RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: Ferrari 640 F1-89

RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: Ferrari 640 F1-89
What was the first Formula 1 car to mount a semi-automatic gearbox with shift levers on the steering wheel? The “red” Ferrari 640 F1-89 of course! Since RoscoPC will dedicate its weekly direct to this model on the F1_Italia Facebook page tonight, Wednesday 16 December, we take the opportunity to present the brick version of one of the most innovative Ferraris: the Scassoncino Ferrari 640 F1-89 in scale 1: 27 by RoscoPC.


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In the 1988 season, McLaren's dominance was absolute. The British team could easily have won all sixteen races if Ayrton Senna had managed a slightly better dub during the Italian Grand Prix. Understandably, all other teams welcomed the drastic rule changes planned for 1989. Supercharging was banned altogether and naturally aspirated engines had a 3.5 liter displacement limit. Realizing the stinging defeat, Ferrari got to work on the new season long before the end of 1988. It was not easy, as many key figures had left the team during the year. Among the replacements was designer John Barnard, who joins Ferrari after introducing carbon fiber to Formula 1 during his time at McLaren. Engine wizard Jean-Jacques His gives way to Claudio Lombardi, who found himself having to design a brand new engine. The 3.5-liter displacement gave Ferrari the perfect opportunity to return to the manufacturer's preferred engine configuration: the V12. Claudio Lombardi did not take the easy route and built a lightweight 12-cylinder with four camshafts and five valves per cylinder. Three valves were used on the intake side. Ferrari officially declared the 600hp engine at an astonishing 12,500rpm. Barnard was far from sure that the new Ferrari engine would be powerful enough to take on the Renault and Honda V10. To gain the advantage he had thought of a more efficient way of transferring power to the wheels which would have a lasting effect. He had created a seven-speed gearbox with an automatic clutch. The paddles behind the steering wheel operated the gearbox and the driver only had to use the clutch when engaging. The ingenious system drastically reduced shift times. The sophisticated drivetrain was bolted to a carbon fiber monocoque frame as a fully stressed element. The new Ferrari also received a remarkable aerodynamic package with a narrow nose and full-length side panels with tall, narrow air intakes just behind the front suspension. That there was much less power available than in the "turbo years" was well demonstrated by the slimmer bodies. At the end of 1988, Ferrari built two prototypes under the name “639 F1“. They were used only for testing. For the first race of the season, Nigel Mansell and Gerhard Berger lined up with the new 640 F1 or F1-89. Although barely tested, the groundbreaking car got off to a dream start as Nigel Mansell took his debut victory in his first race for Ferrari. The 640 F1 remained competitive throughout the season, but only rarely did it manage to convert its potential into results. Mansell and Berger win only one race each in that season.

Welcome (and welcome back) to this new installment of RoscoPC's Gli Scassoncini series, in which every week we talk to you about one of the scale Formula 1 car models 1:27 from RoscoPC, we tell you how it is built and we give you a whole series of information on the car that inspired the model and many other things. In the following article, you will find as always:

information sheet of the real car from which the model is inspired a mini-review of the model RoscoPC's comments on which are the most difficult tips & tricks on which to use is found having to work for each model curiosity and info on the process that RoscoPC follows to design and build the models the comparison with the "big sister" in 1: 8 scale info and links to build the models (1:27 and 1: 8 ) Follow us on our journey through the history of Formula 1!

Ferrari 640 F1-89, scale 1:27

The eighth model we are going to discover together is that of a car 1988 which had Senna's McLaren-Honda in its sights: the Ferrari 640 F1-89.

Read also: RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: McLaren MP4 / 4

Features technical (real car)

Year: 1988 Info: designed by Colin Chapman Drivers: Jim Clark Engine: BRM H16, 3000 cc, 400 HP

(Credit photo: ultimatecarp

Ferrari 640 F1-89, scale 1:27

This eighth model we built is made up of 172 pieces and like the previous ones we got our hands on, there we find particular construction techniques inside, for example the way in which the flat bottom was made or the particular system for attaching the rear wing to the rest of the frame.

The construction is fluid and intuitive as in the models we assembled earlier, but as always requires some experience with bricks. It starts from the chassis and the "internal" part of the passenger compartment, which will be the basis for the rest of the vehicle and in particular with the rear portion of the car, which includes the rear diffuser and the rear axle. United together the "engine block" and the base of the frame previously made, to which in the meantime the completion of the rear diffuser and the nose have been added, we move on to the front of the two side structures of the sides and to the engine cover behind of the pilot.

It is then the turn of the completion of the two sides with the rear part and of the engine cover placed behind the pilot's helmet.

The model is now almost completed: the bottom is missing flat and the rear wing.

By adding the front and rear wheels (rims + tires), the model is completed.

The usual and delicate last step still remains: the application stickers. IMPORTANT! The stickers are exclusively those of the sponsors. The bodywork is made in the colors of the team's livery and the sponsors' logos are applied to the latter. The procedure is always the same: a little patience, a good tweezer and even the stickers go into place, finalizing the model.

The numbers

Pieces: 172 Measurements: length 16.3 cm, 8.1 cm wide, 4.2 cm high% LEGO Technic elements: 7%

RoscoPC's corner

CulturaPop: What were the most difficult details to reproduce on this scale? RoscoPC: As always, the general goal is to find the right compromise between the small size and the number of details that can be adequately represented: this car had an extremely thin and sleek nose and the bodywork with Coke-shaped sides. CulturaPop: what detail or detail are you most satisfied with being able to reproduce? RoscoPC: the entrance to the sides is very characteristic: narrow towards the car body, and advanced. Giving the idea of ​​this shape, connecting with the nose, was a demanding challenge. CulturaPop: is there a particular construction technique that you had to invent to reproduce a particular or a detail of this model? RoscoPC: for the sides of the rear diffuser I could not use the usual flags supported by the clips, due to the flat bottom that was starting to play an aerodynamic role: I had to take advantage of the Plate Modified 1 x 2 with Pin Hole connected with a spoiler.

Design of the 3D CAD model

Fourth step - second part: the 3D CAD software

Frame and suspension are designed together, with the aim of reproducing the geometry and the behavior of the original suspensions.

(Credit photo:

Ferrari 640 F1-89, scale 1: 8

The older sister of this model was designed and built by RoscoPC in 2016.

(Credit photo:

Also this model, like the previous ones, is made with mixed techniques and elements, LEGO System for bodywork, cockpit and other aesthetic elements and LEGO Technic for chassis, suspensions, engine and all those that are mechanical components (exhausts, manifolds, etc.). The characteristics:

wheels (front) steering Suspension working reproduction of the Ferrari V12 engine Rear diffuser 1,774 pieces year 2016 measures 55.1 cm long, 25.6 cm wide and 11.9 cm high

Instructions and parts lists

The instructions for building the two versions (Scassoncino 1:27 and Scassone 1: 8) can be purchased on the website and in the "product sheet" of each model you will also find the links to purchase the bricks and the elements needed to build them. The instructions also include a PDF file for printing the stickers needed to complete the car livery at home. Alternatively, it is possible to request and purchase the same stickers printed and pre-cut on vinyl paper sheets by sending an email to

Ferrari 640 F1-89, 1:27 scale Ferrari 640 F1-89, scale 1: 8 We look forward to seeing you next week with a new episode and a new Scassoncino to be discovered!

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