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Friday 28th October 2011

Driven: Ferrari 250 GTO Replica

The market's growing for machines like this that aren't too precious to drive...



With prices of real Ferrari 250 GTOs gone crazy there's a growing market for lovingly created replicas that aren't too precious to drive. Kyle Fortune takes one to Goodwood for a spin.


Whisper it, it's a replica. Stop reading now if that offends you, but how could it? It's absolutely beautiful. Authentic in a way too, as in this isn't some lashed together GRP pastiche based on a dodgy old Datsun. This beauty is a pukka 250 GTO recreation based on the shortened chassis of a Ferrari 250 GTE. That means proper Ferrari mechanicals, a 3.0-litre V12 with around 300bhp and, here's the absolute clincher, FIA papers that mean it's eligible for historic racing.

Every detail on it is pure GTO, from the gorgeously shapely bodywork to the simple, stark interior. There's nothing superfluous, just a body which faithfully re-creates the early wind-tunnel, Sergio Scaglietti honed lines that helped the Ferrari GTO bring home three GT manufacturers championships from 1962-1964.


It's absolutely stunning to look at, and here at Goodwood it looks even more right. The detailing is perfect, from the chrome catches keeping the bonnet down to the various intakes, vents and that prancing horse badge in the surprisingly small intake up front. The wire-spoked, knock-off hub wheels look comically small, the fat profile of the Dunlops wider than anything you'll find this side of a bus today.

Purists be damned, some might find fault in a particular detail, but line up a few genuine 250 GTOs side-by-side and it's clear that there are many differences between them all. These were racing cars, and were modified accordingly.


Ferrari didn't quite live up to the promise of the 100 cars required for the O of the GTO's name, this Omologato (homologation) model seeing only 39 originals built. Prices paid for then tend to stay behind closed doors, 250 GTOs changing hands infrequently and for astronomical sums. Figure on at least £20m, and perhaps as much as £10m more than that. This faithful recreation would cost just a fraction of that; even so it's still out of reach of my meagre financial reach. I can drive it, though.

Pushing the small key as I turn it there's a mechanical shriek from under the bonnet as the 3.0-litre V12 rouses. It sounds absolutely glorious, but it's slight smell of fuel, warm metal and exhaust fumes that create such an intoxicating, heady experience as it sits idling. Old cars assault the senses and this Ferrari does more so than most, a brush of the accelerator rewarded with a quick flare of revs as the V12 reacts immediately.


The raised open-gate gearbox requires a good positive shove, the gear snicking in with a satisfying click. The steering weighting shifts from heavy and cumbersome to light and delicate as the speed builds, the engine piling on pace with no effort at all. The simple Veglia instrumentation shows a 7,500rpm redline and the temptation to have the needle swing around to it is too much to resist. There's more speed, the linear urge from the V12 not relenting as its revolutions increase, it only adding more magnificent sounds through the cabin and for a good distance around. It's not quiet, but that's part of the intense experience it delivers.

On bumpy roads around Goodwood it's initially unsettled, the steering needing constant input to retain its chosen trajectory. That improves markedly with speed, the suspension settling and the steering filtering out excess detail to track straight and true. It turns in well, though as with all old cars the brakes are more heart stopping than car stopping on occasions - push hard and hope.


It's unlike anything I've driven in a long time, the physicality and skill required to deliver measured, clean downshifts, the need to anticipate braking level of feel and interaction are all facets of driving lost on modern cars. So what if it's a replica? As a driving experience it's the real deal.

 









Kyle Fortune
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Author Discussion

Ex Boy Racer

Original Poster:

544 posts

77 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
No problems with replicas as such. Seems a shame that a 250 GTE was destroyed in the process though

lgomgf

236 posts

73 months

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Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
Not that I could afford one... but what is the price? Me think it is still a lot... too much for me pocket...

dele

1,013 posts

79 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
That would be great if the exhausts weren't about 6ft too long

GroundEffect

7,984 posts

41 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
Want. Want. Want. Want.

y2blade

54,388 posts

100 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
dele said:
That would be great if the exhausts weren't about 6ft too long
They double as parking sensors.
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rob.e

2,595 posts

163 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
I would actually choose this over the real thing (major lottery win permitting of course) and be happy in the knowledge I can drive it anytime i want and not worry (as much!).

A lovely thing.

smile

Mr Gear

9,063 posts

75 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
BUT IT'S NOT A REAL FERRARI! WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO USE THE BADGES!?! IT SHOULD BE CRUSHED AND THE OWNER PUT IN JAIL FOR FRAUD! cursefuriousmadranting

Etc etc.


Bill

31,866 posts

140 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
y2blade said:
dele said:
That would be great if the exhausts weren't about 6ft too long
They double as parking sensors.
Aren't they additional silencers to keep the neighbours from complaining?

It's lovely IMO, although you'd have to have a real one in the garage to shut the purists up hehe

y2blade

54,388 posts

100 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
Mr Gear said:
BUT IT'S NOT A REAL FERRARI! WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO USE THE BADGES!?! IT SHOULD BE CRUSHED AND THE OWNER PUT IN JAIL FOR FRAUD! cursefuriousmadranting

Etc etc.
I know, that was what I was expecting too.
PH....you can't second guess it can you hehe


nice post count btw evil

Rawwr

14,453 posts

119 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
As much as I love the 250GTO, it's lesser-known brother, the 250LM, is the one I'd kill for.

nonuts

15,812 posts

114 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
Mr Gear said:
BUT IT'S NOT A REAL FERRARI! WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO USE THE BADGES!?! IT SHOULD BE CRUSHED AND THE OWNER PUT IN JAIL FOR FRAUD! cursefuriousmadranting

Etc etc.
But the one in the article IS a real Ferrari.

uncle tez

444 posts

36 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
nonuts said:
Mr Gear said:
BUT IT'S NOT A REAL FERRARI! WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO USE THE BADGES!?! IT SHOULD BE CRUSHED AND THE OWNER PUT IN JAIL FOR FRAUD! cursefuriousmadranting

Etc etc.
But the one in the article IS a real Ferrari.
Yeah it is a real ferrari just not the one thats its claiming to be

Numeric

358 posts

36 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
I've always had this slight feeling that replicas devalue the whole ethos of the cars that the replica is trying to emulate. So I assume every Cobra I see is a replica and have done with it. But a really well sorted one that recieves a green light from the FIA seems ok to me - after all I'm sure a lot of bodges happened at Ferrari in the 60's with things starting as one thing and ending up as another. But of course in truth there is for me only one GTO and that belongs to Mr. Mason. Read an article in Motor I think when I was at school (i'm in my 40's now) in which he said he drove it in the snow once cos the traction was better than his other car and I've been hopelessly in love ever since!! And the plate, and the history - oh god I'm having a moment!!

Edited by Numeric on Friday 28th October 10:50

Garlick

40,600 posts

125 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
Bill said:
Aren't they additional silencers to keep the neighbours from complaining?
ears

treetops

736 posts

43 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
Fakes devalue any brand.

Who rejoices in the build quality of a fake Burberry handbag? It just devalues it for everyone else - whenever you see one you just think - thats a fake!

Why are we rejoicing over what are in effect counterfeit goods - no matter how good they may / may not look?

This one may be a Ferrari but its not the real thing its purported to be. And there are plenty of other conversions that are blatant fakes. I do wonder whether PH should even be hosting them for sale on the website classifieds??

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/29/intern...

If can't afford one you can't have one - problem is society nowadays doesn't live to this mantra.

Its very sad.

(If one were to ignore all the above the car is pleasent to behold)

Bill

31,866 posts

140 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
Garlick said:
Bill said:
Aren't they additional silencers to keep the neighbours from complaining?
ears
I'm guessing (as usual biggrin) but Goodwood has stringent noise regs so they could be additional bolt on silencing. It'd seem a little daft spending that much on the conversion and having enormous wheelbarrow handles sticking out the back.

Garlick

40,600 posts

125 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
Bill said:
Garlick said:
Bill said:
Aren't they additional silencers to keep the neighbours from complaining?
ears
I'm guessing (as usual biggrin) but Goodwood has stringent noise regs so they could be additional bolt on silencing. It'd seem a little daft spending that much on the conversion and having enormous wheelbarrow handles sticking out the back.
Ah, I thought you were making reference to my neighbour issues smile

Bill

31,866 posts

140 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
Paranoid, sir? hehe

flashygee

126 posts

96 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
nice!

Edited by flashygee on Saturday 19th November 02:28

Schnellmann

1,690 posts

89 months

[news] 
Friday 28th October 2011 quote quote all
treetops said:
Fakes devalue any brand.

Who rejoices in the build quality of a fake Burberry handbag? It just devalues it for everyone else - whenever you see one you just think - thats a fake!

Why are we rejoicing over what are in effect counterfeit goods - no matter how good they may / may not look?

This one may be a Ferrari but its not the real thing its purported to be. And there are plenty of other conversions that are blatant fakes. I do wonder whether PH should even be hosting them for sale on the website classifieds??

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/29/intern...

If can't afford one you can't have one - problem is society nowadays doesn't live to this mantra.

Its very sad.

(If one were to ignore all the above the car is pleasent to behold)
IMO there is a world of difference between this GTO replica, based on a same-period Ferrari using Ferrari parts and a fake Burberry handbag. The former not just looks like the original but presumably drives fairly close to one, allowing the owner the possibility of having almost the same experience. Not being a handbag freak I assume a fake is much poorer quality (although having written that I'm not so sure as the mark-up on such branded goods might just be the design and brand name and not because the quality of the materials is much better).

I do wonder whether it is right that a historic Ferrari, in its own right, is used to make the replica.

It isn't just a question of can one afford it. If there were only 39 originals then there is a problem of supply in that you have to convince one of the current owners to sell, if you want one. Not always easy.

My dream car is an original 2.7 RS but now that the good ones are £200k plus they are becoming too expensive to buy and use. A replica based on an early 911 at a quarter of the price but with 95% of the look and feel seems like a better option to me.



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