:24 AM on October 17, 2009


The perfect car for someone experiencing a 1/3 scale midlife crisis.
posted by eightohtwoeleven at 9:36 AM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's astonishing. Putting him on my list as a man to never piss off.

Why? Say that you drove him into a killing rage. What would he do? Go home and start making exquisitely detailed drawings of him murdering you in his murder machine. After three years, when the scenario was fully realized on paper, he would start designing the molds for the blades of the miniature knives he's plunging through your eye...
posted by fatbird at 9:44 AM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


This made me dig through the archives.... there are other folks doing this kind of thing, all of whom have about ten orders of magnitude more skill, time, patience, and stick-to-it-iveness than I could ever dream of having. Here's another one- a 1/5 scale, incredibly detailed, Spitfire.

The Spitfire
posted by drhydro at 9:47 AM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sometime around 2004 a Ferrari 312PB garnered a top bid of $1.6 million. I guess the model was a little cheaper. Not much.. I can't help thinking this is most interesting as a study in economics.

It is an awesome model too though.
posted by Chuckles at 10:28 AM on October 17, 2009


The really impressive thing was that Clarkson managed to interview a French person without making inane jokes about the French.

Indeed. I kept waiting for the snide humour.
posted by rodgerd at 12:32 PM on October 17, 2009


If he hand-made the casts, couldn't he just build, like, a hundred more of these and sell them, then go buy the real thing with the profit?

I find it amazing that a man whose capabilities are surely one in a million, apparently does not possess what it takes to become a rich man, a goal thousands of fucknuts on Wall St. accomplish in spite of themselves.

As much as we want to believe otherwise. Becoming rich is as much a function of chance as anything. Skill, dedication, drive, imagination, intelligence, vision... These things are not catalysts of wealth, and they should not be viewed as such.

Remove money from the equation, and what greater pleasure could there be than total dedication to your own greatest and most personal desire? I can think of none. To possess the skill, dedication, drive, imagination, intelligence, vision to make that desire reality? That is a far greater reward than "being rich"

What this guy has can not be bought or sold. The idea that it can be or should be, is why those fucknuts on Wall St. manage to consistently, and without remorse, steal every bit of wealth that the rest of us generate.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:57 PM on October 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm amazed at the tiny, tiny engine parts and how precisely they must be assembled. I can't imagine how he does it. There are always regions on a full size engine that are hard to get your wrench into. How do you do it on a 1/3rd scale engine?
posted by chrchr at 1:11 PM on October 17, 2009


If he hand-made the casts, couldn't he just build, like, a hundred more of these and sell them, then go buy the real thing with the profit?

Making a model for oneself is one thing; selling many copies is another. At least, he'd have to get a licence from Ferrarri, so they'd get veto on him selling it. They might decide it's a wonderful thing and support him, or they might decide they don't want him in that market, and quash him, at which point all his investment in the business proposition.

I would think, as a PR move, it would be worthwhile for Ferrarri to give him one, or buy the model off him, thus capitalizing on the free publicity he earned.
posted by fatbird at 1:47 PM on October 17, 2009


There are always regions on a full size engine that are hard to get your wrench into. How do you do it on a 1/3rd scale engine?

With a 1/3rd scale wrench?
posted by axiom at 2:09 PM on October 17, 2009


Scerri is actually demonstrating his model Mercedes in this video. You can tell because the image of the model Ferrari has been spliced in above that of the Mercedes. The sound is similar to the Ferrari only because the model Mercedes has a busted muffler.
posted by nervousfritz at 9:24 PM on October 17, 2009


As much as we want to believe otherwise. Becoming rich is as much a function of chance as anything. Skill, dedication, drive, imagination, intelligence, vision... These things are not catalysts of wealth, and they should not be viewed as such.

Of course, but this guy wasn't even trying to get rich, unlike the wallstreet types. What he accomplished was dedication to art and craftsmanship, but it didn't directly benefit anyone. The wallstreet people, on the other hand, screwed a lot of people.
posted by delmoi at 11:14 PM on October 17, 2009


Another thing about making a model: If he'd have put the same effort into a full size reproduction, it would have been a "reproduction". There's very little satisfaction in simply reproducing the work of others. By creating a scale model, he has created an autonomous work of art. It really is different. Among people who care, it's a significant difference.
There is really something exquisite in making a totally useless, perfect thing. It ain't about the money.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 5:28 PM on October 19, 2009


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