Down to the Last Rivet...
We get many requests for information at Motor Sport, but a recent letter from Australia asking for details about certain Ferraris was accompanied by some striking photographs of vvhat at first glance appeared to be a 500 and a 156 undergoing restoration. In fact, they showed several scale racing car models of impressive accuracy and detail, built by Alistair Brookman.
Brookrnan has now turned full-time to automotive model-making, and manufactures components for up to ten models at a time. Every part is specially made by him from brass, steel or aluminium, using castings for such parts as engine-blocks, gearbox casings and suspension uprights, and the body panels undo to reveal a visually perfect copy of the chassis, right down to the rivets on the pedals and the bolts holding the instruments in the dash. Wheels are laced up out of individual spokes, and the steering wheel is made up of two slivers of wood on a metal armature.
Although his earlier models were in 1/15 scale, Brookrnan has now gone up to 1/12 to allow greater detail. Each model takes many months of intensive work — ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week — and the seven 156 Ferraris, one of which is shown here, will have consumed 18 months by the time they are completed. Despite a price of some £5700, all are sold before completion.
Brookman likes to make his own scale drawings of each car before he starts, but finds being based in Australia makes access to the necessary information more difficult; and of course, there are few opportunities to see Grand Prix cars of the Fifties in action, this being his favoured period. Ultimately, he wants to model all the GP and sports-racers of the Fifties and late-Forties, though he will consider one-offs of a particular car. GC