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|Not Found on eBay: Ferris Bueller 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California Replica|
|Written by Rich Truesdell|
|Sunday, 05 July 2009 09:59|
"It is his fault he didn't lock the garage," Ferris Bueller.
Under the file of "you never quite know what will show up Saturday morning at Cars and Coffee" we have this gem, a well-turned-out replica 1960 Ferrari 250GT California Spyder Convertible, quite similar to the car driven by Mathew Broderick in the 1986 John Hughes classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Previously sold under the name Modena and CalSpyder (before Ferrari put the kibosh on these and other replicas), this car built between 2002 and 2006 by Precision Design and Engineering for its owner, who goes by the name of Chris B. "This is a professionally built and crafted replica," say Chris. "It's not a 'kit car' built on top of some Fiero, Corvette, or Datsun chassis. This car is built upon a custom multi-tube powder-coated chassis with a gorgeous hand-laid fiberglass body. The four cars built for the movie, it features a Ford 302 V8 with four-barrel carburetor and AOD transmission four-speed automatic transmission."
We took an up close and personal look at the car after Cars and Coffee concluded, and with just two minor quibbles, would agree with Chris' assessment of the car; it looks almost as if it rolled down the old line in Maranello in 1960, one of the 104 short- and long-wheelbase 250GT California Spyders built, one of sold last May for almost $11 million.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this particular car was listed on eBay, from June 14 to 24 where with a top bid of $47,988.00 it didn't meet Chris' reserve (more on that later). While the originals featured steel bodies designed by Pininifarina and built by Scaglietti. The body proportions here, of a 102.3-inch LWB model, are spot on. And unlike a steel bodied car, especially sitting on a powder-coated chassis, rust will probably be the last problem that you will face with the thick fiberglass body seen here. It certainly rivals a contemporary Corvette in terms of fit and finish. The curves of the Pininfarina lines are seductive to say the least. In its day the 250GT California Spyder, sold from 1958 to 1963 and derived from the competition Berlinettas, was the open Ferrari to own in the period if a 250GT Cabriolet, based on the 250GT Coupe, simply wasn't enough.
The folding cloth "Stay-Fast" convertible top looks perfect up or down under the tonneau cover. The well-trimmed interior evokes Ferrari cockpits of the era. In this case it's upholstered in a combination of butter-soft Italian leather with color-mated vinyl trim. The black crackle-finish instrument panel is spot-on, accenting the buff-colored soft trim perfectly. Sitting behind the wheel and looking over the long hood, you'd have to be a pretty jaded sort not to find happiness. The carpeting in the interior and trunk is a charcoal-grey Mercedes-Benz velour cut pile. The dominant exterior element, the aluminum fender vents on each front fender aft of the wheel wells look as if the were fabricated from billet by Italian rather than American artisans. On a scale of one to 10, I would rate the interior as a very strong nine; all it needs is one of those modern Becker radios with period-correct looks concealing a modern GPS system.
Under the hood you'll find, as in the movie car, a Ford 302 V8. In its current state of tune it puts out about 225-horsepower, directly comparable to the original. But this is a 302 with a twist; it's emission exempt. Chris registered the car in California under Senate Bill 100 as an exempt SPCNS (Specialty Constructed) vehicle. "This means the car NEVER has to pass emission standards," say Chris. "It is completely exempt! I put the money and time in long lines at the DMV to secure this status. And this is a permanent classification as long as the car stays a California car. If any area of the car's appearance falls flat, it's under the hood as the 302 lacks the requisite extra four cylinders and the exquisite detailing that is a trademark of virtually all Ferraris from this era. I would suggest that Chris, in an effort to sell the car, should dress up the engine a bit, especially given that a set of vintage Cobra valve covers would go a long way. That and some additional detailing--the split loom is a visual distraction--would go a long way.